>>[The speech] distinguished Gore, now and forever, as someone who cannot be considered a responsible aspirant to power. Politics are allowed in politics, but there are limits, and there is a pale, and Gore has now shown himself to be ignorant of those limits, and he has now placed himself beyond that pale.Gore's speech was one no decent politician could have delivered. It was dishonest, cheap, low. It was hollow. It was bereft of policy, of solutions, of constructive ideas, very nearly of facts -- bereft of anything other than taunts and jibes and embarrassingly obvious lies. It was breathtakingly hypocritical, a naked political assault delivered in tones of moral condescension from a man pretending to be superior to mere politics. It was wretched. It was vile. It was contemptible. But I understate.<<
Now, the complication. At just the time Michael was writing those words about Al Gore, he was supporting and trying to improve my cover story, in his own magazine, arguing that we would regret the consequences of invasion for many years to come. None of us is simple. I genuinely mourn Michael Kelly's death. But Ta-Nehisi Coates is right to clarify the part of his record that was damaging. And I actually do believe, as opposed to just saying it for closing-the-loop rhetorical purposes, that Michael Kelly would have respected and supported the forthrightness of his doing so within the Atlantic's own (electronic) pages.