‘Free Minds, Free Markets‘ ideologue Matt Lewis latest @DailyBeast essay starts out with a well deserved attack on former California AG Kamala Harris and Ambulance Chaser Corey Booker.
First, here are two characterizations of Trump, by Lewis that need to be repeated:
…Trump’s norm-breaking style.
The predictable “take” from the chattering classes will be about norm erosion. Donald Trump has lowered the bar, and henceforth, everyone will break the rules and behave in an uncivil manner.
Mr. Lewis won’t face the bitter truth that Trump is the triumph of the political Know-Nothing, in the Age of the collapse of his cherished delusion of ‘The Free Market’! But he , ever the courtier of bourgeois political respectability, becomes, for the moment, a High School Guidance Counselor, who offers these two provisional appraisals of Booker and Harris :
…but Booker strikes me as a fundamentally nice and moderate guy.
Harris cultivated a moderate law-and-order reputation when she was a prosecutor. High profile interrogations help them earn resistance cred.
Harris might be more naturally combative, but it still looks like she’s trying too hard.
Harris cultivated a moderate law-and-order reputation when she was a prosecutor.
Booker has Wall Street ties, supported charter schools and defended Bain Capital in 2012.
High profile interrogations help them earn resistance cred.
First both Harris and Booker are auditioning for the seat of Diane Feinstein on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who at 86, and can’t even secure the support of the California Democratic Party, packed with ‘bitter’ Bernie Bros. And faces political insurgent Kevin de León, a Democrat, in the November election!
Then, Mr. Lewis presents this dubious analysis , that High School Guidance Counselor mode discarded in favor of the vulgar ‘phony politicians’. The political motives of both Harris and Booker, as compared to the reasons for the triumph of Trump are explored:
They’re both auditioning of course, but are they auditioning well? In attempting to learn the lessons of Trump’s victory, Democrats are missing some key ingredients. Trump’s appeal wasn’t (solely) about his status as a fighter. It also had to do with the fact that he was (a) authentic and (b) an outsider. Harris and Booker, conversely, are demonstrating the exact opposite attributes. Simply put, they look like phony politicians. (Another thing about Trump is that he is utterly shameless. You can’t fake that, either.)
What Mr. Lewis misses is that these hearings are first about the perpetual self-congratulation of America’s most eminent political class, and its due deference practiced, as if they were courtiers to each other. And the fact that both Booker and Harris are practicing the political art of holding up political/legal reactionaries to a concerted campaign of public ridicule. Something the Republicans have engaged in with equal tenacity. Not to mention the outright obstruction of Obama’s attempt to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Scalia by the Republicans!