Thursday, July 27, 2017

Trump to Sessions: "You're fired (sort of)"

Makes you kinda wish our wee attorney general would file a complaint under the EEOC against an abusive boss who created a hostile working environment, doesn't it?


In a twist none of us saw coming, President Trump has now declared war not on Iran or North Korea (that’s probably being held back for sweeps week), but rather on his own attorney general.

After ramping up his criticism of Jeff Sessions in the past week, going as far as to say he wouldn’t have appointed the former Alabama senator had he known that Sessions would recuse himself from the investigation into Trump’s Russian contacts, Trump took his case to Twitter, which is how you can always tell this president is serious about something.

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!” Trump tweeted. A word spelled out in all capital letters is how you know this president is really serious about something.

A reminder to those who have noticed how Trump's consistent and over-arching demand from subordinates has been loyalty: no one has been more loyal to this president, right from the jump, than Sessions, and this is what he's earned for it.

Sessions was the first senator to embrace Trump when he joined the campaign just after the South Carolina primary, at a crucial moment. But his symbolic value to Trump ran deeper than that.

A culturally conservative lawman in the tradition of the old, segregationist South, Sessions embodied a powerful, nostalgic current in Southern Republican politics. When he stepped up to a podium in Alabama, just before Super Tuesday, and acknowledged that “we don’t get everything we want” in a candidate while embracing Trump, he sent a signal that religious Southerners could trust a coarse New York billionaire to hold the line against immigrants and liberal chauvinists.

Sessions took the “Make America Great Again” slogan that Trump slapped on a hat and gave it meaning in parts of the country where Trump could easily have seen the nomination slip away.

Later, when a lot of Trump’s allies distanced themselves from the man overheard deriding women on a hot mic, there was Sessions on the Sunday shows and in the debate spin rooms, uncompromisingly vouching for the candidate’s inner morality.

Now here’s Trump talking to the Wall Street Journal this week: “When they say he endorsed me, I went to Alabama. I had 40,000 people. … He looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, ‘What do I have to lose?’ And he endorsed me. So it’s not like a great loyal thing about the endorsement.”

Oh. So I guess it’s like that.


Before some haughty neoliberal wants to say I'm being sympathetic to our Confederate General Beauregard Sessions, let me point out that anybody else Trump appoints to be the nation's top lawman -- such as Rudy Giuliani or Ted Cruz -- would not a) recuse from the Russian investigation, thus be in place to stonewall or derail it; and b) would be Robert Mueller's new boss, which is to say that Mueller wouldn't be special prosecutor for very long after the FNG's swearing-in.

(Here) is the larger lesson of Trump’s public breach with Sessions. Once again, the guy who held himself out on TV as the world’s toughest and most successful CEO turns out to be, in real life, a surprisingly whiny and ineffectual manager.

I mean, Trump has now publicly charged that his own attorney general — the seventh public servant in the line of succession to the presidency — is weak, delinquent in his duties and damaging to the institution of the presidency. If that’s even partly true, the American legal system is in grave peril.

So what does the blustery president do, this guy whose catchphrase, “You’re fired!,” catapulted him to national celebrity?

He complains. He tweets. He talks smack and waits for someone else to act, like a high school kid too scared to break up with his girlfriend.

So because Trump is quite literally so weak a man that he cannot actually fire Sessions ... he wants to see if he can make him quit.  (Sessions says he ain't quittin', FWIW.)  It's left the experienced hands in the DOJ reeling.

Mr. President, you chose this AG. He reports only to you. If he’s so terrible for the country, then man up and find the stones to fire him.

That’s what TV Donald Trump would have done. But this Trump we have now — the one with a real job in the real world — seems paralyzed by insecurity. He wants other people to make the tough calls.

Sessions can’t stay in his job for long — that seems clear enough. Trump wants an AG who will move to shut down the independent counsel, and somewhere out there is a legal scholar craven enough to do it. (Look up “Bork, Robert” in your history book.)

It’s only a question now of whether Sessions can stomach the abuse long enough to get himself pushed aside, or whether he’ll do Trump’s bidding one last time and ultimately stand down.

I don't suppose anybody reading this has ever had a boss like this, have you?  I've only had a few myself, but they weren't overall quite this bad.

Probably can't replace him via recess appointment (remember, Obama tried that and the SCOTUS shot him down).  This week's latest constitutional crisis wasn't, of course, enough for President Orangutan; he had to throw in a few insults at the Republican senators who so far haven't managed to repeal Obamacare, regale the Boy Scouts with a bawdy tale about a rich man's yacht party, declare transgendered soldiers unfit for duty,  and ... I must be missing a few things.

Even as news breaks this morning that Scaramooch is trying to push Reince Priebus out -- demanding he prove that he is not the White House leaker -- we have to wonder how this president and this administration would handle a real crisis, such as an incident involving North Korea.  I'm concerned they would behave as poorly as they have with these manufactured ones.

1 comment:

Smiths Harper said...

Omigosh, that is the most hilarious comic I've seen all week. I want to see Jeff Sessions go, but dang, not because Bullier-In-Chief harrasses him into going.