The Right Reverend
Al Sharpton gave an incendiary speech tonight at the Democratic National Convention, talking for 20 minutes when he was only supposed to be on for six. Technically, it was a fine piece of oratory, reminding the audience and viewers at home (I caught it on CNN) that Sharpton has been preaching since he was a child. Politically, it's probably going to be a headache for John Kerry, even though it wasn't carried on the three broadcast networks. Sharpton was rabid in his attacks on Bush and the Republicans, and at one point said that if Bush had been appointing Supreme Court justices in 1954, Clarence Thomas never would have gone to law school--thus implying that Bush would have been a segregationist. (And taking a swipe at Thomas at the same time.) Not the kind of positive tone Kerry was hoping to set at this convention.
Even more odious was the speech, which was covered only on C-Span (yes, I'm that much of a political junkie) by our own Fast Eddie Rendell, in which the guv decried the nation's dependence on foreign oil and promised that Kerry would help wean us off it as president. It was a terrible speech, and I wonder why Rendell was giving it. Plus, I'm always irked when people talk about reducing our dependence on foreign oil by mentioning alternative fuels such as natural gas. That's one solution, but a better plan is to use less energy, by improving public transportation and creating high-density, walkable communities.