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The Al and Carol Show: Liberal Window Dressing?
by Daniel Sargis
3 July 2003 Carol Moseley-Braun

The presidential candidacies of Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley-Braun may benefit the eventual white Democratic nominee in the short-term, but they are a long-term black eye for people of color.

The presidential candidacies of Al Sharpton and Carol Moseley-Braun prove that the Democrats are not as dumb as they so diligently try to appear.  Why not welcome two non-starters into the fray, appease the Black community with a bit of tokenism and energize the Black vote for the white Democratic nominee?  Americans, and especially Black Americans, should be outraged with this tactic of two-faced inclusion.

Between Sharpton and Moseley-Braun there is a character quotient, at best, of zero.  There is a better chance of apprehending bin Laden in an Upper West Side penthouse than there is of either Al or Carol becoming President 44.  Yet Democratic National Committee chairman, Terry McAuliffe thinks that, “…to have Rev. Sharpton and Carol Moseley-Braun out there campaigning across the country energizing people to come in will be a benefit to the Democrats….”  And indeed it might benefit the eventual white Democratic nominee in the short-term but it is a long-term black eye for people of color.

Sharpton is a glib uneducated racist and agent provocateur.  He is egocentric and his litany of offenses against society speaks volumes to his character deficiencies for office.  The short list includes Sharpton’s 1987 complicity in the Tawana Brawley fabrications during which he compared New York Attorney General Robert Abrams to Hitler and tried to link Governor Cuomo to organized crime; in the 1989 Central Park jogger rape he accused the victim’s boyfriend of the crime; during the 1991 Crown Heights riots where rabbinical student Yankel Rosenbaum was murdered, Sharpton calmed the crowd by referring to Jews as “diamond merchants” and during the 1995 Freddy’s Fashion Mart fiasco in Harlem, Sharpton rallied a crowd to eventual arson and murder by calling the store’s owner a “white interloper.”

Moseley-Braun, a one-term ex-Senator from Illinois, was voted out of office under clouds of fraud and campaign finance controversies.  In 1989 she and her siblings pocketed a $28,750 royalty check to her mother that was supposed to go towards Medicaid reimbursement.  It was not until she was caught red-handed during her 1992 Senate campaign that this malfeasance came to light.  Better yet, as George Will reports, “…she and Kgosie Matthews, her former campaign manager and former fiancé, may have diverted $281,000 in campaign contributions to personal consumption, such as (according to a WBBM-TV report in July) almost $70,000 on clothes, $64,000 on travel (Hawaii, Europe, Africa), $25,000 for two Jeeps, $12,000 for stereo equipment, $18,000 for jewelry (she and he spent almost $10,000 in cash at an Aspen jewelry store during a fund-raising trip).”

The Watergates and Whitewaters of the past are testimony enough that this country does not need the already questionable judgments of Sharpton or Moseley-Braun for the future.  Yet when asked about Sharpton, and presumably applying to Moseley-Braun, Terry McAuliffe had no problem spewing a real doozy, “Anyone who wants to run, I’m a Democrat, I encourage them to get in the race. I say it is good for the party.”  Only wonderment could imagine McAuliffe’s excitement if David Duke wanted to run for President as a Democrat.

When America can produce great People like American Express Chairman and CEO Kenneth Chenault and AOL Time Warner CEO Richard D. Parsons, who also happen to be Black, why is the Democratic Party so excited about such problematic candidates as Sharpton and Moseley-Braun?  Even more to the point, why are the Democrats paying homage to them?  Perhaps because it is a no-brainer.

For decades, the Democrats have portrayed themselves as friends of the middle class and allies of the poor.  The truth is that they are taxing the middle class into poverty while, by their own admission, the ranks of the poor increase.  The Democrats decry crime to the law abiding and then coddle criminals.  The Democrats blather on about homeland security while, for decades. they have done their damnedest to make America’s borders as porous as a colander.  Why should it be any different to preach inclusion and practice tokenism.

A cynical person might think that by patronizing two Black candidates, a male and a female, who have no chance of becoming the nominee, the Democrats figure they can co-opt the Black vote (which any true Liberal would find to be a racial anathema) and never have to deal with the consequences of a Black nominee.  Because, if you really wanted a Black nominee for the spectrum of the party to rally around you would have to do better than Sharpton or Moseley-Braun.

The Democrats purporting dignity to the Sharpton and Moseley-Braun candidacies is akin to Howell Raines’ riding shotgun for Jayson Blair.  It does neither the institution nor those for whom it was supposed to serve as a role model any long-term good.  As an old Aesop’s fable once cautioned, “Evil companions bring more hurt than profit.”

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