The promise of a bona fide constitutional crisis arising during the reign of Donald Trump is no new concept. In fact, it’s always been a virtual assurance; and the dilemma in front of us now is one bitch kitty of a constitutional crisis. No question about that. We have an attorney general who lied to the American public in April about the nature of his communications with Robert Mueller. We have Speaker Pelosi openly calling the man a liar, and Barr did himself no favors by his no-show before Congress Thursday — while having plenty of time to hold court at fashionable Washington eatery Tosca, for over two hours. To all practical purposes, the constitutional crisis is here, it is now, and it is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Mazie Hirono cut through the hype Wednesday, and told Barr the only ethical thing to do is resign. If Barr doesn’t do that, and he won’t, the likelihood of impeachment looms large. And what brought us to this place? One theory is that Barr, known as the “cover up general” is looking to outdo his previous cover ups, and become the cover up king. To that end, Donald Trump is his piece de resistance. Salon via RawStory:
Perhaps the man whom conservative columnist William Safire described years ago as the “cover-up general” sees working for Trump as the ultimate professional challenge. Pulling off a cover-up for a man as thoroughly and shamelessly corrupt as this guy would be the Sistine Chapel, the Beethoven’s Fifth, the “Hamlet” of cover-ups. All other cover-up artists would stand in awe at the feat. While Barr might be remembered as a villain by history, he would, like Joseph Goebbels before him, still be known as a man who excelled at evil propaganda.
Unfortunately for Barr, the task might be too big for even the most genius-y of evil geniuses, if his sweaty performance on Wednesday is any indication. Now he and his co-conspirators are moving on to phase two: Stonewall and try to see if you can trick people into thinking it’s anything but stonewalling.
The main weapon in the effort to spin the stonewalling is faux outrage, accompanied by a hefty sense of entitlement. The line Republicans are trotting out is that they are just totally done with all these pesky questions about Russian election interference, obstruction of justice and efforts to undermine public understanding of the Mueller report — and that, furthermore, it’s an outrage that they have to answer questions about why they are sick of answering questions.
This is where the battle lines are drawn, that much is clear. Tucker Carlson smirks and snarls “Rushhh-uhhh,” like a pre-schooler mocking vegetables, a despised dish that he is forced to ingest by people who are unreasonable — in his eyes, because he lacks the maturity, not to mention honesty, to see the situation for what it is — and because he’ll say anything for a paycheck. The man is bereft of integrity. He’s been lying for so long he wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him in the ass. He never thinks about the damage he, and Fox News, are doing to this country, which is incalculable. They have no compunctions about presenting the Barr imbroglio solely as a partisan-based evil. Or, to use Trump’s favorite phrase, “presidential harassment.”
The Fox News propaganda machine is churning 24/7, and using words like “obsession” and “deranged” to describe the Democrats’ straight forward, and thoroughly justified outrage, at the spectacle before us: the Attorney General of the United States being caught in lies and perjury before Congress. This is not business as usual, this is a travesty, and Fox News can bleat all it wants about executive privilege, but the bottom line is this: there is a clear, hostile confrontation going on between the legislative and executive branches of our government, and it is being engineered by an attorney general who was hired for his position based upon a 19 page memo he wrote, which stated, among other things, that the Mueller obstruction investigation was “fatally misconceived.”
Both Senator Hirono and Hillary Clinton have stated the obvious: Barr isn’t performing as attorney general, the office he swore an oath to uphold, he’s acting as Donald Trump’s defense lawyer. Adam Schiff stated not long ago that Trump had “found his Roy Cohn,” yet another statement of the obvious. Cohn was infamous for his relationship with the disreputable Joseph McCarthy and Barr will be lucky if he is able to leave Washington, D.C. with as much grace as McCarthy did, after his tenure with the most unprincipled and dishonest man ever to hold any elective office, let alone the highest one in the land, is finished.
Meanwhile, Republicans are counting on the ignorance of the American people and on their own blatant and unceasing disinformation campaign to pull the wool over the country’s eyes, in a manner never before attempted or even contemplated. Bill Clinton may have had his dalliances, but they pale into the spectrum of the trivial, beside Donald Trump and the glaring corruption of this mis-administration. This is a different ballgame altogether. The complicity of the entire GOP is utterly despicable.
But Republicans are counting on the idea that most Americans aren’t following the scandal closely, don’t understand the extent of Trump’s corrupt and likely criminal behavior, and can be fooled into believing that he’s been cleared of wrongdoing. Ignorance is the best resource the Republicans have. The less people know about all this the more that void can be filled in with false claims that Trump has been cleared or that he was “falsely accused,” a ludicrous assertion that Barr had the huevos to trot out during Wednesday’s hearing.
This is the caliber of “leadership” that the Republican party has degenerated to in 2019. Whatever the party of conservatism may have ever stood for, the GOP has sold it’s soul to Donald Trump, lock, stock and barrel. The Party of Lincoln, or of Reagan for that matter, has abdicated to the dark side and is now the Party of Trump, and unrecognizable as the political party it used to be — although the handwriting was always on the wall that this is who they could become and it would be naive to think otherwise.
Lindsey Graham famously said, and has more famously and conveniently forgotten, his words in 2015, “If we nominate Trump, he will destroy us and we will deserve it.” “Us” in that sentence meant the GOP — at the time. Now we have Trump in the Oval Office, where he and his cabal of crooks and liars sabotage our most cherished institutions and pillage our coffers on a routine basis.
Jerry Nadler bottom lined it on Thursday and here are his words: “The choice is simple: We can stand up to this president in defense of the country and the Constitution and the liberty we love, or we can let the moment pass us by. History will judge us for how we face this challenge.”
This is the turning point.