On Rachel Maddow's show, Booker dug a little deeper: "Obviously, I did things in the 'Meet the Press' interview, as I told you, that did not land the points that I was trying to make. And in some ways, you know, frustratingly, I think I conflated the attacks that the Republicans were making with Jeremiah Wright with some of the attacks on the left. And those can't even be equated."
Worse, from the party perspective, Booker described himself as an "independent Democrat." Oops.
We may like independents in theory, but surrogates don't get to be independent. You gotta pick one or the other. This has been the immediate lesson for Cory Booker. But the broader lesson for the public is that there's no space in our body politic for an independent mind, even though more Americans describe themselves as independent than either Democrat or Republican.
Thinking outside the box may solve problems in the real world. But in the political realm, creative noodling will get you cast into the outer darkness. No matter which way you lean, The Machinery requires cogs, not cognizance.
Kathleen Parker's email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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