Still trying to get over the flu or get my strength back from it, I tried to watch the Senate confirmation hearing for Jeff Sessions, who will be I am sure our new U.S. Attorney General. But alas I could not get interested. Congressional hearings are all about grandstanding, either softball questions and outright time-wasting endorsements lobbed toward the subject by his supporters or self-serving statements and sometimes loaded questions from his detractors.
I don’t pretend to know the truth about Sessions (he’s always been painted as a racist and bigot), except I suspect he is a racist from way back, from when it was still cool in many circles to be a racist — you know, protect tradition, our way of life and such.
A son of the deep South, Sessions has a reputation of being a racist, but of course he denies it all. He was denied a federal judgeship over the charges but his position is it was all politics. He has an undisputed reputation as being ultra-conservative. And you know, there may be a lot of ways to describe what it is to be conservative but really it is fairly simple: you tend to like the status quo, or at least the status quo of the time you thought, well, the time you thought America was great…
Sessions no doubt found it necessary to adapt over the years (the late Gov. George Wallace of Session’s own home state of Alabama once vowed “segregation now and segregation forever,” and then later when it suited his politics he became the champion of poor blacks, who voted to keep him in the governor’s mansion).
And Sessions did his prep work for the hearings so he knows what to say. From what I did hear him say, he seemed to take the clever and really not totally dishonest route of vowing to uphold laws that he may not personally support but sometimes with the subtle qualification it could depend upon the circumstances of an individual situation or case. And you know, prosecutors have discretion on how they use the law. They make human decisions. The legal system does not just feed the data of guilt and innocence and evidence into a computer and let it issue an answer as to who and under what circumstances to prosecute or whi
But does this all make any difference? Our new president has majorities in both houses of congress and can pretty much do as he pleases, as long as he can get his own political party to agree. And he won the election according to our own convoluted system that many of us did not fully appreciate how convoluted it was.
So barring any major, and I mean major, disqualifying factor, let’s just get the hearings over with and proceed.
Now admittedly, Trump has chosen some wild cabinet picks, many of whom almost seem to want to dismantle the agencies they are to head.
But elections have consequences.
Trump vows to make “America Great Again”. I’m not at all sure what his definition of great is, but the electorate has spoken. I mean even if our weird electoral college system does skew things, if Trump was all that anathema to what a large portion of the voting public (albeit not the numerical majority) wanted I don’t think he would be where he is now — in the cat bird seat. I’m thinking there must have been a lot of silent Trump supporters, some who voted for him and some who sat it out.
There is danger on the horizon. Our standing in the world as a nation is at stake and so may be our own personal liberty. My suspicion is that the average Trump supporter thinks freedom of speech only applies to people who think like they do or not much at all. Too much thinking is for eggheads and liberals…
All I can say at this point is: “Hey, I didn’t vote for him” and let the circus begin…
Backgrounder (from Wikipedia):
Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III (born December 24, 1946) is the junior United States Senator from Alabama. He is a member of the Republican Party. He currently ranks fifteen in seniority in the United States Senate and became the most senior junior Senator upon the retirement of Barbara Boxer in January 2017.
From 1981 to 1993, he served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. Sessions was elected Attorney General of Alabama in 1994, and to the U.S. Senate in 1996, being re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014. Sessions is considered one of the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate…