Or perhaps I should say ‘what DOES an Attorney General do,” because that seems to be a question that, like so many other questions, President Trump doesn’t know the answer to.
Trump’s war on Jeff Sessions is being waged mainly by the use of buses under which to throw him, and that fleet is growing. Why is it this way? Sessions, one of Trump’s earliest supporters, made a huge mistake in both taking the job and performing it: he took the job of Attorney General and then began to perform it. Doing your actual job isn’t what Trump is about.
Brit Hume had a lot to say on this last night. Here’s a brief excerpt of the transcript. (Video at the end of the post.)
I think the president has a peculiar concept of what the Attorney General’s job is. He seems to think the Attorney General is some kind of goalie for him to protect him from, you know, whatever may come his way from forces he finds inimical to him. That’s not the job. That isn’t. The Attorney General’s job has always been a little apart from the other cabinet’s job. The Attorney General has to be the man who enforces the nation’s laws involving everybody including the president. And a strong Attorney General helps the president by, well, doing that job well, and, at times, when required, giving the president advise as to he, the president, should stay out of trouble. The president, this whole recusal argument that he should have let him know he was going to do it, well, maybe a couple of days, but the circumstances that gave rise to the recusal had to really come about at the time of the president appointed him. It doesn’t really make any sense, it doesn’t really make any sense to me.
Hume goes on to say that people may find the President “impossible to work for” and suggests that no one is safe from his wrath. At this point, anyone who says otherwise is just a dishonest person. If you see a conservative on TV or online saying that the President doesn’t have vendettas, that he doesn’t create chaos or turn on people when it suits him, those people are not telling you the truth. Deliberately.
Trump, we are told over and over by the in-the-knows, values loyalty above everything else. But that’s not really true either, is it? Loyalty implies a healthy relationship.
No, what Trump values is fealty. A one way street in which you never desert him, but he may drop you at any time if it benefits him. He sees nothing wrong with that. He’s spent his life as a self-styled emperor, all the more so now with actual political power. But he is a clumsy emperor.
Last night in Ohio, Trump repeated a line he’s said a million times, all his actions to the contrary, when he said America must be united. But as has been the case since the would-be Napoleon rode down the escalator of history, he is once again throwing the Republican party into chaos. Just as he splits his cabinet and splits his inner circle with in-fighting and manipulation, so he is once more and still splitting the Republican party and conservatives especially by his own actions.
President Trump’s tweets undermining and bashing his own Attorney General, one of his most important supporters, is just the latest in a string of clumsy and destructive behaviors on his part. A great historic burn comes to mind, delivered by Tacitus. “No one would have doubted his ability to reign had he never been emperor.” I wouldn’t say “no one” in Trump’s case, but it’s at least clear Jeff Sessions believed in his ability to reign. I wonder what he genuinely thinks now.
Here’s the full clip of Brit Hume from Tucker Carlson’s show last night on Fox News.