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Opinion | Jeff Sessions’ lonely island

You live by the cowardice, you die by the cowardice.

Jeff Sessions is learning that lesson the hard way these days, as he adjusts to life on his lonely, lonely island.

Years of bigotry and shadiness alienated him from everyone center-right and to the left. And now, the poor ol’ fella has done been out-bigoted by a Yankee — Donald Trump, interim president.

And that Yankee has made awful comments about Sessions.

Said he talked like he had a mouth full of marbles. Said he went to a substandard law school, the University of Alabama.

Trump has tossed Sessions under so many buses at this point, he’s starting to resemble the possum that “SNL” makes him out to be.

And yet, as this Yankee insults one of Alabama’s true sons — a man so southern that he carries the name of a Confederate president AND one of the Dukes of Hazzard — there isn’t so much as a peep from the Alabama Republican guard.

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As Sessions has come under repeated attack from Trump, not one prominent Alabama Republican has come to his defense. Except for Gary Palmer. So, as I said, no one.

Not Mo Brooks. Not Bradley Byrne. Not Mike Rogers. Not Martha Roby. Not even longtime Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby.

They’ve all sold out Sessions for Trump, a deranged lunatic who will be an embarrassment to this country for generations to come. All because Sessions made the right decision for once in his life and righly recused from the Russian collusion probe.

So, for finally doing the right thing, Sessions will probably be fired. And he’ll be fired by a president who, on Sunday, while again vilifying Sessions, openly advocated for the U.S. AG to determine criminal prosecutions based on political party affiliations.

And still, not a peep from Sessions’ party mates.

Which should come as a shock to no one.

Because today’s GOP is the party of cowardice.

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The entire party platform is built on fear and scare tactics. Its members vote in lockstep, afraid to step out of line. And its voters are the ones who fall for the oh-my-God-we’re-all-gonna-die sales pitches.

Sessions should know this better than anyone.

He’s built an entire political life peddling fear and playing the victim — whether it’s convincing everyone that black people are vilifying cops by asking not to die for no good reason or pretending that colleges are disenfranchising white people by prioritizing diversity or proclaiming that the true victims of religious bigotry are the American Christians with the churches on every corner.

Sessions has been playing this game for decades now, just waiting on the party to shift to the extreme right enough that it embraces blatant white supremacy and finally his views wouldn’t be so radical.

It’s actually quite the glorious irony that Sessions would have his dream job ripped away from him because some New York loudmouth was better at being a racist.

Because that’s exactly what’s happened.

As Trump has continued to blow his racist dog whistles, causing the ears of Alabama’s racist rednecks to perk, defending Sessions became more and more of a political liability to the state’s elected officials.

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The same guys who donned red MAGA hats and gleefully enjoyed being Sessions’ guest at rallies and DC parties are now pretending like they’ve lost the guy’s number, can’t remember his name and never really knew him that well.

Because, at the end of the day, they are cowards.

That’s all they’ve ever been. That’s all the party has been built on — absolute fear of everything and everyone different.

Different skin color, different religion, different dress, different language, different origin.

They’re scared of it all. And they’ve convinced their voters to be scared of it.

But there’s a cost to pushing all of that fear: When you need someone to get your back in a tough situation, there are nothing but cowards around.


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Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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