Trump Topples Confederate Monument Jeff Sessions. No One Black Will Miss Him
Jeff Sessions "resigned" as attorney general Wednesday, and African Americans across the country living, dead, and somewhere in between, are rejoicing. Now, we are sensible people. We understand that Donald Trump whacked Sessions for no honorable reason, almost certainly to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation. We get that the acting attorney general, Matthew Whitaker, literally wrote a cover letter for the job posing as a CNN op-ed stating that Robert Mueller's investigation had "gone too far."
Just listen to us for a moment, white people: We know that Trump is shredding the rule of law and we've just advanced a few rounds in the fascism home game. We're going to be sad later, but just let us be happy right now. And, baby, are we happy.
Sessions is a despicable human being whose high-ranking position in Trump's White House was a constant slap in the face for black folks. One of Sessions's last acts was to warn the nation of the non-existent threat of voter fraud and lay out the Justice Department's plans to "monitor" ballot access as if he'd never heard of the 1871 Klan Act. His whole jam has been about keeping black people from polluting the purity of the ballot box -- just "one drop" in Georgia could turn your governor into Stacey Abrams.
I'm glad we no longer have an attorney general who received the harshest of legal Yelp reviews from civil rights leader Coretta Scott King, who wrote in a letter opposing his elevation to the federal bench that Sessions "used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot" by black citizens. She went on to eviscerate him for nine whole head-bobbing pages: "Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters." (Sound familiar?)
But people listened to black women in 1986 or at least were willing to listen to their written statements. During Sessions's confirmation hearings in 2017, Elizabeth Warren tried to read King's letter on the Senate floor but the Republican majority silenced her under the often-invoked Stanley Kowalski "we got a noisy woman in the place" rule. King's tough but measured words were apparently too much for the gentle ears of Mitch McConnell and the rest of the white male Republican senators, but in a "Twilight Zone"-worthy twist, Sessions would later become the brunt of Trump's regularly tweeted groin punches.
As a sitting senator, Sessions was Trump's first major endorsement during the Republican primaries. Sessions stiffed colleague and fellow gross person Ted Cruz, setting up Trump for crushing victories in the South on Super Tuesday that effectively cut off Cruz's path to the White House.
But not even Cruz would've made living Confederate monument Sessions attorney general. (At least probably not.) The road to his dream job was paved with tacky, fake gold from Trump's penthouse. If Sessions was later shocked that someone resembling Donald Trump's description would, as president, demand that he serve as his personal Tom Hagen, Sessions is as stupid as he is now unemployed. And I don't mean "fun-employed." There shall be no "fun" after the humiliating end of his political career. I hope he's sitting around in the dark in his underwear, unshaven, and drinking stale beer from a rusty can while wistfully imagining the minorities and gays he's yet to persecute.
Sessions was probably legitimately drawn to Trump because of a mutual enmity for immigration. He helped Trump take a "tiki torch" to DACA and even sued California over its sanctuary city policies, stating without apparent irony that "federal law is the supreme law of the land." (He'd literally claimed a year earlier when reversing an Obama-era directive on the matter that individual states could best decide if transgender students are people.) Worst of all, Sessions aided, abetted, and defended the administration's inhuman family separation policy. The elfin bigot even joked about the suffering of children.
Toward the end, Sessions was isolated and alone, just as he deserved. Good buddy Lindsey Graham claimed last year there'd be "holy hell" to pay if Trump fired Sessions, but yesterday, he boldly declared that he looked forward to helping the president choose his replacement.
It's also a source of supreme pleasure that Democrat Doug Jones won Sessions's old seat in the Senate, after Republicans in his home state tried to replace him with a mall-cruising pervert. (Wait what? Sessions is thinking of running against Doug Jones for his old Senate seat in 2020? Great. That's just great.)
Oh well, for now, let's remember Sessions during happier times (for us at least) when Kamala Harris made him piss his pants.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).