In 1971 Saul Alinksy published Rules for Radicals. Rule Number 13 states, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.
This policy has been used by the Democrats since Robert Bork was nominated to the Supreme Court. Most of the time it works. The Democrats are planning to use that tactic on Senator Jeff Sessions who has been nominated for the position of Attorney General under President Donald Trump. This time it may not work.
Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article with a few thoughts on what we can expect from the Senate Confirmation hearings on Jeff Sessions.
The article states:
It has become clear that, at least until Donald Trump nominates a Supreme Court Justice (and quite possibly beyond that point), congressional Democrats intend to make opposition to Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination as Attorney General the centerpiece of their early resistance to the new president. The talking point you will hear and read about the most is alleged racism by Sen. Sessions. However, the true reasons for the opposition are (1) his desire to enforce, rather than ignore and revamp, U.S. immigration law and (2) his color blind vision of civil rights law.
The article at Power Line includes comments from Donald Watkins, a prominent African-American attorney from Alabama. Attorney Watkins states:
Donald V. Watkins said he first encountered Mr. Sessions during their days at law school, when the future senator was the first white student to ask him to join a campus organization — the Young Republicans.
Mr. Watkins declined, but said his interactions with Mr. Sessions throughout the years have convinced him the man President-elect Donald Trump wants to make the next U.S. attorney general is a good man.
“Jeff was a conservative then, as he is now, but he was NOT a racist,” Mr. Watkins wrote in a Facebook post in May, which he reposted Friday afternoon, just hours after Mr. Trump announced Mr. Sessions as his pick.
Mr. Watkins said he wished he’d come forward in 1986, when Mr. Sessions had been nominated to be a federal judge. His appointment was derailed by Senate Democrats, including then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden and current Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary, who said Mr. Sessions had shown racist tendencies. The late Sen. Arlen Specter, who at the time was a Republican but later switched parties, also joined in opposing Mr. Sessions.
A few years later, Mr. Watkins said he ran into Mr. Sessions in Birmingham and said he was surprised Mr. Sessions didn’t call him as a witness.
“At the end of our conversation, I told Jeff that I had failed him and myself. I should have volunteered to stand by his side and tell the story of his true character at his confirmation hearing. The fact that I did not rise on my own to defend Jeff’s good name and character haunted me for years. I promised Jeff that I would never stand idly by and allow another good and decent person endure a similar character assassination if it was within my power to stop it,” Mr. Watkins writes.
If the Democrats involved in the Senate want to have any credibility in the future, they should be very careful how they handle these confirmation hearings. Senator Sessions has a reputation as a fair and honest man. The Senate Democrats are in serious danger of losing any remaining reputation for integrity that they may have.