If you had a legacy as stained with racism and intolerance as Jeff Sessions’ then you may be tempted to pull a similar stunt to the one he thought up this week. To the surprise of no one, the Alabama senator who is hoping to be Trump’s Attorney General showed up to his confirmation hearing armed not with a legacy of good deeds, but a literal baby in his literal arms.
It was… bizarre.
This is a level of cynicism reserved for underdeveloped villains in Ayn Rand novels pic.twitter.com/xggsr5vjsG
— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) January 10, 2017
People immediately sniffed out that Sessions was using the baby, his granddaughter who happens to be half-Asian, as a gimmick to give himself a softer appearance. Sessions certainly needs it. Throughout his career, he has spent his time in politics viciously going after the gay community and people of color. The Human Rights Campaign. for instance, has given him a staggering 0% rating. In other words, they couldn’t find one redeemable thing he had done in office.
And his legacy with African Americans is so bad that at his confirmation hearing he had to vow he didn’t support the Ku Klux Klan.
If you're having to explain your relationship to the KKK, you're already losing. https://t.co/ioEBUgSEcX
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 10, 2017
Making matters worse, Sessions was already once nominated for a position – Reagan’s pick for federal judge – and was rejected because of his comments about black people.
Jeff Sessions is remembered as having lost a federal judgeship because he might have called a black co-worker “boy” and made that joke about the KKK. It’s the tacit consensus in 2017 of what it means to be racist: to harbor personal animosity toward people of different races, and to treat them badly in your everyday life.
So did Sessions baby gimmick work? Not at all. Nobody was buying it, including the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, who blasted him for trying to avoid a hard look at his record with a baby.
— AsianAmericanLegal (@aaldef) January 10, 2017
There is no reason for that child to be in his lap in a hearing other than to send an "I'm not racist message"
— Ira Madison III (@ira) January 10, 2017
Why is sentator Sessions holding a BABY at his confirmation hearing? Can you imagine if a woman did that?
— Honey Beavers (@OhHoneyBeavers) January 10, 2017
Sadly, baby or not, Sessions may just manage to get a pass due to the Republican majority controlling both houses of Congress. While Sessions was briefly made to respond to some of his worst behaviors, after an hour or so, talk turned to whether or not he would prosecute Hillary Clinton and jokes about football.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images