The Frog Is Us

A little-remarked virtue of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth is its graphic rendering of The Parable of the Frog. What? You don't know about it and aren't haunted by it day and night? Well, if you're a journalist in Washington or New York, it's no wonder. You and some colleagues are probably the hapless frog himself.

I encountered the frog story two years ago in America Alone: The Neoconservatives and the Global Order, a book by conservative diplomats Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke that assailed lies and scare tactics used by Bill Kristol and others to whip up popular support for Bush's terror war and his bread-and-circus economy.

Halper and Clarke likened the American people to "a frog placed in a bowl of cool water as it is slowly heated over a fire. At the point the frog realizes the danger it is in, it is already too weakened to get out. It is boiled alive. Americans today find themselves in water with the temperature rising. To date the political discourse, impregnated as it is with neoconservative formulations, has led them to acquiesce in the demands of those who are stoking the fire.

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