Cory Booker, perhaps envisioning himself in a loincloth and sword, declared himself “Spartacus” Thursday morning during the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
That bizarre reference was from the 1960 film starring legendary actor Kirk Douglas who played a gladiator slave who leads a revolt against the Roman Empire and ultimately freed his people.
Not a bad story-line if you’re looking to run in 2020 against President Trump. However, the movie is fictional and Booker is no “Spartacus” and certainly no Kirk Douglas.
Moreover his attempt to grab the spotlight by self-righteously declaring he would break Senate rules in releasing confidential documents, which had already been cleared by committee lawyers the night before his grandstanding attempt, speaks volumes regarding his motivation.
The humorous stunt had even Booker looking amused, as he declared, “This is about the closest I’ll probably ever have in my life to an ‘I am Spartacus’ moment.”
No doubt the young junior African American senator from New Jersey sees himself as another transitional figure, perhaps more like Barack Obama than “Spartacus” attempting to sweet-talk himself into the White House.
However if yesterday’s performance is an indication Booker is emulating the smooth-talking former president, he has a lot of work ahead of him. Obama had the ability to charm you with sincerity while being totally disingenuous. How else can one explain his abysmal record towards African Americans, and being reelected with almost a 90% approval rating from that same group, 4-years later?
Furthermore, Booker miss-calculated the obvious fallout from his ill-timed stunt, in that the Washington Post almost immediately confirmed the documents had been cleared hours before and gave that information to Booker’s staff.
Bill Burck, Bush’s presidential records representative who is leading the review of Kavanaugh’s records, said:
“yes to every request made by the Senate Democrats to make documents public.”
Adding “We cleared the documents last night shortly after Senator Booker’s staff asked us to, we were surprised to learn about Senator Booker’s histrionics this morning because we had already told him he could use the documents publicly.”
The reason for Booker’s theatrical performance was to apparently torpedo and perhaps delay Kavanaugh’s nomination, by suggesting the judge’s emails uncovered racial bias against Muslims, after the 9/11 attack.
However, in actuality, Kavanaugh’s emails show just the opposite. His emails were from his time within the Bush Administration, which show Brett Kavanaugh’s concern against racial profiling of Muslims.
The emails further demonstrate Kavanaugh’s thinking in 2002, only months after the attack, and his steadfast opposition against racial profiling. Moreover acknowledging to his colleagues within those “bombshell emails” that he was in favor of “effective security measures that are race-neutral” for airports, and reiterated his opposition to “race-based” remedies for law enforcement in the aftermath of the attack.
Social media also weighed in on Booker’s “bombshell revelations” and his theatrical performance, and his channeling of “Spartacus.”
“So the documents that Cory Booker violated committee rules to release shows that Kavanaugh rejected the use of race or national origin in airport security screening and law enforcement generally in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.”
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) September 6th, 2018
“Sen. Cory Booker’s BOMBSHELL: Brett Kavanaugh didn’t want to racially profile people after 9/11…bravo, Spartacus!”
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) September 6th, 2018