(1) Damn, he's good; I'm kinda glad he went about 15 minutes overtime and (apparently) totally unscripted…
(2) …though given the media frenzy the presumptive Illinois senator's been generating, you'd think Al could manage not to identify him as "Obama Barack," and…
(3) I know the line "our votes cannot be bought" in reply to Bush's recent entreaty sounds good, but since it follows a long list of all the things Democrats are supposed to have done for African Americans, it doesn't really make sense. What he's really trying to say, I'd think, is that those votes have been bought with a lot of legislation serving the interests of black citizens (the Voting Rights Act, etc.), and Republicans haven't yet been sufficiently willing to deal in that currency. But hey, it's a convention speech, enough nitpicking.

Addendum: The use of "buying" above is meant to be neutral; a candidate could "buy" my vote by credibly suggesting he'd implement more libertarian-friendly policies than his opponent.

NEXT: O'Reilly vs. Moore

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  1. So what you’re saying is that if the GOP and the Democratic Party were both above, um, buying votes with legislation like the Voting Rights Act, we wouldn’t have the Voting Rights Act or, say, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any of that other pesky extraconstitutional filligree, and if Jim Crow laws were still with us, well, it’d be all right because the holy, immutable U.S. Constitution said so.

    That would be good?

    Gosh, Sharpton was good. His creepy charge of racism against Dean during the primary debates killed off a lot of the goodwill he’d earned with me since Vieques and his Senate run, and like Nader ’04, his campaign was funded with a lot of GOP-connected money. But he sure does give good speech. Maybe if Kerry’s elected, the speechifying can be spun off to a separate official who does nothing but give speeches so that the president doesn’t have to do so much speechifying.

    You know, he’d be an interesting Press Secretary. Daily briefings would be fun!

  2. “So what you’re saying ”

    Uh, no. I was saying none of that.

  3. Most of the best parts of Sharpton’s speech was off-script. All the stuff about why Florida was important to African-Americans and what voting means to them was entirely off-script. Much of the last third of the speech appears to have been off-script.

  4. All of the good speeches so far have come from african-american speakers:

    Clinton, Obama and now Sharpton

  5. It never ceases to amaze me that the Democratic Party actually gives Al Sharpton a forum to speak in. Say what you will about the Lotts and Santorums of the Republican Party, but at least they’ve never framed innocent men for rape, or incited mobs to murder people.

    Every four years, I think “maybe I should give the Democrats another chance”. And, just like clockwork, they remind me that they’re the party that preaches that racism is not only acceptable, but admirable and praiseworthy — if your skin is the right color, of course.

  6. I’m with you on all counts, Julian.

    The closest I can parse Sharpton’s remarks into anything sensible is that he’s trying to say that as a bloc, black voters’ loyalties can be won, or “bought”, but the Democrats own them right now, so they’re not up for bidding yet. Fair – to the extent that parties as coherent entities are worth anything these days, if anything’s going to inspire loyalties, effective enfranchisement and real equality before the law are pretty good places to start. On the other hand, Lincoln, the Reconstruction amendments and the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875 “bought” an overwhelming chunk of the black electorate for the Republicans for a long time, but that started to wear off in the 1930s even before the Dems took the right side in the 20th century civil rights campaigns. It’d be nice of Sharpton to give us a timeline on when he sees this lease expiring.

  7. Sharpton won delegates, he gets to speak.

    We have one democratic party and, from the comments of its loyalists, one un-democratic party.

    You people have never been any good at handling a minority voice.

  8. “Vote-buying” – morally neutral. Got it.

  9. The “votes are not for sale” applause line certainly was disingenuous. We don’t like people selling votes — we prefer to barter them, for goods or services.

    Brings up an interesting question: what’s the libertarian opposition to vote-buying based on? Are libertarians opposed to vote buying at all? I mean, it’s my vote, and I should be able to do whatever I want with it. Outright vote buying would certainly normalize the sub rosa vote buying market currently practiced with highly focused tax breaks, etc.

  10. It never ceases to amaze me that the Democratic Party actually gives Al Sharpton a forum to speak in. Say what you will about the Lotts and Santorums of the Republican Party, but at least they’ve never framed innocent men for rape, or incited mobs to murder people.

    Abso-friggin’-lutely. But we all know what they’d call any Republican who actually pointed this out.

  11. Is it my imagination or is Al wearing a wok spatula on the back of his head these days?

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