Thanks For Your Help, Reverend Al

One of the greatest things about liberals running for office is their willingness to open their mouths and sound absurd, making the jobs of their conservative opponents that much easier.

Rev. Al Sharpton made an appearance on MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Matthews” on Monday night and was in typical “Reverend Al” form. He displayed, again, his bitter partisanship (like the rest of the nine Democrats running for the nomination) and why he should never be elected to office — anywhere.

Check out these quips (emphasis has been added):

Cannot Let Go of Florida 2000

    MATTHEWS: . . . How are you going to win the presidency?

    SHARPTON: I’m going to win it unlike the present occupant — I’m going to get the most votes.

    MATTHEWS: I think that sets a tone for the night. Let me ask you, is George Bush a legitimate president of the United States? Is he legitimately our president?

    SHARPTON: I think that the election clearly lacked legitimacy. I think the fact that we went ahead and allowed things to proceed is something that has scarred the image of this country. And I think that is why we need to have voting in unprecedented numbers next year, so that we can show that we will not have the vote of American people in any way undermined and in any way disregarded and disrespected.

    In many ways, Chris, my feeling is that we’ve gone through a non-military civil war. It began with the recount in Florida. It moved to the redistricting in Texas. Now with the recall in California. These are all schemes to reject our right to one vote, counting and being final. . . .

Creeping On Democrat Territory

    SHARPTON: . . . I think that the right wing in this country has learned how to manipulate emotions, fear.

Let Me Show You How To Manipulate Emotions

    SHARPTON: . . . We are people that are susceptible to those that play on our emotions, which is why I think you need people that are firm and surefooted to stand up to this [right wing] crowd. Because when you try to have it both ways, when you try to run with them and run against them at the same time, they win, because they have a definite strategy and they’re after definite results. The results are, you have a guy that is the governor of California now who has been on — what is the first thing he does? He declares war on the American Indians. He is now going after immigrants with licenses. I mean, this is amazing.

No Job Experience — No Problem

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: . . . [M]y question for you is, of all the Democratic candidates out there, why should I vote for the [candidate] with the least political experience?

    SHARPTON: Well, you shouldn’t, because I have the most political experience. I got involved in the political movement when I was 12 years old. And I’ve been involved in social policy for the last 30 years. So don’t confuse people that have a job with political experience. . . .

No Evidence?

    SHARPTON: . . . I can only say that I was the first candidate in this race to come out against the war. I came out on your show early. Mr. Kucinich wasn’t in the race yet, in all due respect to him. And I said then, I didn’t believe there were weapons of mass destruction. I didn’t believe we were in imminent danger. [???]

    MATTHEWS: How did you not believe? What was your basis?

    SHARPTON: I didn’t believe — I didn’t believe given the technology of the day — if Rumsfeld knew where the weapon was, he couldn’t show us some evidence, some photo, something. We’re not in the Kojak generation anymore. There could have been — there could have been some evidence showing them where the weapons were.

Unilateral? Who’s Actually Wrong Here?

    MATTHEWS: . . . How would you get [the troops] home [from Iraq]?

    SHARPTON: I think that the first thing we need to do is admit we were wrong to go with the unilateral strategy.

    MATTHEWS: To who? Who do we admit that to?

    SHARPTON: I think the U.N. I think that when President Bush went in front of the United Nations and, in effect, said that, I was right. Now you can get behind me. We’re in charge. Then we lost the ability to really appeal for a multinational redevelopment plan that we could step back, withdraw troops other than being part of a multilateral strategy, have Kofi Annan and the U.N. supervising. That’s how you get out. . . .

Military Is For Our Protection Only . . . Or Not

    SHARPTON: . . . I think that we must only use military might as a last resort to preserve our lives.


    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: . . . This past week, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, over 700 homes were bulldozed in the Gaza Strip and over 2,000 people made homeless, with American taxpayer dollars. What do you think the United States should do to show that it stands behind human rights and such blatant violations of human rights by our allies?

    SHARPTON: I think that what we must do — I went to the Middle East in 2001. I went as a guest of the foreign office of Sharon Peres. I also went and met with the Palestinian Authority. In fact, Mr. Peres provided the transportation for me to go over and meet with Arafat and others.

    I think that one of the things that was surprising to me is all of them agreed that we ought to go, as the United States, back to the enforcement of the Mitchell accord and say that we will be move one step to the left or the right, we will only deal with those that will enforce to live up to the Mitchell accord.

    I think that the problem is that the present president equivocates according to who he’s meeting with. I think that we have to have one foreign policy and whoever violates it, we should use our might, both monetary and military, to say that we’re going to stand behind this. . . .

More Socialism And Government Regulations

    SHARPTON: I think that we should have a national single payer’s health plan. We should guarantee every American health care. . . .

    The other thing is I think we need is to come in and really deal with putting regulations and a ceiling on these pharmaceutical companies and these other drug companies that in my opinion, because of deregulation and because we have had an administration that looks the other way, have been able to fleece the American public, and where we literally have seniors that have to choose one month paying their rent and the next month buying prescription drugs. . . .

How Does Government Funding Work? Dunno

    MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Reverend, everybody is for health care. Where does the money come from?

    SHARPTON: First of all, I think that if you set the goal, you then try and cover the money. How would I get money?

    MATTHEWS: Yes.

    SHARPTON: I would repeal the tax cut of George Bush. I would start the regulation of big business again. He had Enron alone with 3,000 offshore companies…

    MATTHEWS: What’s it cost to give everybody in the country free health care? [???] Where is the money coming from ultimately?

    SHARPTON: No. I think the government should guarantee.

    MATTHEWS: But where does the government get its money from?

    SHARPTON: The government gets its money from taxpayers.

    MATTHEWS: Right, then the taxpayers should pay for this plan. [???]

    SHARPTON: First of all, the people who are not paying taxes. You tax your corporations, that are, in some of them by the thousands of offshore companies, you would bring billions of dollars home then. Billions, trillions of dollars home on George Bush’s tax cut. I think that the way you first begin is by leveling a fair tax and have government invest in the health care of its citizens. It’s absolutely doable.

    MATTHEWS: So general funds, taxpayer funds should go to pay for health care for everybody.

    SHARPTON: Absolutely.

    MATTHEWS: And how much would that cost?

    SHARPTON: I think the cost out on that — I’ve seen various figures that. . .

    MATTHEWS: How much would it increase the taxes of everybody?

    SHARPTON: It would not increase the taxes.

    MATTHEWS: But where would the money come from?

    SHARPTON: I just told you where the money would come from.

    MATTHEWS: Where? I don’t hear it.

    SHARPTON: If you bring in the tax revenues…

    MATTHEWS: Which come from people.

    SHARPTON: No. And corporations.

    MATTHEWS: But corporations are owned by stockholders, so the money comes from people.

    SHARPTON: And you bring back…

    MATTHEWS: You act like there’s a government somewhere that sits off in some little neverland. . . .

States’ Rights Cause Victimization

    SHARPTON: One of the things I argued with a lot of our fellow Democrats about is any time we leave things in the hands of states, we become victimized in the many ways by those that can manipulate conservative movements.

Pro-Lifers Lack Love For Kids

    SHARPTON: One of the thing that amazes me about the conservatives is they claim a love for the children until they’re born. They love the fetus and they cut the funds from the baby. I don’t understand. I don’t understand — I don’t understand this jaded love for children where you cut daycare, cut childcare, cut anything — HeadStart — but yet you want to protect the fetus coming into the world. That to me is a real kind of perverted sense of love. And I think that we need to challenge that.

    MATTHEWS: You know, that strikes me as cute, you know. You know, Reverend, a lot of people who are pro-life — and I’m not — but a lot of people who are pro-life do give a damn about kids. I think it’s a cheap shot at people that are pro-life to say they don’t care about kids. How do you know that?

    SHARPTON: I think that a lot of the conservative movement that has led the fight to cut HeadStart, to cut daycare are the same ones that challenge us on the morality…

    MATTHEWS: But are you saying they’re bad – are you saying they’re bad people because they oppose abortion?

    SHARPTON: No. I think — no, I don’t think they’re bad people because they oppose abortion. I think they’re inconsistent if they claim to love children and cut funds to children when children are struggling now. Some of them suffering from childhood obesity, some are growing up illiterate, some not having the proper nutrition. I think there’s nothing more immoral than cutting childcare.

They’re Not Me — They’re Not Black Leaders

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reverend Sharpton, with an exception of yourself, black political leaders at a national level in America are on the Republican party. Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Clarence Thomas, why is that? Is the Democratic party hostile to black leadership?

    SHARPTON: First of all, do not confuse black leaders with leading blacks. Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Clarence Thomas don’t lead anybody. They are people in big positions. . . .

Finally, He Got Something Right

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why has the Democratic Party fail in letting people [college-age] realize that they are the party of leadership.

    SHARPTON: I think that a lot of it is that the Democratic Party has, in my judgment, not really focused on developing the next generation of leadership. We almost have become those that eat our children.