The bed Jeff Sessions made

Updated 11:50 AM; Posted 11:46 AM

FILE - In this Friday, April 21, 2017, file photo, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions stands near a secondary border fence during a news conference at the U.S.-Mexican border next to the Brown Field Border Patrol Station in San Diego. Sessions is scheduled to speak about immigration to a meeting of sheriffs, Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Las Cruces, N.M. (Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, File) (Hayne Palmour IV)

By Dana Hall McCain

There are many things about this moment in American political history which seem crystal clear to me. But one is not.

What in the world are we to think of Jeff Sessions?

Throughout the course of his senate career, I have generally been pleased with the way Sessions represented the state of Alabama. As a conservative, his voting record has aligned with my own inclinations the majority of the time. Immigration is one area where we differ considerably, but more on that later.
I respect that he has always, as a US Attorney, Alabama Attorney General, and in his role in the senate, displayed a high regard for the rule of law.

So it's entirely true to form that Sessions is striving to maintain the rule of law in his role as US Attorney General, even when politically inconvenient.

The problem is that he cast his lot with a man who doesn't share his respect for the law, and has a distorted sense of what the Department of Justice is supposed to do. A recent tweet of the President's clearly spells out that he believes the job of the Attorney General to be protecting the political interests of their party.

Donald J. Trump


Two long running, Obama era, investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department. Two easy wins now in doubt because there is not enough time. Good job Jeff......

2:25 PM - Sep 3, 2018

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I love it when the chief executive of our nation just says, right out in the open, that law enforcement should be deferred or denied for the sake of politics?

The honeymoon between Trump and Sessions ended abruptly when Sessions recused himself--correctly, by any known standard of legal ethics--from the investigation into Russian meddling and possible collusion in the 2016 campaigns. Since that time, Sessions has been publicly maligned on a level never before seen between a sitting president and a member of his own cabinet. Early on in the meltdown, Sessions offered to tender his resignation, but Trump declined to accept it. Yet the mean girl tweets keep coming. And Jeff just keeps taking it.

Should I feel sorry for Jeff Sessions?

He is, by all appearances, running the Department of Justice with the same commitment to the law he's always exhibited. And history may well reveal that his refusal to quit--thus allowing Trump to appoint a puppet AG who would fire Rod Rosenstein and shut down Bob Mueller's investigation--has been an act of self-sacrifice to protect the integrity of our nation.
But then again, what exactly did Sessions expect when he climbed upon that rally stage in Mobile and endorsed a person like Donald Trump? If Sessions is the man of character and integrity that many in our state have always believed him to be, didn't he know that lying down with dogs can give you an epic case of fleas?

We may never know, but there's a part of me that suspects that he saw in Trump a political novice with deep pockets and reality-TV fueled populist appeal, and believed that he could break that rough horse to achieve key policy goals--namely with respect to immigration.

Trump's willingness to harness the ugly power of identity politics and apply all the fear and anger that accompanies such to presidential politics may have looked to Sessions like an effective--if unsavory--pathway to drastically reducing both illegal and legal immigration to the US. Both have been longtime goals of his.

While I share the opinion of many conservatives that we are in need of major immigration reform, and that we must find solutions for curbing illegal immigration once and for all, the idea of drastically reducing legal immigration strikes me as both un-American and un-Christian. It is here where the Attorney General and I differ sharply.

So is Sessions a hero who's taking one for the team to keep a crazy man from wrecking our nation? Or did he let the promise of victory convince him to compromise his principles and back a horse he though could win--a horse that kicks him every chance it gets now.

How will history remember Jeff Sessions? Only time will tell.