We wonder who Vice President Al Gore would characterize as being in the political mainstream.
It's reasonable to assume that when a respected array of religious, academic and public policy leaders publish an open letter to the veep urging him and his boss to use their official powers to pressure Communist China to lift its persecution of religious groups and for the U.S. to "put human rights before profits," that they would at least get a respectful response.
The signers, after all, were expressing the views of growing numbers of Americans and included, among others, such dignataries as Family Research Council President Gary Bauer, Focus on the Family President James Dobson and several clergymen from different denominations.
But that's not how the vice-president's office sees it. Gore's press secretary Ginny Terzano dismissed the letter as the "rantings of right-wing extremists interested in attacking the vice president."
In fact, the letter did not attack Gore. It was not partisan. It attacked Red China's tyranny and urged the veep's cooperation, as an elected representative of all Americans, to stand up for traditional American human rights values.
And this is labeled "extreme"! By that definition we're all "extremists."