Nicole noted the first few minutes of Fox News Sunday yesterday, and just how angry the conservative Republicans were about Al Gore winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Bill Kristol disparaged Gore and the Nobel prize itself, saying “it’s a prize given by bloviators to a bloviator.” Charles Krauthammer insisted the award goes to “people whose politics are either anti-American or anti-Bush, and that’s why [Gore] won it.”
These pundits were obviously bitter, much the same way National Review’s Iain Murray was late last week, when he suggested Gore share his award with Osama bin Laden, “who implicitly endorsed Gore’s stance” in a September video harangue. (Apparently, to accept global warming is to embrace a terrorist philosophy.)
It led Paul Krugman to ask a good question: “What is it about Mr. Gore that drives right-wingers insane?”
The headline on Krugman’s piece is entirely appropriate: “Gore Derangement Syndrome.” The whole “derangement syndrome” phenomenon stems from an increasingly common problem — when contempt for a leader strays from simple political opposition to irrational, reflexive antagonism. If so-and-so says “day,” I’ll say “night,” even if the sun is shining. It’s more important to fight the perceived opponent than to make sense.
And for far too long, that’s exactly how the right has approached Gore and the science on global warming. The evidence must be wrong, because Gore believes it. The Nobel Peace Prize must be worthless, because Gore won it.
These aren’t arguments. They’re sad and nonsensical temper-tantrums.