Sessions poor pick as Attorney General
I don’t think anyone with common sense is having a good start to their weekend with the announcement of Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as the incoming Trump administration’s nominee for United States Attorney General. People concerned about civil rights and/or legalized marijuana in particular may want to carve out a bit of time this weekend to do a little bit of research on the guy the Trump White House wants as our nation’s top law enforcement officer.
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the junior United States Senator from Alabama and former ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, earned a law degree, served as a captain in the United States Army and United States Army Reserve, and will be 70 years of age if he should take office as Attorney General in January. In so far that I know, that has likely ended the positives on Sen. Jeff Sessions.
With the other alarming picks and potentials being floated around, chumming all sorts of mainstream media waters, this might be the first actual “oh shit” pick, even more so than Steve Bannon. Jeff Sessions is a man, that has at the very least:
For President-elect Donald Trump, a man that has prided himself on “surrounding himself with the best,” it has been a rocky start to say the least to that concept as applied to a White House staff, and the nomination of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General only serves to clog the Trump White House toilet further. A man who has proven so demonstrably uncomfortable with many constraints of civil rights is both laughable and troubling for a United States Senator, let alone a prospective Attorney General.
I know I have both written and Tweeted that I am willing to give President-elect Trump and his incoming administration every fair chance, and I am still willing to do so. However, given the somewhat unsettling trend the Trump White House is taking in its formative days, I’m wondering how much of a chance we are going to be given, fair or not…
Eight days. We are eight damn days into the impending Trump administration, and it’s about as insane as the whole campaign leading up to it.
The mainstream media has not been so much depressing for their half-assery in reporting the various campaign trails the past two years, as much as they have been for their half-assery in reporting since the election. Sure, they have started behaving like journalists again, rightfully looking into new chief strategist/homeless-looking schlub Steve Bannon, and raising questions as to the various lawsuits and potential conflicts of interest facing the Trump White House. Then again, just as I’m not expecting overnight results from Donald Trump as our President, let alone President-elect, I’m not expecting the news business to break their recent bad habits overnight.
Such was the case earlier today, when a couple of news outlets, notably NBC and the Christian Science Monitor, both lost a tiny bit of their shit over President-elect Trump shutting out the press while having a family dinner. NBC breathlessly accused Trump of a “lack of transparency,” while the CSM pondered if the dinner snub of the press “could say anything about his presidency.” Eight days after the election, and mainstream media is already producing headlines that could be seriously and honestly mistaken for parody.
Damn it. I know there has been some activities conspicuously absent thus far from most traditional transition teams, especially since this transition is going to be anything but traditional. That does not mean there has been so much as to weave a controversy from thread this thin. Hiding a crap ton of emails, or being coy about tax returns, for example, or hiding God only knows what other manners of shady shit- that is a lack of transparency. What could the fact a man wanted to enjoy dinner with his family in semi-privacy say about his presidency? Absolutely nothing. Absolutely nothing at all.
What it does tell the public is mainstream media is so desperate to redeem themselves that aren’t even trying to make very good molehills from which to construct mountains.
Whatever your opinion of the guy, his family, the campaign, the election, the transition, the somewhat motley cast of characters, and so on, the guy is at least entitled to dinner with his family. That is not unreasonable, nor should be asking mainstream media to quit outraging things as trivial as dinner, considering what they let slide during the campaign.
So much for the calm...
For all the Election night memes, purporting a bunch of out of shape rednecks arming themselves like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando if Hillary Clinton won, the previously doubtful happened and Donald Trump won. Outside of ruining a bunch of excuses as to why they didn't take to the streets like Red Dawn and shit was breaking out as well as killing a bunch of half-witted memes, it did give them the chance to sit back and watch the festivities kick off.
And who would have thought the safe space community would be so willing to protest on the verge of rioting? Just because the candidate they wanted was jackmoved out of the nomination, and the nominee, the most dislikable candidate of the history of the United States political process, still lost?
For all their protestations, it’s kind of funny how they missed the whole point, how the electoral process once again functioned as it should, without a hitch. The pawns in a “rigged game” are mad they lost, because it just started dawning on them they were worrying about the wrong freaking game.
Not to mention, as the protests stretch toward a week straight following the election, I find myself wondering, how many of these brand-new street fighting men (and women) are among the 46.9% who didn’t even bother to vote. It’s not that some people need much more of a reason to riot than their team winning the championship (Kudos, Chicago, for not going stupid when our Cubs took it all a couple of weeks ago), but this riding of coattails is not going to do anything other than set the Democrats and the progressives back even further.
Which, in my mind, may not be a bad thing. Both establishment parties got their wake-up calls this election cycle, and in rather unexpected ways. The Democrats found out their playbook needs more pages than just pandering and shameless fundraising, and have to rebuild with no clear contender to tae over as the face of the party. The Republicans are having to scramble together a united front, having just spent the period between the convention and the election looking like a fist fight at a flea market, and they are having to do so with the guy they held their noses over. No matter which way the wind is blowing, nobody seems to like the smell at the moment.
That is not to say, however, that my Libertarian Party doesn’t need to regroup a bit over the next four years. We did make groundbreaking strides across all spectrums of the electoral process in this election, and I think the growing dissatisfaction with establishment politics will only serve to increase our numbers in the coming years. What we need to try and keep in check are nominating candidates that understand kitsch may be great, just not as much on the campaign trail, and make sure we don’t allow any more fat, dancing Republican shills on the stage at the national convention.
For every step forward we should have taken in 2016, our top ticket knocked us backwards, whether it was playfully faking a heart attack during an interview, making faces and sticking tongues out during interviews, or having the Vice-Presidential candidate endorse everybody but Libertarian candidates during the election cycle. Was Gary Johnson the right choice for the party? Yes, both times. Now Gov. Johnson has called it a career as far as future candidacies. It’s time to take the momentum and spend it wisely.
At any rate, our next chance to protest properly, at the ballot boxes, is coming up in 2018. Take some time to figure out exactly what you are protesting, and why. Do some homework other than reading bumper stickers and engaging in flame wars on Twitter and Facebook. Be smarter.
Beats looking like a whiny jackass for a week after the election.
That calm before the first 100 days...
So, where do we go from here?
That’s a question I’ve heard more than once in the hours since early Wednesday, when Donald Trump defied the polling, the odds, and perhaps even common sense itself and won the Presidency of the United States.
I’m not going to presume to say I was anything other than shocked at the election results. I figured we were going to plod through four years of Corrupt Pantsuit rather than Clueless Orange Billionaire. In my opinion, Secretary Clinton took far too much for granted, then partied as her second Rome in eight years slowly burned to the ground around her.
Fifty years of pandering to every voter block the Republicans were willing to ignore, and with little to show for it, finally caught up with the Democrats. Secretary Clinton campaigned at times like it was a mere formality. The check had cleared, and she was just chatting with people here and there waiting for the UPS truck to deliver you the victory in November. In the final wind-up, hers were sins of transparency, corruption, and arrogance.
Yet, the sin of arrogance is not as damning as it once was, something proven beyond all points in this election cycle. That the only candidate more arrogant than Secretary Clinton turned out to be the winner should be telling. We witnessed the sums of all the worst parts of politics, condensed down into the two least likable candidates in modern, if not all, political history, and our mass media pretty much did not do a goddamned thing.
A nearly two-year long free-for-all by Donald Trump of saying and doing pretty much whatever the hell he wanted to went largely unchecked by mass media. Sure, there were calls for accountability, and there were cries of outrage, of “how dare he say (insert problematic remark here),” but given the sheer amount of stupid things he said, and the crush coverage, such cries were quickly lost in the fray, more debris in the Tazmanian Devil-style tornado cloud of Donald Trump in the American electoral process. Even when the laundry list of what was once considered career killers quickly became a Greatest Hits, Volume One, the complaints were very simply shrugged off by campaign yesholes who had already figured out even the media itself was no longer willing to hold anyone to any kind of existing standard.
To be fair, that door swung both ways. The idea the single most corruptible woman since Cruella DeVille was a major party nominee was more a failure of gender politics over ethics. And this woman was basically anointed President months ago, an idea that would have been laughable if not for the brazen amount of time mass media spent trying to sell the public on that notion.
This was not reporting, this was enabling. The alternative media really stepped up to the plate, even if they were struggling to stay above a billion rowdy lunatics on social media. In fact, I found it rather amusing that my #1 social media advocate during my presidential run was a guy tweeting out of Kingston upon Thames, London. Hell, the guy even co-opted my profile picture as his cover photo and declared himself my campaign manager (which he was not, is not, nor will ever be, just for the record).
Immediately following the election, I resisted every physical urge to facepalm as the analysts tried desperately to figure out how they pooched this so badly, how they, and I quote “got the polls so wrong.” They actually had the gall to sit there and discuss that point amongst themselves.
Going along hand-in-hand with the anything goes election cycle, there was not even a subtle attempt to hide the sheer and utter half-assery of political polling in the 2016 Presidential election. A poll that excluded voters age 18-34 was used in part to exclude third party candidates from the national debate stage. Think about that for a second. A poll that excluded the single largest voter block in the country was used to determine the national presidential debates. If that isn’t the definition of “old boy network” power grab, I could not, for the life of me, tell you just what the hell is.
But now, it’s over. I tweeted that I accepted the results, and was more than willing to give Trump every chance I have given every White House administration since I became a voting adult. That’s fair, and as fair as I am willing to be until he’s officially on the job and working to back up everything he’s said for the last year and a half. Because he wanted the job, he campaigned for the job, and now he’s got the job. Now, it’s on him. First 100 days, here we come. Good luck and Godspeed, everyone.
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