Who is this man, and why does he have that shit-eating grin on his face?
His name is William P. Barr, and I do not know the source of his shit-eating grin, but this will not prevent me from engaging in some rank speculation.
Mr. Barr, whom Trump recently nominated to be Attorney General, has worked for the CIA, was a Republican political operative, and served as Attorney General from 1991 to 1993. During his time at the Justice Department he was known for his management skill and for his dexterity in dealing with scandals.
After Bush the Elder lost to Clinton, Barr served as Vice President and General Counsel of GTE Corporation, and subsequently held the same positions at Verizon. Following his retirement from Verizon in 2008, at the age of 58, he was briefly Of Counsel to Kirkland & Ellis. After that brief stent in big firm practice—K&E’s current home page modestly advises us, “The American Lawyer Honors Kirkland as Best Law Firm of the Year”—Barr apparently spent the next nine years advising corporations as a solo practitioner, serving on corporate boards, doing charitable works, and generally enjoying his wealth and position.
In 2017, at the age of 67, Barr returned to K&E, again in an Of Counsel capacity. And there he remains, awaiting his confirmation as the once and future Attorney General.
Now let us pose some questions.
Why didn’t K&E make him a partner in 2009, and why did he leave K&E?
These are mildly interesting questions. And of course I don’t know the answers. As to the first, though one would think he would have had all the credentials for a partnership, maybe he only wanted to work part time and worked out a lucrative deal that would allow him to do what he wanted to do, from a perch at Kirkland & Ellis.
And why did he leave after a short time? Maybe because they wouldn’t make him a partner.
And/or maybe because being a Kirkland & Ellis lawyer is just more fun than a human being can stand. If so, I feel his pain.
Why did Barr return to K&E in 2017, again as Of Counsel?
This, I think, is a much more interesting question. Surely, it was not for the prestige, because his new position added not one whit to his stature. Possibly, for the money, though I very much doubt it. Possibly because he was bored at home, and wanted to be able to eat lunch with a bunch of lawyers every day in the big dining room.
These are possibilities, but none of them seems persuasive. I think there must have been something else afoot.
Five Distinguishing Characteristics
Let us consider the distinguishing characteristics of William P. Bar, Esquire. I wish to draw your attention to five of them.
(1) He is as well connected in high level corporate, legal, and Republican political circles as any other person in these United States.
He is, in short, very much in with the in crowd: the plutocratic puppeteers who exercise lordship over us.
(2) He has a demonstrated track record as Mr. Fixit.
(3) He has, in the past, said things about expansive presidential power, and about Donald Trump, that Donald Trump would like to hear said.
(4) He has unquestioned credentials to be Attorney General of the United States, and everyone thinks he could easily be confirmed.
(5) And most importantly of all, unlike others, he appears willing and even eager to serve as Attorney General under Donald J. Trump.
And, be it said, he wants the job when others are skedaddling away as fast as their legs can carry them—despite any discernible reason why his thinking on that score would be different from others.
I do not believe there is any other human being who has all five of these characteristics.
An Inferred Plot
Right now, the plutocratic puppeteers have their tits in a ringer. Donald Trump, whom they thought was a useful idiot, has shown that his idiocy far outweighs his utility. The traditional Republican coalition is splitting apart. Progressive ideas are on the march. The plutocrats are essentially without a political home. Their agenda is in grave peril.
Their one hope is somehow, by hook or by crook, to get The Donald out of the White House, to insert Pious Pence in his place, and to reassemble the pieces of the coalition in time for 2020.
I have no knowledge of any plot to achieve these ends.
I infer such a plot.
I think it has to be there.
And since it has to be there, I infer that it is there.
The Linchpin of the Inferred Plot
One figure above all others would be key to my inferred plot to get rid of Donald Trump.
You guessed it.
That would be the Attorney General.
In short, I think that, in selecting William Barr as his next Attorney General, Donald Trump has been played, bigly.
And that, my children, is why I think William P. Barr, Esq., has that shit-eating grin on his face.
 An “Of Counsel” to a law firm is a high level legal employee of the firm, but not a partner of the firm. Sometimes, the title is given to an employee who has special skills and whom the firm wishes to retain on a permanent basis, but who would not cut the mustard as a partner. Sometimes, a person of the highest credentials who only wants to work part time might be named “Of Counsel.” Or, the title might be given to one who would be qualified for partner but for his advanced age. Other circumstances could apply.