Sessions shows where trusting snakes gets you. There’s a parable President Donald Trump loves to tell, about a woman who trusted a snake. The tale, from the 1968 Al Wilson song “The Snake,” ends with the reptile admonishing a woman: “You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.” (It is, like so much of Trump’s reign, on the nose enough to make living-in-a-simulation theories seem a little less kooky.) Former senator and attorney general Jeff Sessions might have done himself well to listen better when Trump told this story the first few times.
Sessions was an early cheerleader for Trump—among the first in the Washington establishment to welcome him in. And, as the very first senator to endorse him for president, Sessions was rewarded once Trump took office with a promotion to attorney general. Once there, Sessions pushed for and presided over some of the worst of the Trump administration’s immigration initiatives. (Sessions “was not only for ‘the Wall’ before Trump thought it was cool, he’s against legal immigration, too,” as Anthony Fisher pointed out in 2016.)
But Sessions quickly crossed Trump by recusing himself from the Russia investigation. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the president in the past few years it’s that he can’t stand any perception of less than lapdog-like loyalty.
“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump told The New York Times in July 2017. The president then continued to slag Sessions in public and private for the rest of his time leading the Department of Justice (DOJ), eventually showing Sessions the door in November 2018.
Trump apparently wasn’t satisfied with pushing Sessions out of the DOJ, however. Come Sessions’ announcement that he was running for his old seat in the Senate, Trump starting cheering on his Republican rival, former college football coach Tommy Tuberville.
On Tuesday, Tuberville beat Sessions with 60.7 of the vote to Sessions’ 39.3 percent, and Sessions became “a one-man cautionary tale about the risks of linking one’s career to a mercurial president to whom loyalty meant everything,” as The New York Times put it.
Still, let’s be clear: Sessions’ loss is America’s gain. “Reminder: Jeff Sessions Is a Drug War Dinosaur and Should Be Nowhere Near Government Power,” is a good place to start for more on that, though you may also want to see “8 Ways in Which Jeff Sessions Sucked” or “13 Reasons Jeff Sessions is a @$#/!“
Tuberville will face off against Democrat Doug Jones in November.
Wow, just called! @TTuberville – Tommy Tuberville WON big against Jeff Sessions. Will be a GREAT Senator for the incredible people of Alabama. @DougJones is a terrible Senator who is just a Super Liberal puppet for Schumer & Pelosi. Represents Alabama poorly. On to November 3rd.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2020
- Sen. Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) said he “took on an Asian trafficking ring” and freed a dozen women from sex slavery. It’s not true.
- “Trump’s former White House physician, Ronny Jackson, won in Texas and is all-but-certain to come to Congress in January,” reports Politico.
- “Will tech companies resist orders to cooperate with demands for information to root out dissidents” in Hong Kong?