I would be saddened by Jeff Sessions’ loss this week in the race for the U.S. Senate were it not for the fact that I detest virtually his entire political record.
Then again, there’s an element to Sessions’ defeat in the Republican primary in Alabama that does make me a bit, um, chagrined.
Sessions once served in the Senate. He was the first senator to endorse Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. He is partly responsible for Trump’s election in 2016 to the presidency. Trump appointed him attorney general.
Then he did what Trump wanted him to do. He enforced the separation of children from their parents who tried to enter the nation illegally. He endorsed the president’s call to end protections for undocumented immigrants who came here as children. Indeed, this former senator’s record is replete with efforts to dial back civil rights reforms. He is a throwback to the stereotypical white Southern politician. Sessions was Trump’s guy at Justice.
Then the AG did the unthinkable in the Lawbreaker in Chief’s world: He followed the law by recusing himself from DOJ’s investigation into allegations that Russia attacked our electoral system. His recusal resulted in the hiring of Robert Mueller as special counsel.
Sessions then managed to incur the rage of the man who once hailed him as a legal champion. Donald Trump demanded the AG show him blind loyalty. Sessions said he can’t do that. The law required him to recuse himself, as he couldn’t investigate a campaign in which he was a key player.
Trump was having none of it. He sought to humiliate Sessions. He ranted and raged against him via Twitter. Trump has declared that hiring Sessions as AG was the biggest mistake he has made as president. He fired Sessions, who then ran for his former Senate seat. On Tuesday, Sessions lost the Republican Party runoff to former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who Trump endorsed over Sessions.
It’s apparently over for Sessions. He won’t run for political office again. It’s not that I will miss this man’s contributions to public policy. However, I am chagrined that the single noble act he performed resulted in a form of political triumph for an imbecile — Donald Trump — who refuses to accept the reality that Jeff Sessions understood the boundaries he could not cross.