Lithwick is important on the Sessions nomination. He'll be confirmed, because the modern GOP is opposed to letting black people vote, and his whole job today was to not say that out loud, and the whole historical point of the Senate is to drape pomp over bigotry: he didn't say anything egregiously true, so yay a win for him and Bilbo's ghost, and God fuck us all.
But then there's this:
Whitehouse suggested that lists were already circulating suggesting there might be purges or demotions of certain career appointees in the Justice Department. Whitehouse wondered whether Sessions would have a problem with career lawyers “with secular beliefs,” having in the past criticized department attorneys for being secular. Sessions replied that he has used that language about secular attorneys to differentiate between people who recognize objective “truth” and those who take positions “in which truth is not sufficiently respected.”
Whitehouse replied, with a leading, and perhaps slightly conclusory question: “And a secular person has just as good a claim to understanding the truth as a person who is religious, correct?” At which point Sessions responded, “Well, I’m not sure.” For a few seconds the Senate chamber seemed to go completely silent.
Fucked up, to be sure.
Let's call the question. Should these United States be a secular democracy, or... this disgusting Trumpenstein nightmare of rapacity, authoritarianism, lying, hypocrisy, nonsense, and graft, all apologized for if one is sufficiently "churched"?
I keep trying to game out how the US survives as a nation adhering to even vague approximations of liberal democratic norms in, say, my children's lifetimes. Or else the next time I want coffee. Fucked if I can solve that pancake.