(Feb. 19) Jeffersion Sessions is providing a prime example of how substance, even when considerable, bows to slogans in modern political campaigns.

The former U.S. Attorney General, seeking to regain the Senate seat from Alabama he held for 20 years, faces a contested Republican primary on March 3. Both at the Justice Department and in the Senate, Sessions built fine records of accomplishment. His campaign messages, though, have done little to remind Alabamans of those achievements.

Until a couple of recent ads that say he fought as attorney general to protect religious liberty and get tough on border enforcement, both times with only hazy specifics even though specifics are available and impressive, most of Sessions’s commercials have featured him trying to reclaim his status as the nation’s first and foremost supporter of President Trump. Other senators, he said, “were hiding under their desks.”

I’ve repeatedly recognized here at the Washington Examiner the good legislative work of one of Sessions’s opponents, Rep. Bradley Byrne, who is now running an embarrassingly inauthentic campaign. As my Examiner columns haven’t similarly highlighted Sessions’ substantive body of work, that record merits attention now.

First, immigration hard-liners should know that not only was Sessions measurably the toughest border enforcer in memory as attorney general, but it is almost certain that a form of amnesty would have become law in either 2006 or 2013 without Sessions’s laser-focused opposition. Indeed, in 2006, Sessions, essentially alone at first, bucked his own party’s president and leadership to kill George W. Bush’s lenient immigration bill, which had seemed destined for easy passage.

Second, Sessions was perhaps the single most effective senator 20 years ago in developing U.S. policy toward a then-troubled nation of Colombia, which was struggling to contain narcoterrorists. Colombia is now relatively peaceful and stable, meaning the flow of hard drugs from there polluting American streets has greatly diminished…..

[The full column is here.]


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