The Resurrection of Jeff Sessions
It's hard for many of us always to know who our friends really are. The president of the United States appears to have more difficulty with this than most (cf. Paul Manafort). He also may be too quick to dismiss or turn on those who may ultimately be his truest friends.
A case in point, although it is not yet certain, seems to be Jeff Sessions, who has been in Donald Trump's crosshairs since the attorney general recused himself from the Russia investigation.
Sessions made news this week by authorizing the Department of Justice to sue the state of California for preempting federal immigration laws. Today he delivered some strong words to a convention of the state's Peace Officers Association:
I understand that we have a wide variety of political opinions out there on immigration. But the law is in the books and its purpose is clear.
There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is "the supreme law of the land." I would invite any doubters to Gettysburg, and to the graves of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln.
A refusal to apprehend and deport those, especially the criminal element, effectively rejects all immigration law and creates an open borders system. Open borders is a radical, irrational idea that cannot be accepted.
The United States of America is not "an idea;" it is a secular nation-state with a Constitution, laws, and borders, all of which are designed to protect our nation's interests. Surely, we should be able to agree on this much.
Well, no. Especially if your name is Edmund G. Brown Jr., aka Jerry Brown, the governor of California who reacted in the highest dudgeon, calling Sessions' remarks a declaration of war on California.
Brown would have done better to declare war himself on the homeless epidemic turning his state's largest cities into new versions of Calcutta with people defecating in the streets and littering the freeway underpasses with syringes. (Apologies to the citizens of Calcutta -- it's probably not nearly as bad). Even the slavishly liberal L.A. Times has labeled Los Angeles' homeless crisis a "national disgrace." People are leaving California for a reason.