This week’s confirmation hearings for Sen. Jeff Sessions portend trouble for Democrats promising to mount an effective resistance to the Trump administration.
Senate Democrats have adopted a fairly hostile posture to the full range of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees. They promised to subject each candidate to the “Garland treatment,” hoping to turn the appointments process into a slog engulfing the early months of Trump’s presidency. If any nomination was to be stymied, even scuttled, Sessions’ was the most vulnerable.
A failed confirmation had once before left Sessions a diminished figure, producing dubious if potent allegations of racism that hang around his nomination like an albatross. His positions on sentencing reform and civil asset forfeiture make him an outlier even among his Republican colleagues. A unified Democratic caucus and an aggressive message supplemented by a concerted effort to pickoff the handful of Republican senators with strong libertarian streaks could easily have beaten him back.