Remember: nobody protected, propped up, lied, and covered for Trump more than William Barr. https://t.co/C6af4IxCql
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) February 27, 2022
We interrupt our current crisis... because this well-padded white shoe in plausibly human form deserves to be shunned, if not driven from society. It’s not ‘One Damn Thing After Another’, Mr. Barr; as Dorothy Parker once said, It’s the same damned thing over & over again.
Iran-Contra fixer & Starr investigation cheerleader Barr doesn’t care that Trump was a criminal who nearly sparked a civil war; he’s just peeved that this lowly celebrity hustler has damaged the GOP brand:
Former Attorney General William Barr writes in a new book that former President Donald Trump has “shown he has neither the temperament nor persuasive powers to provide the kind of positive leadership that is needed,” and that it is time for Republicans to focus on rising new leaders in the party.
The release of the former attorney general’s 600-page book, “One Damn Thing After Another,” is coming as Mr. Trump, who remains the GOP’s dominant figure, contemplates another presidential run. Mr. Barr writes that he was convinced that Mr. Trump could have won re-election in 2020 if he had “just exercised a modicum of self-restraint, moderating even a little of his pettiness.”…
Mr. Barr, a respected figure in Washington conservative circles, returned to head the Justice Department in February 2019 after Mr. Trump ousted his first attorney general, former Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican. Mr. Barr served in the same post at the end of the George H.W. Bush administration and was a corporate lawyer in between.
During much of Mr. Barr’s time in the Trump administration, some said he protected the president at the expense of the Justice Department’s independence, especially over his handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election…
Mr. Barr writes that he reminded Mr. Trump that he had “sacrificed a lot personally to come in to help you when I thought you were being wronged,” but that the Justice Department had not been able to verify any of his legal team’s assertions about mass voter fraud…
Mr. Barr resigned a few weeks later, bringing a tumultuous end to his time in office.
After the election, Mr. Barr said that Mr. Trump “lost his grip” and that his false claims of voter fraud led to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters trying to thwart the certification of Mr. Biden’s November, 2020, victory.
“The absurd lengths to which he took his ‘stolen election’ claim led to the rioting on Capitol Hill,” Mr. Barr writes.
He has an obligation to do more than just resign and write a book. He had an obligation to tell the public that the President he served was violating his oath of office. https://t.co/F7iLBYZVSC
— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) February 28, 2022
This man knew full well Trump was plotting a coup and rather than stand his ground and stop it, he cut and run like a coward and issued a groveling statement about what a great president Trump was. Then he sold a book so he could profit of what he knew and didn't share. https://t.co/Oert1XvdQg
— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) February 28, 2022
Tell me this is a man who regrets anything other than his latest catspaw getting caught:
… “One Damn Thing After Another” is an intemperate culture-war treatise smuggled into a lawyer’s memoir: a seemingly sober recitation of events that’s periodically interrupted by seething tirades about “militant secularism” and a “Maoist” American left. He compares Trump’s opponents to “guerrillas engaged in a war to cripple a duly elected government” and calls the pandemic restrictions adopted by some states the most “onerous denial of civil liberties” in American history, second only to slavery…
Barr doesn’t make much of an effort in this book to counter assertions by his critics that even before reading the Mueller report he had mostly made up his mind. Barr says the investigation was “not so different from a witch hunt,” and the question of whether the Trump campaign sought to benefit from Russian interference in the election was “manufactured,” “phony,” “bogus”: “Russiagate specifically, and the resistance generally,” he writes, “were mendacious and fraudulent attempts to invalidate the legitimate election of an American President.”…
This is a pattern in Barr’s book: He nitpicks his way to desired conclusions by carefully navigating a lawyerly path around finely drawn distinctions, all the while lobbing bomblets at anyone he defines as an enemy. “For all his urbane affect, Obama was still the left-wing agitator who had patiently steered the Democratic Party toward an illiberal, identity-obsessed progressivism,” Barr writes; no doubt actual “left-wing agitators,” who have regularly denounced Obama for centrism, would like to have a word…
By the end of “One Damn Thing After Another,” it’s clear that Barr has something else in common with Trump — a shrewd ability to recognize when certain people are no longer useful for his purposes, and a willingness to dispense with them accordingly. Barr slips in a description of Robert Mueller’s “trembling” hands and “tremulous” voice, wondering if Mueller “might have an illness” — a striking (and expedient) bit of gossip for Barr to float about an old friend. The last chapter has Barr throwing Trump under the bus, albeit gently and with the utmost decorum. Barr laments Trump’s stubborn problems of “tone,” faulting him for “needlessly” alienating “a large group of white-collar suburbanites,” and declares that it’s time to move on from the loser of the 2020 election by recovering “something like the old Reagan coalition.”…
Also shorter Billy Barr: Ignore that I debased myself for the incompetent fascist, please. I'm laundering my reputation for the competent fascist.
— emptywheel (@emptywheel) February 27, 2022
He’s just another old school conservative that has devolved into a fascist reactionary after years of consuming right wing media.
Maybe Barr can make an appearance for the next book club!
Is there actually anything news worthy in this book?
Barr is an unrepentant ideologue. He tries to project a grandfatherly image, but it’s a sham.
He knew all of this in real time, but, said nothing..
as ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES.
And the muthaphuckas in the MSM attempting to help ‘restore’ his image, because you don’t want to admit that you were wrong in the first place about him when he was nominated.
“but just because that was true doesn’t mean *we’ll* say it!” Because others said otherwise! Gosh, facts…they’re so complicated!
Kay mentioned this in an earlier thread: this goon was getting paid by our tax dollars to be America’s top law enforcement official, and instead of saying something publicly at the time, chose to zip it, resign, and hold onto the good stuff for his book. Disgusting.
As I said in the earlier Ukraine open thread, Bill Barr is playing the part of a delayed-action hero. It’s like a kids plastic action figure, only it publishes self-congratulatory books far too late to do any good.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
Why in the hell is anyone even wasting their time on what Barr has to say?
Saw that as a sub-hed on an article this morning, and barely contained myself from screaming at my computer (as I was at work and would have gotten … looks). As you correctly noted in your post, Barr singlehandedly kept that corrupt buffoon in office for the duration of his official term. The shear balls to now claim some divine hindsight that the shitgibbon was indeed, a shitgibbon.
This was evident from the moment Trump entered the GOP primary.
But now Trump and Trumpism has infected the party, or encouraged the GOP to let all its poisons run out. So, the “rising new leaders” are all mini-Trumps vying to prove who is most deranged.
Doesn’t say much about the quality of conservative circles.
He came into the Justice Department and closed down the Mueller investigation before It was complete. If we had a working democracy, he would be shunned just for that alone. Then his other misdeeds on top of that. We can measure how far we have fallen by the ease with which he rehabilitates his image.
I wish I had the technical skills to grab that photo of the older Ukrainian woman, flipping the bird. It sums up my feelings precisely.
I agree that Barr’s balls should be sheared. And then he should be tarred and feathered.
“Hello, DOJ Tip Line. I want to report that details of an imminent terror attack on the United States will be revealed in my forthcoming book “Before It’s Too Late,” coming out this fall, just in time for Christmas.”
For the Mueller whitewash alone, he’s getting the 12 pack treatment after he’s dead and buried.
@Ocotillo: Barr was a fascist reactionary way back when, too, he just had better cover then. He wrote an opinion that we could abduct a sitting head of state, so that we could kidnap Noriega.
Same old asshole, just less cover.
Why bother publishing this thing. The handful of Trumpies that read books, ain’t reading this one.
Parts of the GOP want to move past Trump because he is a loser. This is part of that effort.
The cry of the “responsible” tryant-enablers: “You forced us to be so mean, to trash the Justice Department’s independence, to ignore the criminality, to support the suppression of protesters, to be silent about the attempted coup. How dare you have concluded that the guy who said “Russia if you’re listening,” actually wanted Russian help. How dare you remember the indictments that we actually filed that document Russian interference. You, with your woke-cancel culture-critical theory-selves, forced us to trash every norm we trashed, to indulge every Presidential crime we indulged. How dare you have forced me to have signed off on the tear gassing in Lafayette square. Shame on you.”
What you said. “But you see, he doesn’t sound like a crazed conservative Republican.”
The fact that he carried water for that monster Ken Starr informs us fully of who and what he is.
Barr can go choke on a fucking meatball.
True, but sadly it will likely get him a job somewhere in a “think tank” or investment firm or some other grift.
I just can’t with these “former Tr*mp official” books . . .
The only difference between Bill Barr and the “crazed Republicans” is the bored tone in which he delivers the crazy; that’s it. When Bill Barr says the most insane shit, he delivers it as though he is saying : “One and one add up to two.”
I have to admit, I’m curious what “Brave Sir Billy’s” excuse for resigning in December instead of waiting another month. He clearly knew something or was asked to do something that crossed his own personal red line. What was that red line, and why was resigning the only thing he did about it?
He wrote 600+ pages, right? Surely he addresses that??
550 pages are probably about how awful those BLM people are.
@Brantl: Indeed, Barr okaying the abduction of heads of state is exactly why he is “a respected figure in Washington conservative circles”.
I mean, Noriega was a massive POS. But international laws and norms being blatantly broken should have the effects we’re seeing now: Ruble turning to rubble. Moscow Exchange shut for five days. Company after company cutting ties (news to me: Daimler Truck, and also Volvo (notable as it has Chinese owners)).
Barr and these ‘conservatives’ have no respect for the rule of law. They respect law-to-rule.
The Moar You Know
Channeling my inner Jen Psaki: Who respects him? Give me a name. Because I’m willing to bet the answer is truthfully “nobody”.
The Moar You Know
@dexwood: snakes swallow their food whole
And of course the MSM will book him on all its talk shows to sell the goddamn thing. Fuck them, too.
Our MSM gives new depth and meaning to the word “feckless.” I am so sick of them.
Just wondering who the target audience is for this screed. Democrats are largely going to ignore it for the garbage it is. Loyal Trumpists are not going to shell out money for something they don’t want to hear. That leaves political pundits, Romney Republicans and historians. The only question is whether he sells more copies than Chris Christie’s
@The Moar You Know: “in conservative circles”
I totally believe he still has some respect there.
Wasn’t it this?
And I thought it was rumored that he “resigned.”
@Brantl: Recently, I missed the olden days where the CIA kill team went into adversarial countries and took care of the head of state. At least, I realized how short sighted that thinking was.
You’re right about Barr and his reputation should never be redeemed.
@feebog: Agree, but there’s probably a fourth audience: Trump imitators like DeSantis, Cotton, Cruz, etc., who are probably personally contemptuous of Trump but too chickenshit to openly oppose him, at least for now. This lets them know Barr is one of them (understands the utility of the MAGA cult but didn’t personally buy in). Honestly, that type of Republican has a better chance of inheriting the party than the Romney types do.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
Probably because he’s remaining in orbit for another chance at a future shiny administration job or [shudder] judicial appointment.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
Because he’s a sack of shit, who held a rather high position in OUR government and he fucked all of us rather than do the job and the country that he took an oath for.
I took an oath as well, as a member of the armed forces, as millions of others did and would have suffered for it if I fucked it over as much as he did.
Are politicians above the law and oath they took for the country? Those millions of people who have taken a similar oath were not.
They don’t read any of them. Conservative screeds become “bestsellers” when billionaire-funded wingnut-welfare outfits buy them in bulk and give them away as promotional items to people who mostly put them on a shelf as tribal indicators without ever cracking them open.
Yeah, they definitely respect competent fascists and theocrats. No one should mistake it for meaning he’s done anything respectable, of course.
Barr is now just trying to clean up his reputation after soiling it by consorting with Trump. None of these so-called smart guys learned that Trump contaminates everything and everyone he touches. And, as I was saying last night, Trump’s base are the dumbest, grossest, meanest people in the country. The GOP has decided that those people are now part of the coalition. You can see Barr is now realizing the implications of that.
Mike in NC
Three people that need to DIAF for their crimes: Trump, Putin, and Barr
I hope the only copies that pig sells end up having criminal trial exhibit stickers on them.
Their work doesn’t speak for itself- in fact, he has to write a 600 page book to explain how his work wasn’t utter garbage, hence the book.
It’s all like this “Ignore my actual work- just read this book or listen to this speech and then you’ll know it didn’t suck as much as what you observed”.
The really funny one is the Supreme Court Justices on the Right. “Although I WRITE OPINIONS that anyone can read, I would now like to demand that you instead adopt my own very generous grading scale for my own work instead”
Just don’t look at what they do and draw your own conclusions! God forbid that starts happening! Too much like “a merit system” for these hacks.
I see a lot of reasons for Barr to write it. Don’t see a reason for anyone to read it.
I like your style.
I do think you left out the word off after sheared. I think it’s best to leave no doubt.
Fox News has been cultivating this vile crop for years. Trump harvested them very nicely for the GOP. People like DeSantis are willing to be just as dumb, gross and mean as necessary to keep them.
We knew long before TFG took the oath that only bottom of the barrel people would take a political appointment in his administration. Barr was a few stories below that, actively lobbying publicly for the job, because accountability under law is so unfair…
He’s worse than just about anyone associated with TFG.
@The Dangerman: agreed and also LOL
@Brachiator: Agreed. But I don’t know if DeSantis has the special sauce.
The problem for the GOP is that Trump’s people really only love Trump. It’s aesthetic, it’s a deeper alignment. And they’re not a natural fit for the social conservatives or the country club neocon types. I think the GOP was willing to indulge the MAGA trash in 2016 because the stakes felt low. I’m convinced that they really want to put him in the rearview and never speak of that again, but don’t know how to win without the Trump dead-enders.
Even Rudy G?
@Brachiator: The GOP has been cultivating them since the Southern Strategy, they just used to keep them out of sight instead of electing them to office an putting them on display. My theory is that with the rise of wingnut welfare, the ones who actually had any interest in policy and government moved up into grifting because it was more lucrative, and left elected and appointed positions to the trolls.
@The Moar You Know:
Because I’m willing to bet the answer is truthfully “nobody”.
This is a major point. I don’t believe that any of the conservative politicians actually trust each other, they all seem to be in it for their own selves and will do whatever they think is OK, go as far as they think they can get away with, but they know that there are limits and while they waver about crossing their own limits, they won’t say or do much, or even anything about anything other conservatives do, unless those get caught or are so obviously shit, It’s never about the country, the people, it’s always about their privilege and power, never about the actual greater good.
They are all self absorbed assholes of the lowest order.
I see Scott’s point.
Rudy’s power is his mouth, really nothing more.
Barr was and is willing to actually do serious shit to fuck over the country to his own ends.
Youngkin showed them how.
Republican voters are extremely loyal and/or hate the Dems so much that they vote for the person with the R. We don’t have that (yet).
@Another Scott: Did the freedom girls ever get paid? That was the moment that I knew that the Maga movement was going full steam ahead.
Have any major GOP leaders firmly and definitively repudiated Trump?
Parallels from history should only be used with caution, maybe not at all.
Still, the European nations made a mistake when they allowed Napoleon to have any means of returning to power. And Bonaparte made the most of the opportunity they left him.
The Republicans should have impeached Trump, convicted him and made it impossible for him to ever again hold public office. This might also have made it harder for mini-Trumps to try to appeal to his base.
Anything less than that keeps Trump and Trumpism in play.
On the bright side, I assume that the release date was set months ago, and that the guy who lied to help Trump cover up Putin’s involvement in subverting our democracy would not have chosen this particular week, all things considered.
@Scout211: I don’t believe that. Barr could have told Dumpy that he was sticking around until Inauguration Day. Dumpy could have explicitly fired him (but would he have?), but Barr instead saved him the trouble and wrote an obsequious resignation letter, waddling off to write this garbage.
He knew things were going down and was both skeptical of the possibility of success and unwilling to personally intervene in any way to stop it. He just got out of the way and hoped for the best.
And I wouldn’t assume that his definition of “best” equates to yours and mine.
@Anyway: Mmmmm. I’m not sure Youngkin’s schtick will transfer, either. That’s the problem with a cult of personality.
Trump had people who were literally willing to die for him. I don’t see anybody that excited about Glenn Youngkin. Even people who voted for him.
J R in WV
Well, Rudy never worked for the federal government, once he left the federal DA’s office.
They don’t seem to think that far ahead, they seem far more reactionary than thoughtful to me. Because if they actually were thinking they would have been all in stopping TFG long before. Thing is a lot of them agree with him in what little substance he has, just not in his style – or lack thereof.
IOW they don’t say the quiet parts out loud. At least not shouting them from the rooftops. TFG shouts the quiet parts from the rooftops. Seems effective if one is trying to go all in asshole.
I may have told this story before, but just in case I haven’t:
in the summer of 2020 when many restaurants had set up outside tents for patrons because vaccines were still hard to come by, we had dinner at one of our favorite places in Northern Virginia with another couple and were seated near the entrance to the restaurant itself. While enjoying our cocktails we saw a bunch of black suvs drive into the parking lot, which is something you see from time to time in and around DC. After a few minutes of blocking the driveway for the restaurant Bill Barr and several other people got out of a couple of the suvs and went inside.
I was sorely tempted to stick out a leg and try to trip him, but managed to control myself since this is fact our favorite restaurant and we eat there at least once every 6 weeks or so and we only go out every 10-15 days so it would be a real hardship for us if we couldn’t go anymore.
I did ask our busboy if he could arrange to have his food spit in though. He humored me by saying he’d see what he could do.
I think this is probably right. Just like he wrote a “unitary executive” memo as a kind of job application essay for Trump, this is a statement to the mini-Trumps: Let’s you and me do crimes at the blahs, and keep it classier than Trump.
I thought that was Kavanaugh. Could be both. The Starr investigation was where rw lawyers went for building the rw reps.
I think that some people are unwilling to look at what the GOP has become. They keep talking about dog whistles and being coy about “saying the quiet part out loud.”
And yet you have some conservatives openly calling for a return to white supremacy and the active subjugation of women and sexual minorities. This is not mild rhetoric or mere political sloganeering.
Trump demonized Hispanic immigrants, praised Confederate leaders and never, ever had a harsh word to say about white racists. The GOP leadership signed on and heartily endorsed this.
So called moderate Republicans have left the party or sulk and offer only mild rebuke if they say anything at all.
We may see how far the GOP has gone if they turn the confirmation hearings for Judge Jackson into a racist shitshow.
But in any case, we are far beyond dog whistles.
This is the hopeful future, that a ride-or-die Trump cult rump remains that refuses to vote for anyone else. Essentially splitting off the growth demographic Republickins have been living off.
@Bupalos: The thing is, that group doesn’t have to be that big to matter. Elections are won at small margins now. And we don’t have to turn them blue. They can just stay TF home.
I think Trump praising Putin, on some two-bit show no one’s ever heard of, was not a good move for his image. I feel like there’s been a small but pivotal shift.
@Redshift: Well stated. I 100% as the Twitter Kidzzz say.
yeah, you might be right about that.
And now we are stuck with having to deal with this mess.
I think Barr is the sort of attorney, who if he’s hired, will do whatever is needed for his client to win, no questions asked about right or wrong.
As AG, he must’ve viewed Presidents Bush, Sr. and Trump as clients, who hired him to protect their interests.
I can’t think of another explanation for his actions now and thirty years ago.
Barr is a toxic scumbag, but let’s not stand in his way helping take down a far more dangerously toxic scumbag, Donald Trump. Agree that Barr’s help taking down Donald Trump doesnt come remotely close to atoning for Barr’s own malevolent shit-weaselry not come within light-years of rehabilitating him for any further position of power – his usefulness is more like a mafia captain turning state’s evidence against the head of the whole crime family.
I’d rather have slugs crawl all over me than listen to or read a word of what Bill Barr has to say.
Why does this piece of walking garbage still have a license to practice law?
If Barr’s behavior doesn’t violate the ethical code of the legal profession, that code is meaningless.
I’m pretty sure “best” in this case meant no one would ever find out about the planning of 1/6 and how much he ignored what was going on right under his nose. He was always going to find an escape hatch with the Koch’s and Mercers. He didn’t give a rats ass if the ‘best’ outcome meant Pence getting hanged on the Capitol steps.