OPINION: Cory Booker is Also 'Complicit'
There's a video making the rounds on the internet of Senator Cory Booker taking Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to the woodshed, stating that her 'silence and amnesia is complicity' in regards to Trump's many racist remarks. Booker's speech is impassioned and fiery. He gives no quarter during the duration. The senator also doesn't seem aware of the irony of him accusing anyone of complicity through inaction.
Now, before we link arms and hop down this landmine filled political rabbit hole together, allow me to clarify something. I 100% agree with Sen. Booker on his indictment of Nielsen's character in this case. Anyone who's willing to stay in the corner of someone who's spouted off as many racial tropes as Trump has over the past few decades, is absolutely guilty of moral bankruptcy. Either that, or Nielsen agrees that Haitians “all have AIDS,” Mexico is only sending “rapists and criminals,” and that African immigrants “won't go back to their huts” once they've gotten a taste of America. In any case, I don't have issue with that element of Booker's onslaught.
The problem with Cory Booker occurs when you look at his voting record. Despite a mass of liberals lining up to kiss his ass because he had the bravery to snatch the low-hanging fruit that is yelling at a probable racist, Senator Booker is no champion of the people. Seeing comments on progressive sites that say things like “So bold! I hope Booker runs for President!' and “Finally! A senator with some integrity!” turns the bile in my stomach into something volcanic.
The real Cory Booker should serve as a cautionary tale of what happens when you sell off every fraction of your spine for a seat at the big table.
A lot of people were introduced to then-Newark City Councilman Cory Booker in the 2005 documentary 'Street Fight,' which followed his mayoral battle against longtime incumbent Sharpe James. In the film, Booker seems earnest and genuine in his resolve to better his community. The future Senator displays the kind of resolve that usually portends some true grit, despite the dirty tricks of his opponent. Sadly, this image would prove to have a short shelf life.
Booker took $328,000 from the pharmaceutical and medical industries and their super PACs for his senate campaign in 2014, which seemed to inform his positions down the road. In January 2017, Booker led a dozen of his fellow Democrats to vote to stop an amendment to a bill that would have opened the US market up for imported drugs from Canada, effectively creating competition in the States that would likely dramatically lower drug costs. Booker cited a lack of safety controls for foreign medications as the reason for his 'no' vote.
While it may be tempting to appreciate Booker's safety concerns at the hands of foreign meds, the concept becomes a bit laughable once you realize that the year before this vote saw more than 64,000 drug related deaths in the US. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the synthetic opioid fentanyl outpaced both heroin and prescription painkillers in terms of body count in 2016. It should also be noted that the USA and Canada are very similar in terms of drug safety protocol. It's not like Canadians are running around injecting people with cobra venom, chased by suppositories made out of blow fish powder.
In all fairness, there was a later vote to amend that same bill to prevent senators from considering legislation “that did not lower drug prices, as certified by the Congressional Budget Office,” for which Booker voted favorably. Of course, at this point his vote was no longer necessary for the amendment to fail, as the GOP had enough votes to safely kill the amendment. This freed up the Senator to save face with his constituents without jeopardizing his donors financial interests. The gesture was as empty as a ruptured fentanyl patch on the chest of an overdosed American corpse.
Votes like the one I've just referenced are exactly why we have people going into bankruptcy because they got sick. Booker and his ilk failing to fight tooth and nail to make sure that every American can afford lifesaving medication, is the very reason that we have people in their 20s dying because they can't pay for their insulin. That's also complicity, and people have died as a result.
Senator Cory Booker is the exact kind of politician that the left shouldn't turn to for a presidential run in 2020. We've seen this scenario play out. He has millions of dollars from big moneyed interests in his political war chest, he's a safe pick for the DNC (we all remember what a bang up job they did last time), and he's fighting for name recognition on easy social issues instead of hard fought victories for the people that he means to represent. While it takes little to concede that Booker is considerably less vile than many of his colleagues, that is a ridiculously low bar. Alabama just narrowly didn't elect an accused child molester, for god's sake.
Despite the dark age of American governance that we've happened into as of late, there isn't a shortage of actual progressives who are willing to take up the good fight on behalf of their fellow countrymen. The problem is that we get lulled to sleep by people like Clinton and Booker who have already been bought and paid for by those with a lot of money, and even more to lose. If tearfully decrying racist platitudes and not being Donald Trump are the only criteria for our champions, then I fear that we don't have much hope for a brighter day.