The Good Donald Trump and the Bad Donald Trump by William P. Barr

“One Damn Thing After Another” begins with a fond evocation of Barr’s childhood in a conservative family nestled in the liberal enclave s...


“One Damn Thing After Another” begins with a fond evocation of Barr’s childhood in a conservative family nestled in the liberal enclave surrounding Columbia University in New York. His mother was Catholic and his father Jewish (although he later converted to Catholicism), and Barr gives a nice description of his primary education at the local Corpus Christi church. (George Carlin went there too. Go figure.) Barr went to Horace Mann and then Columbia, where he developed an interest in China. After college, he worked briefly at the CIA while attending evening law school, where he excelled. He rose through the ranks of the Justice Department until the first President Bush appointed him Attorney General, aged 41, in 1991. He was a largely non-ideological, primarily preoccupied figure, as many were in the era, by controlling soaring crime rates.

The next quarter century brought Barr great financial rewards as the best advocate for the company that, in a merger, became Verizon. More specifically, it led to a hardening of his political views. Barr has a lot to say about the modern world, but the bottom line is that he’s against it. While serving as attorney general under Trump, he played the role of culture warrior, and in his memoir he let the missiles fly.

“Now we see a growing effort to positively indoctrinate children with the secular progressive belief system – a new official secular ideology.” Critical race theory “is, at bottom, essentially the materialist philosophy of Marxism, substituting racial antagonism for class antagonism.” On crime: “The left’s mantra of ‘root causes’ is really an excuse to do nothing.” (Barr’s only complaint about mass incarceration is that it’s not mass enough.) Barr hates Democrats: President Obama, a “left-wing agitator, … strangled the economy, degraded the culture and squandered the strength and credibility of the United States abroad. business.” (Barr likes Obama better than Hillary Clinton.) Overall, his views reflect the party line at Fox News, which he oddly does not mention in several jeremiads about the left’s dominance of the media.

Barr is obviously too smart to miss what was before him at the White House. He says Trump is “prone to bluster and exaggeration.” His behavior towards Ukraine was “foolish beyond belief”. Trump’s “rhetorical skills, while powerful within a very narrow range, are hopelessly ineffective on issues requiring fine distinctions.” Indeed, in the end, Barr concludes that “Donald Trump has shown that he lacks the temperament or powers of persuasion to provide the kind of positive leadership needed.”

Barr’s bizarre theory of turning Good Trump into Bad Trump may have more to do with his feelings for Democrats than the president he served. “I have no illusions about who is responsible for dividing the country, souring our politics and weakening and demoralizing our nation,” he wrote. “It’s the progressive left and its increasingly totalitarian ideals.” In a way, that’s the highest praise Barr can offer Trump: he had the right enemies.

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Newsrust - US Top News: The Good Donald Trump and the Bad Donald Trump by William P. Barr
The Good Donald Trump and the Bad Donald Trump by William P. Barr
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