IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16 Sep 2022
Today’s Events in Historical Perspective
America’s Longest-Running Column Founded 1932
Barr and Bolsonaro
By Douglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift
WASHINGTON — Call it an evolution or a revolution, it’s an important development that former attorney general William Barr appeared on Fox News multiple times to denounce the ruling by a Trump appointed judge to bring in a “special master” and freeze the Justice Department investigation into the former president’s handling of classified documents.
Barr said the judge’s ruling has no legal precedent, verifying what others have said of her ruling that Donald Trump as a former president should be spared of “reputational harm” and given special consideration. Barr said he thinks the Justice Department is close to having the evidence to prosecute Trump but added that he hopes they don’t go through with it despite substantial pressure that no one should be immune to the rule of law.
Barr’s comments voiced on Fox are important because Fox viewers often don’t watch any other cable network. They get all their news from Fox hosts who are not journalists but propagandists spreading Trump’s lie that he won the 2020 election, and that President Biden is an “enemy of the state” illegitimately occupying the office that is rightfully Trump’s.
It would have been nice if Barr had spoken out earlier, but his analysis is valuable and can reach more mainstream Republicans and Independents. He stepped down as Attorney General after the 2020 election, which he told Trump and said publicly was conducted fairly. He now seems determined to have his views publicized, and he’s not bothered by Trump’s disdain.
The former president called him “a weak and pathetic RINO” (Republican in name only) after Barr defended the Justice Department’s action in initiating a search of Mar-A-Lago for classified documents that Trump had withheld despite repeated requests and a subpoena.
Barr’s warnings about Trump’s risky and irresponsible behavior are important because they come at a time when the former president is a potential candidate for president in 2024. If Trump enters the primaries in a crowded field, he could well win the nomination with a plurality instead of a majority the way he did in 2016.
If he is re-elected, he would most assuredly make good on all his promises to retain power at the expense of democracy.
We only need look at Brazil to get a taste of what Trump might have in mind should he ever get near the Oval Office again. Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro is behind in all the polls as former President Lula da Silva stages a comeback seeking a third term. He was last elected in 2006 to a four-year term.
A co-founder and member of the Workers’ Party, he is challenging Bolsonaro’s autocratic hold on the country. The election is October 2nd, and Bolsonaro has indicated he will not leave office whatever the election results, casting doubt on whether the country’s electronic voting machines can be trusted.
He calls da Silva “a gangster” and compares him to radical left leaders in Venezuela and Nicaragua, telling his countrymen that he alone can save them from the economic and political despair of these other countries.
Bolsonaro is a Trumpian figure with command over institutions in Brazil that would make Trump envious. He has the qualified support of the military, and the country’s police are in his pocket. One analyst said it’s not a coup, it’s a revolution.
Whatever it is, it looks like what could happen here if Trump and his allies get back into office. There are almost 200 election deniers on 2022 ballots throughout the country, setting the stage for a Trump comeback in 2024. It may have taken him a while, but AG Barr is a welcome addition to the lengthening list of Republican truthtellers trying to save us from Trump.
See Eleanor Clift’s latest book Selecting a President, and Douglas Cohn’s latest books The President’s First Year: The Only School for Presidents Is the Presidency and World War 4: Nine Scenarios (endorsed by seven flag officers).
© 2022 U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
Distributed by U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
END WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND
IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16 Sep 2022