Monday, August 26, 2013

Paul Waldman says Cory Booker is cool because "hippies" don't like him

Seriously. Paul Waldman, In Defense of Cory Booker The American Prospect 08/26/2013:

And here's the odd thing: If he does want to run for president, Cory Booker is probably perfectly happy to get some slings and arrows from liberal writers and the Democratic base. In the Republican party, extreme conservatives are actual gatekeepers to the presidential nomination, with a variety of practical levers at their disposal (not to mention sheer numbers) enabling them to torpedo the candidacies of those they don't like or at the very least force an endless ritual of humiliating genuflections (see Romney, Mitt). But it isn't that way in the Democratic party at all. The left has influence, but not only is that influence seriously limited, they don't hold grudges in the same way the Republican base does. A Democrat can start off as the subject of some distrust but eventually be embraced without too much trouble. And once you get to the general election, the lingering memory of some hippies yelling at you is a splendid credential, with independent voters but especially with the establishment media, which is already enamored with Booker. [my emphasis]
This reminds me of the David Frum saying, of which the original apparently was this, "my first rule of party leadership: while Republican politicians fear their base, Democratic pols hate theirs." (Gibbs on the Left FrumForum 08/10/2010)

It may be the only decent thing David Frum ever said. But, you know, that stopped clock is right twice a day.

Here is Booker's mostly content-free presentation at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington:

Would it have been too much for him to mention the widespread voter suppression efforts aimed primarily at African-Americans and secondarily at Latinos? Or the resegregation of schools? I guess it would. (See: Nicole Flatow, Louisiana's Voucher Program Is Making Segregation Worse, Justice Department Finds Think Progress 08/26/2013)

Somehow, civil rights movement veteran and Congressman John Lewis managed to say, "I am not gonna stand by and let the Supreme Court take the vote away from us."

He advised his listeners, "Make some noise." Apparently, not a priority for Cory Booker, who's running for the Senate where he could play an important role in restoring the Voting Rights Act and addressing the corruption of the Supreme Court. Anyone want to make bets on whether he will?

Waldman grumps, "Beyond the Wall Street connection, the critiques of Booker usually end up amounting to: he's just too slick, and he isn't the populist progressive we'd like him to be."

"Beyond the Wall Street connection ..." Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?

Of course, there may actually be worse things about Booker. I discussed my issues with him in What kind of Democrat is Cory Booker? Not a reliably progressive one 08/14/2013, including his very disturbing Christian Dominionist ties.

Susie Madrick poses an important question about Booker and his Dominionist friends in Anybody But Cory Booker C&L 08/12/2013:

The part they {Christian Dominionists} don't usually include on their websites? That Dominionists believe it's perfectly okay to "lie for the Lord." If by lying, you can win high political office with the larger agenda of winning the world for Jesus, Jesus would be okay with that! They actually intend to rule the world.

So here's the question: Does Cory Booker simply cultivate useful relationships with a lot of un-American, unsavory, pro-corporatist, right-wing religious extremists -- or is he one of them?

Booker has enthusiastically endorsed PrayforNewark, a coalition headed locally by Apostle Bernard Wilks, a minister at Booker's church and a member of the {Christian Dominionist} International Coalition of Apostles. [my emphasis]
Did I mention that The American Prospect, where David Waldman sneers at the yelling hippies like John Lewis who expect Democrats to act like Democrats, is one of the leading liberal journals?



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