It seems we have a cabinet nomination. Word is the Jefferson Beuregard Sessions will be nominated Attorney General. Sen Sessions is an extreme reactionary. He is also, pretty clearly, an old fashioned racist (to complement the new wave alt-right racists). In 1986, Reagan nominated him as a judge and the nomination was rejected by the Senate, because of Session’s alleged racism. He addressed an African American attorney and “boy” and said he should be careful what he says to “white people” and he said he thought the KKK was OK until he learned that some of them smoked marijuana.
I wonder if the Senate will approve the nomination of Sessions as Attorney General. There are three reasons to think they might. First, he is a Senator and if not approved will come back to haunt and hold. Second, Republicans have become much more extreme than they were in 1986 and so the smaller current GOP majority implies a larger minority of right wing loonies. Finally, the general rule that the President should be allowed to pick his team and the very large number of unacceptable nominees will imply that the bar for approval is very very low.
On the other hand, I think there is one reason that Sessions might end up in trouble. He is a Senator.
He contests the allegations of racism. I think he has chosen to lie (as is his right). As a sworn in witness, he will lose that right. Lies become felonies. I think that even extremely dishonest and arrogant people tend to be cautious when testifying in front of Senate committees. I’m not sure that Sessions will be. He isn’t afraid of the Senate. That’s where he has worked for years and years. He doesn’t fear his colleagues with whom he has worked for years and years.
He will be testifying in the particular rooom where he works day after day (Tuesday through Thursday with lots of recesses).
Also he is used to Senatorial comity (which has been something which constrains Democrats and not Republicans for years).
I think Sessions can be provoked into telling lies under oath. I think witnesses prepared to testify under oath that he is lying can be found (and the minority can call them). I think it is possible to block confirmation of Senator Sessions by the other Senators (for one thing I don’t think he can vote on the resolution to confirm him).
My guess is that he is confirmed. But I am not sure.