Let’s dispense with the obvious — while it’s far too early for political prognostication surrounding the 2020 presidential campaign, it doesn’t take too much effort to see that the Democrats have very little in the way of worthy candidates for nomination.
For this, they can thank Barack Obama and his eight years of hollowing out that party by relying on vicious identity politics and Hard Left cultural aggression to pile up near-unanimous votes in urban areas dominated by racial and ethnic minorities and “lifestyle liberals” at the expense of “normal” Americans in suburbs and small towns. Consequently, state legislatures are becoming more and more uniformly Republican and governor’s mansions are already there. The only path to national relevance for Democrat politicians is becoming the mayor’s office in larger cities Dems dominate.
Which is where Cory Booker, who appears to be the preener-in-chief among the rag-tag roster of 2020 Democrat presidential hopefuls, came from.
What Booker proves is it’s not important whether a Democrat is actually successful as a mayor on his or her ascent up the political totem pole — Booker, as mayor of Newark, couldn’t be considered a success by any rational measure. He rode some of the economic effects of an economic boom in New York City to an uneven construction boom in the city’s downtown and he managed to buy a couple of corporate headquarters away from other New Jersey cities with taxpayer dollars redistributed from what was left of Newark’s middle class. But in Booker’s time as mayor Newark went from 67 murders in 2008, a decline from 105 in 2006, to 112 killings in 2013, the year after he left office. Booker never presided over an unemployment rate in the single digits. And he laid off 163 policemen amid budget deficits his mismanagement produced.
The perfect embodiment of Booker’s time as mayor of Newark is the Pampers story. The mayor got wind of a damsel in distress, a mother of five named Barbara Byers, who amid a heavy snow was running out of diapers. Byers’ brother tweeted news of the crisis to Booker, who famously responded “I’m on it” and showed up at her door to replenish her supply.
But as Byers told Politico she never needed his photo-op heroics. “The only reason he brought me Pampers was that it had been three days and our street hadn’t been plowed,” she said. “I have five kids and, trust me, I don’t just run out of Pampers. All we wanted was for him to plow our streets. It’s about knowing how to manage a city.”
That’s Booker. All show, no substance and a tenuous connection to reality. What he knows is how to present the media with a fraudulent story that masks his incompetence. Criticize his ability to fight crime and he’ll tell you about T-Bone, a drug dealer of his acquaintance who wants him dead.
But T-Bone is a figment of his imagination. There is no T-Bone.
Just like the Jeff Sessions that Booker broke centuries of Senate tradition to denounce as a racist in Wednesday’s confirmation hearing doesn’t exist — and like in the case of the imaginary T-Bone, Booker knows it.
Booker’s performance as a witness against Sessions, the president-elect’s nominee for Attorney General, was a vintage effort. He created a straw man and burned it to the ground with a mixture of melodrama and cynicism any sentient adult could only groan upon viewing. “I believe, like perhaps all of my colleagues, that in the choice between standing with Senate norms or standing up for what my conscience tells me is best for our country, I will always choose conscience and country,” Booker told the Senate Judiciary Committee, and then launched into a nostril-stinging diatribe about how crucial it is that “justice” and “law and order” coincide.
“Law and order without justice is unobtainable,” Booker proclaimed. “They are inextricably tied together. If there is no justice, there is no peace.”
Booker then waxed rhapsodic about the marchers on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, and how the racist policemen who attacked them represented “law and order” in opposition to the “justice” the marchers sought. And smeared Sessions as the progeny of the Bull Connor crowd.
Sessions has “demonstrated a hostility toward these convictions,” said the Senator.
Which is interesting, given that less than a year ago this was Cory Booker…
“I am humbled to be able to participate here and pay tribute to some of the extraordinary Americans whose footsteps paved the way for me and my generation. I feel blessed and honored to have partnered with Senator Sessions in being the Senate sponsors of this important award.”
That was at a celebration of legislation Sessions co-sponsored with Booker to craft legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to civil rights leaders. Which is a peculiar thing for the “racist” Jeff Sessions to have done, but not necessarily unusual for the actual Jeff Sessions — who as Alabama’s Attorney General fought to desegregate schools, shut down the Ku Klux Klan in that state, and played a large role in executing a murdering Klan leader.
How many murdering Klan leaders has Cory Booker executed? Straw men and figments of his imagination don’t count.