"Complete blithering idiot": Coulter erupts at Trump for attacking Jeff Sessions

As background, you need to know that not only has Sessions finally begun complaining publicly about how Trump has treated him, he was at it again last night. And Trump noticed.


I agree completely with Ed’s take on why Sessions finally took off the gloves. He’s getting crushed by Tommy Tuberville in polling of the Alabama GOP Senate primary runoff, so what does he have to lose?

Sessions might figure that fighting back might win him a little more respect from #MAGA voters, if not affection. That’s probably not going to work, but obsequiously brown-nosing Trump while getting trashed by him clearly wasn’t working either. This might be a Hail Mary play to get Trump to shower Sessions with earned media in an open and now two-sided feud, and perhaps getting more support with the extra attention. Or, perhaps, Sessions realizes that his goose is cooked whatever happens now, and with nothing left to lose, is no longer worried about openly criticizing Trump.

If he keeps doing what he’s doing Tuberville’s going to send him packing into retirement two months from now. If he does something different, like standing up to Trump, there’s a one-in-a-thousand chance it’ll change the momentum of the race. And even if it doesn’t, it must feel good to Sessions to defend himself at long last. His obsequiousness until now has been pitiful. If he’s destined to lose and to lose ignominiously, at least he’s recovered a shred of manhood in the end.

I’ll add one thing to Ed’s point. It *may* be that Trump’s job approval has slipped a bit in Alabama lately amid national criticism of his handling of the pandemic. I can’t find polling on it, and if he’s slipped the decline is undoubtedly modest. But Sessions may have reason to believe that (politely) rebuking Trump is somewhat less politically dangerous in his home state than it used to be. Plus, a lot can happen in the two months before the runoff: If there’s a second wave of the disease after Trump pushed for businesses to reopen, a real backlash might materialize.

So what does Sessions have to lose at this point by scrapping with him?

Anyway, on to Coulter. I saw her tweets last night for the first time in this Rod Dreher post about “Trump’s Twitter Madness” and thought maybe he got suckered by a fake Coulter account. That’s not because it’s unusual for her to blast Trump. She’s done that before, especially on immigration and matters that are immigration-adjacent (e.g., Jeff Sessions’s status as the GOP’s most notable pre-Trump restrictionist), and he’s returned the favor. I’ve written about it before too: Coulter is one of a select few righty pundits who, when forced to choose between nationalist principles and fealty to Trump, will choose nationalism. It’s not that surprising that she’d be outraged at Trump for knifing a politician who served border hawks well in the Senate.

What threw me is the tweet here about his lack of humanity on handling the coronavirus. You don’t normally hear populists yelling at Trump to be more compassionate; rather the opposite. But here we are.

Sessions didn’t “have” to recuse himself but it’s lucky for Trump that he did. He could have ignored the conflict of interest he had and corruptly remained in charge of the Russiagate probe in order to meddle in Mueller’s investigation, like the Roy Cohn figure Trump hoped he’d be. That would have backfired spectacularly on Trump by giving the public a reason to dismiss Mueller’s ultimate finding that there was no conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Russia. And Coulter’s right that Trump’s dopey admission that he fired Comey because of the Russia probe helped make the case for a special prosecutor. Once he signaled that career DOJ officials were apt to be fired for pursuing the Russia investigation, pressure on the department increased to appoint someone with a modicum of independence from the president to continue it.

Coulter’s kidding herself about Tuberville potentially blowing the Alabama Senate race, though. Moore lost to Doug Jones because he spent years pursuing polarizing moral crusades and then had a nuclear scandal revealed at the last minute — and even then, he barely lost. Unless the media digs up something truly hair-raising on Tuberville, who’s been a prominent figure in the state for years thanks to his time at Auburn, he’ll cruise to a win. Also, what does she mean when she says, “GREAT WORK IN THE LAST ALABAMA SENATE RACE, MR. PRESIDENT”? Dreher made that point too, accusing Trump of having “spoiled what should have been an easy win for the GOP in the race to replace Sessions (who had resigned to become Trump’s AG) by coming out for the seriously flawed Judge Roy Moore.”

But, er, Trump didn’t support Moore in the primary. At McConnell’s urging, on electability grounds, he supported the establishment choice, Luther Strange. He even campaigned for him before the runoff with Moore. A lot of people misremember this, I think, because Moore is the sort of Trump-hugging populist rebel whom Trump normally *would* endorse; the president’s endorsement of Strange at the time seemed half-hearted because of that. But the fact remains that he asked Alabama Republicans to nominate the establishmentarian, which was smart politics. They ignored him and paid the price against Doug Jones.

I’m eager to see if any of Sessions’s friends in Fox News primetime come riding to his rescue this week like Coulter did last night. Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham also claim (I think?) to be loyal to nationalism first and to Trump second. Well, Sessions is an old-school nationalist, especially on immigration. How about going to bat for him?

The sparring with Sessions is the least part of “Trump’s Twitter Madness” lately, by the way. Last night he retweeted one fan who called Hillary Clinton a “skank” and has smeared Joe Scarborough as a murderer twice more in the past 16 hours after doing so a few days ago. I’m tempted to say that he’s deteriorating, but really, this is just who he is — and was, back when “Morning Joe” was promoting him as a candidate. Exit quotations: