Attorney General Barr Stands athwart History

Shakespeare made famous the phrase "There is a tide in the affairs of men" ("Julius Caesar," Act IV, Scene III), that acknowledges that certain situations gain momentum and become ripe for influencing the future, determining fate.  Certainly, we are living in such a time — momentous, unprecedented events are happening that will affect the direction of our nation for the foreseeable future.  After all the Sturm und Drang of the impeachment efforts of the Resistance that have divided the country for the last three years, Attorney General William Barr recently gave two speeches that were rhetorical masterpieces.  The speeches could not have been given at a more critical juncture in the unfolding crisis, nor could the carefully researched and expertly developed arguments have been more needed, more appropriate.  The content of the two speeches form a solid basis of a case against the Resistance.  The passion and the masterful rhetoric of the speeches give them the potential for Barr to stand athwart history and determine the direction of the nation for the future.

Throughout history, great speeches have challenged people to rise above self-interest to do what is noble and right.  Great speakers have used their positions or their influence to "inspire and unite people during times of struggle"; they have "met moments of great adversity with words both vigorous and poignant, giving voice to the challenges of their time."  The "impact on history" of such speakers "will be determined in the future."  Reasonable people, reading Barr's carefully constructed arguments for religious freedom and faithful originalists' interpretation of the Constitution, would be compelled and motivated by Barr's words.

I am not alone in thinking the impeachment charade is a headline-grabbing maneuver of the Democrats who are hoping to distract from and cast doubt on the inspector general's report that, according to Senator Lindsey Graham, will be released on December 9, with Attorney General Barr DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz scheduled to give testimony on the 11th.  Then there is the soon to be released report from the Barr-Durham probe that turned into a criminal investigation.  I'm sure I am also not alone in thinking that Attorney General Barr, with his recent speeches, is using his bully pulpit to lay the groundwork for shaping public understanding and support for drastic action that should result from those reports and that he is employing high-octane, carefully crafted rhetoric to prepare public opinion for the explosive, controversial revelations — i.e., possible judicial proceedings against high-ranking members of the Deep State in the CIA, the FBI, and the Obama administration, including such persons as Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and Rice.

The speeches were one-two punches against the Democrat's (1) attacks on religious freedom that have resulted in cultural disintegration and (2) attacks on the Constitution that have resulted in political chaos.

On Wednesday, October 11, 2019, Barr spoke to the Law School and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame on the topic of religious liberty.  He warned the nation about the "consequences of moral chaos," lamented the undermining of religious rights and the limiting of the freedom of speech and rights of believers of religious faith, and drew a direct connection between religious freedom and the constitutional liberty historically enjoyed by Americans.  Almost a month later, Attorney General Barr spoke to the Federalist Society's National Lawyers Convention on November 15, 2019 on what he called the "Constitution's approach to executive power."  He declared unequivocally that "both the Legislative and Judicial Branches have been responsible for encroaching on the presidency's constitutional authority."  Further, he described how the "scorched earth, no-holds-barred war of 'Resistance' against this administration" has resulted in "shredding of norms and the undermining of the rule of law."

The reaction from the Left was predictable.  New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called the Notre Dame speech "religious bigotry."  The Washington Post declared Barr is "clueless" and that the Federalist Speech was "bizarre."  They asked, "What universe does William Barr inhabit?"  Professor of Law at Georgetown University Jonathan Turley called it "dangerous" and "incendiary."  Esquire called the speeches "crazy" and said Barr "embarrassed himself."  The Huffington Post called Barr "authoritarian."  Others called the speeches "aggressive," "dangerous," "infuriating," and "a disgrace."

Conservatives, though, recognized truth and courage.  More than half of Americans are worried about the direction of the country, and they are worried about the attacks on their Judeo-Christian beliefs and religious freedoms.  The Q Tree responded to the Notre Dame speech, saying, "Bill Barr's speech is a long overdue response to the open hostility from the Obama Administration toward religion and Christianity in particular."  Rod Dreher called the speech at Notre Dame, "extraordinary!"  Tony Perkins described the Notre Dame speech as "one of the most powerful given on religious liberty by a government figure in decades."  PJ Media said the Federalist speech was "fiery" in "shredding the Political Left."  Conservative Treehouse called the Federalist speech "a full-throated defense of our Constitutional Rule of Law."

Responses from both sides of the political divide show that Barr hit a raw nerve.  The Left is deeply worried.  Barr has a sterling reputation with unquestioned credibility.  He earned that reputation for honesty and integrity over years of public service, and he made it clear that he wasn't least concerned about personal attacks from the Left in this "crazy hyper-partisan period of time."  Conservatives applauded the fact that he anchored all of his remarks in the founders' intent and the Constitution.  Barr said what so many Americans believe but can't articulate so well.  His speech touched the deepest concerns of Americans.  Q Tree said, He gathered our "tears, frustrations, and that nagging feeling in the pit of our gut.  He put into words our common complaint."  In addition, "[h]e touched our souls."

It's so important the he "touched our souls," because the Democrats won't even acknowledge that we have souls.  Barr acknowledges — finally someone in government does — that the American people are predominantly Christian, our culture is founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and freedom of religion is a fundamental tenet for individual Americans as well as an "indispensable" foundation for "sustaining our free system of government" (James Madison).

Taken together, Barr's compelling addresses — the Notre Dame and the Federalist Society speeches — establish that statesmen remain who have the courage to stand for the truth and are willing to fight the powers of darkness.  Barr gives us hope that the majority of the public will be convinced that the evidence is incontrovertible that the Democrats have deliberately manufactured the political crises of the past three years; that their policies have put us on a path of cultural destruction; and that they have conducted a calculated, deliberate attempt against the constitutional order of this nation and its laws.  Further, Barr gives us hope that the public will recognize that the high-level bad actors in the Deep State will be rooted out and be subjected to the reach of the long arm of the law.  Most importantly, he restores our hope that the U.S. can, once again, be that "City on a Hill" that provides light and inspiration to all.

Having raised our hopes with these speeches, Attorney General Barr, please follow through with decisive action.  Oh, please, Sir, don't stop short and let us down.

Image: Office of Public Affairs via Flickr.

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