Tuesday, July 24, 2018


As you probably know, this happened today:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the top law enforcement officer in the country, repeated the words "lock her up" Tuesday that were being chanted, a rallying cry from Donald Trump campaign events calling to jail Hillary Clinton, and then laughed.

Sessions was addressing a conservative group's high school leadership summit in Washington, where he promoted free speech and conservative principles.
Before I watched a clip of this, I assumed that Sessions enthusiastically joined in the chant. That's not exactly what he did:
Sessions criticized universities for "coddling our young people" and "actively preventing them from scrutinizing the validity of their beliefs."

"After the 2016 election, for example, they held a 'cry-in' at Cornell. I hope they had plenty of tissues for 'em to cry on," he said. "They had therapy dogs at the University of Kansas. Play-Doh and coloring books at the University of Michigan for heaven's sakes. You know, give me a break. Students at Tufts were encouraged to 'draw about their feelings.'"

"Well I can tell this group isn't going to have to have Play-Doh when you get attacked in college and you get involved in a debate," Sessions told the crowd attending Turning Point USA's High School Leadership Summit at George Washington University. "I like this bunch, I gotta tell you. You're not going to be backing down. Go get 'em. Go get 'em."

Then chants of "Lock her up" broke out.

"Lock her up," Sessions said, chuckling at the brief interruption from the audience as the chant then grew louder.

"I heard that a long time over the last campaign," he said before continuing with his prepared speech.

I'll acknowledge that Scott Lemieux is right:
Students leading a “lock her up” chant represented an excellent opportunity to make the point that working against the election of Hillary Clinton is democratic politics; claiming that she should be thrown in jail although investigations have not revealed any illegal conduct is not. For the Attorney General to encourage the authoritarian perspective rather than the democratic one is disturbing.
But Sessions seemed a bit uncomfortable with the interruption -- not uncomfortable enough to discourage it, which would be the responsible thing to do, but uncomfortable nonetheless.

As CNN's story notes, "Sessions has assigned a federal prosecutor to look into various matters surrounding Clinton, but stopped short of formally appointing a special counsel earlier this year." In Trump Country, it's believed that he's an impediment to the absolutely necessary prosecution of Clinton. So I suspect that the chanters might have been expressing a sense of frustration with Sessions. I'm certainly seeing frustration in the comments at the YouTube page where I found the clip:
Hillary should thank her lucky stars Jess Sessions is the attorney general. Any other Trump nominee would have LOCKED HER UP...


Come on Sleepy Jeff wake up, even the kids get it.


MR MAGOO trying hard to get back into trump good book HAHA its going to take more than lock her up chant


Session.....WAKE UP!!! W A K E U P!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I guess there is hope when even high school kids know shes a criminal, Sessions needs to climb out from under his bed and take control of the DOJ
Sessions's material about colleges "coddling our young people" seemed to fall flat -- he was talking about the alleged hypersensitivity of anti-Trump students in the immediate aftermath of the 2016 election and all his audience could think was: We don't care about a bunch of snowflakes -- WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO LOCK HILLARY UP?

Whatever the chanters' motivation, a responsible attorney general wouldn't have given them any encouragement. But I don't think Sessions was truly pleased by the interruption. I think it was at least partly a rebuke, and Sessions knew it.

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