Sunday, August 6, 2017

The GOP has become the party of the grotesque

The GOP has become the party of the grotesque

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.

Southern Gothic is a literary genre and, occasionally, a political style that, like the genre, blends strangeness and irony. Consider the current primary campaign to pick the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. It illuminates, however, not a regional peculiarity but a national perversity, that of the Republican Party.

In 1986, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III — the name belongs in a steamy bodice-ripper, beach-read novel about Confederate cavalry — was nominated for a federal judgeship. Democrats blocked him because they considered him racially “insensitive.” In 1996, he got even by getting elected to the Senate. Twenty years later, he was the first senator to endorse Donald Trump, who carried Alabama by 27.7 points. Sessions, the most beloved Alabaman who is not a football coach, became attorney general for Trump, who soon began denouncing Sessions as “beleaguered,” which Sessions was because Trump was ridiculing him as “weak” because he followed Justice Department policy in recusing himself from the investigation of Russian involvement in Trump’s election.

  

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