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November 23, 2022
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Former Trump attorney general Bill Barr appears to be working overtime to damage Trump ahead –- far ahead –- of the 2024 GOP nomination for President. Though he says (to his credit) that he could never vote for a so-called progressive Democrat because of the damage such a person might do to the country, he is very much against Trump being the Republican nominee.

Last week, his anti-Trump rhetoric got so vehement that on Monday, we played a game called “Who Said It --- Bill Barr or Peter Strzok.” It really is quite challenging these days to tell the difference between what Barr says about Trump and what disgraced-and-fired FBI agent and Russia Hoaxer Strzok says. These were quotes from interviews that both took place on Friday, which happens to have been the day Attorney General Merrick Garland announced his appointment of Jack Smith as the new special counsel to investigate Trump over the Mar-A-Lago documents and his role in the January 6 riot. (How did you do on our quiz?)

On Monday, Barr spouted even more quotes in case we wanted to do an updated version of our game, in an op-ed for the NEW YORK POST headlined “Trump threatens to burn down the GOP, it’s time to move on.” Tell me, did Trump really threaten to burn down the GOP? I didn’t hear that, or anything close to that, and I don’t think he wants to do that, but let’s set that sensationalistic headline aside for the moment and take a thoughtful look at Barr’s commentary.

https://nypost.com/2022/11/21/trump-threatens-to-burn-down-the-gop-its-time-to-move-on

Barr does allow that Trump has strengths: he’s “clear and direct” in staking out a position (and, yes, that’s so refreshing!); he confronts difficult issues head-on; and he diagnosed and gives voice to the frustration of so many voters fed up with “progressive” Democrats, the elites and the media. Trump, like us, was sick of watching them preside over the decline of America.

Supporting Trump was an act of defiance, he points out, and that is true. Supporters liked the fact that he was over the top. “His voters felt that the left was taking a wrecking ball to the country,” he writes, “and they wanted to strike back with their own.” Also true.

Barr gives Trump credit for substantive achievements, such as “tax reform and deregulatory efforts” that “generated the strongest and most resilient economy in American history --- one that brought unprecedented progress to many marginalized Americans.” And Trump had begun to restore America’s military strength.

“[Trump] correctly identified the economic, technological and military threats to the United States posed by China’s aggressive policies,” Barr acknowledges. He brokered peace deals in the Mideast, accomplishing what many had thought impossible. He pulled us out of “ill-advised and detrimental agreements” with Russia and Iran. He finally fulfilled our promise to move our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.

Yet, with all that he’s given Trump credit for, Barr can’t settle for what he did on the issues. Trump was petty and “made everything about himself,” he says. “If Trump had run his re-election campaign on that platform,” he says, “and dialed his churlishness back just a little, he would have won. But he lost because he insisted on running a campaign centered on whipping up his “base,” with a steady diet of “red meat.” Barr thinks that Trump isn’t really interested in broadening his appeal, that he’s “content to focus on intensifying his personal hold over a faction within the party.”

“The threat is simple,” Barr says, and here’s where NYP editors got their headline: “Unless the rest of the party goes along with him, he will burn the whole house down by leading ‘his people’ out of the GOP.” “Trump’s willingness to destroy the party if he does not get his way is not based on principle,” Barr says, “but on his own supreme narcissism. His egotism makes him unable to think of a political party as anything but an extension of himself –- a cult of personality.”

Unfortunately, it seems to be personality that Barr himself is mostly looking at. He says that in 2016, he “did not see [Trump] as our party’s standard-bearer.” Trump was “grossly self-centered, lacked self-control, and almost always took his natural pugnacity too far.” He found himself “cringing at his frequently juvenile, bombastic and petulant style.” Ah, Trump’s tweets.

And he’s still uneasy with Trump’s “wrecking ball style.” Never mind that in the years since Trump was first inaugurated, and especially since he left office, we’ve seen more and more that needs a wrecking ball taken to it, notably the DOJ that Barr led for some time. (Barr says Trump “failed”; what did Barr do to purge the DOJ of the deep-state bureaucracy that plagues it?)

As we noted on Monday, Barr said he thinks the special counsel will likely have enough evidence to indict Trump on charges related to his possession of documents at Mar-A-Lago. Never mind that the President has THE final authority over what documents are classified or declassified, which means the raid should never have taken place. Barr, of all people, should know this, so imagine the case of Trump Derangement Syndrome he must have to be able to ignore something so basic. He also seems to have ignored the blatantly partisan choice of this particular prosecutor; so far he’s said nothing.

Perhaps Barr is projecting his own TDS onto the voters when he says Trump himself lost the 2020 election and risks losing it all for the GOP in 2024. That seems to be his main concern about re-nominating the former President. He accuses Trump of tailoring his campaigning to his base --- that's such a condescending term, “base” --- and supplying them with the “red meat” they need. Sorry, I don’t agree. I and millions of others who supported Trump were not looking for “red meat.” If he wants to know why we voted for Trump, he should just look back at what he wrote himself about Trump’s strengths.

Many factors influenced the 2020 election. Covid, perhaps more than anything, and the logistical changes to the election process for which covid was the mere pretext, greatly affected the outcome. The collusion between the deep state and the dishonest media that suppressed stories damaging to Joe Biden was another huge factor. We don’t need to re-hash all that right now. For Barr to blame Trump’s loss in 2020 on his personal style is incredibly simplistic.

I think most of us in the GOP are taking a wait-and-see approach to the 2024 election; after all, it’s still two years away. We need to look at every candidate, and Trump might or might not be our eventual nominee. On the issues, though, we have consensus that he was a superb President. And given all the dark forces that have tried to take him down, it’s amazing –- almost superhuman –- that he is still standing and going strong. Perhaps he’s even learned to tone down his bombast when he sees it getting in the way of a particular goal. But Barr is trying so hard right now to talk us out of supporting him, one has to wonder if there’s something else behind it.

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Bill Barr attacks Trump again

Comments 1-10 of 99

  • Judy Kendall

    11/26/2022 04:40 AM

    I agree totally!

  • Joann haverick

    11/25/2022 11:42 AM

    I’m sure this sounds old but I have to say my own experience. I live in New Jersey and I had to vote by mail. They said we could track our votes. No we couldn’t. I took a picture of the bar code on my ballot and saved it, just to check. And surprise surprise the website never worked and I tried quite a few times. So who knows where my vote went, I don’t! I wish someone would do something to prevent it ever happening again there should be no reason to vote by mail. only for the disabled and the soldiers overseas. Thanks for listening as this is a big big red flag that they did steal the election.

  • Robin Lightner

    11/25/2022 09:58 AM

    Whether you are a businessman or politican anyone that runs for an office has some ego. Some are more boasteous than others but one has to think they have something to offer in order to put up with the horribles they will get. Noone can deny that we were all better off when Trump was president. Barr is wrong. Trump WILL make our country great again. I will be voting to whoever is the conservative nominee. I'm hoping it will be Trump or Desantis. Biden and whoever is telling him what to do and say are out to destroy the US which I don't understand as they will eventually feel the adverse effects too. But they think they are above it however it will eventually bite them too. If you can contact Trump please tell him to meet with DeSantis and discuss becoming a ticket together. Sincerely, Robin Lightner

  • Tricia Kameika

    11/25/2022 06:56 AM

    Trump had support American people and won election however it is impossible to compete with a party that has changed the laws so they can register w/o photo ID and verification who they are including American citizens. Trump is fighting Soros/socialist communists and is fustrated that men like Barr and even Sessions who recused himself play possum and allow cancel culture to win. Session recused himself without any empirical data to prove Russian collusion investigation was justified. The dossier was fake ... Trumps nasty comments and line of attack pushes many people away...

  • Paul Carlson

    11/24/2022 02:43 PM

    I usually agree with you, but your support of Trump at this point is premature. His comment about Desantis being Ron Sanctimonius after his lobsided win in FL was particularly offensive. Trump was an important part of history but that does not automatically mean that he should lead my party in 2024.
    Blessings today and everyday

  • Sherry McLelland

    11/24/2022 01:12 PM

    BARR HAS BEEN A DEEP DISAPPOINTMENT FOR MANY TRUMP SUPPORTORS . HE HAS SHOWN HIS ESTABLISHMENT BIAS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I THINK HIS OWN BRUISED EGO COMES OUT CLEARLY. THE ESTABLISHMENT SECTION OF THE GOP ARE FEW IN NUMBER THESE DAYS AND DON'T LIKE THEIR LOSS OF POWER. THEY ARE AFRAID OF THE GROWTH OF THE PARTY BY THOSE THE OLD PARTY CONSIDERED FOR YEARS TO BE BENEATH THEIR ACCEPTANCE. THEY ARE QUICK TO CRITICIZE THE MAN WHO SECCEEDED IN AREAS WHERE THEY FAILED FOR MANY YEARS. HOW MANY TIMES DID REPUBLICANS VOTE ON THE BASIS OF THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS? NOW THEY HAVE A CANDIDATE WHO ADMITTEDLY IS OFTEN ROUGH AROUND THE EDGES AS TO HOW HE WORDS THINGS AND ACCOMPLISHES THINGS, BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS HE DOESN'T WILT OR GIVE UP UNTIL HE ACCOMPLISHES HIS GOALS. HE UNDERSTANDS THE NEEDS AND HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE AND IS NOT AFRAID TO SAY THE THINGS WE ARE THINKING BUT ARE AFRAID TO VOICE. THIS IS WHY PEOPLE DO SOMETHING I'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE...THEY SHOUT OUT THEY LOVE HIM.

  • Timothy C, Hentschel

    11/24/2022 10:12 AM

    `No American has put more on the line for the United States than Donald J. Trump since our founding fathers. President Trump loves this nation and its people.

  • Richard Gruber

    11/24/2022 08:54 AM

    Mike, I love President Trump but am worried that the independents won’t vote for him. We need him as an advisor.

  • Barbara Creagan

    11/24/2022 08:34 AM

    I have to agree with Barr that President Trump was and probably still is self centered. But Barr also gave the President credit for all he did for our country. We all do. BUT it is time to move on. Or we will lose.

  • Linda House

    11/24/2022 08:27 AM

    Given Barr’s lack of performance and his disparaging of Trump’s outstanding performance, I’d say Barr was a snake