When Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions sat for questioning by the House Judiciary Committee, it was a study in contrasts.
Most of the Democrats enjoyed channeling their inner prosecuting attorney, firing off questions that had already been “asked and answered” multiple times, trying to lay traps by demanding one-word answers to complicated questions, and cutting answers off mid-sentence or even mid-word. We’ve seen it before: extreme rudeness towards Republicans is the way to become a star of the Democratic Party. At Tuesday’s hearing, Sessions was expected (as before, with the Senate) to interpret questions not as he understood them but exactly as the speaker meant them; at the same time, it wasn’t acceptable for him to correct previous answers –- not even in light of a better understanding of the questioner’s original intent or simply to reflect an improved memory. As for memory, he was supposed to have truly amazing recall, leading him to joke to Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, after Issa quipped that he himself didn’t speak Russian and had had no contacts with Russians, something like (paraphrasing here) “Well, I’ll bet you HAVE met some Russians and just don’t remember!” Great line!
It’s interesting to contrast the dark, rapid-fire “gotcha” game of Democrats with the attorney general’s polite, reserved and maddeningly (to them) languid communication style. Those of you old enough to remember hearing the screamingly funny Bob & Ray on the radio might think he’s a member of the “Slow Talkers Of America,” as in slow…...talkers…...of……..America. That’s not filibustering –- it’s just the way he naturally talks. The man is from Alabama and speaks like a true Southern gentleman. His style is deliberate, low-key and...slow. But the Democrats can’t endure waiting while he tries to formulate the accurate answer they say they want; no, they want a quick yes-or-no that they can challenge later, and more time on the clock for their own grandstanding. They’re also frustrated that so many investigation details remain classified or similarly under wraps. But, hey, that’s the way it is.
It’s fair to say that some Republicans on the committee got impatient with Sessions, too --- not so much for his drawn-out speech but for his apparent hesitation to appoint a special counsel to investigate Uranium One and myriad other Hillary-related matters. But legal-eagle Andrew McCarthy at NATIONAL REVIEW has a few words of caution for Republicans: first, that the FBI may already be digging into all that –- it’s supposed to be secret, you know –- with no special counsel needed (he explains why); second, that the GOP should avoid even the appearance of politicizing their call for more investigating if they don’t want to hurt their case. Listening, Republicans?
While Sessions admitted he’s had trouble remembering every detail of who was at which meeting and what words they might have exchanged in passing during a “chaotic” (his word) campaign over a year ago, he made clear, very forcefully, his devotion to the truth and his commitment to relating it as accurately as he can. So, to Democrats: you have become tiresome. You're transparent as can be, not to mention just flat-out rude. Before you all have embolisms waiting for the attorney general to finish a sentence, y'all might want to sit back and relax with a nice mint julep. Make mine a sweet tea.
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