Jeff Sessions must be wondering if the whole world has gone mad. Despite being appointed to the powerful position of Attorney General of the United States, Sessions never seems far from the joyless, pursed-lipped tattletale of his youth.
In Washington, Sessions stands out like a ham hock in hummus with his red-cheeked outrage that is less fire and fury and more “my stars and garters!” I know his faux courtly type. They get agitated about all the wrong things: fuming over too much profanity in movies while casually cutting funding for preschool programs and making sure documented crazy people can buy guns.
Sessions, arguably the most uncool export to come out of the American South since liver puddin’, must wonder what has happened when former House Speaker and conservative Republican John Boehner — JOHN BOEHNER — decides to join the board of a company that grows and sells marijuana in 11 states. I picture this recent revelation sending Sessions to a dark corner to color mandalas for a few hours while he ponders how Satan took ahold of his old friend. Sessions, channeling his inner hall monitor, believes marijuana is a gateway drug to every awful thing, including heroin, giving money to environmental groups and watching “The View.”
Now that Boehner has gleefully embraced the sale and distribution of pot, this explains a lot. Weed can make you drop your inhibitions, or so I have read and heard. This explains the “remarkable candor” Boehner was cited for by the press last year when he took a deep breath — inhaled, if you will — and pronounced that Ted Cruz was “Lucifer” and the Trump presidency was “a complete disaster.” I’m looking at these comments again and I believe they must have been edited for brevity.
I think what Boehner probably said was more like: “Trump’s presidency is a complete disaster ... you seen that show “Nailed It?” Man that’s some funny (bleep). Ima put some Tater Tots and this bottle of ranch dressing in the Instapot and see what happens. You in?”
But it’s the age-old story. Boehner hated weed until he discovered it could make him rich. But he didn’t say that: He said he was embracing marijuana because it “helps our veterans.”
This is a typical turnaround. Take a new stand on an old issue but claim it’s because you have found a “higher purpose.” It’s only slightly less tiresome and duplicitous than the old “I want to spend more time with my family.” Paul Ryan used that one recently after announcing he’d give up the house speaker job he inherited from stoner Boehner in 2015. It had nothing whatsoever to do with that bloated budget he produced that managed to make both parties hate him.
Fam is probably like, “That’s OK, we’re good.”
Meanwhile, Sessions is doubling down on his stance that “Good people don’t smoke marijuana” and, right by himself, lifted barriers that kept federal prosecutors from pursuing pot cases in states where IT’S LEGAL.
An old-school Southern conservative who doesn’t respect states’ rights? Lawd have mercy.
— Wilmington, North Carolina’s Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.