Cory Booker goes full drama queen with 'I am Spartacus' moment

Senator Cory Booker had already scripted what he hoped would be his break-out moment in yesterday's confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, so he wasn't going to let facts get in the way of TV exposure.  He portrayed himself as risking martyrdom in the cause of...I suppose he would say "transparency."  He would risk expulsion from the Senate by releasing confidential emails sent by Judge Kavanaugh, insinuating that damaging material would go unread but for his courage.

The only problem: The emails had already been reviewed and released, and he knew it.

Shannon Bream of Fox News:

The New Jersey Democrat vowed to sacrifice his seat and even compared himself to Spartacus during Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, so important did he deem the 16-year-old emails from Kavanaugh discussing post-9/11 racial profiling as a White House lawyer.  Booker pronounced the move an act of "civil disobedience" and said he was ready to face punishment, including the loss of his Senate seat.

"This is about the closest I'll probably ever have in my life to an 'I am Spartacus' moment," he said.

Shortly after 1 p.m., it was announced that the restrictions on releasing the emails, which had been labeled "committee confidential," had been waived in the morning.  Nothing that Booker released was marked "committee confidential" at the time of its release.

As Bream notes, the mainstream media ignored the reality and celebrate the purported bravery of the New Jersey senator:

Nearly two hours after Booker's dramatics were proven cynical at best, CNN's home page announced, "Cory Booker releases confidential emails."  NBC News went with, "Democrats force release of previously confidential Kavanaugh documents."

CBS News' headline stated that "Cory Booker releases 'classified confidential' documents during Kavanaugh hearing."

Not to be denied an ex post facto claim of legitimacy:

Hours after the initial fiasco Thursday, Booker released a new string of documents that did appear to be marked "committee confidential."

Richard Baehr emails me what is really going on:

Blacks make up 25-30% of all voters in Democratic primaries, and over 50% in some Southern states and Maryland.  In a large candidate field for the presidential nomination in 2020, Booker seems to have decided that his best chance is to play race warrior #1, and the biggest bravest fighter against the threat of a white supremacist court.  Which is what we would have if a terrible person like Brett Kavanaugh joined the court.  Kamala Harris, former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, and Eric Holder are all considering running, but only Harris competes on the national stage with Booker.

Booker currently is overshadowing Harris by being more hysterical in this hearing.  It is not a bad strategy, but it is indicative of what a chameleon he is – he would play any role that would advance his career. 

One lesson from Hillary Clinton's loss that I believe many Democrats have embraced is that the party needs a black nominee on the national ticket, preferably president, in order to get black turnout and support back up into the 90s.  The party's embrace of identity politics already predisposes it in the direction of a constituent identity group – a minority or a woman or both – on the ticket.

White males need not apply.  The only exception might be for a white male like Bernie Sanders, who could stand as the champion of socialism.

I don't think it is a recipe for electoral success, but the Dems obviously do.

Senator Cory Booker had already scripted what he hoped would be his break-out moment in yesterday's confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court, so he wasn't going to let facts get in the way of TV exposure.  He portrayed himself as risking martyrdom in the cause of...I suppose he would say "transparency."  He would risk expulsion from the Senate by releasing confidential emails sent by Judge Kavanaugh, insinuating that damaging material would go unread but for his courage.

The only problem: The emails had already been reviewed and released, and he knew it.

Shannon Bream of Fox News:

The New Jersey Democrat vowed to sacrifice his seat and even compared himself to Spartacus during Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, so important did he deem the 16-year-old emails from Kavanaugh discussing post-9/11 racial profiling as a White House lawyer.  Booker pronounced the move an act of "civil disobedience" and said he was ready to face punishment, including the loss of his Senate seat.

"This is about the closest I'll probably ever have in my life to an 'I am Spartacus' moment," he said.

Shortly after 1 p.m., it was announced that the restrictions on releasing the emails, which had been labeled "committee confidential," had been waived in the morning.  Nothing that Booker released was marked "committee confidential" at the time of its release.

As Bream notes, the mainstream media ignored the reality and celebrate the purported bravery of the New Jersey senator:

Nearly two hours after Booker's dramatics were proven cynical at best, CNN's home page announced, "Cory Booker releases confidential emails."  NBC News went with, "Democrats force release of previously confidential Kavanaugh documents."

CBS News' headline stated that "Cory Booker releases 'classified confidential' documents during Kavanaugh hearing."

Not to be denied an ex post facto claim of legitimacy:

Hours after the initial fiasco Thursday, Booker released a new string of documents that did appear to be marked "committee confidential."

Richard Baehr emails me what is really going on:

Blacks make up 25-30% of all voters in Democratic primaries, and over 50% in some Southern states and Maryland.  In a large candidate field for the presidential nomination in 2020, Booker seems to have decided that his best chance is to play race warrior #1, and the biggest bravest fighter against the threat of a white supremacist court.  Which is what we would have if a terrible person like Brett Kavanaugh joined the court.  Kamala Harris, former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, and Eric Holder are all considering running, but only Harris competes on the national stage with Booker.

Booker currently is overshadowing Harris by being more hysterical in this hearing.  It is not a bad strategy, but it is indicative of what a chameleon he is – he would play any role that would advance his career. 

One lesson from Hillary Clinton's loss that I believe many Democrats have embraced is that the party needs a black nominee on the national ticket, preferably president, in order to get black turnout and support back up into the 90s.  The party's embrace of identity politics already predisposes it in the direction of a constituent identity group – a minority or a woman or both – on the ticket.

White males need not apply.  The only exception might be for a white male like Bernie Sanders, who could stand as the champion of socialism.

I don't think it is a recipe for electoral success, but the Dems obviously do.