Really — it’s like the Times was determined to out-stupid the block quotes from Scott’s post yesterday about Frank Rich. In an utterly substance-free piece, Mark Leibovich and Patrick Healy approach Althousian limits of vapidity (e.g., Al Gore was seen eating a low fat sandwich! It’s funny because he’s fat! Al Gore is on a first-name basis with Ludacris — get it? Ludacris has only one name! Cheeky!) But the opening paragraphs are simply astonishing:
The last time Al Gore appeared publicly inside the United States Capitol, he was certifying the Electoral College victory of George W. Bush. He returns on Wednesday, a heartbreak loser turned Oscar boasting Nobel hopeful globe trotting multimillionaire pop culture eminence.
For Mr. Gore, who calls himself a “recovering politician,” returning to Capitol Hill is akin to a recovering alcoholic returning to a neighborhood bar. He will, in all likelihood, deliver his favorite refrain about how “political will is a renewable resource” and how combating global warming is the “greatest challenge in the history of mankind.” He will confront one of his fervent detractors, Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, who derides Mr. Gore as an alarmist.
He will also embrace old friends, pose (or not) for cellphone photos and greet the legion of climate change disciples who swear by the “Goracle” as a contemporary sage.
As the heir apparent to many generations of unrenowned alcoholics, perhaps I’m a little unforgiving here. But given that (a) Al Gore is not a recovering alcoholic; and (b) the sitting President is, I’m eager to know how the Times plans to cover George W. Bush’s return to DC in, say, 2014:
(1) For former President George W. Bush, returning to the White House is akin to a recovering alcoholic returning to the couch he woke up on three mornings each week when Laura couldn’t stand his snoring and pointless midnight soliloquys about how much he hates his father.
(2) For former President George W. Bush, returning to the White House is akin to a recovering cocaine user hitting Studio 54 and doing speedballs with John Belushi and Rick James, circa 1978. He will, in all likelihood, deliver his favorite refrain about how “Freedom is God’s gift to humanity,” and how “cocaine is a hell of a drug.”
(3) The last time George W. Bush appeared publicly inside the White House, he was a hapless shell of a man, pacing the halls with a Nixonian aura of disgrace and humiliation after a second term of near-continuous blundering. He returns on Wednesday, his reputation in tact as one of the worst American presidents since James Buchanan. For Mr. Bush, who calls himself as a “recovering decider,” returning to the White House is like a recovering substance abuser returning to the party shack he used to trash when he was in one of those “dark places.”
. . . in comments, Lemuel Pitkin reminds us of this bit of flatulence from Healy a year ago . . .