“I’m Spartacus!”

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Cory Booker Senator from New Jersey in an impassioned moment during the Senate confirmation hearing of Judge Kavanaugh declared.  “This is as close to my I’m Spartacus moment as I’ll ever get.”  It was supposed to be an awesome moment.  But there were a few problems with it.

First off it refers to a scene from a 1960 movie that most people have never seen.  So it sort of went over a lot of people’s heads.  And, since you probably missed the movie here’s what happens.  Spartacus leads a slave revolt in ancient Rome and Spartacus in the 1960 movie is played by Kirk Douglas.  The scene that the Senator is referring to happens, after Spartacus and his guys are defeated by the Romans and the survivors are in chains.  Roman General Crassus and all around bad guy played by Lawrence Oliver, tells them that if they’ll identify who Spartacus is, he’ll let them all live.  “Slaves you were and slaves you will be.”  You see this all takes place in 71 B.C. and no one has a cell phone or even a camera yet.  Even pen and paper are kind of scarce, so there are not even sketches of Spartacus and nobody on the Roman side knows what he looks like.  So Kirk Douglas stands up to give himself up so his guys can live.  But the two guys chained to him stand up as well and, when Kirk Douglas goes to open his mouth to say.  “I’m Spartacus.”  The other two guys beat him to the punch and yell out in unison.  “I’m Spartacus!”  Then another one of his guys realizes what has happened and he jumps up and screams.  “I’m Spartacus!”  Pretty soon every one of Spartacus’s guys is doing the same thing.  So there are thousands of his guys screaming out at the top of their lungs.  “I’m Spartacus.”  And, Kirk Douglas, realizing the enormity of it all that his men and he are all one and that they prefer death to slavery and betrayal, has tears running down his cheeks.  And, if you were in the theater in 1960 and watching this on the big screen in beautiful Technicolor, you were crying too.  But it was only a movie.  All anyone knows about the real Spartacus comes from a few Roman historians.  That would be like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity being the only guys to write a history of President Obama.  So the Spartacus in Senator Booker’s mind springs, from the imagination of Hollywerid.

But now that you know what Senator Booker is referring too, we can also get to the next major problem with it.  What the hell is Senator Booker talking about?  According to Senator Booker, he was going to reveal some confidential emails of Judge Kavanaugh’s.  But the emails weren’t confidential at all.  The guy who checks these things out already told Senator Booker that they were okay to release to the public.  But according to Senator Booker in his “I’m Spartacus” moment, this act would have him removed from the Senate.  But if leaking confidential information to the public led to the removal of a Senator, they’d only be about six people there right now, if that many.

Maybe Senator Booker should go for.  “Give me a no vote on the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh, or give me death!”  That’s from a real speech and Senator Booker could call this, his Patrick Henry moment.

Then of course there was Nathan Hale and Senator Booker could adapt that too.  “I only regret that I have one vote to use against the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh.”  And, that would be a bit more honest.  Also Senator Booker, unlike Nathan Hale, would still be around after his Nathan Hale, moment.

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Don Frankel

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