This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published January 8, 2017 by The Washington Times.
When the Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings on Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination as attorney general, it will be about a lot more than Mr. Sessions, who Democrats and their media allies began knee-capping the moment his nomination was announced in November.
It’s the intro match for the Big Fight — Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee. The Democrats and their media allies plan to make the next associate justice nominee out to be the reincarnation of Adolf Hitler, or at least the Boston Strangler.
They are warming up by making Mr. Sessions out to be a shady lawyer in a Ku Klux Klan hood. He is, after all, a white man from the South, but not a saintly progressive like Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton.
Reminiscent of the media’s sending platoons of reporters to Alaska in 2008 hoping to catch Gov. Sarah Palin in a sordid scandal, major newspapers have sent reporters to Alabama to dig up dirt on Mr. Sessions.
“Their aim was clear: to try to define Mr. Sessions as a caricature, stepping straight out of the segregated South and into the Department of Justice, ignoring his 20-year career as a United States senator,” wrote former Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell in a Washington Times column.
Mr. Sessions’ submission of thousands of pages of materials to the Judiciary Committee met a predictable response — Democrats demanded a postponement in order to “supplement” the record.
“Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, had already called on the committee to delay its hearing — noting that Sessions submitted more than 150,000 pages of material, but left gaps,” CNN reported. “‘Despite being voluminous, Sen. Sessions’ production appears to have been put together in haste and is, on its face, incomplete,’ Ms. Feinstein said in a mid-December letter” to the committee.
If Mr. Sessions had submitted a stack of papers and videos from here to the moon, the Democrats would have pronounced it “incomplete” and ordered him to fill in the “gaps.”
Missing from the record, for example, was the time Mr. Sessions, as a young boy, littered a public pool area by missing the trash can with an ice cream wrapper. He eventually placed the wrapper in the can, but only after a very stern look from a man on a bench who was feeding pigeons.
Seriously, though, progressives have telegraphed their punch, admitting they are beating up Sessions to let the incoming president and his party know what they’re up against. They hope it will be business as usual, with Democrats on the warpath and frightened Republicans running for cover as if they still were in the minority.
Aiding the effort to make life miserable for the new president and leaders of Congress, progressive think tankers are assembling a Democratic National Committee “war room.”
At the heart of the effort are staff members from the office of Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress and American Bridge. John Neffinger, who runs the left-wing Franklin Forum, will be communications director and oversee the operation.
All sorts of “new hires” at the DNC “have roots in the various political organizations founded by David Brock,” The Washington Post reported. Mr. Brock, a former Clinton critic who helped expose “Troopergate” in the pages of the American Spectator but veered left and became a Hillary Clinton apologist, founded Media Matters for America, a Soros-funded group that actually claims the media are biased against Democrats.
Two of the new staff at the DNC war room — Zac Petkanas and Adrienne Watson — were described by the Post as “Clinton veterans who spent the campaign focused on Trump trying to drive negative media coverage.”
That’s right up there with “trying” to persuade a hungry wolf to eat a steak.
Progressive leaders continue to believe that Americans love them and their policies regardless of election results. Here’s Mr. Schumer pontificating on why he will oppose Mr. Trump’s appointees right out of the box:
“Too many of his Cabinet picks support the same, hard-right, doctrinaire positions that many in the Republican Party have held for years — policies that the American people have repeatedly rejected.”
Really? The Republicans trounced Mr. Schumer’s Democrats in 2010, capturing the U.S. House of Representatives, held their own in 2012 except at the presidential level, took the U.S. Senate in 2014, and in 2016 wound up with the presidency, both houses of Congress, and a solid majority of governorships and a plurality of state legislatures.
As Inigo Montoya would say, “You keep using that word [“rejected”]. I do not think it means what you thinks it means.”
Undeterred by reality, Mr. Schumer seems to think that the old formula of using the media to shame Republicans with accusations of Islamophobia, homophobia, xenophobia, a war on women, hatred of the poor, infirm and elderly, and causing the heartbreak of psoriasis will work yet again.
It won’t — but only if the new administration and congressional leaders stay on offense and ignore the media-enhanced chatter of the nattering nabobs of negativism.