Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearings began today, and it looks like he’s in for a borking. He’s been fighting off accusations of racism and bigotry all day, and tomorrow Sen. Cory Booker will be making Senate history in being the first sitting senator to testify against another sitting senator for a cabinet position post during a confirmation.
Earlier today Session fought against what he called “amazing” allegations that he harbors racial bias, insisting to a Senate panel today that decades-old accusations suggesting he supported the Ku Klux Klan are absolutely false. The claims are especially ironic considering that nearly every single KKK member (former or then-current) to serve in the Congress has been a Democrat. Still, the smears matter more to those wishing to discredit Sessions, and it wasn’t just politicians launching charges of racism against the man today.
As The Hill reported: Protestors dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan interrupted Tuesday’s confirmation hearing of Attorney General-designate Jeff Sessions, chiding the Alabama senator for past allegations of racist comments.
The two protestors were dressed in white robes and hoods, holding foam fingers with “KKK” and “Go Jeffie Boy” written on the hands. They chanted sarcastic praise at Sessions, as well as comments like “protect all the whites.” Seconds after the protests began, Capitol Police restrained the protestors and escorted them out of the hearing. < Sessions’s 1986 nomination to a federal district judgeship was scuttled after accusations that Sessions had made racist comments during his time at the Department of Justice and called the NAACP “un-American.” Democrats have pointed to those allegations in concert with the Justice Department’s purview of issues like voting rights and minority rights as reasons they are concerned about his nomination.
“Thirty years ago, the Senate rejected Sessions’ appointment to a federal judgeship because he was deemed too extreme then,” Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile said in a statement Tuesday morning. “If they confirm him now, Republicans will be turning back the clock on all the progress we’ve made as a nation.”
But Sessions has denied those comments, and his allies have furiously fought back against those allegations.
In a statement to The Hill last week, his spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores, blasted the accusations as a “smear campaign.”
“Senator Sessions’ four decade career in public service includes bipartisan victories on criminal justice issues … and bipartisan endorsements that include law enforcement, victims rights organizations, and African American leaders,” she said.
But of course the mainstream media won’t bother telling you the truth about Jeff Sessions. The charges against him are especially bizarre when you actually review his Civil Rights record.
As the Weekly Standard’s Mark Hemingway reminds us, as a U.S. Attorney he filed several cases to desegregate schools in Alabama. And he also prosecuted Klansman Henry Francis Hays, son of Alabama Klan leader Bennie Hays, for abducting and killing Michael Donald, a black teenager selected at random. Sessions insisted on the death penalty for Hays. When he was later elected the state Attorney General, Sessions followed through and made sure Hays was executed. The successful prosecution of Hays also led to a $7 million civil judgment against the Klan, effectively breaking the back of the KKK in Alabama.
Thanks to Sessions, Henry Francis Hays was the first white man executed in Alabama for murdering a black person since 1913. Sessions spent the better part of two decades going after the Klan in Alabama, and that should be kept in mind when you assess the decades-old charges that he is racist.
Lastly, it’s become evident that you can’t teach an old leftist new tricks, as they tried to exact same smear strategy back in the 1980s when Reagan tapped Sessions to serve on the federal bench.
When it comes to aimlessly smearing conservatives with accusations of racism, will the millionth time be the charm?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]