Someone needs to send Jeff Sessions a copy of George Clooney's opening monologue from the wonderful Alexander Payne film, The Descendants.
My friends on the mainland think just because I live in Hawaii, I live in paradise. Like a permanent vacation. We're all just out here sipping mai tais, shaking our hips, and catching waves. Are they insane? Do they think we're immune to life? How can they possibly think our families are less screwed up -- our cancers less fatal -- our heartaches less painful? Hell, I haven't been on a surfboard in 15 years... Paradise can go fuck itself.
Even now, after moving from Hawaii to Northern California two years ago, I still think about this quote and how well it illustrates the misconceptions about life in the 50th state. Senator Mazie Hirono noted the other day that Hawaii has been an American state for 58 years, and yet mainlanders continue to think of the islands as a joke -- as an imaginary vacation-land where there's nothing but frivolity, surfing and mai-tais flowing like water -- and, because of all that, Hawaii shouldn't be taken seriously as a place where Real Americans live and die.
Jeff Sessions, in an effort to ballyhoo his president's atrocious Muslim ban, told radio talk show host and the Most Annoying Sound in the World, Mark Levin, "I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power."
Imagine Eric Holder in 2009 saying the same thing about Alabama.
Yeah, so the judge who cock-blocked Donald Trump is somehow irrelevant because the he resides on "an island in the Pacific" -- as if this "island" somehow invalidates the judge's decision. The ruling is a joke, they want their fanboys to believe, because it's clearly been handed down by a hula dancer eating pineapple on the side of a volcano.
Judge Derrick K. Watson is none of that. His courtroom is located in the state capital of Honolulu, the world's largest city in terms of overall borders (1,500 miles long -- yes, really), which also happens to have the most horrendous traffic in America. Honolulu is located on the island of Oahu -- part of an archipelago of eight major islands and several smaller islands and atolls.
While Sessions is technically correct in referring to Oahu as "an island in the Pacific," there's nothing to suggest that Judge Watson is somehow less qualified to make rational decisions because he happens to be based in Hawaii.
Oh, and by the way, Jeff Sessions voted to confirm Watson back in 2013. (Not fake news.)
Ever since the Republicans learned Barack Obama was born and raised partly in Honolulu, the GOP has been engaged in an effort to downplay an entire state's legitimacy as a place where, yes, Real America and Real Americans exist despite the natural splendor of the islands. My personal story in Hawaii included a lot of that splendor, but it also included vast quantities of real life -- Real America.
My wonderful experiences there also happened to include heartbreak, financial struggles, illness, even divorce. But still, I tended to hear the following more often than not: What right do you have to complain, Bob? You're living the dream! Sorry, but life was just as real in the middle of the Pacific as it is anyplace else, and, yes, sometimes paradise can go fuck itself. Today, however, Jeff Sessions can feel free to go fuck himself.