Ezra Klien over at Vox spoke to both and did his view of how different the two go at things in the Donald Trump world….
Two different theories are emerging in two of the Democratic Party’s most interesting leaders. I’ve recently interviewed Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker (both conversations are available, in full, on my podcast), and have been struck by the contrast in their responses to the Trump era.
Elizabeth Warren: Democrats have to become what Trump only pretends to be
Warren, whose new book is titled This Fight is Our Fight, believes that the antidote to Trumpism is an authentic, liberal populism. In her view, Democrats must become the thing Trump only pretends to be — warriors against the rich, powerful interests that have overwhelmed American democracy.
“I actually do think the fight metaphor is right,” she told me when I asked whether Trump’s angry faux-populism could only be countered with an angry real populism. “This is how democracy works now … everything we hold dear is truly under assault.”
To Warren, being in a fight means, well, fighting. She has been rare among national Democrats in attacking Trump in much the terms Trump attacks everyone else….
Cory Booker and the politics of love
If Warren thinks Democrats need to become what Trump merely claims to be, Booker believes they need to become what Trump clearly isn’t. In his view, the opposite of Trump’s angry, resentment-fueled politics is a compassionate, love-fueled politics. The opposite of a president who makes politics feel like a war is a politician who at least carries the possibility of peace.
“I really believe this is the response to the era of Donald Trump, and I’m sorry if it sounds corny, but I don’t think it’s corny at all,” Booker says. “It’s gotta be about love. it’s gotta be about the connections we have to each other.”
Like Warren, Booker is uncomfortable with the attacks he’s launched on Trump. But unlike Warren, he thinks his discomfort is a strength, not a weakness. “I called Donald Trump a liar on national TV, and when I got off TV, I felt bad, because it violated my values,” he says. “I can say he was lying, which is the right thing to do, because he did lie, and he does lie quite often. But I didn’t like to be crossing a line and condemning his soul.”…
But while Booker’s gentler approach frustrates Trump’s fiercer critics, it’s easy to imagine it appealing to voters who just want to move on from an ugly, conflictual era in American politics. Like Warren, Booker believes Trump fights for himself. But unlike Warren, he believes Democrats must show that politics doesn’t need to be a constant fight, that peace is possible.
My money is on Booker right now….