The Tradition of Lamentable Attorneys General Worsens
What is it about the office of Attorney General of the United States that makes otherwise intelligent occupants of that position behave in unsettling, or worse, manners?
For some years our AG’s have been an instrument of political bias and/or political blunders in a country that supposedly prides itself on the “rule of law.”
Who can forget Eric Holder—who described himself as Obama’s “wingman,” speaking of bias (extreme division)—being held in contempt of Congress, including by 17 Democrats, for his bungling prevarications regarding the “Fast and Furious” affair?
Other attorney’s general of recent years weren’t much better. What was Loretta Lynch doing meeting, putatively ad hoc, on an airfield with Bill Clinton in the midst of the (still completely unresolved) Hillary Clinton email affair? Why did Jeff Sessions so quickly recuse himself from the likely treasonous Russiagate/Spygate calumny that was so obviously fake from the outset? Even Alberto Gonzales has run into trouble.
And that’s just an abbreviated list.
Many sighed in relief when William Barr took the office a second time, and for a while things seemed to be taking a better turn, but then Barr made two disturbing announcements—one, that neither Obama nor Biden would be investigated in the Russiagate matter (some people, not just corporations, are too big to fail, evidently) and, two, that he did not see any evidence of significant electoral malfeasance in the 2020 presidential election.
He made that second statement on Dec. 9, 2020—a point at which it would have been literally impossible to make such a declaration with any authority.
Literally thousands of complaints were coming in from all over the country. Who could have sifted through them that fast? Answer: nobody.
And, to my knowledge, Barr had little or no background in computer science, certainly not to the degree necessary to investigate the Dominion machines (to which the company denies the password to this day) or software.
Why did Barr then choose to make such a statement at that point? Other reasons may exist, but a quick perusal of the recent history of his office and of the Department of Justice itself leads one to believe they are both more committed to the preservation of their institution as part of what we now call the Deep State than they are to the rule of law conceived by our Founders (cf. Inspector General Michael Horowitz obfuscating the bias in the Russiagate investigation after he delineated 17 “errors” all in one direction).
And now Merrick Garland is making it worse.
For the last several months he has been directing his department’s attention to the supposed “insurrection” of Jan. 6, almost to the exclusion of anything else.
But we are now learning via the testimony of FBI director Christopher Wray that it was not an “insurrection,” despite what we have been hearing from Pelosi, Schumer, CNN, MSNBC, NYT, ad nauseum, ad tedium, since the day of the event itself, or possibly even before.
Nevertheless, Mr. Garland has been addressing it as if it were.
(Wray also testified that only one person in this quondam “insurrection” had a gun. That’s undoubtedly considerably fewer than at a baseball game in any “concealed carry” state like my own Tennessee where, these days, you don’t even have to have a permit.)
What Mr. Garland is not addressing, in any discernible manner, are the real, clearly violent and ongoing, insurrections (they even admit it is their intention) from Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
And he has plenty of jurisdiction since they have been attacking federal buildings in multiple venues. Portland Antifa is finally, after over a year of violence and mayhem, being prosecuted, not, however, by the Department of Justice, but by local officials.
Why have Garland and the DOJ ignored this? I’ll get back to that in a minute but first let’s examine their latest reactionary foray into what the right calls “election integrity,” and Garland and the DOJ seem to think is vote-stealing (projection, anyone?).
Just the other day AG Garland announced a new area of focus aimed at—via a variety of laws, some old, some new but of questionable Constitutionality—“ensur[ing] that we protect every qualified American seeking to participate in our democracy.”
You don’t have to be a genius to see this as code for “What are all those Republicans doing investigating the last election? We know they’re really out to restrict minority votes.”
That is a calumny for which the attorney general has no evidence.
How do I know this? I have spent much of my time the last few months—more than Bill Barr did, I would wager, and more than Merrick Garland ever did—visiting and speaking with people in the “electoral integrity” movement, normal people, family people.
Not one of them, not a single one, so much as suggested they wanted to restrict minority voting or anything close to it. In fact, many of them were minorities.
Fearing the Truth
Merrick Garland would know this if he got out of his Beltway bubble a little bit, though he might find that too disturbing to his world view.
Now I’m not saying he is in any way a stupid man—he is, after all, a Harvard summa cum laude and valedictorian from the days before that degree became summa cum woke. He is, however, a moral narcissist, the kind of person who makes assumptions about others without knowing them because it is inconvenient to see them for what they are. It would threaten his place in his world.
The people in the election integrity movement are largely the “deplorables,” those folks, Obama told us, who obsessively “cling to their guns and religion.”
Only one of those guns seems to have made it into the Capitol, but no matter.
The more important point, although Obama perhaps did not realize it, is the religion. People with religion—those who believe in God—tend not to lie. They certainly lie less. That is why we say “So help me God.”
In Judaism, the extreme orthodox Hasidim are known as the “Haredim”—those who fear God. I wouldn’t be surprised if Garland knows that.
I am no Hasid, but, like most people, I know what it is to fear God and why that discourages one from lying.
I would advise the attorney general to take a closer look at those who worry about our elections. They have good reason.
His reaction is dictated by shopworn ideology that has disconnected him from the life and values of his fellow Americans. (It did this to me for many years, so I know.)
This is also why he fixated on the Jan. 6 events as if they truly were an “insurrection” when they were actually a cry of help from the disenfranchised people of this nation.
The problem for this attorney general, as it was for several before, is that he thinks he has empathy when he doesn’t. It’s all self-regard. Or is it just, to paraphrase Lord Acton’s justifiably famous words, “[near] absolute power corrupting absolutely.”
Or, finally, as regards election integrity, is it the most obvious—fear of the truth?
Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (nonfiction). He can be found on Parler as @rogerlsimon
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.