May 5, 2009

Rachel Maddow reminds us of Jeff Sessions extremely ugly racist past. Steve Benen weighs in on how poorly it speaks for Republicans to promote someone like Sessions to take Arlen Specter's place as their ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Maddow: In terms of him having this leadership role on the Judiciary Committee for the next year and a half, presumably Sessions will make that committee run very differently than having the senior Republican on that committee be Arlen Specter, right?

Benen: I think that's fair to say. You know obviously Specter was probably one of the most moderate members of the Senate. Certainly the most moderate Republican on that committee. Jeff Sessions for all the reasons we just talked about is much farther to the right and he'll be the public's face. You know we talked earlier in the show about the rebranding effort. It undermines the branding when you have someone with these deep and ugly racial problems from dating back a couple of decades and now he'll be helping, he'll be the public face of the Judiciary Committee, not only on judiciary, or judicial nominations but also on issues like civil rights laws that automatically go to the Judiciary Committee. So this is a problem for the party. It's a problem for the committee and I'm anxious to see how it turns out for them.

Maddow: I'm anxious to hear him explain yet again how the disgrace to his race comment was a joke. That will be great.

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