Booker: Spartacus declaration "one of my proudest moments"

Well, what else can Cory Booker say? Meghan McCain, the lone conservative on The View, told the latest 2020 presidential sweepstakes entrant that her image of Booker will forever be his invocation of Spartacus in the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh. Booker pushed back, claiming that the moment had been “twisted” by a “tear-down culture,” and that we need to go back and review it again.

“That was one of my prouder moments—sticking up for people,” Booker declares:

Booker insisted that we take another look at what happened to reassess his actions, but the panel veered away before Meghan had an opportunity to do so. Suffice it to say that Booker’s spin on this could be described as nonsense on stilts …if one was to risk offense to nonsense. And stilts.

Contrary to what Booker claims now, no one threatened him with expulsion from the Senate at the time. Booker cited the risk to underscore his supposed courage in exposing a memo that had been classified as confidential to the confirmation process:

One Democrat, Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey, threatened to release one of the documents on his own, prompting Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas to accuse Booker of “conduct unbecoming of a senator.”

The fight began when Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said Democrats who have protested that some documents were not available had an opportunity to make their complaints beforehand but waited to do it publicly to delay the hearing.

Booker pushed back, blaming the process of having a private lawyer and former colleague of Kavanaugh, William Burck, vet the documents as the problem. Booker said he would release an email about racial profiling even, he said, if he could be kicked out of the Senate for violating rules.

“I come from a long line of Americans that understand what kind of civil disobedience is and I understand the consequences. So I am right now before your process is finished, I am going to release the e-mail about racial profiling and I understand that that — the penalty comes with potential ousting from the Senate. If Senator Cornyn believes I violate Senate rules, I openly invite and accept the consequences of my team releasing that e-mail right now,” Booker said.

And what was the memo? Supposedly, it would show that Kavanaugh supported “racial profiling” during the Bush administration, a position so awful that Booker just had to break the rules to expose it. However, the memos turned out to have nothing to do with “racial profiling” by US law enforcement in a domestic context at all. The most on-point of them was Kavanaugh’s analysis of post-9/11 security in which he warned against racial profiling, although the need to find al-Qaeda members might temporarily override those concerns. Other memos discussed the proper legal standard for scrutiny of race-based policies and a lawsuit involving legal claims of Native Hawaiians (Rice v Cayetano).

In other words, they were nothingburgers — and in fact had already been approved for release by the National Archives, working with George W. Bush on issues of executive privilege:

All Booker had to do was wait for a couple of hours and he would have been able to discuss the contents in open session. And Booker knew that before grandstanding over what turned out to be largely benign memos that Booker wildly mischaracterized, in order to grab a few headlines. Finally, Booker concocted this stunt to unjustly tear down Kavanaugh as a racist, a process by which he now claims to have been victimized. Puh-leeze.

If that’s one of Booker’s “proudest moments” in public service, it’s a great argument against giving this drama addict any higher platform than he already has.