Trump Nomination Approval Hearings
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.
“Republicans have become much more extreme than they were in 1986 ”
Absolutely. Now we need progressives to understand how that change went nuclear in 2008. How it has gotten worse. And how combating it is not by playing nice with others.
I think we finally have some now-high-profile Dems who fully understand this. But as I said in my new post, we also need a MASSIVE information campaign. And we need it to begin, like, tomorrow.
The confirmation process will shock a good percentage of the country. See my new post, just above this one.
Elizabeth Warren is on the Judiciary Committee AND the Banking Committee. Can’t wait for those Treasury Sec’y hearings:
And Dianne Feinstein was just named ranking member of Judiciary. She’s never been a favorite of mine, but she will be VERY TOUGH in getting subpoenas for witnesses and VERY TOUGH in her questions.
No one Trump nominates can ever live up to the glorious legacy of Eric Holder .
I suppose liberals can look at Donald Trump’s nominees and view this as “the triumph of right-wing reactionaries” and feel some degree of dismay. But against this, we can note that being appointed to a White House post or Cabinet Officer is generally about as high as one can rise in American politics. How many of Obama’s Cabinet members have run or are likely to run for President, for example? And how has that turned out, so far?
My point is, a year and a half ago Republicans pointed to their 17 or 18 or 120 would-be Presidential contenders and described them virtually as Paladins, Knights of the Round Table in all their glory, campaigning to fill the leadership role opening up with the departure of King Barak, the Moslem Monarch. And in the tournament that followed, Sir Jeb! and Sir Mario and Sir Ted and Lady Carly and others of high rank were most precipitously unhorsed by the unheralded Sir Donald. And now, shamed and wounded and having bared their heads toward their conqueror Sir Donald and accepted him as their Leige …. Let’s just say that poets will ignore most of these folks in later cantos of the Republican Camelot.
Switching analogies, Donald Trump has basically wiped out the Republican’s Presidential Bench, and the people he chooses to elevate now are unlikely to reach such heights of regard. Jeff Sessions may well be an unpleasant Attorney General; the more blatantly this becomes clear, the less likely that he will ever be president himself. Doubtless, this is true of most of Trump’s appointees.
I think this post has struck as it has really become a sad day in America when no good really good leaders want to become president because our government has lost its way and become so corrupted. Trump has only stepped up to fill the void and has used his brash and bluster ways to get his way and filled the void. His skills as a true leader will always be in question and suspect as will his beliefs and motives for doing will also be in question.. Trump comes across to me more as a P.T. Barnum type rather than a true political leader with great integrity and sophistication. But then on the other hand “if one strives for perfection he can capture excellence” will always true. Time always tells.
It depends on what Democrats want to accomplish. The political advantage of grinding on Sessions is pretty uncertain. He’ll be confirmed and the hearing will be forgotten as the Trump administration will be judged on their record. But it might be fun and fun is something I think Democrats will be looking for next year.