Monday, December 14, 2020

Barr's gone. Why don't I feel better?

Barr just resigned. On Twitter, many are now asking: Who wrote Barr's resignation letter?
The letter offers not one word of thanks to, or acknowledgement of, anyone at the Justice Department. That fact alone tells us that Barr did not write this text.
Instead, PseudoBarr goes into full Dear Leader mode, praising Trump, repeating Trump's inane grievance fantasies, talking about nothing but Trump Trump Trump Trumpety-Trump: "You built the strongest and most resilient economy in American history — one that has brought unprecedented progress to those previously left out. You have restored American military strength..." And so on. 

(My sources tell me that the unredacted document ends with a hastily-drawn cartoon of Barr holding his hands as far apart as they will go, beneath which is this handwritten message: "And your PENIS...! My GOD!!")
The signature may say "Barr," but the authorial voice belongs to John Barron, the fake press agent who regaled newsmen with tributes to Trump's sexual prowess. My mind also flashed back to the fake letter which Trump (or some illiterate close to him) falsely attributed to Dr. Harold Bornstein, a.k.a. Dr. Happypill. Remember that one? That message was also signed by someone other than the true author.
(A suspiciously similar "Bornstein" letter was written on behalf of my dog George. Alas, both George are his great rival Wally are no longer with us.)
The "Barr" letter has too few grammatical errors to be Trump's work. I suspect that Hope Hicks wrote it.

Barr may have humiliated himself as he made his exit, but exit he did. So why don't I feel better?

I am, by trade and by inclination, a pessimist. It is my nature to presume the worst possible outcome in any situation. Right now, the worst possible outcome would be for Trump to retain power by declaring martial law and/or claiming emergency powers. Everything Trump has done -- in particular, the appointments of cronies and extremist to key positions at the Pentagon -- points to this outcome. 
Since the election, Barr has made it clear that he would not countenance a coup. Even he has limits. Hence, his premature exit. 

I don't know much about Barr's successor, Jeff Rosen. But here's what Wikipedia has to say:
His nomination to become the second-highest law enforcement official was unusual, as Rosen had no previous prosecutorial experience.[6] Attorney General William Barr had urged Trump to choose Rosen as his deputy.[10] Rosen was sworn in on May 22, 2019.[11]

In June 2019, Rosen sent a letter to New York state prosecutors inquiring into the case of Paul Manafort and indicating that he would be monitoring where Manafort would be held in custody. Shortly thereafter, federal prison officials informed New York state prosecutors that Manafort would not be held in Rikers Island. Current and former prosecutors described this decision as unusual, because most individuals held in custody while awaiting federal trial are held in Rikers Island, a prison with a reputation for violence and mismanagement.
So he was willing to bend the rules in favor of Paul Manafort, a man who passed information to a Russian intelligence agent. Troubling.
Throughout this past year, some have said that this ludicrous administration would end in a slow fade, while others have predicted an explosive finale -- a spectacle. Most now favor the "slow fade" scenario, but I say that Trump remains the consummate showman. Both showmanship and self-preservation require him to go for melodrama. 

You all know Chekhov's maxim. 


Anonymous said... Jeff Rosen

Anonymous said... Jeff Rosen