Since Sunday, I've noticed a secondary meme being used with the right-wing attacks on Al Gore: "And, by the way, he's fat."  It's a throw-away line every time, but I've heard it again and again and again.  This cannot be accidental.

Right now, as I write this diary, Los Angeles's KFI-640's John and Ken Show is going on and on about a) how Al Gore consumes more electricity than the average, and b) he's a fatty fatty fat fat*.  They're not the first of the just-another-Republican-shill talk-show hosts I've heard to use this particular meme; KABC 790's Kevin James was on a tear about it last night, too.  Although I didn't listen today, I'm sure even Rush made snarky comments about Al Gore's weight ("Pot?  Telephone.  Kettle's calling to say 'You're black!' again.").  I also heard it on Al Rantel's KABC 790 show for the brief minute I had it on yesterday.

This can't be an accident.  This has to be a talking point, coming from somewhere else.  I understand where the criticism of Gore's energy usage comes from, though I personally think the argument's facile and without reasonable foundation, as so many other right-wing arguments are.  What's struck me isn't that they're all talking about that; it's that in the discussion of Gore's energy use, his weight comes up, always as a throw-away, snarky comment, no matter who the just-another-Republican-shill talk-show host is.  That cannot be coincidence.

For the record, the very first place I saw the "Al Gore is fat" meme was here, on DailyKos, and it was done in all seriousness by the poster.  It made me raise my eyebrows and made me wonder if that particular poster was a plant or shill.  The fact that it's now part of the Republican talking points about Al Gore makes me wonder even more.

What is this, third grade?

These guys act as if weight is a criteria for being electable.  Of course, one need only mention President Taft or even President Clinton to dismiss that talking point.

I'm loathe to bring it up, or bring attention to it, for fear of perpetuating the meme myself.  I like Al Gore.  Since the election of 2000, I've been impressed by his fiery speeches, and I was impressed by "An Inconvenient Truth" when I saw it.  I hope he decides to throw his hat in the ring, because I'm lukewarm about the current field of candidates.  I'm writing this not to perpetuate the meme, but to tease it out, expose it, and shed some light on how the right wing is trying to pre-hamstring a potential Gore run.

  • This is a Simpsons reference.  The often mean twin girls, Sheri and Teri, call Bart a "fatty fatty fat fat" in one episode.

Originally posted to Lasgalen Lothir on Wed Feb 28, 2007 at 12:49 AM PST.

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