Thursday, July 05, 2007

Al Gore's Son Busted Speeding With Pot and Pills

The blogosphere was abuzz yesterday with the news of Al Gore III, the son of the former vice-president, who was busted in Orange County for speeding (at over 100 mph). It turns out that Gore's car, which sheriff's deputies pulled over on I-5 in Laguna Niguel, reeked of marijuana, which made matters worse, and no doubt more interesting. The Los Angeles Times has a brief report:

When deputies approached the Toyota Prius at the Crown Valley Parkway exit, they detected the "strong odor of marijuana," said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department.

A search of the car found marijuana and prescription drugs Vicodin, Valium, Xanax and Adderall, an amphetamine used to treat attention deficit disorder, Amormino said.

Gore was booked into Orange County Jail on four charges, including possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and possession of the drugs without a prescription. He was released on $20,000 bail about 12 hours later.

Gore, 24, was arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana in Bethesda, Md., in 2003 and later was ordered to participate in a substance abuse program. In September 2002, military police ticketed Gore for driving under the influence near Ft. Myer, Va., a military base outside Washington.

In August 2000, he was ticketed by the North Carolina Highway Patrol after being clocked driving 97 mph in a 55-mph zone. In an agreement with prosecutors, a reckless driving charge was dropped. Gore was fined $125 and his driving privileges were suspended in that state.

The only son of Al and Tipper Gore, he suffered severe injuries in April 1989 after running into the street and being hit by a car. The 6-year-old had just been to a Baltimore Orioles game with his father. He spent almost a month in the hospital.
Gore III was held at the Orange County Jail, in Santa Ana, the next city over from my hometown. I first heard about the story while surfing blogs, although CNN covered the story in early-morning broadcasts. The arrest of the son of a popular and liberal former vice-president is big news, especially with the drug bust tie-in.

What struck me as fascinating, though, is how immediately liberals jumped to compare Gore III's behavior to that of President Bush's daughters. Noting this development, The Iowa Voice asked "
Can We Expect the Left to Lay Off the First Twins Now?," an apparent lament that liberals would mount hypocritical attacks on first-daugters Jenna and Barbara Bush (who have had their own brushes with law enforcement over underage drinking). The Iowa Voice was responding to this post from Captain Ed Morrisey, who called for conservatives to take the high ground and leave Gore III alone:

I know that some bloggers are having fun with this, and I don't mean to be too critical of my friends, but it's at the same level as the attacks on Jenna and Barbara Bush. We may dislike Al Gore's policies and sanctimony, but that shouldn't apply to his son. His misfortunes tell us nothing about his father's policy or sanctimony, and as an adult, Al III answers for himself. Attacking Gore through his son amounts to a cheap shot.
The Iowa Voice heeded Captain Ed's advice, reluctantly, and only conditionally, "as long as the left agrees (and abides by that agreement) to do the same thing, too."

Well, Iowa Voice and others right-wing bloggers might as well let-it-rip as far as attacking Gore III's behavior and the left's evasion and obfuscation of the issues. I haven't really had time to surf the various liberal blog commentariat yet, but I did see last night
this absurd entry over at Liberal Values, a post that was both enfuriatingly dumb and conveniently evasive on Gore III's personal behavior. The post turned Gore III's arrest into a head-to-head comparison with the Bush family:

....Al Gore’s son appears to have a Paris Hilton-like driving problem. We’d have had examples of bad behavior from the First Family even if the Supreme Court hadn’t intervened in the 2000 election....
Hold on there! The issue here is not the 2000 election, nor is it a matter of whether we would or would not be having "examples" of the First Family's behavior under a Gore administration. I commented on the post to that effect, saying:

Al Gore’s kid’s bust has nothing to do with the Bush family. Who cares if he was doing his “bit for the environment”? He’s an addict, plain and simple, whose behavior should be scorned, and rightly so. Quit celebrating the behavior of death, as that’s all this episode represents.
The Liberal Values blogger, Ron Chusid, had noted that since Gore III was driving a Toyota Prius, "at least he was doing his bit for the environment." What? How did we turn a speeding arrest and pot and pills bust into an environmental issue? Chusid responded in the comments:

The behavior of Gore’s kid sounds quite a bit like the behavior of the Bush twins. As for the behavior of death, the Bush twins’ father is the champion there.
Whoa there one second! Now its Gore III's behavior "sounds like" Jenna and Barbara's? Let's just compare: Jenna and Barbara were busted for using fake identification to purchase alcohol, cited for misdemeanor minor-in-possession charges, fined, sentenced to community service, and required to take alcohol awareness classes.

Al Gore III, on the other hand, was arrested for driving at excessive and reckless speed, and found to have not only marijuana, but a hefty stash of prescription medications. As the Times story above indicates, he's had routine run-ins with the law on these issues, and his behavior looks certainly more pathological that anything the Bush twins have done. What about President Bush? Well, he's a recovering alcoholic and born-again Christain. His recovery from drinking has generally not been an issue in the media since the 2000 campaign -- largely because Bush addressed those issues squarely, and early on.

I sometimes just can't believe the mendacity of lefty blog commentators. There's certain to be more radical diatribes against the Bushes emerging out all this, so let's be clear: At issue here is Al Gore III's wrongful activities, which I described as a "behavior of death," which to me is mindless, death-like activity antithetical to a robust individualism of prideful achievement and moral rectitude. Perhaps Gore III's still dealing with the demons of his early childhood injuries, or the relationship to his father. Who knows? But if that's the case, liberals should analyze the issues and put them away. Comparisons to the Bush family are cheap, and indeed are indicative of the absence of profound observation among left bloggers such as Chusid at Liberal Values.

For more blog debate around the web, check
this entry over at Memeorandum.

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