A CONVERSATION WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE JEFF SESSIONS

10 January 2017

Q.

Well you didn’t waste any time getting to that one, did you? I’ll make my answer as frank as your question. No, I am not a racist.

Q.

That was an incredibly long time ago, that I was alleged to have said those things. About the N.C.A.A. being un-American. And anyway, why would I say it’s un-American? College athletics are as American as my white southern grandmother’s apple pie. Pie made right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. As American as Ford and Chevy and the beautiful Confederate flags that wave from the beds of every one of those manufacturer’s pickup trucks. I mean, did you see that National Championship game last night? I’m real down about how my Tide lost in the final seconds, but gracious me oh my, those Clemson boys can play some serious football —

Q.

The hell is the N.A.A.C.P?

Q.

Oh that’s what I said. Pardon me. Yes, I do recall having said something along those lines, although, I wouldn’t exactly call them “damning” or “disqualifying.”

Q.

The fact that they quite literally disqualified me thirty years ago from getting a federal court position is, in my humble and very southern opinion, irrelevant. Can anyone bring me a cold glass of sweet tea? It’s getting rather hot in here.

Q.

You see? This is why you Democrats lost the presidency and the Senate. You don’t seem to understand that just because you say something, that doesn’t mean you mean it. I can just say all sorts of stuff and not mean any of it. The South won’t rise again. See? I just did it. Now of course I don’t mean that. Of course I think the South will rise again. And it will of course be very bloody and violent.

Q.

No, that’s not a threat. I’m only making a point.

Q.

Now you’re just making my point for me. You say “United States” but I know you don’t mean it. We are a very divided country right now. Except in Alabama. Alabama folks are very united in their hatred for Clemson.

Q.

You keep bringing up stuff I said in the past. About civil rights and the K.K.K. You keep bringing up my voting record, which, you say, is very anti-anti-discriminatory. You keep bringing up my very clear support for disenfranchising minorities of their voting rights. But I ask you: Why even bring those things up? They say almost nothing about me.

Q.

Have you ever read Wittgenstein? Specifically his “Philosophical Investigations,” but if you’ve read “The Blue and Brown Books,” you might be able to follow.

Q.

None of them, huh? And you guys call yourselves the liberal elite. That’s the other reason you lost. You’re completely uncultured. We Republicans bask in the glory of Wittgenstein and Ayn Rand. And you Democrats read, what, snarky humor blogs? It’s pathetic.

Q.

Of course you can group Ayn Rand and Wittgenstein together. It’s ridiculous to think you can’t. They’re practically the same person, if you think about it hard enough and ignore all the clutter that says they aren’t.

Q.

I’m going to ignore that and return this conversation back to its original trajectory, which is that you and I are playing what Wittgenstein would call a language game. And in this game, I come up with a sense, or a thought, or an idea, that I want to convey, via language, to you. And so I translate this thought or idea into the one language we have in common, i.e., English. And then so I communicate this information to you, in English, and it’s then up to you to translate this information into a thought or concept or whatever with the intent of attaining what was my original idea or thought or sense. So if I were to say, off the top of my head, oh, I don’t know, “It’s in the Republican party’s best interest to suppress the African-American vote, regardless of whether it’s a blatant infringement on the rights and dignities of decent American people,” — and I just said that at random, you should know — you and I would have to understand each and every word in that sentence in the exact same way, we’d have to know, that is, their senses in the same way, and you’d have to know not just the concepts each word references in the common use of those words, but you’d have to understand the concepts I’m referring to when I use those words. You and I may have very different understandings of the term ‘African-American’ or the word ‘dignities,’ and so on.

Q.

What do you mean, “that’s obvious?”

Q.

My point is that language is an incredibly insufficient means of communication. However it’s the best we’ve got. So naturally I’m going to say certain things, and you’re going to totally misinterpret what I say. You’ll hear my words, but you won’t understand what idea or concept, specifically, each of those words is referring to. That’s why you Democrats are losing, and us Republicans are winning. You take what we say literally. But you can’t possibly understand what we truly mean when we say the things we say. I can say, oh, I don’t know, “Build a wall all along the Mexican border,” and you knuckleheads think we really aim to build a wall along the Mexican border. Or I can talk about how certain black civil rights organizations are un-American, and you lamebrains really think I think that. My words can refer to anything! You can’t possibly hope to understand my meaning simply based on what I say. Fart butt barn storm. See? What was my meaning there? You’d probably take what I just said literally. But what I really said, based on my intent, is that I disapprove of the color of your tie because it clashes with the color of your suit, and that I think it’s very uncouth and, worst of all, un-southern of you to wear such conflicting colors. But of course you didn’t understand it that way, because you Democrats don’t think.

Q.

I could say, I want to place your head between the Senate chambers’ soft carpet and the well-worn sole of my shoe, and that I want to slowly increase the amount of pressure I place on your head, so that, after a short while, I’ll feel the small pop of a grain-fracture in your skull, and that that fracture will expand into a full-on fissure, until your entire skull collapses under the weight of my shoe, and your gelatinous brain will burst under the force of my shoe coming through your cranium, and that I would want the blood and brain matter to soak into the carpet, to remind Senators for years to come what happens when you cross Jeff Sessions. And of course you’d very likely take that literally.

Q.

Again, no, it’s not a threat. You’re only proving my point by asking that. Did you know, by the way, that we Republicans have secret meetings on weeknight evenings? While you liberals go out to eat your sushi and your kale and drink your high-vitamin smoothies, we Republicans congregate in the musty Capitol Building crypts and eat raw steaks and sip very high-brow scotch and talk about how incredibly ludicrous it is that you all take us so literally. Almost every night we do this.

Q.

We understand each other because we understand that meaning is inherent not in the words themselves but in the intent behind their use. This is something you’ll never get. Once you understand that, maybe then you’ll understand conservative thinking. Man, this sweet tea is good. We’re not on the record yet, are we?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s