Last night on MSNBC’s Politics Nation, Al Sharpton was schooled by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) on the Republican-led efforts to defund Obamacare and the difference between a democracy and a Constitutional Republic.
“Last night Al Sharpton on MSNBC had a GOP Rep from Georgia, Doug Collins on his show and Doug Collins is signed onto the bill or the effort to defund Obamacare,” Pat said on radio this morning. “They had a great discussion where Sharpton is yelling and screaming about how this is ridiculous that you’re defunding the government and Doug Collins making a very reasonable, good argument the whole time about defunding.”
The 11-plus minute interview included a lot of shouting on the part of Sharpton and a healthy dose of logic from Rep. Collins, who was able to explain that the Republicans are not looking to shutdown the government but rather to defund Obamacare.
SHARPTON: Now, I don’t – do you think you’re right and these other Republicans are wrong?
COLLINS: Well, I believe at this point in time – I’m new up here, but I ran on a campaign of understanding and listening to the American people over this healthcare issue and one of the things since I’ve gotten up here, Al, I’m just going to be honest with you. I’ve listened to my friends across the aisle who called this a train wreck. They’ve called it a mistake. They’ve called it not ready for primetime. They’ve just went on and on about how this law is not ready to be. Even the President has put it off from the business mandate and putting things together. This is not ready for the American people. So the Republicans are not shutting down the government. In fact, we’re fully funding the government through our CR, except we’re saying we’re not ready to impose this upon the American people. We’re protecting the American people through funding the government, but we’re also protecting them through taking the law in which Democrats will admit is not ready.
SHARPTON: Wait a minute. You said you listened to the American people. The American people voted when this was an election issue last year. Were you listening then? The Congress voted and made it law. Were you listening then? The Supreme Court said that it was Constitutional. Were you listening then? You’re a Congressman. You’re deciding that a law that was passed, that was certified by the Supreme Court, you can decide not to fund?
“Hold on. Stop,” Stu said. “What happened to, let’s say, the Defense of Marriage Act. Or remember when you just decided not to enforce that? It was something that was voted on. By the way, it was more popular than this President’s healthcare plan ever was. It was voted on and passed by the Congress and signed by the President and it was at least, upheld by the Supreme Court. I don’t know, it seems like the exact same situation but [Sharpton] didn’t like that bill.”
COLLINS: Well, I think it’s interesting that you make all those assessments and then you have the President of the United States taking black letter law on a date in which one part of the healthcare law was supposed to takes place and deciding that that’s not really what the law meant. I’m going to delay that for a year because I didn’t like the consequences of it. Al, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that Republicans are not listening to the American people when, by the way, if you look at the polls recently, most of them are coming around to the conclusion that this is not a good idea for the American people and you can’t have both sides when you’ve got the administration —
“I don’t know that much about Doug Collins,” Pat said. “He’s doing a great job here.
While much of this conversation can be characterized as typical partisan bickering, one point of contention in the back-and-forth has gotten some attention.
SHARPTON: What people don’t understand, Congressman, is how we pass laws the Supreme Court upholds and you guys come in and say, we’re not going to fund it and even worse, if money goes there, we’ll shut the whole government down. We thought we lived in a democracy with a balance of powers between three branches of government. We didn’t think the Supreme Court, the Congress, and the voters could be told we’re going to tell you all, take a hike, we’ll shut it all down if we don’t have it our way. Come on, Congressman. That’s not what this country is supposed to be about.
COLLINS: Hey, Al, just a reminder. This isn’t a democracy. It’s a republic.
SHARPTON: Oh. It is not a democracy?
“That is news to Sharpton,” Pat interjected. “This is not a democracy. You didn’t learn that in school?”
“It’s a republic,” Stu added. “It’s a Constitutional Republic.”
COLLINS: Look at the Constitution. We’re reflecting the people of the ninth district. And, again, I just want to make one thing very clear — and I enjoy having this conversation with you.
SHARPTON: I enjoying having this, too, because I really hope the people in the 9th district know on the next election that they should not vote thinking this is a democracy. This is not a democracy. I’ll even send you the clip so you can play it in your next campaign.
“Like that’s some sort of threat. I’ll even send you the clip, Congressman, so you can prove to yourself that you were right and it will be embarrassing for you, how right you are. Okay, Al,” Pat said. “I don’t care if they’re in the district of Georgia, anywhere you were in this country. You absolutely should know, and you should know that in first grade, this is not a democracy. It is not a democracy. It is a republic.”
“That’s amazing because, you know. Look, you expect Al Sharpton to lie to win an argument at the time and not care about it, but he really has never heard of that before. He has no idea,” Stu concluded. “Certainly people throw the word democracy around and we think of it typically as a positive determine, but when you’re describing the way our government operates, democracy was not only something [the Founding Fathers] didn’t do, it was something they vilified. They specifically spoke out about how it would crumble, which is why they came up with the Constitutional republic we have, Al.”