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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Does Gore Know What He's Talking About?

By Ed Koch
Real Clear Politics

I may be old fashioned, but I think it's wrong to publicly attack and criticize your own country overseas. It is doubly wrong to do so in the presence of those who hate the United States.

Al Gore, a former Senator from Tennessee, a former Vice President of the United States and the 2000 Democratic candidate for president, apparently believes that since, as he said, he is "not an official of the United States," he is free to attack his native country anywhere.

This month in Bali, Indonesia, the United Nations held a conference on global warming for the purpose of extending the Kyoto Protocols, which will formally end in 2012. The United States -- concerned about Kyoto's effect on economic growth -- has refused to ratify the Protocols. On July 25, 1997, the U.S. Senate rejected then Vice President Gore's advice and voted 95-0 to reject the Kyoto Protocols.

Last week Al Gore appeared at the Bali conference and said, "I am not an official of the United States and I am not bound by the diplomatic niceties. So I am going to speak an inconvenient truth. My own country, the United States, is principally responsible for obstructing progress here in Bali. We all know that."

Oh, really? And just how do we all know that? Is it true that the U.S. is "principally responsible for obstructing progress" in Bali? The New York Times, which applauds the former Vice President, reported on December 14 that "[t]he emerging economic powers, most notably China and India, also refuse to accept limits on their emissions, despite projections that they will soon become the dominant sources of the gases." The same Times article stated while the U.S. opposes an agreement that would include numerical targets, so do "a few other countries, including Russia."


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