Al's the Man

Chris Bouneff

alsharptonHere's one liberal who'd like to thank (Lord help me through this) Al Sharpton.

It’s hard to believe that of all the speakers at the Dem convention, he’s the only one willing to show any fire for the cause. In what’s been a series of bland and lifeless speeches and speakers, it took someone who I have hardly any respect for, and with whom I would rarely agree, to tap into the heart of what it means to me to be a liberal.

Thanks, Al, for breaking from the script.

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    All was good on the campaign trail, too, and he added a lot to the debates. Language is his thing, not, probably, governance.

    I have to disagree about the speeches, though. While they may not be fiery, they are coming from the perspective of old-school liberalism. Kerry has assembled a group of speakers who are setting the table for a very different kind of discussion than we've been having since 1980.

    I don't know that it's possible to have 20 hours of speeches and not find something to criticize. The meme is "lifeless." But there was going to be a meme. Dean? A little too much life, they said.

    The amazing thing about Sharpton is that his comments, while fiery, were actually really careful. He didn't give the right much ammo at all.

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    Sharpton's only mistake, imho, was the crack about how if Bush had appointed the Supreme Court prior to Brown v. Board of Education, Clarence Thomas would never have become a lawyer. Now, to me, it's a good crack. But it was extraneous. It was also not in the script, for whatever that's worth (not surprising, because the DNC would have killed it). But as a good example of escaping the clutches of DNC message control, just about the entirety of the final third of Sharpton's speech was off-script, and that was the best part of his speech.

  • Moses Ross (unverified)

    The Rev. Sharpton gave a fantastic speech, full of fire and brimstone. I rank it in the top six:

    1) The Obama Speech: I have seen the future of the Democratic Party and its name is Barack Obama!

    2) The Bill Clinton Speech: reminding us truly how good we had it for eight years.

    3) The Jimmy Carter speech: no fluff, no hype, just simple moralistic scrutiny of the Bush regime.

    4) The Al Sharpton speech: passionate ideas from a passionate man.

    5) The Teresa Heinz Kerry speech: soft spoken strength developed through experience.

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    Speaking of speeches, here are excerpts from Kerry's speech tonight, as just release by the DNC. These are non-embargoed excerpts, not the embargoed full text.

  • brett (unverified)

    b!x, what the hell was he trying to say with that comment? That without affirmative action, Thomas would never have gotten into law school? I wonder what Thomas himself would have to say about that.

    Regardless of what he says, the presence of Sharpton alone is enough to infuriate the right, and with good reason. The man is a criminal many times over, and a disgrace.

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    Well, that's why I said that remark was a mistake.

    On other things, Biden speech for later tonight look very, very good. Clearly he's a cinch for a Cabinet post.

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    I sort of hope he doesn't take a cabinet post, if it is in the offing. I'd prefer to have him in the senate--he's actually quite conservative, but he's a straight shooter. As Kerry (I should say if) Kerry is going to be successful, he'll need to manage a hostile or closely divided senate. I think Biden's a good guy to have in there.

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    "Clarence Thomas has lived a life riddled with irony and contradictions. Although he has opposed racial preference and affirmative action programs, he nonetheless benefited from them. As a young student, Thomas entered the College of the Holy Cross, a Jesuit institution in Massachusetts, after the school began a black recruitment program. Thomas was the beneficiary of a similar minority program a few years later at Yale Law School. As a young lawyer, Thomas aimed at a career outside the ambit of civil rights. However, for his effort, he earned appointment as the heard of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. "

    Note I am not saying that Thomas would not have gotten into law school but for affirmative action. Just pointing out that he likely did benefit from affirmative action. Heck, Sandra Day O'Connor said: "But, Nino (Scalia), if it weren't for affirmative action, I wouldn't be here."

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    FYI, it seems Michael Moore has posted the speech as delivered, if anyone wants to compare it to the speech as prepared.

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