Mike Thompson has some fun with Bill Barr’s mixed-up concept of the job of the Attorney General and the mission of the Justice Department. As noted the other day, John Mitchell didn’t turn into Nixon’s defender until after he had resigned as AG and became head of the Committee to Re-Elect the President.
Nixon, for all his faults, worked within the system and surrounded himself with people who knew how it all functioned, even if they put that knowledge into, as they put it, ratf*cking the system.
I like Thompson’s depiction of Barr as making war on the “Deep State,” even though I’m not really hip to what the Deep State is, since I don’t listen to talk radio or read screwball conspiracy websites.
But I know about the chemtrails and the busloads of illegal voters who were shipped in here to New Hampshire and now I’m hearing about how Hillary conspired with the Ukrainians to mess with the 2016 elections, so I’ve got the gist of it.
Country folks have an expression I’m not sure city people use, “crazy as a shithouse rat,” which I think stems either from the idea that a sane rat wouldn’t live in an outhouse or that, if he did, the limited diet there would mess with his reasoning.
Either way, that old expression is beginning to apply not just to Dear Leader but to the quislings who work in the Executive Mansion on whose door he has carved a half-moon.
Barr went up in front of a judge the other day and explained that the grand jury testimony in the Mueller Report should not be handed over to the impeachment investigation because, if Watergate happened today, the case of Haldeman v Sirica would be judged differently and none of that material would be handed over.
To which the judge said, “Wow. Ok.”
I don’t think she meant “Ok, we’ll do it your way.”
However, I have to disagree with Thompson’s suggestion that America is telling Barr he needs to both obey the law and go back to representing the country and not the president. Would it were so, but opinions seem pretty evenly split right now.
I’m also not so sure Barr is wrong.
Sirica admitted that, having listened to the tapes and other evidence, he was convinced of the guilt of the President and the burglars and other co-conspirators and it colored his decision.
Barr may have shopped the wrong judge this time, but he’s got a good collection of more compliant jurists to play with.
They can’t all be secret members of the Deep State or Rosicrucians or part of the Tri-Lateral Commission or, y’know, children of Mexican immigrants.
Or believers in the Constitution.
And then there’s this
Rob Rogers notes the shift in tone by Lindsey Graham once the topic shifted from impeaching Bill Clinton to impeaching Dear Leader.
In a world in which old videotapes are constantly dredged up to end careers or at least destroy credibility, it seems bizarre that the GOP wouldn’t re-assign Graham to something less visible.
But then, as noted before, they’ve moved beyond the OJ defense and are well into the “So what?” defense, and are unashamed of saying things on camera that are as easily disproven as the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration.
Why not? The Deplorables are willing to accept the asinine, clearly false claims of the size of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration as well as things not so readily shown to be nonsensical.
So here’s a video of Graham explaining why what he said then isn’t what he means now, and some guy explaining why that’s a clearly a load of nonsense and I wish I thought it would move the needle but I’m less sure than I might have been earlier in this horror show.
Juxtaposition of the Day
There has, thank god, been further pushback on Trump’s betrayal of our Kurdish allies, and this is an issue where the “Support Our Troops” conservatives ought to jump in.
Though, even before Trump took over, the outrage of our troops over the abandonment of their Iraqi translators seemed to have little impact on our refusal to process their requests to escape revenge.
As you may recall, John Oliver did an entire segment on the astonishing system through which we abandoned our translators and their families to murder, but brought a donkey to safety in the USA.
I still think it would be worth the effort. Letting our allies be slaughtered doesn’t seem to be a very good way to earn the world’s hearts and minds.
However, Beeler is right that we don’t give a damn about our allies.
And Morin’s cartoon leads right into this next part:
About that desk
When I saw that Signe Wilkinson is auctioning off the late Tony Auth‘s drawing board as a fundraiser for the Cartoonists Rights Network International (see DD Degg’s write-up here), it sent me scurrying into my files.
This 2012 cartoon ran in CSotD with the commentary that I had recently discussed this very issue with a close friend who had been at Khe Sahn and had a very rough not-over-yet adjustment when he came home.
He pointed out that at least he and his buddies had a firm date and knew when they were coming home.
Butch was saying that it’s not the basket cases, the extremes, that we need to worry about so much as the guys who need some counseling, some treatment, some help … the guys who startle, who lose their tempers, whose wives look down at their feet when the topic of the war is mentioned.
How many will there be, if we keep sending them back again and again and again?
The cost of that, he said, is going to be a lot more than the cost of the war itself.
Of course, back in Butch’s day, O Best Beloved, we at least gave a shit about each other.
It was a long time ago. You probably had to be there.