“Several things conspired to make this seem like a Very Big Deal: Sessions has a history of racial controversy, the adjective didn't appear in Sessions's prepared remarks, and there is a clear and demonstrated history of Trump and his administration exploiting dog-whistle politics.”
It's 100 percent true that Trump and his administration's track record should affect how comments like that are covered. The president exploits the gray areas of American politics and plausible deniability way too often for it all to be innocent and coincidental. And that demonstrated history should color every momentary controversy, like over his comment [Sic, the only person who actually made this comment in public was Senator Dick Durbin.] about “shithole countries.”
The reason all this is stupid is because it presents as fact MSM shibboleths and obsessions like "dog-whistles".For the record, the reason the office of sheriff is part of our Anglo-American tradition is that the word comes from "shire reeve" meaning Reeve of the Shire, and this goes back in England to before 1066, when local sheriffs would, if necessary raise the same kind of "posse" that American sheriffs still occasionally do.To repeat myself, here’s a joke told in the old days by British infantry officers about cavalry officers, whom they considered aristocratic but dim. (It was also told by Naval officers about Marine officers, by Englishmen in general about Irishmen, and by Irishmen about Kerrymen.)“Have you heard about the cavalry officer who was so stupid that the others started to notice?”Well, if attacks on Sessions are so stupid the Washington Post is starting to notice, they're really, really, stupid.