03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Al Gore: "Civil Disobedience Has A Role To Play"

Perhaps the best way to understand the extraordinary transformation of Al Gore is to study the changing rhetoric of his enemies. A mere nine years ago, back when George Bush was just a cheeky rogue with an adorable line in malapropisms, presidential candidate Gore was famously derided as wooden and dull. Having failed to win the presidency - though of course that depends, as ever, on your definition of the word "win" - he next became a pitiable loser, then a laughable climate-change wonk, then the Oscar-winning, peace prize-winning, Live Earth-organising darling of liberal Hollywood. And so it says something hugely flattering about his present-day stature, surely, that the new official anti-Gore line is that he is quite simply evil: an anti-American hypocrite, a supporter of world government, and, like Barack Obama, probably a communist or a fascist or both. A recent documentary about Gore made by Irish global warming denialists, Not Evil Just Wrong, made the mistake of diverging from this stance, prompting fury among parts of its intended audience in the US. Not evil? Get real.

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