A recent poll by 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair found that a majority of Americans, and a majority of Democrats, do not believe things would have changed much if Al Gore had been inaugurated president in January 2001. With a jobless scandal gripping the nation, the presiden'ts popularity collapsed from earlier levels, congressional favorable ratings laughably at 12 percent (within reach of Saddam Hussein's favorables), the Gore v. Bush poll is breathtaking.
If Al Gore had won, for starters: Had Gore been briefed by intelligence officers as Bush was in August 2001 about terrorist planes attacking buildings, Gore would have put our services on red alert and might well have prevented 9/11. Even if 9/11 had happened:
Gore would never have made the blunder of invading Iraq. Those American lives of troops KIA would have been saved. He would have focused on Afghanistan, which would have been won for keeps most likely by 2003. Many American lives of troops KIA in Afghanistan would also have been saved and our Afghan mission would have ended successfully long ago.
Gore would never have done the Bush tax cuts. Therefore, many trillions of dollars would have been saved from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and from not doing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
Instead of our current deficits, the Clinton-Gore budget surplus might well have continued under President Gore, instead of the deficits that ballooned under President Bush. The pro-growth and pro-jobs policies of Clinton-Gore, which were ended by President Bush, would have been continued by President Gore.
The pro-earth policies of President Gore would have made a substantial dent in pollution and taken the offensive against climate change. Gore would have still won and deserved the Nobel Prize, as a world leader of nations.
Torture would never have happened under an American president.
The Supreme Court would never have decided Citizens United as it did. Special interests would not have as much power to buy our elections and democracy had Gore been inaugurated in 2001.
Reducing income inequalities, which have shamefully skyrocketed under Bush and Obama, would have been a major priority under President Gore.
I could go on. You get the idea. Stay tuned for more. I might even elaborate about this in a book I have begun to write.
It is a sad commentary about Democrats today, especially but not only President Obama, that Democrats feel so depressed and let down that they cannot tell the difference between eight years of President George W. Bush and eight years of President Gore. Any Democrat who cannot tell the difference needs a serious kick in the butt.
Stay tuned. I predict the day will come when we will know for sure what President Gore would do, when President Gore does it.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.