It turned out to be a good thing that Attorney General Bill Barr released his opening statement in advance of his appearance before Jerrold Nadler's House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, as that statement was just about the only way he had to express an opinion or offer any information at all.
In fact, he could have just submitted it and not even appeared, as Team Nadler had obviously huddled beforehand and decided not to let him answer their questions.
Their strategy was to berate him, throw an incriminating question at him, and, as soon as he began speaking, interrupt with the parliamentary phrase “Reclaiming my time,” intended to make him stop. When ranking Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio requested that they quit cutting Barr off, Nadler responded, “What you want is irrelevant. Irrelevant to the rules.”
While attempting to smear Barr as someone who acts politically, they turned their own hearing into the worst political spectacle since impeachment. (Once again, Democrats do the very thing they accuse others of doing.) The level of hate in that room was turned up to 10 –- for fans of Spinal Tap, 11 –- and it reminded me, uncomfortably, of the Antifa burn-it-all-down show currently playing in an American city near you. It was that nasty. Here’s an example of how it went down.
Here’s a more amusing take, as we could all use a laugh.
In the most bizarre, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink moment of all, Barr was implicated in Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide.
I get the impression the Democrats must start every day with a Two Minutes Hate against both Trump and Barr. They likely hate (and fear) Barr as much as they do Trump himself, as Barr has no doubt seen every bit of classified material that incriminates them in scandal. He KNOWS. They know he knows. And he knows they know he knows.
Chairman Nadler showed a similar lack of respect to his Republican colleagues, telling them they couldn’t even have water during the hearing. In retrospect, that might have been a good thing, because he refused even a five-minute bathroom break when Barr finally, politely, asked for one. He received no break for lunch or for...anything else.
Barr did get a few chances to express himself, such as when he said, “What makes me concerned for the country is that it’s the first time in my memory that the leaders of one of our great political parties, the Democratic Party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts.” Amazingly, he managed to call the Democratic Party “one of our great political parties” without revealing a trace of sarcasm, which would probably have been impossible for me to do.
Weirdly, Democrats keep trying to insist the protest has been “peaceful” when Barr sees it as decidedly not. No doubt you’ve seen video from Seattle, Portland and Atlanta; what do YOU think it is? Any sane person would agree with Barr. It has been a bloody freak show, and the violence needed to be shut down with the first brick thrown.
The always colorful and thoughtful Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana appeared Tuesday night on Shannon Bream’s FOX NEWS show, where he expressed disgust. He said he had to turn the hearing off after watching “bits and pieces” of it, because, he said, “It was triggering my gag reflex.” Rather than being a hearing, he said, it was “an attempted persecution" --- one he thought the American people would see through.
"I think the point that some of my Democratic colleagues seemed to be trying to make was that the attorney general is out of control. But what they really mean is that he’s out of THEIR control.”
He went on: “Bill Barr is guided by the rule of law, and he doesn’t do anyone’s bidding. He calls it like he sees it. I thought that he was, for the most part, his usual unflappable self. And he’s tough; you’ve got to be tough to be in that job. He’s tough as a pine knot, and I respect that about him as well.”
Since Barr didn’t get to talk much about the true nature of these “peaceful” protests, I’ll link to this excellent commentary from Victor Davis Hanson, who ends on an optimistic note that the American public will recognize what this is and push back forcefully on Election Day.
Finally, a couple of tweets to wrap up the day. Byron York tweeted: “Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton speaking to Attorney General Bill Barr, in a line that sums up today’s Judiciary Committee appearance: “You’ll have a chance to comment after your testimony is over today.”
And this caution, from Greg Gutfeld: “In that hearing you witnessed people whose salaries you pay, accuse a man of murder and treason – then refuse to let him speak or defend himself. You think the unbending mob on the street is worse? No, this is. And it’s coming for you.”
We’ll be ready. As Sen. Kennedy said, “The American people are not morons.”