Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
William Barr is undermining the actions and goals of the Progressives, and he knows exactly what he’s doing—and I hope he is loving every minute of it. He knew that accepting the job of Attorney General would be even more demanding than his stint as AG under President George H.W. Bush. Even a Justice Department official under Barr wondered why Barr would take the job:
The first reaction I had was, ‘Why in the world would Bill do this?’ said Timothy Flanigan, a top Justice Department official under Mr. Barr. ‘He’s doing this out of a sense of duty and patriotism. He probably sees this as, he really is the one person on the horizon who can step in with immediate credibility to the department and begin to restore the internal and external confidence.’
This observation contradicts the assumptions that opponents to Trump made: that Barr’s unsolicited 20-page memo he sent to President Trump regarding Robert Mueller’s investigation was a way to secure the AG job. Given the attacks that Trump underwent prior to his inviting Barr to be AG, William Barr knew that the Progressives would come after him, no matter what he did.
They haven’t disappointed.
William Barr has not only exceeded conservatives expectations of him, but he has surpassed them. He is an honest and fearless man, transparent about his support not just of President Trump but of the role of the Executive in our federal government. I’d like to describe what a boon his selection has been not just to this President, or to the role of Attorney General, but also to the citizens of the United States.
AG Barr was determined to protect the Executive and the Constitution by following through on the intent of the Founders. In his speech at the Federalist Society in 2019, he directly addressed the undermining of the President’s role by the Legislature and the Judiciary:
The first is the notion that politics in a free republic is all about the Legislative and Judicial branches protecting liberty by imposing restrictions on the Executive. The premise is that the greatest danger of government becoming oppressive arises from the prospect of Executive excess. So, there is a knee-jerk tendency to see the Legislative and Judicial branches as the good guys protecting society from a rapacious would-be autocrat.
The second contemporary way of thinking that operates against the Executive is a notion that the Constitution does not sharply allocate powers among the three branches, but rather that the branches, especially the political branches, ‘share’ powers. The idea at work here is that, because two branches both have a role to play in a particular area, we should see them as sharing power in that area and, it is not such a big deal if one branch expands its role within that sphere at the expense of the other.
AG Barr’s commitment to the Executive role was well known before he gave this speech. The media and the Left used his commitment to accuse him of being the President’s lackey. One media type called him the President’s stooge. Yet he is determined to push back on the efforts to impinge on Executive branch powers.
AG Barr emphasizes the need for religion and morality in this country. In his speech at Notre Dame, Barr emphasized the role of religion and its importance to this country:
Why is religion a public good? Because, says Barr, it ‘trains people to want what is good.’ It helps to frame a society’s moral culture and instills moral discipline. No secular creed has emerged that can do what religion does, he says. And by casting religion out, we are dismantling the foundation of our public morality.
‘What we call ‘values’ today are nothing more than mere sentimentality, drawing on the vapor trails of Christianity,’ says the AG.
Finally, he exhorts lawyers to fight for religious liberty in the public square. He concludes with:
‘I can assure you that as long as I am Attorney General, the Department of Justice will be at the forefront of this effort, ready to fight for the most cherished of all our American liberties: the freedom to live according to our faith.’
Progressives are outraged at AG Barr’s support of religion and insist that his efforts are a violation of the separation of church and state.
AG Barr illustrates the efforts by the media and the Left to undermine this country. In the same Federalist Society speech, the opposition was named:
Immediately after President Trump won election, opponents inaugurated what they called ‘The Resistance,’ and they rallied around an explicit strategy of using every tool and maneuver available to sabotage the functioning of his Administration. Now, ‘resistance’ is the language used to describe insurgency against rule imposed by an occupying military power. It obviously connotes that the government is not legitimate. This is a very dangerous – indeed incendiary – notion to import into the politics of a democratic republic. What it means is that, instead of viewing themselves as the ‘loyal opposition,’ as opposing parties have done in the past, they essentially see themselves as engaged in a war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government. [italics are mine]
These actions by the Left were clearly meant to destroy not only Trump, but to damage the power of the Presidency and to destroy the country, as part of the Progressive agenda, and Barr did not mince words in attacking their efforts.
AG Barr offers objective clarification on the implications of the IG Report. The media upon release of the report chose to spin the results as a way to support and justify the efforts of the FBI. Barr was not going to let the public be misled about the conclusions that were drawn:
The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken. It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory. Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration. In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source. The Inspector General found the explanations given for these actions unsatisfactory. While most of the misconduct identified by the Inspector General was committed in 2016 and 2017 by a small group of now-former FBI officials, the malfeasance and misfeasance detailed in the Inspector General’s report reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process.
The reasons I find AG Barr’s statements so admirable include, but are not limited to, these observations:
- He does not worry about how others will react to his words; he makes comments that are accurate and isn’t concerned about offending anyone.
- He tackles topics that people avoid, such as religion, morality, misconduct in operations, the importance of the Executive’s role, and doesn’t couch his opinion in vague allusions.
- He is not afraid to push back when people do question his choice of words, such as his labeling FBI activities as “spying.”
- He doesn’t hesitate to speak up when he feels that the public may need clarification of important decisions that are related to the DOJ.
Finally, Eric Holder, former Attorney General under Barack Obama, couldn’t resist offering his critique of AG Barr. He began by writing:
As a former U.S. attorney general, I am reluctant to publicly criticize my successors. I respect the office and understand just how tough the job can be.
But recently, Attorney General William P. Barr has made a series of public statements and taken actions that are so plainly ideological, so nakedly partisan and so deeply inappropriate for America’s chief law enforcement official that they demand a response from someone who held the same office.
But he showed his true colors in this closing remark:
The American people deserve an attorney general who serves their interests, leads the Justice Department with integrity and can be entrusted to pursue the facts and the law, even — and especially — when they are politically inconvenient and inconsistent with the personal interests of the president who appointed him. William Barr has proved he is incapable of serving as such an attorney general. He is unfit to lead the Justice Department.
That, from Eric Holder, who couldn’t recognize the irony in his writing and how he betrayed his role as Attorney General as well as the American people.
This country is blessed to have Attorney General William Barr fighting for us and for this country through this unprecedented time. May he be strengthened by his commitment to truth and justice.