Sen. Cory Booker (NJ) went from being a hero to a villain in 48 hours last week. He initially drew praise for being the first senator to testify against another sitting senator during the trial of Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions. But praise quickly turned to anger among Democratic circles when Booker and 12 other Democrats voted against the Sanders- Klobuchar amendment, which would have allowed Americans to buy prescription drugs from Canada, where they are much cheaper. Especially agonizing to social media was that this amendment had attracted the support of several Republicans and so stood a chance of passing.
Booker defended his vote by saying he was looking after the interests of his constituents, many of whom work in the high-powered pharmaceutical corridor. Now, the reason this qualifies for the blue drink this week isn’t because arguably Booker and other Democrats have uncomfortably close ties with the pharmaceutical industry and/or this was a lost chance to actually make some positive headway in lowering prescription drug prices, an issue with bipartisan support.
The reason we’re writing about it is because this once again highlights the chaos running amok in the Democratic Party. The slew of articles that came out either in support or condemnation of Booker, often tinged with not-so-subtle ‘Berniecrat’ or ‘Hillary’ vibes, showcase the deep divisions that remain unresolved and to a large extent un-discussed. At a debate between the various individuals running for DNC chair hosted by Huffington Post Wednesday night the candidates made calls for ‘unity’ but didn’t make too much discussion of the genuine issues that divide the Democratic Party, much less have someone come out as a truly unifying figure. If the Democrats want to make any headway in gaining back ground, the party needs to decide where they stand, and then stand united.