Fox News host Megyn Kelly, correspondent Trace Gallagher and right-wing extremist and Trumpster guest Sheriff David Clarke all worked together to whitewash Senator Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) disturbing history on race. Civil rights attorney Eric Guster, the other guest, there to argue the other side, was so ridiculously ineffective, I have to wonder how much he was really trying to relay what is wrong with Donald Trump’s choice of Sessions as attorney general.
The discussion started with Gallagher providing Sessions’ history in a report that sounded like it had been rewritten from a Trump transition team press release. The gist of it was that Gallagher suggested Sessions has been unfairly tarred by something he was wrongly accused of 30 years ago. But Sessions’ record is actually more troubling. The New York Times reported what Gallagher did not:
Mr. Sessions, then the United States attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, had referred to the N.A.A.C.P. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (founded by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) as “un-American” and “Communist inspired.”
Even worse, the Times explains how “Alabama’s public schools, still underfunded, still separate and unequal, ranked near the bottom nationally, stand as one of Jeff Sessions’ most enduring legacies.”
The Nation reports:
Sessions hardly reformed his views after he was elected to the Senate in 1996. He frequently earned an “F” rating from civil-rights groups like the NAACP and “consistently opposed the bread-and-butter civil rights agenda,” Hillary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington office, told The New Republic. He voted to reauthorize the [Voting Rights Act] in 2006 but praised the Supreme Court’s decision to gut the law in 2013, cluelessly saying, “if you go to Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, people aren’t being denied the vote because of the color of their skin.” (As but one example of ongoing voting discrimination, his home state of Alabama tried to close 31 DMV offices, many in majority-black counties, after instituting strict photo-ID requirements to vote.)
And the point is not so much whether Sessions is a racist (though there is ample evidence in that regard, not the least of which is his closeness to Trump) but the fact that he has been tapped to oversee the federal agency responsible for enforcing our civil rights laws.
It was bad enough that Kelly, an attorney, didn’t say a word about that. She helped cloud the issue by asking Guster, “What’s the problem with Senator Jeff Sessions?” As if it was something not evident.
But what was Guster’s excuse for dancing around the subject in such an obfuscating way? Other than the fact that he’s now on the Fox News payroll? From the FoxNews.com transcript:
ERIC GUSTER, FOX NEWS POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: There are several problems with Senator Sessions. That’s why it’s very important that he is vetted. Now I’m not calling him a racist, but a lot of people feel that he is ...
KELLY: Based on what?
GUSTER: Based on his history. When you have a person who works with someone and call them 'boy' or who allegedly supported the KKK—
KELLY: Which he denies.
GUSTER: Which he denied, and that’s the purpose of vetting. That’s why it’s very important that through this process, for him to become attorney general, that he’s properly vetted, that people who have testimony that could go to his character are brought forth and under sworn testimony and told exactly what they are saying of what he may have said.
So, Megyn, he would be the attorney general, the person in charge of civil rights litigation for this nation. That’s why he must be one that is fair for everyone. That is not—has any racial bias or racial-type of leaning and he’s very fair to everyone. That’s why he would be everyone’s AG.
Of course, African-American black attacker Clarke didn’t pussyfoot around the way Guster did.
CLARKE: Oh, no, nothing wrong with vetting, but let’s be fair about this.
Look, President-elect Donald Trump could not have found a more fair, qualified, committed to the rule of law and equal justice under law for everybody than Senator Sessions.
I got to know Senator Sessions. I’ve worked with him on several issues on Capitol Hill. Look, I wasn’t around in ‘86, but most of those allegations have been discredited up to now. And this man, this fine man, I’m tired of people having their character assassinated by this, almost like a sport that the left likes to play.
When you can’t beat somebody on the merits, just throw the “R” word up there and then watch them squim and squirm, and then try to get out of it. ... I get tired of this “R” word being bandied about. Like I said, it’s as if it’s some sort of sport.
Kelly didn't challenge a word. Instead, she put her own thumb on the pro-Sessions scale with her next question:
KELLY: Eric, why would he put the head of the KKK in jail? Why would he go after the head of the KKK and do all the things you heard outlined in the Trace Gallagher report if he were some racist?
As it happened, Clarke broke in with some more jaw-dropping comments before Guster could answer.
CLARKE: Megyn, I refer to myself as a—when somebody says, well, sheriff, where are you from, I’d tell them—I’d tell them I’m a Milwaukee boy, OK. If some people are offended by that, I get that but that’s being hypersensitive.
Even with that outrageousness, Guster was still namby pamby:
GUSTER: Just because, just because he did his job, it does not mean he has a lack of—just because he did his job that one time does not mean that he is not a racist. That is why he needs to be vetted. I’m not saying that he’s a racist. However, he does have a history of not doing things that are fair to all people. That is why so many on the left want—
KELLY: Like what?
GUSTER: .want to make sure that he is properly vetted, that people are brought in—
KELLY: What specifically? Don’t just issue broad statements like that. What specifically has he done that’s not fair to people?
GUSTER: He put voter—he put several—he prosecuted several people who were registering voters, black voters and claimed that they were doing things illegally, which is not true.
He also—I’m from Alabama, so I know the history of Jeff Sessions and I’m aware of the things that he was accused of 30 years ago. And just because something happened 30 years ago does not mean that it’s too far away, that it’s not relevant now. Because this is the attorney general position, where he is in charge of civil rights litigation and we have such a broad, a broad lane of racial injustices happening that we need help.
Actually, Sessions didn’t just “claim” people “were doing things illegally, he prosecuted civil rights activists, who were registering other African Americans to vote, on trumped-up charges of voter fraud. At the time, Senator Ted Kennedy said that case, alone, was enough to bar Sessions from sitting on the federal bench. Yet civil rights attorney Guster – from Alabama, no less - couldn’t seem to articulate the problem.
Watch this despicable display from all parties below, from the November 21, 2016 The Kelly File.
“Ohhh my my, Ah’m gettin’ the vapors!!”
More likely a lesser position. There’s an opening for Secretary of Silly Hats reported by the Ministry of Silly Walks.
All tasteless kidding aside, Ellen pretty well documented Sessions’ problem. He earns an F on civil rights policy. We can make jokes about his Archie Bunker speak but what level of understanding and sensitivity is Beauregard going to have regarding the issues inflaming the black community and spawning Black Lives Matter?
Beauregard’s boss, Orange 🍊 Hitler, is on record spewing the standard Fox News talking points on cops shooting unarmed black men. He automatically segues to a hardcore law and order policy targeting black communities, the source of black anger to start with. So expect a Hair Hitler administration to crack down on the Black Lives Matters movement while doing their best to bypass Constitutional restrictions on stop and frisk.
You see the alt-right blames the black man for being killed by cops. They’re not passive enough in their choke holds. They tend to run away when suspected of no crime but their backs obviously threaten police officers. Etc.
Have you noticed Der Furor’s administration picks have all the diversity of a Klan rally? What’s next? Pat Buchanan to head Justice’s Civil Rights Division? 😱
Expect the next 4-8 years to be a backslide to the ’70s. Or horror or horrors the ’60s so we can relive the civil rights movement.
Sheriff Clarke is the perfect idiot for Fox News to exploit. He’s the angry Tea Party black man singled out via surgical data mining to fool conservatives into believing their whites first policies benefit African-Americans.
But, I’ll make sure to remind him I’m not being a racist. Just emulating his good buddy, Jefferson Beauregard.
Of course, since I’m just an average white guy without lots of money or power, he’ll probably be offended as hell.