The key to winning the 2020 Democratic nomination for president is coming down to this: who is the best fighter? Which contender is most prepared to step into the ring with Trump and engage in an old-style political brawl? Many Democrats have caught on to this. Michael Avenatti, for example, recently sounded like Trump, telling the Des Moines Register that “I think the party has yearned for a fighter—a fighter for good, if you will—for a significant period of time.”
However, Senators Cory Booker and Kamala Harris were not content to let Avenatti steal the early lead. Both senators used the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings to boost their own “fighter” resumes. These qualifications will be badly needed to win over the “Zana Bash Was Flashing White Supremacist Hand Signals” and “Brett Kavanaugh Snubbed a Parkland Father” wings of the party.
Booker Is [Not] Spartacus
Booker’s antics started when he claimed he was breaking Senate rules by releasing confidential committee emails from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House. Booker claimed he was willing to risk expulsion from the Senate to release these documents, which were such a bombshell that the American people needed to see them. Booker even said that this was the closest he would get to an “I am Spartacus” moment.
Except it was not. The e-mails were neither confidential nor a bombshell. The e-mails Booker released were already cleared for release, and the purported bombshell showed Kavanaugh arguing against racial profiling in the aftermath of 9/11.
Instead of leading a revolt, “Spartacus” attempted to start his Presidential campaign–and did so with a dud.
Harris’s “Reliable” Claims
Not content to see Spartacus get off to an early lead for 2020, Kamala Harris got into the grandstanding game. She first asked Kavanaugh if he had ever discussed the Mueller investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson Torres. (Marc Kasowitz, Trump’s personal attorney, helped found this law firm.) Harris said she had “reliable” information that Kavanaugh did.
However, this claim didn’t end up being “reliable” at all. Kavanaugh was confused at first, as there are over 250 attorneys at the firm, so it was impossible for him to say for sure. Since Harris would not be specific, Kavanaugh then went home and looked up the full list of the firm’s attorneys. After that, he came back and gave a definitive “no” for an answer. So much for that “reliable” source.
For her next deception, Harris tweeted a video implying that Kavanaugh referred to birth control as “abortion-inducing drugs.” Such a belief, she said, was hostile to women. She also claimed that it was evidence that Kavanaugh wants to prevent all women from making “her own health care decisions. Make no mistake – this is about punishing women.”
The problem for Harris was that she conveniently cut out part of the video. She deleted a key phrase, where Kavanaugh clearly says the words “They said,” referring to Priests for Life. Priests for Life were the plaintiffs in the case that Ted Cruz had specifically asked about. Harris’s claim was given a “False” rating from Politifact, and four Pinocchios from the Washington Post. Neither of those two fact checkers are known for having any conservative bias whatsoever.
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For “Spartacus” and Harris, the purpose of the Kavanaugh hearings was never to gather information to inform their votes. They had made up their minds before Trump even announced that Kavanaugh would be the nominee. For them, the Kavanaugh hearings were the first audition for the 2020 Democratic Primary. In that primary, the Democrat Party’s base will want to know how each candidate led “The Resistance.”
However, only time well tell if such tactics actually work. After all, if Trump has any political skill at all, it is his ability to make his opponents act even crazier than he does.