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Sat Oct 26, 2019, 10:46 AM

Bill Barr's alternate universe "investigation" has a goal: Right-wing authoritarian rule

Bill Barr's alternate universe "investigation" has a goal: Right-wing authoritarian rule
Barr's "criminal investigation" of the Russia probe is the fruit of a long-running far-right plan to kill democracy
https://www.salon.com/2019/10/25/bill-barrs-alternate-universe-investigation-has-a-goal-right-wing-authoritarian-rule/

Students of the modern conservative movement often date the recent supercharged radicalization of the Republican Party to the rise of Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution in the early 1990s. It's true that the GOP went seriously off the rails during that period and the craziness has been picking up speed ever since. But in reality, the conservative movement has been radical from its beginnings, starting with the anti-communist crusade after World War II all the way through Goldwater to Reagan, Gingrich and now Trump. Now it has finally shed all trappings of a sophisticated political ideology, culminating in this surreal parody of a presidency in 2019. The conservative "three legged stool" of small government, traditional values and global military leadership has completely disintegrated.

But one aspect of that earlier conservative movement has continued to chug along with its long-term project to transform the U.S. into an undemocratic, quasi-authoritarian plutocracy. That would be the group of far-right lawyers who started the Federalist Society, with the goal of packing the judiciary with true believers, along with a certain group of Reagan-era legal wunderkinds who came to believe that the GOP could dominate the presidency for decades to come. They developed the theory of the "unitary executive," originally advanced by Reagan's odious attorney general Ed Meese ( recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom) which holds that massive, unaccountable power is vested in the president of the United States.

Attorney General William Barr was one of those lawyers, along with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, former appeals court judge Michael Luttig and others who encouraged Barr to take the job, particularly after his famous memo declaring that what any normal person would see as obstruction of justice doesn't apply to the president. (In a nutshell, Barr agrees with former President Richard Nixon, who said, "If the president does it, it's not illegal." )

Barr is described as supremely confident in his beliefs, which is to say that his overweening arrogance is not an act put on someone who is overcompensating to hide insecurity. He believes in this theory and when it became obvious that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was not long for the job, Barr and his legal cabal appear to have seen the clueless and corrupt Donald Trump as a perfect instrument to test their theory, and perhaps set legal precedents that would enable future right-wing presidents to use the full power of the presidency to dominate American politics without regard to democratic norms or congressional checks and balances. Indeed, they had been setting the stage for such a man for decades.

It's also obviously the case that Barr, and perhaps his Reaganite cronies as well, are suffering from the malady known as Fox News Brain Rot, the symptoms of which are an extreme susceptibility to absurd right-wing conspiracy theories and an inability to believe anything that contradicts them. (Barr once said that there was more evidence for the bogus Uranium One charges than the Russian interference in the 2016 election, which confirms the diagnosis.)

<<snip>>

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 10:47 AM

1. It's been growing for a while...

Years, in fact, decades.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 03:21 PM

11. Over half a century n/t

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 06:06 PM

14. Bill Barr and Opus Dei. Opus Dei is made up of right-wing authoritarian people with power.

I have an Opus Dei "numerary" in my family as well as a "supernumerary". They are a cult, authoritarian and religious cult. They recruit people with power in order to have power. Too many of our "conservative Catholics" in politics are either members or supportive of them.

Franco supported Opus Dei and they supported him
Pinochet supported Opus Dei and they supported him
Fujimore supported Opus Dei and they supported him

You can see the pattern. Yes, Barr is right-wing, religious, Opus Dei idealogue. Not a supporter of democracy.

https://buzzflash.com/articles/william-barr-and-opus-dei-the-secretive-ultra-conservative-catholic-organization-that-poses-an-existential-threat-to-democracy-and-pluralism

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 10:59 AM

2. Barr* is a rethug dirty tricks guy with major authoritarian overtones... OPUS DEI...

...Barr* and his peeps would love to see a version of "The Handmaids Tale". What is amazing is that there are MANY persons that thought he would be a relatively straight-up kinda AG, another set of "guardrails" to keep tRump*zilla from wreaking havoc, which IS NOT how things have turned out.

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Response to Raster (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 11:54 AM

4. I met Barr at an event in D.C. when he was AG the first time.

I instantly wanted to slap him. There was something so arrogant and snide about him. I've never had that reaction to anyone else. Not even Kenneth Starr when I met him. He was really icky, but I didn't feel that same evil ooze. He just seemed like a perv.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Reply #4)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 12:51 PM

7. Interesting. And not at all surprising!

The guy's a fucking fascist monster!!

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 11:44 AM

3. Excellent article. Thx. Nt

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 11:55 AM

5. Thanks for the link

I've been saying this all along that he has very ulterior motives. He has been telegraphing it too.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 12:18 PM

6. Good read. It's important for all to understand that Barr, Bannon, Pompeo and many others...

...are engaged in an ideological war. And I really don't know why some seem to think Barr was ever an honorable person, that he has somehow soiled his reputation. His reputation was already soiled. Barr has long believed in the unitary executive. He also pushed for GHWB to pardon those involved in the Iran Contra affair. And he's a dominionist. And Barr belongs in prison.

As I wrote recently:

This is about undermining faith in government and undermining all democratic institutions, which has been the GOP's primary objective for more than 50 years. And this is a war of ideologies: we vs. me. "It takes a village" vs. "every person for themselves" (cheating permitted...nay, encouraged). The likes of Barr, Bannon, Pompeo et al. are especially dangerous--they're white nationalists, isolationists and despise secularization.

They've seen the writing on the wall (social progression, increased secularism, changing demographics, etc.), so their tactics have become increasingly extreme in recent years (intense voter suppression and gerrymandering, full-throated attacks on science and public education, persistent attacks on the "liberal media" to help shift the Overton Window, stealing a Supreme Court seat and packing the judiciary with right wing ideologues, aligning with dictators who share the goal of undermining democracy for personal enrichment, replacing the dog whistle with a bullhorn, and so on). They take comfort, though, in a tyranny of the minority system which, paradoxically, makes major structural reform nearly impossible to bring about for the very reasons why such reform is so desperately needed.

Also, I always feel the need to mention the Powell Memo of the early 1970s, which served as a sort of blueprint for modern corporatocracy.

If this current cast of characters is still in power after 1/20/21, the damage wrought may be irreparable.

Trump didn't happen in a vacuum. He's a symptom of a much larger problem (to which the GOP as a whole is contributing). All will not be well simply by getting rid of Trump. At the same time, it's vital that we remove Trump from office as soon as possible, as he's an especially diseased carrier pigeon for the ideologues who are taking full advantage of his narcissistic appeal to the tens of millions of racists, sexists and xenophobes. I wonder if seeing the big picture (or being helped to see it) would dissuade even a fraction of Trump's soft support (the portion that approves of him but not strongly) from continuing to support him. Are 100% of his supporters really okay with the world Republicans are seeking to realize? If so, they'll regret it.

Lastly, we must continue to recognize that there is an undercurrent of white male supremacy that maintains the Republican Party (i.e., without that, the GOP would cease to be viable). There was a Black man in the presidency, and millions of people (including elected officials) are absolutely beside themselves. The fact that Obama won so easily and is so popular gnaws at them day and night.

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Response to Garrett78 (Reply #6)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 12:54 PM

8. Pompeo, Pence are Dominionists. Barr is Opus Dei.

A combination of evil intent.

Prince is also a Dominionist and while he doesn't have an official post is in the middle of much of the evil with his mercenary intent.

Goal: END TIMES in all its fire and fury.

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Response to Grasswire2 (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 01:18 PM

9. And I suspect Bannon is also Opus Dei. But I think dominionist applies to all of them.

Dominionism is defined as "a group of Christian political ideologies that seek to institute a nation governed by Christians based on their understandings of biblical law. Extents of rule and ways of achieving governing authority are varied."

Likewise, I think they're all fascists (with Opus Dei being known for its support of fascists), even if fascism has variants.

I don't know if they all subscribe to the exact same nonsense, such as end times/rapture bullshit, but they're all following more or less the same path with more or less the same goals in mind. And they're all using Trump/Trumpism as a tool.

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Response to Garrett78 (Reply #9)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 04:59 PM

12. They all may not be strictly dominionists but they're all in "The Family."

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 01:33 PM

10. Very enlightening thread. Seems there are very good reasons for my disgust/fears.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 05:18 PM

13. Yes, but this has been going on this entire century. Barr's

climbing out on a giant limb and sawing off behind him probably illustrates his belief that this is their time for action and, if all goes as they plan, he and all the rest will never be accountable to the people. The betraying Republican leaders will all land on top in a brave new day.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 07:13 PM

15. Yup, that's where this is all heading.

The right wing is drunk with power, they are not going to give it up easily, and they want it all. They are going for absolute power and they will stomp over anyone and everyone they can to get it.

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sat Oct 26, 2019, 08:05 PM

16. democracy or dictators

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Response to dajoki (Original post)

Sun Oct 27, 2019, 07:46 AM

17. Bookmarked, thanks. n/t

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