Interview with Glen Ford on Cory Booker, a horrible neoliberal if there ever was one:
AS: So let’s talk about Booker’s election and ascent, which was simultaneous with Chris Christie, because the popular narrative in the mainstream national media saw these two as this kind of odd couple, they would not get along normally but somehow they were able to get along on certain issues and I wonder what you thinking is on that.
GF: Well Cory Booker is a real right winger. He was not suborned, forced off of traditional Black liberal Democratic politics by the allure of money, he’s the real deal! Cory Booker was running two private school voucher private schools in Newark, New Jersey and was part of that whole network of private school advocates who were seeking school vouchers at the time and that network was a Republican network. It included lots of Republican office holders.
Just in 1999, I believe it was, they were summoned by a group of corporations to Milwaukee to create an organization called the Black Alliance for Educational Options and that was the group created as I said out of whole cloth just with right wing Republican corporate funding to create a demand that had never existed in the Black community before for the public funding of private schools and a whole ragtag group of mostly Black Republicans but some Democratic politicians and assorted hustlers manned this Black Alliance for Educational Options which was funded initially to the tune of $3 million, but as soon as George Bush got into office since school vouchers were an essential part of the Republican platform, they were adopted by the Bush administration, got federal funding, and a whole lot more private capital funding became a real presence on the national scene.
And Cory Booker was a vice chair of the Black Alliance for Educational Options and, along with a former Black congressman from Queens, Floyd Flake, who had been the most right wing member of the Congressional Black Caucus, they were the most prominent members of this school privatizing factoid newly arrived on the Black scene. But they were basically creations of the Republican Party, so of course Cory Booker would have a working relationship with Chris Christie, the top Republican in New Jersey. And any differences between the two were the kind that, well, politicians routinely concoct in order to make it look like there’s really a great deal of difference between the parties on issues in which sometimes there is not. There is certainly no difference between Cory Booker on school privatization and a host of corporate issues at all.
… And if anything he will be a more right wing Obama, he is, as I said, the real article, a genuine Black corporate-to-the-bone politician who is if anything more fervent about school privatization than Barack Obama, who is the king of school privatization!
Although Barack Obama was the greatest gift to charter schools, Cory Booker comes from an even older privatizing tendency and that is to give public aid to private schools, so he would embrace that. And Cory Booker shows up with his old friends, Republicans many of them, at speaking engagements all of the time, so if his candidacy does materialize for 2020, and if there is anything that would be worthy of a progressive opposition in the Democratic Party, he is going to be prime meat.