Cory Booker Is Sharpton, Not Spartacus

What is the difference between Cory Booker and Emily Litella, the late Gilda Radner's classic "Saturday Night Live" character who would go off on epic rants only to say, when told her premise was incorrect, "Never mind"? Cory Booker will not say, "Never mind."

Booker, the new poster child for demagoguery, called it his Spartacus moment, pretending to risk his political career by releasing, in violation of Senate rules, an email by Judge Brett Kavanaugh on racial profiling that had already been cleared for release, a post 9/11 email that expressed the hope that a race-neutral set of rules for vetting terrorists could be found. Racist it was not, except in the mind of Booker, who was less like Spartacus and more like that little Martian in the movie Space Jam ready to fall on his rubber sword.

As Fox news contributor and Democratic pollster Doug Schoen opines about Booker's latest tirade:

The senator was not elected to pretend to engage in civil disobedience that really isn't civil disobedience – in an effort to appeal to the Democrats' growing progressive wing – without taking any real risks at all.

And Booker was not elected to play the role of one of the many protesters who, during Kavanaugh's hearing and previously, have taken well-publicized protest actions to "resist" the Trump administration in every way possible, including violating the law….

Even though the rule-breaking by Booker turned out not to be rule-breaking in the end, it set a bad precedent. Senators need to follow the rules of the chamber. That's because in order for the Senate to operate smoothly in service of the American people it has to operate by rules – and members have to be able to trust each other to abide by those rules.

When senators feel they can ignore rules whenever they wish and fight their opponents with any means necessary the Senate can descend into chaos and paralysis, making it unable to function as what it used to be called – "the world's greatest deliberative body."

This is not Mr. Smith goes to Washington. This is Saul Alinsky runs for president.

Somewhere Saul Alinsky, author of the progressive guidebook, Rules for Radicals, is smiling. His goal was to destroy America's institutions through demonization of their occupants and the corruption of their functions. If Donald Trump's election has done anything, it has exposed the depth and stench of the swamp; pulled back the curtain and forced us to pay attention to the anarchists who were running the show behind.

Cory Booker intends to ride the race card all the way to the White House and if good men like Judge Kavanaugh are to be sacrificed well, hey, break the eggs and make your omelet. His demonization of Kavanaugh as a racist is akin to his slanderous assault on then attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions who, whatever his other faults, is not a racist.

Cory Booker willingly stepped to the plate as the designated character assassin of fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions. It was a forum of great attention that perhaps Booker thought might launch a 2020 presidential run like another freshman Senator, Barack Obama, whose 2004 Democratic Convention speech launched his presidential campaign. As Sen. Tom Cotton noted on Facebook:

I'm very disappointed that Senator Booker has chosen to start his 2020 presidential campaign by testifying against Senator Sessions. This disgraceful breach of custom is especially surprising since Senator Booker just last year said he was "honored to have partnered with Senator Sessions" on a resolution honoring civil-rights marchers. Senator Booker says he feels compelled to speak out because Senator Session wants to keep criminals behind bars, drugs off our streets, and amnesty from becoming law. He's welcome to oppose these common-sense policies and vote against Senator Sessions' nomination, but what is so unique about those views to require his extraordinary testimony? Nothing. This hearing simply offers a platform for his presidential aspirations.

So too does the hearing on Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation as a Supreme Court justice. Racism is the last refuge of political scoundrels like Cory Booker, something which requires an historical amnesia of historical and, yes, hysterical proportions.

Booker's historical amnesia omits the fact that it was Senator Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia and former "Grand Kleagle" with the Ku Klux Klan, who holds the distinction of being the only Senator to have opposed the only two black nominees to the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and led a 52-day filibuster against this legislation.

Sen. Al Gore, father of the former vice president, voted against the act, as did Sen. J. William Fulbright, to whom Bill Clinton dedicated a memorial, current senior senator from South Carolina Ernest Hollings, Sen. Richard Russell and, of course, Sen. Strom Thurmond, who was a Democrat at that time.

Booker forgets that it was Democrats who unleashed the dogs and turned on the fire hoses on civil rights marchers. It was Democrats who stood in the schoolhouse door and are still standing there by opposing school choice and trapping minority children in failing schools. It was Democrats who blocked the bridge in Selma.

Booker's amnesia omits the fact that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would never have been possible without Republican leadership. Not only was that legislation a personal victory for Illinois Republican Sen. Everett Dirksen, then Senate Minority leader; Republicans in both the House and Senate supported the measure in far greater percentages than Democrats. Only six GOP senators voted against the act, compared with 21 Democrats. The party of Abraham Lincoln and Jeff Sessions beat back the fire hoses and dogs of the party of Robert Byrd and Cory Booker.

As one pundit put it, the Democrats should know a lot about Jim Crow laws, since they are the ones who wrote them. Condoleezza Rice, President George W. Bush's national security advisor, and who introduced Kavanaugh at his hearing, explained at the 2000 GOP national convention  why a black college professor would be a Republican:

The first Republican I knew was my father John Rice. And he is still the Republican I admire the most. My father joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The Republicans did. I want you to know that my father has never forgotten that day, and neither have I.

And neither should we. Booker is not Spartacus, fighting for the freedom of slaves and the proposition that all are created equal. He is Al Sharpton, a race-baiting demagogue lusting after the power of government, ready to rewrite history and demonize anyone blocking his progressive path as a racist.

Go ahead, Cory, play the race card. We'll play our Trump card.

Daniel John Sobieski is a free lance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor's Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

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