Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly used his opening “Talking Points Memo” segment to attack “ideological zealots” Sens. Al Franken (D-MN) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for their the tactics they have used in protesting President Donald Trump’s appointments of Betsy DeVos for Education Secretary and Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General.
Both DeVos and Sessions have been confirmed by the U.S. Senate for those posts. However, O’Reilly insisted Franken and Warren have been using “attacks and smears” instead of seeking an honest debate.
Transcript as follows:
As you may know, the Democratic Party is split between moderates and far-left folks.
But it is the ideological zealots that get most of the attention.
This week, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Education Secretary.
But before that vote took place, liberal bomb thrower Al Franken attacked Ms. DeVos in the Senate.
AL FRANKEN: “It was one of the most embarrassing scenes I’ve been witness to during my time in the United States Senate. In fact, I believe it may have been one of the most embarrassing performances by a nominee in the history of the United States Senate.”
Now the reason Franken does not like Betsy DeVos is that she is a champion of school choice.
She has devoted much of her life to trying to bring quality education to poor children, often trapped in bad inner-city schools.
You would think that an uber-liberal like Franken would approve of trying to help poor kids. But he does not.
Because by offering school vouchers and encouraging charter schools, which are run apart from the public school system, Ms. DeVos is challenging the powerful teachers’ unions.
And those unions and their associates have donated more than $150,000 to Al Franken campaigns.
So Franken, like many politicians, panders to those who give him money.
It is beyond question that poor American children, often minorities, are not getting the same quality of education that middle class and wealthy children are getting.
So why not try something new? Why not try school choice? Why not give poor parents subsidies to choose better schools for their kids?
How long are we going to put up with discrimination against the poor?
How long, Al?
In another far-left adventure, Senator Elizabeth Warren, as close to a socialist as you can be, attacked Senator Jeff Sessions in the hearings over whether Mr. Sessions should become the new attorney general.
What Warren did was try to read a letter written by Coretta Scott King 31 years ago that criticized Mr. Sessions.
It all had to do with the senator prosecuting a voter fraud case in Alabama while he was a U.S. Attorney there.
The situation involved three civil rights activists who Sessions believed were committing voter fraud.
The three were ultimately acquitted of the charges, and Mrs. King was furious with the case.
Again, that was 31 years ago. But last night, seeking to paint Jeff Sessions as a racist, Warren brought it up in the Senate.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): “The Senator has impugned the motives and conduct of our colleague from Alabama as warned by the chair. Senator Warren, quote said Senator ‘Sessions has used the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens.’
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): “I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate, I ask leave of the Senate to continue my remarks.”
SEN. STEVE DAINES, (R-MONTANA): “Is there objection?”
MITCH MCCONELL: “Object.”
ELIZABETH WARREN: “I appeal the ruling.”
SEN. STEVE DAINES, (R-MONTANA): “The objection is heard. The Senator will take her seat.”
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Later, Senator Warren read the letter on Facebook.
Now you can decide whether the far left is really looking out for the country by objecting to school choice and trying to smear a man like Senator Sessions.
That call is entirely up to you.
But what is crystal clear is the huge divide between the attitudes of the far left and moderates in the Democratic Party, not to mention Republicans, where there is no common ground at all.
Talking Points believes that honest debate is necessary. But part of that equation is letting you know what’s really going on behind the scenes.
Thus, tonight’s memo.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor