Trumpers hate him and even non-Trumpers like me find his media-whoring intensely annoying. But there’s a silver lining to Avenatti’s endless cameo in American politics: He’s going to spend the next two years using his TV megaphone to crap on every top-flight Democratic presidential contender to further his own ambitions, starting with the clown and the demagogue who starred at this week’s Kavanaugh hearings.

Which, frankly, will be delightful.

It’s all upside for righties. Even if Democratic voters rally behind him and nominate him, there’s no way an unqualified celebrity blowhard could ever win a general election.


And today, after both Booker’s and Harris’s stunts went bust:

Booker and Harris each calculated that a stunt this week designed to signal “Resistance” in neon lights will be a net benefit to them in 2020 even if the stunt didn’t actually pay off. I think that’s correct. Lefties won’t remember two years from now that Harris was bluffing in grilling Kavanaugh over whether he’d discussed Russiagate with someone at Marc Kasowitz’s law firm. They’ll remember that she made him squirm. The clip went viral ‘n everything! And lefties won’t remember that Booker didn’t have the goods on Kavanaugh with the not-so-confidential documents he ended up producing. They’ll remember his defiant “Spartacus” idiocy. Both stunts are Trumpy in nature. Whether it’s Booker telegraphing that he doesn’t play by the establishment’s rules or Harris telegraphing that she’ll play dirty tricks on the other team’s bad guys (remember Trump’s secret investigators combing Hawaii for Obama’s birth certificate?), they’re trying to show Democrats that they can beat Trump at his own game.

Which, of course, is also true of Avenatti. Ninety percent of his political pitch thus far has been that Dems can’t expect to beat a brawler like Trump unless they nominate a brawler too. Guess who he has in mind.

If you find all of this sad and discouraging, well, it is. But it’s a rational response to political incentives. If you were Cory Booker, having followed the Republican primary in 2016 and marinated in the fervor on the left in 2018 to punch back twice as hard this November, what would you rather run as? A Democratic Marco Rubio or a Democratic Donald Trump?

The real Marco Rubio (who also briefly tried to run as Donald Trump in 2016) recognized Booker’s strategy too:

Via the Free Beacon, here’s Booker last night on CNN straining to convince viewers that his attempt to stop Kavanaugh involved honest-to-goodness Senate rulebreaking. It’s not enough that he made a scene during the hearings; he’s keen for them to realize that he’s willing to Resist even if it means expulsion from the Senate. That’s his answer to Avenatti’s “we need a fighter” pitch. What more could you ask for than a man willing to be tossed out of office in the name of defeating the GOP, even if that would never, ever actually happen? I think this guy’s got a shot in 2020 if he can somehow wash the stench of desperation out of his occasional panders to the base. His machinations are always too transparent to be truly effective. It’s not enough to “fight.” You have to make it look like you’re fighting because you want to, not because the Iowa caucuses are only 16 months away.