In a bold declaration that has all the markings of grandstanding legislation, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris have co-sponsored a bill to make lynching a federal hate crime. It would seem this was a major oversight in the history of the Senate.

Despite a noted lack of a rash of lynchings taking place, many had wild praise for the Senator taking a bold stance against a not-very-prominent problem.

“Have to”. Because the concept of lynching being illegal was unclear to many people?

Needed? Have there been cases recently of people commiting lynchings who have gone free? Uh, nope. It was largely symbolic legislation, to make a statement regarding the past instances. Booker himself attests to this.

“We do know the passage of this bill, even though it cannot reverse irrevocable harm that lynching was used as a terror of suppression, the passage of this bill is a recognition of that dark past.”

If you are confused by the fact that murdering another person is already considered a serious crime you are not alone.

So if it is unneeded, and admittedly a mostly symbolic bill, what was the purpose of bringing this up in the first place? Could it possibly be to see what politicians from the opposition party might vote against it, and use that vote as a political tool? Not just cynics are thinking this way.

Annnnnnnd there it is. Most of the time a new law gets passed to address a serious problem. This one seems at least equally designed to create one. Republican Tim Scott, in a posssible bid to stem that effort, was also a co-sponsor on the toothless bill.

We are eagerly awaiting the next proposal from Booker, making the hijacking of stagecoaches a federal crime.