This above report on CNN caused poor Papa Snob’s head to explode. It apparently caused the folks at Crooks and Liars to suffer an brain aneurysm as well.
You see, Alabama Sen. Jeff Session’s was once up as a judicial appointee and was accused of being a racist for making remarks he would later claim were “jokes,” like … saying the NAACP is un-American, calling a white lawyer who defended blacks a “disgrace to his race,” calling a grown black man “boy,” and making statements somewhat sympathetic to the Klan. (Apparently he thought they were cool until he learned some of them were “pot-smokers.”)
O Rly, Dana Bash? Jeff “Just Kidding!” Sessions = Sotomayor? REALLY? Was it a slow news day? Are you part of some revisionist history commission to whitewash (pun unintended) the reality of WHY Sen. Joe Biden, et al, beat the crap out of him during his confirmation hearings? Crazy Grandpa Joe wasn’t being a dick just because he felt like it that day.
But suuuuuuure, Dana, somehow this thing is EXACTLY the same as that, only it is NOT. But thanks for muddying the waters with your extra fluffy puff piece.
More after the jump.
Poor Jeff Sessions! He’s JUST like Sotomayor! He’s a martyr. Those were just JOKES! Telling some white dude he’s a disgrace for caring about the civil liberties of others isn’t disturbing AT ALL. It’s HILARIOUS. And I make jokes about the domestic terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan all the time. Only I don’t. Ass.
I don’t know why it’s so hard for some to be able to tell the difference between blatant racism and a speech about the importance of diversity. That, as far as I can tell, there isn’t a rap sheet of Sotomayor using her abilities to keep the white man down. Everyone is stuck on her ruling in the firefighter written test saga (where she upheld the ruling of a lower court), but ignore the fact that she only sided with the minority in discrimination cases about half the time.
Being pro-diversity doesn’t exactly equal one the NAACP “forced Civil Rights down the throats of people,” ha, ha, just kidding! I’m Jeff Sessions! Let’s be adults about this. Sessions got the grilling he deserved, but good for him if he swears that experience is going to make him a better committee member.
Washington Monthly’s Steven Benen also felt that this thing is not just like that thing:
Characterizing these as relative equivalents is silly. The attacks on Sotomayor are baseless and easily debunked. The charges against Sessions 23 years ago were based on extensive facts, an outrageous pattern, and were bolstered by a lengthy record.
As a U.S. Attorney in Alabama, Sessions’ most notable effort was prosecuting three civil rights workers, including a former aide to Martin Luther King Jr., on trumped up charges of voter fraud.
Also during his illustrious career in Alabama, Sessions called the NAACP “un-American” because it, among other groups, “forced civil rights down the throats of people.” A former career Justice Department official who worked with Sessions recalled an instance when he referred to a white attorney as a “disgrace to his race” for litigating voting rights cases on behalf of African Americans. Sessions later acknowledged having made many of the controversial remarks attributed to him, but claimed to have been joking.
What’s more, Thomas Figures, a former assistant U.S. Attorney in Alabama and an African American, later explained that during a 1981 murder investigation involving the Ku Klux Klan, Sessions was heard by several colleagues commenting that he “used to think they [the Klan] were OK” until he found out some of them were “pot smokers.” Sessions once again acknowledged making the remark, but once again claimed to have been kidding. Figures also remembered having heard Sessions call him “boy,” and once warn him to “be careful what you say to white folks.”
How is this in any way similar to the attacks on Sotomayor? It’s not. The CNN report, which includes extensive quotes from poor Sessions, and precious little about why he was accused of racism in the first place, is woefully incomplete.