Bill Barr wrote a letter to the Trump administration auditioning for the job of Attorney General. Barr decided at some point that Trump could be used to usher in an age of quasi-religious authoritarian government in the United States that people like him have been working to bring about for decades. He sees himself as carrying out a mission and he will not resign because he is disapproved of by DOJ officials, prosecutors or judges. He, like Trump, has no shame.
In an article (12/5/19) by Damon Linker, entitled “William Barr is shockingly clear about his authoritarianism,” Linker points out that:
In his “…October 11 speech at the University of Notre Dame,” Barr “…embraced a deeply anachronistic vision of religion in American public life. It was a story of a morally upstanding Republican majority upholding biblically based Judeo-Christian piety and righteousness against an aggressive minority faction of liberals and progressives who use positions of cultural and political power to impose an agenda of moral relativism on the nation.”
People like Barr believe that “…it’s crucially important for the future of American democracy that this (Barr’s) side prevail in its battle against godless relativists…” In doing so, “Barr was providing a justification for using all the powers of the federal government to bring about that outcome.” Just think about that. William Barr is providing a justification for using all the powers of the federal government to bring about” the outcome he advocates.
If any more evidence is needed, five weeks after the Notre Dame speech, “…came Barr’s even more alarming speech to…The Federalist Society. Here he described the presidency (and because of that, American self-government itself) as under siege by Congress and the courts. The greatest achievement of the American constitutional framers, he claimed, was the creation of a strong, independent, and unitary executive. And yet the liberals and progressives in charge of these other branches of government do everything in their power to hobble and weaken the presidency, which should, and will, do everything it can to reaffirm its distinctive powers and prerogatives.”
According to Barr, Trump “…would ideally also be free…to impose the travel ban, end DACA, add a citizenship question to the census, and make American foreign policy in Eastern Europe serve his personal whims and conspiratorial obsessions without having to face any pushback from Congress or the courts. No subpoenas. No irritating injunctions. No pesky Freedom of Information Act requests. No endless investigations. Trump would simply lead, and everyone else would follow.”
Then, “at the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing….Barr made a point of singling out those “communities” that fail to show “the respect and support that law enforcement deserves.” Those communities that don’t express the proper “support and respect,” he warned ominously, “might find themselves without the police protection they need.”
“It’s hard to read that passage without hearing it as a threat to minority (and especially African American) communities that have taken a stand in recent years against police brutality and excessive force….”
“It would be hard to think of a purer expression of the authoritarian mindset than this statement.”
“But Barr’s statement isn’t just an expression of authoritarianism. It’s also a reflection of the mob-boss mentality that prevails in the administration Barr serves with such abundant loyalty and enthusiasm….That isn’t how the rule of law is supposed to work. It’s the way authoritarian regimes, crime families, and robber gangs work. Unfortunately, it’s also how the president and his henchman at the Justice Department would very much like American government to work, from the Oval Office on down to the streets of our cities.”
“It’s up to the rest of us to show them both that we don’t share their admiration for rule by thug.”
See “William Barr is shockingly clear about his authoritarianism.” (12/5/19) Damon Linker.The Week.