U.S. Sen. Cory Booker made a fool of himself Tuesday. In a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee at which Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified, Booker loudly professed shock and indignation at the allegations that President Donald Trump had referred to certain countries as "s---holes."
Booker claimed to have shed "tears of rage" when fellow Sen. Dick Durbin called to tell him about the incident.
This is nothing but craven posturing. As numerous writers have noted, Democratic presidents have said things as bad or worse.
In addition to the numerous reprehensibly racist remarks attributed to President Lyndon Johnson, he once told the Greek ambassador, "F--- your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. If these two fellows continue itching the elephant, they may just get whacked by the elephant's trunk, whacked good."
Hardly charming diplomacy.
This tempest-in-a-toilet is just one more in a long list of attempts by the left to discredit Trump. Another one is the popular trend of speculating unfavorably on the president's health as a run-up to demanding his ouster.
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Although Trump gives his opponents plenty of fodder in his tweets and off-the-cuff remarks, it's not the president's diplomatic faux pas or domestic policy failures that the left fears, but rather his successes. And those are racking up: a booming economy, record-breaking stock market, increased consumer confidence, ISIS devastated in Syria and Iraq, and major tax cuts.
The left counts far too many vulgarians among their number to be truly offended by Trump's language or conduct. No, the left hates Trump because he commits the unpardonable sin of ignoring them and refusing to let their nonstop hysteria derail his plans.
For their part, Trump's opponents on the right probably are legitimately outraged by his crude demeanor. But I suspect they're even more incensed by the way he has shown them up. The GOP in Congress has made a collective career of cowering to the press, apologizing for conservative principles and finding ways to avoid enacting laws that would keep their campaign promises.
Unsurprisingly, the left's take on Trump's indelicate comment about some underdeveloped nations is that it's further proof of his racism. Bunk. Even assuming that Trump said precisely what Durbin recounted, it's quite clear Trump was referring to the governments that have made those countries pits of despair, not the people trapped there.
Trump did not create the conditions in countries like Haiti, and a truthful — if inartful — description of them doesn't worsen matters.
But there are plenty of things that could be done here at home. Where are Booker's "tears of rage" about any of the following crises affecting African-Americans in the United States?
Among the other economic good news is the recent statistic showing that black unemployment is now at a record low 6.7 percent. When Trump courted the black vote, he famously asked for African-Americans' support, saying, "What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump?"
Indeed. Why shouldn't African-Americans place more trust in someone who improves their economic prospects than in those who cry crocodile tears over imagined offenses?
Laura Hollis is a University of Notre Dame business and law professor. Her column is distributed by Creators Syndicate. The opinions are the writer’s.