“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?,” Hillary Clinton said at a fund-raiser. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic – you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that.”
Those were the words that sealed Hillary Clinton’s fate. Her willingness to casually lump an enormous swath of America into a category she would later go on to call “irredeemable” spoke to how out of touch Clinton was with the nation. It was also the latest, and loudest, attempt by Democrats to paint principled opposition into something much uglier – racism.
It’s sad that we have to say it, but racism—true racism—not the wolf-cries of a desperate party, is absolutely abhorrent. It has no place in politics. It has no place in America. But neither does a political approach, born out of either laziness or malice, that relies on wrongfully destroying the character of candidates or voters.
Unfortunately, Democrats didn’t learn that lesson. As soon as President-elect Donald Trump chose Sen. Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general, the Democrat reflex to paint opponents as “deplorables” once again sprung into motion.
Slate’s Mark Joseph wrote that he would “spell absolute disaster for civil rights in America.” The NAACP’s Sherrilyn Ifill said it would be “unimaginable” for him to be selected because he is hostile to “equal rights” and “justice” itself. The Hill’s Jonathan Allen labeled him “beyond the ideological fringe” and his elevation to attorney general would create a situation “where nonwhites would have good reason to fear.”
Most disgustingly, MTV writer Ira Madisson III, asked Sessions to “kindly return this Asian baby to the Toys “R” Us you stole her from.” The “Asian baby,” who was sitting on sessions lap during a portion of the confirmation hearing, happens to be his granddaughter.
The reality is that Sen. Sessions is a Republican, who—gasp—holds traditional Republican positions on issues. For instance, he’s not hostile to voting rights, he just believes in the value of having voters present an identification at the ballot box to ensure integrity. He’s not anti-immigrant, he just believes in enforcement of our immigration laws and a pathway to citizens ion. Heck, liberals should cheer his position that no individual or company is “too big to jail” and his firm belief that bias exists in policing and that it’s “not legitimate.”
Fortunately, while liberals look to a few secondhand quotes to try and undermine Sessions character, we can point to plenty of concrete actions to demonstrate the quality of the man. Ann Corkery, a former U.S. public delegate to the UN General Assembly, works to straighten out the record:
After all, the smear that Sessions is, or was, a racist has come up against a mountain of hard evidence to the contrary. Sessions opposed race-baiting George Wallace when he attended college. In Alabama. In the 1960s. As U.S attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, Sessions prosecuted the Klan and its murderous thugs, and worked to desegregate public schools. Later, as Alabama’s attorney general, he went after the perpetrators of a series of black church arsons in the 1990s.
Senate Democrats might be forgiven for not knowing their Alabama history, but many of them have witnessed Sessions’ work in the Senate. He led Senate efforts in 2015 to honor the 50th anniversary of the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” civil rights march in Selma and participated in the commemorative march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. He sponsored legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and Coretta Scott King, He was one of just 19 Republican senators who voted to confirm the first African-American U.S. attorney general (Eric Holder). He passed the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 to remedy racial disparities in sentencing, winning the praise of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights for his efforts.
Notably, Sen. Sessions participated in the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Rep. John Lewis, and he partnered with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in awarding the Congressional Gold Medal.
“I feel blessed and honored to have partnered with Sen. Sessions in being the Senate sponsors of this important award,” Booker said of his work with Sessions.
And now, both Lewis and Booker have expressed their plans to testify against Sessions at the confirmation hearing. Has their opinion of the man changed? No. This is just the latest example of Democrats grasping at straws to further the notion that their opponents are deplorable. And in so doing they’ve revealed the true makeup of their own character.