The merits and the substance

My, that’s cynical.

Attorney General William P. Barr said in an interview broadcast Friday that he returned to the Justice Department to protect the institution during a period of “intense partisan feeling” and is not bothered by criticism from Democrats about how he’s handling the job.

To protect the institution? But…he’s not. He’s not doing that. That’s not what he’s doing. He’s protecting Trump. He’s protecting Trump who shits on the institution every chance he gets.

Barr, 69, who served in the George H.W. Bush administration, said he knew it would “only be a matter of time” before he was attacked for his actions, given he is serving during a “crazy, hyperpartisan period of time.”

“Nowadays, people don’t care about the merits and the substance,” he said. “Everything is gauged by politics. And . . . that’s antithetical to the way the department runs, and any attorney general in this period is going to end up losing a lot of political capital, and I realize that, and that’s one of the reasons that I ultimately was persuaded that I should take it on, because I think at my stage in life, it really doesn’t make any difference.”

But that’s nonsense. It gets everything backward. Trump is a hateful immoral bad man, who does harm to people and then brags about it. It’s only “politics” that prevents the Republicans from admitting that.

“I think one of the ironies today is that people are saying that it’s President Trump that’s shredding our institutions,” Barr said. “I really see no evidence of that. From my perspective, the idea of resisting a democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him and you know, really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president, that is where the shredding of our norms and our institutions is occurring.”

Well, one, he wasn’t “democratically elected.” He lost the “democratic” part. He won in the Electoral College, which is calculatedly not democratic. But two, and more to the point, we do have to stop this president, and he has provided countless more reasons to do so since he was inaugurated.

If Barr is so keen to protect the institutions, especially the Justice Department, then what about Trump’s constant libelous lies about Comey, the FBI, McCabe, Strzok, Page, Mueller, Sessions, Rosenstein? What about his and Tillerson’s gutting of the State Department? What about putting industry lobbyists in charge of the EPA? What about those merits and that substance?

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