Tag Archives: Cory Booker

Term limits for SCOTUS? Really, Sen. Booker?

Cory Booker needs to take a breath.

The U.S. senator from New Jersey and one of dozens (or so it seems) of Democrats running for president has pitched a notion of setting term limits for members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

C’mon, senator. Get a grip here!

The founders had it right when they established a federal judiciary that allows judges to serve for the rest of their lives. Lifetime appointments provides judges — and that includes SCOTUS justices — the opportunity to rule on the basis of their own view of the Constitution and it frees them from undue political pressure.

Sen. Booker is a serious man. I get that. He has an Ivy League law degree and is a one-time Rhodes scholar.

He’s also running for a political office in the midst of a heavily crowded field and is seeking to put some daylight between himself and the rest of the Democrats seeking to succeed Donald Trump as president.

Term limits for SCOTUS justices isn’t the way to do it.

We don’t need term limits for members of Congress, either. My view is that lifetime appointments for the federal judiciary has worked well since the founding of the Republic. There is no need to change the system based largely on a knee-jerk response to the current political climate.

Has Beto waited too long?

Beto O’Rourke’s legion of followers might be witnessing a total eclipse of a political star.

The one-time West Texas congressman who came tantalizingly close to defeating Ted Cruz in the race for the U.S. Senate is now watching on the sidelines as three former congressional colleagues scarf up all the headlines while running for president.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker have become the flavors of the moment. As Politico reports, those on the sidelines are waiting for one or more of them to mess up. Beto might be one of them waiting with bated breath.

I am not yet convinced that Beto O’Rourke is presidential material. He’s a young man. He waged an unconventional, no-consultant, no-polling campaign for the U.S. Senate seat in Texas. He damn near won against a Republican incumbent!

He has nowhere to go but . . . down? Not really.

However, politics is often like baseball, meaning that “timing is everything.” Given the pace of politics in this Internet/social media/ digital age it appears possible that Beto O’Rourke’s window might be closing. He’s not alone, of course. A crowd of other Democrats are being caught flat-footed by the excitement generated already as the 2020 campaign starts to ignite.

Kamala Harris’s announcement was a spectacular event. Elizabeth Warren is seeking to shed the baggage she piled on herself with that DNA test to prove her native American heritage. Cory Booker is seen by some as “too establishment” to suit the base of the Democratic Party.

Does that make Sen. Harris the early frontrunner? Oh, it’s possible, I suppose.

As for Beto O’Rourke, I am thinking he’d better decide quickly whether he’s in . . . or out.

Hey, there’s always 2024!

‘Unity’ becomes cliche of the 2020 campaign season

Cory Booker launched his 2020 presidential campaign today. The New Jersey Democratic U.S. senator declared — to no one’s surprise — that he pledges to “unify” the country.

Let’s see. Who else has said that? Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and any number of other Democrats — declared or undeclared candidates — have said the same thing.

So, too, has the man they want to defeat, Republican Donald J. Trump, the current president of the United States.

Trump has failed at every level to unify the country. He speaks only to his base when he rails against illegal immigrants, when he speaks of banning travelers from Muslim countries, when he bans transgender Americans from serving in the military, when he repeals Barack Obama-era environmental regulations.

He cares not one damn bit about the rest of us.

So now we have Democrats declaring their intention to succeed Trump. They want to “unify” the country. I am likely to scream when I hear that platitude fly out of the mouth of the next Democrat who decides to run against Trump.

It is a cliché that has no meaning to me. To say you intend to do something doesn’t equate immediately to any tangible result.

What I want to hear from all these presidential candidates are specifics on how they intend to deliver on the noble promise. Yes, it might be a worn-out cliché, but it is a noble one.

However, enough with the empty pledges.

This is what I call 'public service'

Nir Barkat should become the face of public servants everywhere.

Who is this man? He is the mayor of Jerusalem who, along with his bodyguard, wrestled a knife-wielding attacker to the ground and held him there until police arrived.


The 55-year-old mayor saved several people from possible injury or death from the attacker who apparently pulled the knife out in a crowd.

When U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., was mayor of Newark, N.J., he was known to roll up his sleeves and offer a hand to residents of his city. I recall once when the Beaumont, Texas, fire chief, Pete Shelton, answered a call from a resident who said an alligator was lurking in a culvert in the rear of a home; Shelton answered the call and wrestled the medium-sized gator out of the water, tied it up, and released it in a bayou.

Nir Barkat’s response to the incident, which he witnessed from his car, speaks well of his commitment to serving the people who elected him.


Booker, Cruz talk; who listens?

U.S. Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ted Cruz of Texas recently had what was described as a three-hour private lunch.

It struck me when I heard this about two of the Senate’s more garrulous members: Who listens when the two of them get together?

Booker, a Democrat, and Cruz, a Republican, both are known to be two of the least camera-shy members of the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. They both seem to love the sound of their own voices, particularly when they’re positioned in front of a microphone. So when Booker said he and his fellow junior member of that august body met, I was intrigued by the idea of the two of them sitting down to hear each other out.

In a larger sense, though, the meeting was good for an important reason. It apparently was Booker’s idea. He said he intends to share private meals with every one of the Senate’s Republican members. Why? He wants to search for common ground with them. He wants to restore some level of collegiality to a body that’s been missing it since, oh, about the time Barack Hussein Obama became president of the United States of America.

I won’t get into who’s to blame for this lack of collegiality. It disappeared between Republicans and Democrats within the Senate. It surely vanished between the Senate and the White House, particularly among the GOP senators and the White House.

I hope Booker goes through with his pledge to meet with all of his Republican colleagues. If he can restore some decency among them, so much the better for Senate and for the cause of good government.

As for meeting with Cruz, I have to salute both men presumably for keeping their big mouths shut long enough to hear what the other guy had to say.

Senate Loudmouth Caucus about to expand

I’ve taken great pleasure the past several months savaging the boorish behavior of rookie U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

His “crime” has been an inability to keep his trap shut while learning the ropes of the institution to which he was just elected in November 2012. He jumped right into the thick of the fray — and right in front of every TV camera in sight — to tell the world what he thinks about everything under the sun.

I’m sick of the sound of his voice — and he’s only been a senator for nine months.

Cruz is a member of what we ought to call the Loudmouth Caucus in the Senate.

His ranks are likely to expand early next month. The beauty of the Loudmouth Caucus is that it’s a bipartisan organization. Anyone can join. Cruz is about to be joined, no doubt, by a Democratic colleague from New Jersey.

Ladies and gents, let’s welcome Sen. Cory Booker.

Booker is the mayor of Newark, N.J. He won a Democratic primary a few weeks ago and is set to be elected to the unexpired term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg. Yes, Booker has a Republican opponent, but it doesn’t matter. Booker’s going to win the election. Then he’ll run for re-election to a full term later and he’s likely to be re-elected.

Why is this man’s pending entrance into the Senate worth noting? It’s because he’s going to battle Cruz tooth-and-nail for face time on every TV news camera one can find on Capitol Hill. I’d put money on that.

Booker is as uninhibited as Cruz. He loves the sound of his voice. He loves seeing his face on TV. He talks and talks and talks — and at times it’s nearly impossible to follow the man’s train of thought.

Booker has made a name for himself as Newark mayor by doing some unconventional things, such as rescuing a resident from a burning building. He’s also picked up a shovel and cleaned out storm drains. He’s a working mayor, or so he would have us believe.

Booker is likely to set out proving he’s a working senator, too — although I’m not sure we’re going to see him performing manual tasks the way he has done as mayor. He’s likely just to talk a lot about all the hard work he will do.

I’ll make this prediction: Booker will anger his Democratic colleagues as much as Cruz has angered his fellow Republican senators. Given the anger that permeates the capital these days across party lines, it’s a given Booker is going to have enemies on the other side — just as Ted Cruz did — the moment he takes the oath of office.

Get ready for a lot more noise coming from the World’s Oldest Deliberative Body.