Rich Lowry lives in a rightwing house of mirrors, but he gets an anomaly that pretty much everyone else is overlooking: “Let’s be clear. If Barr wanted to cover for Trump, he could have crimped the Mueller probe, sat on the report, or redacted it into meaninglessness. He did none of the above.”
Having grasped the apparently large gap between what Barr says and what Barr does, Lowry leaps to the risible conclusion that only what he does is important; what he says makes no nevermind. (Or, at least I think that’s the burden of his essay; I couldn’t make myself read the whole thing.)
Today, there’s talk of beginning impeachment proceedings against Barr. My initial impression is that might not be the world’s worst idea. Not mainly because he richly merits removal from office—for lying to Congress, lying to the public, and holding heterodox and authoritarian legal opinions. No, in my view, the best reason to start the process would be establishing a stronger basis to watch him like a hawk, in respect of his supervision of ongoing investigations.
My hypothesis is that Barr is playing Trump for a sucker—a strategy that implies he has to play the rest of us like suckers for the next little while. As of now, I adhere to that hypothesis.
But I might be wrong. So, to ensure Barr’s good behavior, it might be well to begin the impeachment process> Let Nancy Pelosi grab him down where the hairs are short, get a good and steady grip, and give a strong squeeze as and when necessary.
Also, there is this. If my hypothesis happens to be right, Trump will wake up one day and realize what is happening. He will want to fire Barr. But if he fires Barr while Barr is under threat of impeachment, it will look weak. Paradoxically, then, beginning the process of impeachment might help ensure that Barr isn’t replaced by someone worse.