Another fraud elected to the Senate

The people of New Jersey have elected Cory Booker to be their Senator. Booker handily defeated Republican Steve Lonegan in the race for the seat that opened up when Sen. Frank Lautenberg died (it was filled temporarily by a Republican appointed by Chris Christie). It looks like Booker will carry 55 percent of the vote.

As Eliana Johnson has shown, Booker is a liar and a fraud. Yet he was elected to the Senate by a decisive margin.

He joins another recently-elected fraud, Elizabeth Warren. She, of course, claimed to be an Indian but, from all that appears, is no such thing. And when caught in the lie, she tried to wiggle free with additional false or misleading statements.

A liar is a liar — or used to be, anyway — but there is a difference between the fibs of Warren and those of Booker. Warren is a standard-issue fake affirmative action baby. She claimed to be an Indian in order to take advantage of her employers’ racial preferences. That’s deplorable, but not psychologically suspect.

Booker’s is a somewhat different case. He created a fictional character — an imaginary friend named T-Bone, as Eliana calls him — who supposedly taught Booker the realities of urban life.

I don’t think this meets the definition of pathological lying, which I understand to mean lying when the truth would serve just as well. Booker gained something by invoking T-Bone; he gained “street cred,” or hoped to.

But even if Booker’s use of “T-Bone” isn’t pathological, it seems creepy. So does his false claim that a young gunshot victim died in his arms. Shades of John Edwards here.

Voters have been sending scoundrels and miscreants from both parties to Congress for as long as anyone can remember. But I wonder whether being caught in a lie before being elected to office used to count more heavily against a candidate than it does now.


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