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Opinion | It’s time for Biden to replace Garland with Doug Jones

Merrick Garland’s timid, calculating approach doesn’t work for today’s political climate.

Sen. Doug Jones during a 2020 livestreamed press conference.

It’s time for U.S. Attorney General Doug Jones. 

Actually, it’s long, long past time for President Joe Biden to make this move. To usher out timid, placating Merrick Garland and appoint Jones to the position. And the last week or so has made this crystal clear. 

As much of Alabama, and a number of people from across the country, honored the lives of the four little girls lost to violence and racism and ignorance in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham 60 years ago, it was hard to overlook Jones’ role in bringing the men responsible for that atrocity to justice. 

And it was even harder to overlook how much we could use such toughness and tenacity, such thick skin and an unwillingness to compromise on truth in the AG’s office. 

Jones didn’t have to prosecute the 16th Street Church bombers when he did. Nearly 40 years had passed since the bombing. There was no public outcry. He would face plenty of death threats and trouble and critics. There would be plenty of average (white) people who just didn’t understand the point of dredging up the past.  

But Jones didn’t care. 

Four young girls had died for the grievous sin of being born with black skin. Their families hadn’t received justice. Their mamas were living with that injustice. 

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Jones knew the right thing to do. So, he did it. 

And he didn’t appoint a special prosecutor to make sure the complaints of the KKK were fully investigated. And he didn’t apologize for prosecuting those criminals or feel a need to placate the cries of unfairness from the other side. 

God help us, we could use that right now. 

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not looking for a partisan hack, in the mold of Bill Barr, who will come in and serve as the president’s and the Democratic Party’s lawyer. No, I just want an AG with the fortitude to meet the times we’re in, to uphold the law while beating back the crazies at the gate. 

Give me the guy who already has the necessary experience battling fascists and Nazi-sympathizers and unabashed racists. 

Look, I have no doubt that Garland is a good and decent man. I have no doubt that his intentions are good and that he wants what’s best for the country. 

But this isn’t the same country anymore. One of our major political parties has been overtaken by fringe extremists who no longer are interested in the rule of law or fairness. They want what they want, and they’re perfectly willing to do literally anything – including storming our Capitol with the intent to murder the Vice President and members of Congress – to accomplish their goals. 

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These people have elected a group of imbeciles who can’t manage the decorum required for a full production of “Beetlejuice” and who are right now planning to impeach the president of the United States for … something that they may or may not figure out in the future. 

But with Garland’s unintended help, these people have managed to turn the president’s troubled son’s problems with drugs and a routine gun registration issue into something equally as awful as the previous guy’s multiple felonies for literally attempting a coup. 

It doesn’t seem to matter that we’re all supposed to simultaneously believe that Joe Biden is a senile fool barely capable of spooning soup into his mouth three times per day and also the mastermind of a multi-year, billions-of-dollars scheme that spanned the globe; and that his son, Hunter, is both an out-of-control crackhead so unhinged he left a baggie of cocaine in the White House and also a cunning fraudster who managed to run a billion-dollar scheme that four years of investigating by Republicans still hasn’t exposed. 

It’s utter insanity. 

As is the GOP’s insistence upon equating the discovery of classified documents in Biden’s garage and the scandal that has led to one of Donald Trump’s many indictments. The difference, of course, being that Trump – for reasons no one can comprehend, but almost certainly having to do with him making money – attempted a too-dumb-for-Scooby Doo scheme to hide and keep his own classified documents. 

And yet, we have not one, but TWO special counsels investigating the president and his son over this nonsense. Because Garland doesn’t want the DOJ to be seen as biased. 

Enough is enough. 

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Give us an AG who will prosecute criminals (even if that criminal is the president’s offspring) and tell the loud-mouthed insurrection apologists to have a seat in the corner where they belong. An AG who will protect the U.S. constitution while recognizing that protecting democracy and American institutions is equally important. 

But most of all: Someone who understands that placating crazy only leads to more crazy. 

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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