Roseanne Barr is a racist crackpot, but she hasn’t disgraced the Barr name like this guy:
Attorney General William Barr argued yesterday that coronavirus-related lockdown orders were surpassed only by slavery as the “greatest intrusion on civil liberties” in the nation’s history https://t.co/oFyWpMnINl pic.twitter.com/kBOF9diNoZ
— POLITICO (@politico) September 17, 2020
The “lockdowns are the worst thing since slavery” statement is stunningly stupid and offensive, so it’s getting media play. But Barr’s other comments were equally alarming, IMO. He’s rightly accused of having a monarchical view of executive power, but it’s more expansive than I realized. He sees Donald Trump as a king, but he also views himself as the Hand of the King (Joffrey — it checks out). Via CNN:
In the speech, Barr questioned any criticism he’s received for “interfering” in cases. The attorney general has ultimate authority, he said.
“These people are agents of the attorney general. As I say, FBI agents, whose agent do you think you are?” Barr asked on Tuesday, adding that career lawyers, too, might be influenced by politics.
“And I say, ‘What exactly am I interfering with?’ When you boil it right down, it’s the will of the most junior member of the organization who has some idea he wants to do something. What makes that sacrosanct?”
Okay, I’m not a lawyer, but I think the sacrosanct thing in this scenario is supposed to be the law? I miss the old days, when political operative John Roberts felt compelled to claim he’d be a mere umpire calling balls and strikes. I mean, it was all bullshit to a certain extent and always has been. But it’s preferable to have public officials who are at least constrained by the need to maintain a pretense of impartiality.
“They do not have the political legitimacy to be the public face for tough decisions and they lack the political buy-in necessary to publicly defend those decisions,” Barr also said.
The speech comes after Barr has been escalating alarmist and politicized rhetoric in a series of interviews, and advocating against Democrats in the election.
“In short, the attorney general, senior DOJ officials, and US attorneys are indeed political. But they are political in a good and necessary sense,” he said.
Ironically, Barr made these remarks at a Constitution Day event.
So quaint, the notion that the Attorney General of the United States represents the United States in legal matters. Remember when DC insiders vouched for Barr as a institutionalist with a fancy pedigree who wouldn’t go wilding on Trump’s behalf? They owe us an apology. We’d have been better off keeping the sweaty, bullet-headed hot tub salesman.