Al Gore, a closet T.S. Eliot. Who knew? Harry Reid, channeler of Harriet Beecher Stowe. Who could have guessed? The heat of a globe that won't continue warming, despite all that Al can do, is getting to these guys. Are we watching a Democratic crackup?
President Obama is on his way to the Copenhagen climate summit, and once he cools down the planet, he'll stroll up to Oslo for a speech to sell his war in Afghanistan to the assembled peaceniks in Oslo.
Al has apparently given up on finding a way to stop global warming, which no harm done, since the planet is cooling all by itself. So he's off to new challenges. He won the Nobel Peace Prize with his movie, and now he's keen to win the bookend, the Nobel Prize in Literature. Don't bet against him; noodniks like Jeremiah and the messiah are always big favorites in Oslo and Stockholm.
The hallelujah media chorus here is in full throat, too. Here's a sophomore English Lit major writing in Vanity Fair (this may be satire): "Gore has unveiled a fresh and most unexpected talent: the new book ["Our Choice"] opening chapter concludes with a poem he wrote - 21 lines of verse that are equal parts beautiful, evocative and disturbing." Sample:
One thin September soon
A floating continent disappears
In midnight sun.
Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea.
The moral here is that roses are red, violets are blue/If Al can write poetry, so can you. Meanwhile, back on Capitol Hill, Sen. Reid, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, finds Little Eva - or at least his Republican colleagues - floating off on melting ice floes on a feverish acid sea. (Don't blame me for all these clashing, clunky metaphors; once you get caught up in Al's poesy and Senate oratory, it's easy to lose control.)
The senator got wound up in his Harriet Beecher Stowe mode in an oration about bedpans and health care, which seems to be on life-support in a Senate where Mr. Reid and his Democrats are down to a mere 20-seat majority and can't get much done. "Instead of joining us on the right side of history," he cried, "all the Republicans can do is come up with, 'slow down, stop everything, let's start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said, 'slow down, it's too early, things aren't bad enough.' "
Mr. Reid is hazy on history, as on a lot of other things, and forgot, if he ever knew, that it was the Republicans who fought slavery. His party were the heel-diggers. Several of his contemporary Republican colleagues, unable to savor the high old humor in the moment of Democratic crackup, put on a pious pout, as slighted senators are prone to do.
But if Mr. Reid thinks he has problems, he should consider the plight of the director of Copenhagen's No. 1 limousine-rental company. Majken Friss Jorgenson says her firm only has 12 limousines big enough to accommodate the egos of "world leaders" congregating in Copenhagen for "the summit to save the world." She and her competitors have orders for 200.
"We haven't got enough limos in the country to fulfill the demand," she told the London Daily Telegraph. "We're having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden."
Mzz Jorgenson would like to assign electric cars or hybrids, in the spirit of the occasion, but she doesn't have any. "We don't have any hybrids in Denmark, unfortunately, due to the extreme taxes on those cars." The situation is no better at the airport, where there's no more space to park the private jets arriving from Hollywood. They're sending late arrivals to park in Sweden. The planes will be called back when the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Daryl Hannah, Prince Charles and Archbishop Desmond Tutu move on save other worlds.
All the luxury hotels are fully booked, too, many of them for $1,500 a night. There's not even room for 1,400 additional hookers, mostly blond and blue-eyed, called to Copenhagen from all over Europe. The Danish government has officially urged the 15,000 delegates and 5,000 journalists to "be sustainable, don't buy sex." The union of the ladies of the evening have offered their services free to delegates with official badges. We're all in this struggle together to sustain the planet, and everyone must do (his or) her part. Al would be proud.