Political commentators keep asking the question: Why would William Barr trash his reputation, bring disgrace to his family name, ill repute the legal profession, undermine the Justice Department and destabilize the country? Why?
It doesn’t add up. It’s doesn’t make any sense. And, I’m not buying that Barr’s ostensibly irrational behavior is out of some crazy sense of loyalty to a former realty television host.
I think everyone may have it wrong about Attorney General William Barr. He is not a Trump loyalist. He is not a Trump lackey. He isn’t about power for the mere sake of accumulating power. Something else is driving this man.
Perhaps, Donald Trump is using William Barr. Maybe it’s the other way around. I’ve been monitoring and fighting the Religious Right for three decades. I’ve been to their churches, at their rallies and inside their conferences. So, I know from experience a dangerous religious fanatic when I encounter one.
It is my view that the Attorney General is a right wing religious extremist with a radical agenda. He wants to turn back the clock, impose his religious beliefs on the country and use his power to punish secular Americans – who he has it out for. Don’t take from me, the Attorney General has said as much. In few moments I will play clips illustrating my point.
In my view, William Barr is loyal to Trump insofar as he sees the president as a useful idiot. Trump is a mere Trojan Horse that Barr exploits to force his religious views onto all Americans. If you are trying to figure out Barr through merely a political lens, you may be missing the big picture. What truly animates and motivates this ruthless political machine is his right wing religious worldview. It’s time people start discussing this out in the open without feeling queasy because it’s uncomfortable discussing religion.
The media certainly doesn’t want to broach this topic. So, they hyper-focus on Barr’s bizarre promotion of the all-powerful unitary executive – which basically transforms the president into a King. But the media is failing to ask why a supposed traditional, bureaucratic institutionalist like William Barr holds this legally outlandish view? It’s makes no rational sense.
I think I know the answer. Democracy is at odds with Barr’s perverse and unAmerican desire to create a right wing Christian utopia. Most people don’t support his backward views. So, the only way Barr gets to see his worldview come to fruition is by imposing it against the will of the people.
Conveniently, along comes Donald Trump. The wiser and more sophisticated Barr seizes the opportunity. Barr knew that he could potentially gain power by manipulating the wannabe authoritarian strongman. So, Barr puts out a legal paper justifying an all-powerful presidency and auditions for Trump on FOX News. Predictably, Trump took the bait.
Barr was also perfect for the job, because his institutional credibility made it easier for Senate confirmation. He would only have to fool the establishment once – and then it would be too late. Barr would be the new Attorney General, with the ability to use police power to accomplish his crazy worldview.
So, Barr is not necessarily loyal. It’s more likely that he is leading Trump by nose, using flattery and ostensible obedience to move up the chain of power.
If you want to understand William Barr, it is essential that you read his October 11, 2019 Notre Dame speech. It’s a terrifying, yet illuminating screed that exposes his true convictions and motivation.
It reveals Barr as a bitter, paranoid culture warrior with a messiah complex. Pat Robertson or Mike Pence could have written his speech. The speech is a Religious Right greatest hits album, attacking abortion, secularism, atheists, euthanasia, drugs and LGBT people.
Barr’s zealous beliefs are the reason that he’s willing to take the public relations hits to his reputation. He’s been skewered over his diabolical handling of the Muller Report and the Roger Stone sentencing guidelines because in his mind he’s working on a larger project and has a higher calling.
The Notre Dame speech is as instructive as it is chilling. For starters, Barr believes that America was created by right wing Christians for right wing Christians.
To make his absurd point Barr quotes John Adams.
Barr has a theory that only self-righteous men who share his medieval mindset and self-righteous, puritanical values are the true heirs of this country and worthy of our democracy. Everyone else is morally polluting the country and has already ruined democracy. With no sense of irony, considering he works for Donald Trump, Barr believes that uncivilized, Godless, licentious undesirables, who are slaves to their own passions have made democracy unworkable and freedom untenable.
What’s terrifying is that Barr has elevated himself, in his own perverse mind, as the great avenging angel and marauding crusader that God put on earth to restrain rapacity – of his political enemies. Not so much if you’re Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Rudy Giuliani or Donald Trump. Then you can do whatever the hell you want.
In the speech, Barr quotes Edmond Burke to justify his potential crackdown on those he deems as degrading society, thus unworthy of liberty.
So, Barr believes his role is to put chains on the appetites of those he sees as his religious and political enemies. In God complex, he views himself as the controlling power, to civilize the irreligious savages who he sees as corrupting the moral compass of America.
Like all zealots, Barr needs enemies. In his paranoid and perverse talk at the University of Notre Dame, he launched nasty, unfounded attacks on secular Americans.
Barr believes that the pendulum may not swing back in his direction unless good people rise up and strike back.
In Barr’s warped world, he is going to use the law and police to lead a period of moral retrenchment and beat back excess. Remember, a madman like Barr can only accomplish these nutty ideas if a fool like Trump is handed unlimited power. If Trump has unlimited power, by extension, so doe Barr.
The Attorney General is also severely paranoid and believes that right wing Christians are victims who are under constant attack.
Barr sees the public schools as under siege, because they no longer impose his version of God on students.
Much of Barr’s anger with public schools, is that they increasingly punish bullies and treat LGBT students with dignity and respect. That, apparently, is a bridge too far for the crusading Attorney General.
William Barr also empathically and unconstitutionally wants to funnel millions of dollars in taxpayer’s money into private right wing Christian schools that discriminate. He wants all Americans to fund his wacky sectarian views and subsidize bigotry.
What’s most important to know, is that William Barr – the right wing Christian avenging angel – isn’t going to sit back. He’s an activist attorney general that is going to elevate his religious allies and antagonize his perceived foes. He has a plan and he apparently is on a holy mission from God to carry it out.
So, there you have it. William Barr did not return to the Department of Justice to carry out and faithfully execute the law. He is an extremist with a God complex who returned to DOJ, to deliberately perform a miscarriage of justice and seek retribution and revenge for the faithful.
But the only way William Barr’s crusading fever swamp dreams become reality, is for democracy to wither. He can only impose his values and enforce his rules if that pesky little document known as the United States Constitution is no longer in the way. And the only way all of this comes together – is for an authoritarian strongman to overthrow the rule of law and empower Barr to take action. That is why the Attorney General will do anything to protect Trump. But that isn’t necessarily loyalty to the president. It’s using Trump as a vehicle for Barr to enact his pathological faith fantasy.
It’s time the media brings Barr’s religious motivations into the discussion. That certainly explains his dishonest words and unpatriotic actions more than current explanations.