Booker Eyeing 2020 with Anti-Sessions Stunt?
Democrats use hopeless opposition to AG confirmation to fundraise, grandstand
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is set to testify against Sen. Jeff Sessions’ confirmation as attorney general on Wednesday in an unprecedented violation of traditional Senate decorum.
"I do not take lightly the decision to testify against a Senate colleague," Booker said Tuesday morning. "But the immense powers of the attorney general combined with the deeply troubling views of this nominee is a call to conscience," the New Jersey senator continued.
“I feel blessed and honored to have partnered with Senator Sessions in being the senate sponsors of this important award."
Ever ambitious, Booker’s move is likely designed to score easy political points among Democratic grassroots -- perhaps with the pursuit of a higher ambition in mind.
For Booker’s Democratic colleagues, their public protestations against Sessions’ confirmation are little more than fundraising and campaigning efforts for the 2018 midterm elections.
The simple fact is that it is practically impossible for Democrats to successfully stop Sessions being confirmed. In 2013, Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, acting with great foresight, successfully led efforts to end the filibuster for cabinet appointments — and Democrats simply lack the number of votes necessary to sink a successful confirmation process.
But as goes a guiding principle of the Democratic Party, never let reality get in the way of some good old fashioned politicking.
The Democratic National Committee is spearheading anti-Sessions efforts through "makecalls.democrats.org." There, concerned liberals can sign up to receive their local senator’s phone number and a useful script complete with anti-Sessions talking points in exchange for their email addresses.
Upon signing up, one receives an email prompting one to “tell us how your call went,” providing a form in which one can enter one's full name and, yet again, email address. If one decides to go further down the rabbit hole and submit the second form, one arrives at yet a third form and the ultimate point of it all, a form for donating money to the DNC, as well as an email asking one to "take the next step."
Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s Twitter account is furious firing off Democratic senators’ anti-Sessions sound-bites. “Senator Sessions’ record on civil rights is at direct odds with the task of promoting justice and equality for all, and I cannot support his nomination,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown up for reelection in Ohio in 2018.
“If Senator Sessions cannot or will not make a full commitment to act on violence borne out of hatred … then he has no business serving as America’s top law enforcement official,” proclaimed Sen. Tammy Baldwin. Baldwin, like Brown, is also up for reelection in 2018 in a state Trump won.
Of course, as the above statements illustrate, the most egregious aspect of the Democrats’ Sessions protest pantomime is the fact that the entire charade is built on a lie.
The notion that there is anything truly troubling about Sessions’ civil rights record is demonstrably ridiculous. As a senator, Sessions worked with Democrats to reduce disparities in drug sentencing that disproportionately affected black Americans.
When he was a U.S. attorney, Sessions desegregated a number of schools and led efforts to ensure that Henry Hays, a member of the KKK who kidnapped and lynched a young black man named Michael Donald, received the death penalty. Hayes was the only Klan member in the 20th century to be executed for murdering a black man.
Despite all this, Booker would now have his supporters believe that Sessions has “deeply troubling views.” Of course, Booker knows very well that this isn't true.
Indeed, he had no such concerns about Sessions in 2015, when the two partnered to cosponsor successful legislation awarding the Congressional Gold Medal — the nation’s highest civilian order — to the participants of the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery.
“I am humbled to be able to be able to participate here in paying tribute to some of the extraordinary americans whose footsteps paved the way for me and my generation,” Booker said during the award ceremony. “I feel blessed and honored to have partnered with Senator Sessions in being the senate sponsors of this important award."