Gore's well-crafted rhetorical sequence of reasons why "elections matter," after the jump, had one off-key element. Supreme Court appointments -- fine. War and peace? Of course. Wounded veterans, yes -- and Katrina, and impending recession, and the mortgage crisis. The environment? We were waiting for Gore to say it. But lead-tainted toys from China, and pet food?? Those items built toward the nice line about even dogs and cats knowing that elections matter. But they're out of scale with the rest of the list. And willing as I am to blame George Bush for just about anything, it's much more of a stretch to connect a mis-managed Mattel factory in Guangdong Province with White House policies than it is with the other, graver problems Gore mentioned. So, the dog-and-cat line is nice, but the logic behind it can use some work. Peace, prosperity, accountable government, saving the planet -- those should be enough.Gore endorses Obama (James Fallows, 16 June 2008)
Democrats wishing to rally their base must pander to protectionists and unions, especially in an election year. The highly publicized scandals with tainted food and medicine from China are a free trade opponent's wet dream; I expect to hear a lot of indignant, economically illiterate faux-populism surrounding these issues in the coming weeks and months.
(Personally, I'd be hitting the fake heparin story hardest of all, but issues affecting children and pets apparently pack more emotional punch.)