Enter, stage left, Cory Booker.
Cory Booker is a fascinating candidate. I will always remember his scowling, angry presence during the Kavanaugh Circus when he wanted to question the nominee regarding memos the Justice had written regarding racial profiling during his days in the Bush administration. Republicans raised a “point of order” claiming it was unfair to ask him to comment on a memo he didn’t have in front of him. We were forced to assume Kavanaugh had forgotten his feelings toward racial profiling. Booker threatened to leak Committee Confidential memos. He was even willing, at least he claimed publicly, to be removed from the Senate. Republicans were quick to say the memos were soon to be released and accused Booker of political grandstanding.
Even though I don’t really remember whether the memos were released or not, I remember his anger and indignation. Of course, I also remember my indignation learning of the existence of Committee Confidential memos. We all live in a world that hangs on the judgments made by the Supreme Court and there shouldn’t be any Committee Confidential memos when it comes to their feelings on legal matters. I wouldn’t have known how much I didn’t know if it weren’t for Cory Booker.
There is no more pressing concern than climate change. As the song says.
“We can all sink or we can all float
Because we’re all in the same big boat.”
Booker has signed on as a cosponsor of the Green New Deal, a sweeping package of reforms, incentives and punishments to promote environmental responsibility. It really doesn’t get any greener than that.
He supports immigrant rights and voter reform. He has also signed on as a co-sponsor of Medicare for All. That probably doesn’t really need any explanation.
His constituency is New Jersey, with all of those resident pharmaceutical giants, and he has a past of being considered somewhat apathetic about their abuses. But, he has been trying desperately to shake the specter of that reputation. Juggling the needs of so many hourly wage employees against the accused excesses of giant corporations is hard for anybody.
His credentials about a woman’s right to choose are beyond question and he is not afraid to answer for them. He even went so far as to state he would not nominate any justice who didn’t stand in support of Roe v. Wade. Which is admirable. In fact, as a politician he seems refreshingly open to taking a stand.
Booker advocates for gun control, believing owners should have to renew their license every five years. He supports background checks on all gun purchases. Plus, he feels it is foolish to allow conceal carry across state lines.
He did work with Betsy DeVoss, before she was Secretary of Education, on private and charter schools, but voted against her confirmation. So, that is almost reassuring, and almost terrifying. Maybe it would be nice to hear how he truly feels about fully funding public education.
But, jobs is where he seems to shine. Booker has introduced legislation to offer 15 local areas federal money to offer all their residents a job. The Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act. An ambitious program with a lot of potential. The fifteen areas could be cities, counties, or groups of cities and counties. The government would employ and pay any adult who wanted a job $15.00 an hour with benefits. While I am not sure what they would be hired to do, you have to think any local municipality with high unemployment, a small and probably shrinking tax base, and miles of everything to maintain could easily find something to keep people busy. Plus, they would be paying taxes and buying things. And, it has been posited that the competition to local employers, and the ubiquitous Wal-Mart stores, would help drive up wages and benefits. Obviously, at least on the face, it would seem they would have to if they wanted their employees. It is supply-side economics in reverse.
Of course, all of the potentially revolutionary changes rely on passing through the houses of Congress, where good ideas go to die. But, is it better to have big ideas than no ideas at all. Big ideas can be negotiated, if there is anybody willing to negotiate, and that is not a certainty in Washington. If you are hoping for a change, and willing to watch all the fights and petty bickering that will certainly come from new ideas Cory Booker might be your guy.
 One World (not three), by The Police