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Cory Booker Proves That Informed Not Inflamed Is Right

by John on 05/24/2012

I’ve been off doing some events and projects that kept me away from writing about the Cory Booker story.  But I have plenty built up.

Read on.

So, Cory Booker knocks the Obama campaign for bashing private equity on Meet the Press.  Then the next day, he walks it back.

In those moments, the Mayor of Newark proved three things we’ve been discussing here.

  • Joining a political party is the equivalent of foregoing your rights as a citizen and a thinking person
  • Allowing unrestricted money into campaigns leads to silliness.
  • We are all biased.

Let’s break this down.

  1. Booker is a politician.  Sure, he’s done some great things.  He is conciliatory toward Republicans and he has a working relationship with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.   Things are so divided among Democrats and Republicans, we think this Jersey dream couple is so lovely; like the lamb laying with the lion.  As Woody Allen said, “The lamb is pretty nervous.”  So am I.  Booker is worried about getting re-elected in New Jersey and he needs the Wall Street payoffs.   Heck, if Obama loses, Booker could be the next non-white hope.
  2. Booker is a politician in New Jersey.  To paraphrase Governor Palin: He can see Wall Street from his house.  If you’re a politician in the tri-state area, you get money from Wall Street.
  3. Why are we so surprised that other Democrats also get Wall Street money?   Harold Ford defended Booker and private equity as does Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.  Here’s a clue: they both worked in the industry and received bribes…err donations.  Wall Street tries to play both sides of the aisle.  Go back to Hilary Clinton’s Senatorial campaign in New York State.  The only one to out-donate Wall Street for her Democratic campaign was … wait, wait, wait … Rupert Murdoch.
  4. Republicans are so anxious to split the minority voter coalition that favors Obama, they failed to listen to Booker’s other statements about the ridiculousness of the attacks using Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  His point was this: all these campaign ads and the disgusting amount of bribes … oops I meant campaign donations … are creating more heat than light.  And the media, namely the cable yakkers, basically ignored that part of his message.  Instead, they brought on the two biggest ratings killers on TV: Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Reince Priebus.  If you don’t hear “Blah, Blah, Blah” or the unintelligible sounds of Charlie Brown’s teacher when these two are interviewed, then you are a political hack and you should re-think about how you understand news and information.  Here’s a hint for my upcoming show you will see here: you will probably not see one elected official as an interview subject; they’re worthless at offering the truth or knowledge on an issue since they are tainted. 
  5. If we didn’t have all this bribery… oops again, I meant campaign money … going into these campaigns, we wouldn’t be having these silly arguments.  Let’s all thank the Supreme Court for another great outcome.  As I read Robert Caro’s book on LBJ, Passage of Power, I realize the illegal gobs of campaign bribes… darn, I meant campaign donations… have always been there.  It’s apparent that JFK and LBJ won Texas in 1960 thanks to some underhanded money help.  But what the Supreme Court has done is to make this type of graft alright to be in the open.  Hey we know teens are having sex, so we should let them produce porn films now too?
  6. Private equity is like any other business.  It has its morons and good guys and its successes and failures.  You can’t paint an industry with one brush.  Still, the Bain success and its greed were considered admirable traits back then in the 1990s, otherwise known as When We Thought We Were Rich.  Private Equity is cut-throat.  They have to return profits to the investors or they’re gone.  So, to expect Mitt Romney to be a job creator is silly.  He wasn’t.  For Romney to say jobs were his primary goal truly shows he thinks we’re stupid.  To be an efficient enterprise, you work with a lean staff that can do more.  I think his record at Bain is something he should run on – and it is fair game. 
  7. We are all biased when it comes to our survival.  Fight or flee is the rule in the animal world.  In the political world, it’s both.  Booker fought and then ran away in fear.  We saw his true bias: his own career; and his own and his family’s financial well-being.  Like you wouldn’t?

I am not knocking Booker here.  I applaud him, but I don’t feel sorry for him.  He chose to be a politician.  Don’t like it, leave.  He is in an arena where many times you’re going to look bad.  It’s the system.  But it is also a system that allows us to see our leaders under pressure.

The Informed Not Inflamed Take:

We need to stop harping on what others want us to take away from Cory Booker.  It’s done.  However, we know we can’t get lawmakers and the political campaigns to work on jobs and reducing the deficit, so maybe we can ignore the next made-up scandal.



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