The biggest mistake of the Democratic Convention earlier this week was to allow Al Sharpton to speak. Everyone was expecting a smaller bounce than normal for Kerry after the convention, but the polls I've seen suggest that he's actually still losing ground after the convention, just at a slower rate of losing ground than he had been before it. Al Sharpton is one of the reasons, I'm sure. They were trying hard to have a well-scripted, well-timed convention, masquerading as conservatives, toning down the rhetoric against Bush so as to look positive with all sorts of veiled venom whose depth of negativity the average viewer won't detect. Most of the speakers were performing admirably. See my comments on Clinton's speech to see how masterful he was at pretending he was being positive and uniting while making all sorts of false and unfair claims. He has amazing skills at the kind of rhetoric philosophy courses teach people to see through. It's brilliant psychologically, though to someone like me it just gives the appearance of stupidity for lack of a real argument.
Well, Sharpton didn't hide anything. He still had bad rhetoric in lieu of any arguments, but it was exactly that -- bad rhetoric. He's not fooling anyone. Even those who don't know of his history of bigotry can see that the guy is a divider, an angry hater who gives a very different image from what Kerry is trying to fashion for himself with this convention. All the liberal commentators on MSNBC (Chris Matthews, Howard Fineman, etc.) were pointing this out. There are some aspects of his speech that are so evil in the disguise he puts on them that not everyone would notice, but it only took viewing a couple minutes of the 24 he spent (though he was allotted only 6) for me to think the Democratic leadership were regretting allowing him on. Here's his speech.