Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III arguably was the most important politician responsible for getting Trump elected. Jeff Sessions was the first United States Senator to endorse Trump, which provided Trump a facade of legitimacy as a candidate. Sessions then spent months on the campaign trail as one of Trump’s key surrogates. Before this endorsement, the Republican establishment saw Trump as he was, to wit: The reality TV star of The Apprentice, best known for telling contestants “You’re Fired!” Trump of course got that show because for years he had engaged in an ongoing public relations campaign glorifying himself as an incredibly astute businessman, which beneath the surface was a lie. For many in the U.S. hinterland though, Trump represented the epitome of the American Dream, while beneath the pretense was an inflated ego with a history of bankruptcy, fraud, mob related business dealings and nauseating egotism. Trump’s history in the public eye clearly showed an egotistical attention whore, with extreme narcissistic tendencies, successful mainly in shameless self promotion.
It is a measure of Trump’s pathological narcissism that he is now engaged in public attackshas upon Sessions, apparently trying to force his Attorney General to resign. With a narcissist like Trump, all relationships lack nuance, someone is either for or against them. With a view of themselves as the “Center of Their Universe”, each action that affects them is viewed from this binary perspective. Concomitantly, since in their non self critical minds narcissists are incapable of error, any situation that affects them negatively must be somebody Else’s fault and those persons must be attacked, damaged and even obliterated. As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has started to close in on the suspicious and probably criminal Trump dealings, Trump has become more and more anxious and willing to flail out at anyone he perceives has brought these dangers to his door. Clearly he wants Mueller gone, with the belief that this firing will stop any investigations and thus soothe his anxiety. However, Jeff Sessions recusal from overseeing this investigation, has complicated Trump’s aim to fire the Special Counsel and so Jeff Sessions must be replaced.
Another aspect of the Trump Pathology, is that despite his bullying demeanor and false pretensions of macho manhood, Trump is a weak and cowardly man. It is one thing to be able to utter the words “You’re Fired!” on a scripted reality show supported by a Director, Producers and cameramen, and quite another to confront someone eye to eye so to speak. Trump beyond the bloviating bluster is a weak and cowardly person, obsessively frightened by direct human confrontation. When it comes to Sessions, it is now reported that Trump and Sessions are locked in a silent battle “White House aides and Sessions allies say the president and his attorney general aren’t speaking, even as Trump ridicules” Sessions via nasty tweets. The Trump treatment of Sessions echoes back to this incident in the Watergate Scandal:
”’After the Watergate investigation began, Nixon’s nominee for Director of the FBI, L. Patrick Gray, absorbed many of Congress’ blows during confirmation hearings. Subjected to heated criticism, especially over his relationship with the president’s legal counsel, John Dean, prospects for his approval looked bleak. Ehrlichman calculated political value in Congress eviscerating Gray’s nomination. It shifted the focus of Watergate from the White House. As Ehrlichman advised the president, better Gray be left “twisting, slowly, slowly in the wind.”“Here.
We observe in these passive aggressively sadistic Trump tweetings, that Jeff Sessions is now “twisting, slowly, slowly in the wind.” As human beings our initial reaction to the nasty bullying of a chief supporter by our unhinged “Commander in Chief”, is one of sympathy for the object of this unconscionable bullying. Indeed, sympathy for Sessions describes my first reactions to the un-Presidential, malicious and cowardly attacks, but then I remembered who this man Sessions is.
Despite the attempts of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to reform his image, his early words and his later actions, expose him as a racist, radical, right wing Authoritarian, with a history of supporting pernicious programs to rob people of their civil liberties. Even as he is trying to withstand the Trump tweet barrage, he is issuing new Justice Department Guidelines targeting sanctuary cities, as part of Sessions longstanding racist attacks upon immigrants. Even though the evidence shows that America’s “War on Drugs” began in the Nixon Administration as a method to destroy the Civil Rights Movement and punish People of Color, Sessions is trying to revivify this racist initiative. From Criminal Justice to Marijuana reform, Sessions is trying to turn back the clock to an era of hyper-criminalization of the public and almost a totalitarian view of federal law enforcement. In short Sessions is a thoroughly despicable human being, who doesn‘t deserve sympathy, even though he is being attacked by a vicious and cowardly bully. So my attitude toward Trump/Sessions might be characterized by “a plague upon both their houses”.
And yet………and yet….while I despise both Trump and Sessions I must admit that this ongoing exchange provides me a frisson of schadenfreude. Beyond my justifiable fears that each of these awful people represents a danger to freedom in my country, is my gut reaction of loathing for each of them because of the hatred and greed they stand for. Make no mistake about it, each of these people in their own way are enemies of what most of us believe this country should stand for. So however this battle of bullies turns out, Resistance is our only option and neither deserve our sympathy, nor compassion.