Finally, someone said it. There is a culture of abuse within the republican party that needs to be addressed.
I’m glad Jeff Sessions is running for Senate, despite the real possibility — probability, even — he might win.
We need Sessions in the news right now, for no other reason than to show how strained our political psyche has become. We need to bottle this moment up and save it for future generations to study as a warning.
Move over Stockholm Syndrome. Make room for Jeff Sessions Syndrome.
You see, it’s easy for unemployed football coach Tommy Tuberville to say he’s for Trump.
For Rep. Bradley Byrne, it’s a bit harder. He had that whole thing where he said Trump should drop off the 2016 ticket after Trump was caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women. And then Trump didn’t.
But Byrne has cured his disloyalty by storming the citadel in the U.S. Capitol basement, demanding all those Democrats — and 40-something Republicans — make the impeachment hearings open.
Heck, everybody’s so busy showing how big and how loud they support President Trump that Roy Moore can’t even get attention for being Roy Moore.
But praising a man who consistently and constantly calls you his greatest failure is a higher level of sucking up that neither Byrne nor Tuberville can ever hope to achieve. Not even South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham may dream to prostrate himself so completely.
We need Sessions as an exemplar of what once-respected Republicans have become, how they will defer to Trump even when he degrades them personally. Sessions kissed up to Trump straight out of the gate.
But before we consider what Sessions has to say about Trump, let’s revisit what Trump has said about Session.
I put quotes around those words because, first, I didn’t say them and, second, they’re disgusting and I wouldn’t say them. Maybe when I was in fifth grade, but I’ve matured since then. However, the president of the United States hasn’t matured and he’s the one who did say them, according to Bob Woodward — about Jeff Sessions.
And that’s not all.
Meh, this requires further consideration.
I’m not sure how anyone could be a two-person country lawyer, but moving on …
That one came from directly from @realdonaldtrump onTwitter.
That came from Twitter, too, and the all-caps are his. Face it, if these were blurbs on a movie trailer you wouldn’t let your friends go see it.
“[W]ith Jeff Sessions, it was a disaster. Just a total disaster. He was an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama. And I put him there because he endorsed me, and he wanted it so badly. And I wish he’d never endorsed me.”
That’s from an interview Trump gave Sebastian Gorka, who’s no Bob Woodward, but nobody from the White House disputed it. Trump even fantasized about Sessions’ endorsement never happening.
It’s beginning to seem like the president doesn’t appreciate Sessions’ endorsement.
In any normal universe, when someone says they don’t like you, when they call you a failure and an embarrassment and words polite people quit using decades ago, no one with any self-respect would be associated with that person, much less brag about how much they like the person who publicly eviscerated them.
And yet …
In Sessions’ first campaign ad, the once and maybe future senator portrays endorsing Trump as among his greatest achievements. In fact, Sessions doesn’t mention any other achievements. So far, being the first senator to endorse Trump is his campaign.
The campaign spot begins with a 2016 clip of Sessions in Mobile endorsing Trump and putting a red MAGA hat on his head. It then cuts back to a current-day clip of Sessions.
“You know, out of the 100 United States Senators, I was the very first one to stand with Donald Trump,” Sessions says. “While the others were hiding under their desks, I went to work.”
The ad concludes with Sessions donning the red MAGA hat again and swearing his loyalty to the president who hates him.
“I’ll keep fighting for President Trump and his agenda,” Sessions says before approving his message.
The president has bragged that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose the backing of his supporters. His lawyers have even argued this in court. But I’m beginning to believe, if he shot Jeff Sessions, Sessions would cry “I still love you, Mister President!” as he bled out on the ground. Sessions has predicated his campaign on the notion this isn’t in any way weird, and that Republican field seems to believe the only criterion that matters is fealty to Trump, not what good any of them could do for Alabama.
I can’t watch this ad without thinking it will be shown in college classrooms one day — in political science or history classes maybe, but more likely in psychology — as an example of people who defend their abusers and side with their kidnappers.
Of how a once-great political party became a personality cult.
When the lights dim and the screen flares up, some bespectacled professor in a tweed coat will insist what they’re about to see is real, even if they can’t bring themselves to believe it.
And I hope, when those students watch that clip, that their professors can make sense of it for them, because dang if I can make sense of it now.