We Need To Talk About Jeff

« April 2017 »


It is the cruelest of ironies that in the Trump administration, which has been frequently, accurately, and unfavorably compared to the Keystone Kops due to their inability to get anything right, the only one of them seemingly able to consistently enact policies that will do serious damage is the actual cop. I'm referring, of course, to Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions, whose only affinity with the Keystone Kops is around words that start with K, including ones that usually start with C.

In the past few weeks, Sessions has introduced plans and done things that are entirely indefensible, with the sole purpose of cutting back on police accountability at a time when a lot of us started realizing how badly we need more police accountability. And while it may be straight up tribal affiliation that says the right believes in letting the police do whatever they want, right or wrong, and then calling it right, there's enough in Jeff Sessions' past to make me suspect he thinks minorities need to be put back in their place after years of pushback against police misconduct.

The first thing Sessions is doing is is "reviewing" Obama-era consent decrees with cities whose police departments have gotten out of control. Sessions wants to get rid of them, even though cities like them and they've proven very effective in the past at improving relations between the police and the community.

Why does Sessions want to get rid of them? Because Obama imposed them to try to stop police departments from being racist. Sessions will probably use words like "burdensome", because, it certainly is a burden not to text racist shit back and forth to your co-workers while you're ostensibly protecting and serving. A lot of cops in a lot of departments don't want to be bothered with doing their jobs right, and Sessions is deep in the camp that thinks being "pro-cop" means coddling that attitude.

Jeff Sessions is also in charge of immigration enforcement, which, in the era of Trump, means demonizing undocumented workers as murderers and rapists while waiting outside courthouses to deport domestic violence victims and splitting up families. In a speech filled with talk of beheadings, human trafficking, and machete attacks, one word stood out in his prepared remarks. "filth". Referring to people. Sometime between people noticing the word in his prepared remarks and him giving the speech, the word mysteriously and awkwardly disappeared.

And of course you can defend it by saying he's talking about horrible people and it's OK to call them "filth". But when even Jeff Sessions realizes it's a loaded word, that word has a 0.35% blood alcohol level. It's indicative of a reign as Attorney General that will be constantly walking up to the line of overt racism and only backing off when you get caught.

But the most egregious, least defensible move of Sessions' reign thus far is the outright elimination of a Justice Department to improve forensic science and review cases that may have been tainted by bad forensic science. He's dcided to "move the effort in house" right before the independent commission was about to set standards, make decisions and recommendations, and finish its term.

In other words, Sessions is taking the decisions about what forensic techniques are accurate and which ones aren't out of the hands of scientists and back into the hands of the Justice Department, which is always a bunch of prosecutors, and currently a bunch of prosecutors led by a screaming racist. This is a horrible fucking idea, and only makes sense if you don't want any of your decisions or cases questioned, which is in line with the philosophies of Sessions and his boss.

When it comes to using his power to hurt people, Sessions is the frontrunner, even over the man who's discovering how fun it is to blow up browns.