Friday, May 26, 2006

Shorter Paul Krugman

Mr. Krugman’s take on Al Gore and his film on global warming:

I won’t join the sudden surge of speculation about whether “An Inconvenient Truth” will make Mr. Gore a presidential contender. But the film does make a powerful case that Mr. Gore is the sort of person who ought to be running the country.

Since 2000, we’ve seen what happens when people who aren’t interested in the facts, who believe what they want to believe, sit in the White House. Osama bin Laden is still at large, Iraq is a mess, New Orleans is a wreck. And, of course, we’ve done nothing about global warming.

But can the sort of person who would act on global warming get elected? Are we — by which I mean both the public and the press — ready for political leaders who don’t pander, who are willing to talk about complicated issues and call for responsible policies? That’s a test of national character. I wonder whether we’ll pass.

The short answer, based on the drooling in the press over the last week about the state of matrimony between Bill and Hillary Clinton, is an emphatic No. More people voted for the winner of American Idol than voted for the winner in the last legitimate presidential election.

Maybe the film we should be watching, in addition to An Inconvenient Truth, is Being There.