If you look up “cracker” in the dictionary, it says: Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. Beauregard the Third is serving his third term in the Senate and is asking the voters of Alabama to send him back for a fourth, which would allow him to serve in “the world’s most deliberative body” for one year shy of a quarter century.

In 1986 (otherwise known as the year of Iran-Contra), President Ronald Reagan nominated Beauregard the Third to serve as a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. During the Judiciary Committee hearings on his nomination, it became clear that Sessions suffered from a common conservative fear: namely, mouth-rape.

Like so many of his Republican brethren, Sessions was terrified of having things “rammed down his throat” by the NAACP, ACLU, or some “un-American” and “Communist-inspired” guy who might decide to attack his home with a small arsenal.

When it became clear that Jefferson Beauregard the Third was not only named for the president of the Confederacy and one its more more effective generals, but actually held the same beliefs in common with those two gentlemen, the Judiciary Committee declined to send his nomination to the floor. Alabama Senator Howell Heflin decided that Sessions was simply too racist to serve on the bench in Alabama, and so Reagan had to go back to the drawing board.

But being too racist to serve as district judge is not the same thing as being too racist to serve in the U.S. Senate, and Sessions got his revenge. In fact, in a sign of the health of our country’s political discourse, Mr. Beauregard the Third actually spent more time talking in the Senate last year than Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The poster boy for “cracker” spent more time talking than either Sens. Ted Cruz or Rand Paul, who both waged long and delusional faux-filibusters for no coherent reason whatsoever.

Yes, the person who spent the most time speaking into the Senate chamber’s CSPAN cameras last year is a man who couldn’t serve in the judicial branch because of his racism. Nonetheless, he serves as the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts.

Because, GOP.

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