Jeff Sessions has enjoyed the most bizarre arc of all the zany characters that Donald Trump has foisted upon us. It was during his confirmation hearing, in which Elizabeth Warren attempted to read an opposition letter penned by the late Coretta Scott King, that Warren was silenced by Mitch McConnell. The Senate Majority Leader invoked rule XIX and later defended doing so by saying:
“Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”
At that point, Sessions enjoyed right at zero approval across the progressive spectrum. But once it became clear that Donald Trump might try and fire the U.S. Attorney General in order to install an alternative who might be more amenable to undermining the Russia investigation, a sort of devil’s bargain emerged.
The left never really rallied around Sessions based on merit, but we’re all just terrified enough by the wholesale lack of decorum by the Trump administration that we don’t want to find out who in the hell Donald Trump would prefer to Jeff Sessions.
That position is becoming less tenable as Jeff Sessions just praised the nation’s sheriffs — then referenced the “Anglo-American heritage” of law enforcement.
“I want to thank every sheriff in America. Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people’s protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process,” Sessions told members of the National Sheriffs’ Association during their winter conference in Washington.”
He then added:
“The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement.”
Sessions, with his long reputation of racism, was immediately slammed by the NAACP for his choice of words. Officials were quick to point out that Sessions had gone off-script for the ‘Anglo-American’ comment, but pointed out that sometimes that term is used to refer to the British roots of the American legal system. More commonly, that post Magna Carta inheritance of law is called “common law.”
Common law is the preferred term for just about everybody — but especially when the overwhelming majority of the country thinks you’re a fully racist little Keelber elf we only abide in order to protect ourselves from an unknown and greater evil.
Common law becomes an even more obvious choice when you’re a long-accused racist praising law enforcement after having paid dust to to the entire Black Lives Matter movement.