Al Sharpton's claim to fame is he has never found a crisis he couldn't exploit -- even when one doesn't exist.
On Friday's pre-hurricane episode of his MSNBC show, "PoliticsNation," he warned "Hurricane Irene is nonpartisan" and that it is threatening both red and blue states. But, nonpartisanship doesn't extend to hurricane coverage on TV, where liberals once again boast about the glories of government disaster aid, and conservatives are trashed as lunatics for wanting to limit the untrammeled growth of spending on natural disasters.
Sharpton began his show by announcing "The desperate race to get ready and keep people safe reminds us all how essential our government is." Nonsense. It reminds us how essential personal responsibility is.
Then he turned to former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell and asked, "What is your take on this anti-government rhetoric in the middle of this crisis, unprecedented crisis for people on the East Coast?"
Unprecedented? Hurricane Irene was frightening and had a death toll that stands at 37. But compared to hurricanes like Katrina and Rita, she was a nuisance. Hysteria politics were definitely overcoming the reality that had yet to occur. Rendell replied: "It is absolutely stunning, Al. It reminds me of the saying, 'The inmates are running the asylum.' It's lunacy."
Both men were referring to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who asked for spending offsets to the expected federal hurricane relief train that's coming. That's hardly "lunacy" when the projected deficit for this year is $1.3 trillion, and the country's flat broke.
Rendell next slammed Gov. Rick Perry's campaign promise to make Washington "inconsequential" and repeated himself. "These guys are absolutely nuts."
Sharpton also brought on Dana Milbank of The Washington Post to beat this dead horse into paste. "In the abstract, people say big government is a bad thing, you need to shrink the government," he lectured. "Now we see what big government is. Big government is the satellites that give you these images and this data so we know where the storm is going. And big government is FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and all the others who step in to help people when they're hurt by this."