His Joke On The Senate Floor Says Something Deeper About U.S. Politics

Senator Cory Booker
Zain Murdock
August 19, 2021

When Republican Senator Josh Hawley proposed to slash funding from local governments that vote to redistribute police resources, he openly decried the movement to save Black lives as “woke rhetoric.”

But what Democrats did next is maybe equally strange.


"Madam President, I am so excited. This is a gift,” exclaimed Democrat Cory Booker. "I am sure I will see no political ads attacking anybody here over defund the police." Next, he hugged Senator Tuberville, glee written all over his face. Huh?

To understand Booker’s antics though, you need to know this word: “vote-a-rama.”

Vote-a-rama is a day of “rapid fire” votes on typically 20+ amendments. All 47 this summer were nonbinding, meaning they’re not even legally enforceable. If it sounds confusing, that’s because it is.

Republicans have been claiming Democrats want to “defund the police” for a while now. So this recent vote, ending in 99-0, was Democrats’ way of putting those rumors “to bed.”

In other words, this is bipartisan political theater meant to cement the idea that the status quo for Black people will never change.

It isn't just prisons and police. The entire legislative system is a ridiculous game we aren’t allowed to play. While Democrats and Republicans grab drinks and laugh after their televised argument is over, we're here struggling to actually see change. Is that the kind of system we want?

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