On paper, it is a record Democrats would love in a Trump appointment. He joined Democrats to fight for HIV/AIDS funding and then, when data showed HIV in rural areas was increasing, joined with Democrats again to fight for treatment of HIV in rural areas.
When data showed military contractors around the globe were skirting US law, he worked with Democrats to pass the Military and Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act to demand that any military contractor anywhere in the world comes under U.S. law and civilian employees of the Department of Defense anywhere in the world do too.
When Senator Ted Kennedy began raising concerns about rape in prisons in America, he was the Republican who stood up to declare it a bipartisan issue. Together, with Kennedy, they held hearings and structured legislation to protect inmates and educate and train prison guards.
When more and more data showed African-Americans were getting harsher sentences for cocaine and crack cocaine arrests, he worked with Dick Durbin of Illinois to pass the Fair Sentencing Act.
And when evidence showed sex offenders were slipping through the cracks and going under the radar, he worked with Richard Blumenthal to empower the U.S. Marshals Service to issue subpoenas to investigate unregistered sex offenders.
That is the bipartisan record any Democrat should hope for in a Republican Attorney General. It is safe to say that if Donald Trump were not the incoming President but a different Republican was, it is a nomination the Democrats would applaud.
But because it is Trump and because the Democrats feel a desperate need to show they still have some power, the Democrats are pulling out all the stops to scuttle Senator Jeff Sessions’s nomination as U.S. Attorney General.
Two newspapers on opposite sides of the nation do not run the same hit from the same angle without it being spoon fed to them by liberal organizations. So it is very telling that the angle of the attack was Jeff Session’s childhood in the South. That’s the best they can do.
The Washington Post attack gives you an idea of how desperate the Democrats are to stop him. Consider these two paragraphs:
Sessions’s long record in public life reveals a man who has hired African Americans for senior positions who speak highly of him, but who has been sharply criticized by civil rights groups for his positions on voting rights, same-sex marriage and gender equality.
In 1986, for instance, when he testified before Congress, he called the Voting Rights Act “intrusive” but “necessary.” Then in 2006, as a U.S. senator, he voted to renew the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. But seven years later, he said it was “good news . . . for the South” when the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the law, which made it more difficult for the federal government to protect people from racial discrimination in voting.
So, Jeff Sessions hires African-Americans for senior positions (including the head staffer of the Judiciary Committee, something no one had done before him), but he is a conservative. He doesn’t support same-sex marriage, along with more than half the country until the Supreme Court imposed it by fiat.
How dare he take a position held by a majority of Americans?!
And then, wait for it, he voted FOR the Voting Rights Act against the wishes of many in his state. He dared to recognize its intrusiveness, but thought it necessary.
When the Supreme Court left the Voting Rights Act in place, but struck one provision, Sessions supported the Court’s actions, including keeping the act in the place.
And then there is this silly attack:
As state attorney general in 1995, he argued against a decision by the Alabama Circuit Court to order the state to remedy funding inequities between the poorest school districts, which were heavily black, and their wealthiest, which were predominantly white. He did so on the grounds that taxing and spending power lay with the legislature, not the courts.
What Sessions did was argue that courts, under the Alabama constitution, had no power to do what was sought. What the Washington Post leaves out is that Sessions agreed the funding inequities needed to be remedied, but that they needed to be remedied within the constitutional framework, not by the courts in Alabama taking over the power of the purse. Does the left really support the courts taking over the power of the purse, which is what the plaintiffs were arguing? That’s a multi-hundred year old check and balance found in the English system of government going back before the revolution.
Here’s the thing both the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times patently refuse to consider.
Jeff Sessions was born in Selma, AL in 1946. Instead of being wedded to the views of that age, Sessions has repeatedly reached across the aisle to build bipartisan consensus and right the wrongs of the past.
That he has not done everything liberals want is why the left is attacking him. He prosecuted members of the KKK and he fought in favor of school desegregation. But he did not do it the way the left wanted, but did it in the way conservatives would handle it — through the process, not by ignoring or rewriting the process. Sessions does not believe the ends justify the means, but that he must find the lawful means by which to get to the right end.
Major African-American leaders in Alabama support Jeff Sessions. He has shown an ability to find bipartisan consensus on issues near and dear to the left, but he has done so without sacrificing his convictions. The newspapers had to get quotes from people Sessions prosecuted as Alabama’s Attorney General and a United States Attorney, who do not have the power to forgive or forget, to conclude he is a closet racist.
What’s really going on here is that the left thinks no one can grow up beyond the prejudices of their upbringing unless they align perfectly with the wishes of the left.
And again, it is striking that the left must go back 35 to 50 years to find things on which they would attack Jeff Sessions. It is even more amazing that the left had to feed this information to two major newspapers that would otherwise not report it. They wouldn’t do that except, because Harry Reid scrapped the filibuster for executive nominations, they have to amp up the hysteria and outrage.