I’ve always held the firm belief that if you truly love someone, you owe it to them to pull no punches when they either fuck up or need to be backhanded into reality. For someone like me, a self confessed asshole, I’ve historically struggled with this – desperately trying to make sure that I was expressing a blunt assessment coming from a place of love and not just being a dick. From telling someone that the person that they envisioned spending their life with isn’t coming back, to telling a dear friend who thought that he was a functioning alcoholic that his life had turned into a house of cards – I’ve found that severe honesty is the best policy, because that’s what love is all about in my humble opinion. Anything else and you’re just enabling what really ails them. I thought about that this morning after I saw some of the reactions to Cory Booker’s “Meet the Press” appearance. And more notably, people’s reactions to the reactions. Here’s what happened in a nutshell:
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Newark New Jersey Mayor and Obama surrogate Cory Booker said he was “uncomfortable” with the Obama campaign’s attacks on Romney’s record with Bain Capital.
“It’s a distraction from the real issues, “Booker said, of both attacks on Bain and Rev Jeremiah Wright. “It’s either gonna be a small campaign about the issues the American people cares about.”
“I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity, ” Booker added. “If you look at the totality ,of Bain Capitol’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses – to grow businesses. And thus to me, I’m very uncomfortable”
Um, yeah. As many folks much wiser than I have already pointed out, this was a clusterfuck in terms of political surrogacy. Mr. Booker completely undercut Team Obama’s main strategy of keeping a man that I call “Android Gordon Gekko” out of the White House. Mitt Romney wants to be elected to the highest office in the land solely based on his business acumen, and the mere fact that attacking those flimsy credentials makes the good Mayor nauseous is somewhat of a headscratcher. We won’t even go into the Joe Scarborough-esque false equivalency that he pulled out of his ass, making the legitimate dissecting of someone’s record on par with race based attacks on the President. But that isn’t my main reason for this post.
I’d like to speak to the reactions of the reactions. The cries of “Leave Cory alone!”. People feeling the need to tell me things that I already knew, that Cory is a good man, dictating to me chapter and verse all of the great things that he’s done and the noble positions that he’s taken – as if any of that lessens the blow of giving the Romney campaign and the GOP an abundant amount of cover fire. I’ve also heard folks say that we shouldn’t indict Cory for simply speaking his mind, more nonsense that I immediately reject – he’s an Obama surrogate, he knows better – pocket that shit if it undercuts the campaign in any way. The shit isn’t rocket science people
I criticize some of the reactions to the reactions because many of them were passionate but incoherent, like the people who bring up his great wealth or how many black people he employs any time you say anything bad about Tyler Perry’s artistry. That said, many of those folks who disagreed with me on Cory Booker are people that I hold in high regard and have great affection for – and the reason for the blunt criticism is because those good folks deserve nothing less. I’m not unfollowing anyone because we have a difference of opinion. I’m not starting clumsy Twitter beefs because of it. Just a good old fashion checking amongst friends. With Cory Booker it’s the same thing: I’m a fan. In my eyes you can never say too many good things about him. When he runs for President, I’ll be one of his most vocal supporters. I’ll knock on doors and organize for his campaign as if my life depended on it. Just today Corey fucked up, and not being honest about that is doing Mr. Booker no favors. Just because I check your ass doesn’t mean that I don’t love you.