Where was this guy in 2000?

It pains me to say this, because I've been watching and noting the transformation of Al Gore over the last 2 years, but if the guy who's been making speeches for Moveon and for the Democratic party lately had been this outspoken and fired up during the 2000 campaign, well, we might not be facing the prospect of holding our noses when we pull the lever this time around.

Here's the lede from the paper of record:

In a withering critique of the Bush administration, former Vice President Al Gore on Sunday accused the president of betraying the country by using the Sept. 11 attacks as a justification for the invasion of Iraq.

"He betrayed this country!" Mr. Gore shouted into the microphone at a rally of Tennessee Democrats here in a stuffy hotel ballroom. "He played on our fears. He took America on an ill-conceived foreign adventure dangerous to our troops, an adventure preordained and planned before 9/11 ever took place."
and in a statement that may prove prescient, Gore compared Bush to Nixon when he said
...President Richard M. Nixon had used "the politics of fear" to make his father, Albert Gore Sr., out to be unpatriotic and an atheist. And when his father lost, Mr. Gore said, his father said: "The truth shall rise again."

He said he recalled that defeat because "the last three years we've seen the politics of fear rear its ugly head again." Like the Nixon administration, Mr. Gore said, the Bush administration is not committed to principle but is obsessed with its re-election.

Thank you Al, for showing us, if nothing else, that Democrats are at their best when they're passionate about what they stand for. Maybe the candidate this time will learn from the example you and Howard Dean (assuming he doesn't pull the "come from behind" strategy off) have set over the last year. Thank you for saying loudly and publicly what many of us have been saying privately since November 2000.

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