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Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III: A Line in the Sand

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As I have stated before, any senator who votes to confirm Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as Attorney General should be expelled from the Democratic Party. Charlie Pierce agrees:

There is only one exception at this point. Any Democratic senator who votes to confirm Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as Attorney General should immediately be rendered dead to the party and to every Democratic voter in the country. The context of the immediate moment makes this imperative.

If it isn’t clear by now, there’s a powerful new campaign of voter suppression coming down the road. It doesn’t matter whether the sudden amplification of the “voter fraud” meme is due to the fact that the president* is delusional on the subject, or due to the fact that he needed a diversion from the stories about Russian ratfcking that were beginning to pile up on the South Lawn, or simply due to the fact that Republicans suppress votes because they’re Republicans.

It could be for one of those reasons. It could be for all three of them. The motive isn’t the point. The point is that we soon likely will be in the middle of the greatest political brawl over the franchise since 1965.

At a moment like this one, it simply will not do to have someone in the attorney general’s office who was deemed too racist to be a federal judge 30 years ago. It will not do to have someone in the attorney general’s office who launched a dirty-tricks prosecution of voting-rights activists when he was a U.S. Attorney in Alabama. It will not do to have someone in the attorney general’s office who greeted the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013 by noting that it was “good for the South.”

Jefferson Beauregard Sessions simply will not do.

It doesn’t matter if the next nominee is worse. Beat that person, too. It doesn’t matter how tough this may make your next re-election campaign; you didn’t get elected to get re-elected. The issue of voting rights is too important to the country—and, god knows, to the party—for it to yield to any other consideration. It is an existential issue, for the republic and for the Democrats. There is no room for compromise or horse-trading. The Democratic Party should stand for the expansion of the franchise and for a greater ease in exercising it. Neither of these goals has a chance with Jefferson Beauregard Sessions running the Department of Justice.

All of this. I find Democratic votes for Ben Carson or Rex Tillerson pathetic. And we can argue that there’s a line in the sand to be drawn over Betsy DeVos and Tom Price. But Sessions, that is completely unacceptable. Basically every Democrat except for our Senators is quickly coming to understand that complete resistance is the only response to Trump. We already see what happens when you have a mentally ill president with a Nazi as his top advisor in the White House. This is literally the position we find ourselves in. Nothing positive can come of a single vote for Jeff Sessions at this time. We are already looking at the legal rollback of much of the civil rights movement in the next 4 years. And I say that without hyperbole. There can be no reason for any Democrat to be complicit in this.

And that includes Joe Manchin. I actually think Manchin gets a bad rap from liberals. His voting record is actually pretty good on most issues, all things considered. And he is a Democratic senator in what may well be the most racist state in the nation, one that has gone hard right in the last decade largely because Barack Obama was president. He has to vote for coal to survive, and I am largely OK with that barring his vote meaning something for legitimate climate change legislation. But he simply cannot vote for someone who is going to repeal the civil rights movement. If Democrats stand for ANY ONE THING, it is this. We are pro-civil rights. We refuse to allow this to happen. And if you contribute to that by voting for a modern Nathan Bedford Forrest as Attorney General, you are finished as a Democrat.

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