NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

Attorney General William Barr arrives to testify on Capitol Hill, April 9, 2019. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared.

He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and reporters.

He has been accused of perjuring himself by the speaker of the House, on completely spurious grounds.

And, of course, the House Judiciary Committee held him in contempt, essentially for redacting material from the Mueller report that he was legally obligated to redact.

I’m sure that Barr has a healthy disdain for all of this, but even he has to be a little bothered by the fact that, after a long, distinguished career in the law, the bogus contempt vote will forevermore appear high in his Wikipedia entry and other accounts of his life’s work.

He’d never say this, but I will: It’s disgusting.

Barr didn’t volunteer to return to the DOJ for personal glory or career enhancement — he’s had enough of that already. He thought he could, with his formidable knowledge and experience, help navigate the department through an incredibly fraught time, and so far, he has done it admirably.

If you’ve been paying any attention to our Webathon (please consider contributing here!), you know that fighting socialism has been its theme, and indeed we are just out with our comprehensive special anti-socialist issue, following up on our comprehensive special pro-markets issue.

But we can chew gum and walk at the same time, or at least focus on the big intellectual fights while not neglecting the day-to-day trench warfare of our politics.

While we have been publishing our issues on market and socialism, we’ve also been standing up for Bill Barr.

We’ve posted several editorials defending his handling of the report and holding up to ridicule the argument that he has been engaged in some kind of cover-up, or done anything other than act appropriately. He would have been fully within his rights under the regulations not to release the report at all.

We’ve published numerous Andy McCarthy columns on Barr that have dissected the case against him with the knowledge, acuity, and verve that have made Andy’s pieces on this website must-reads across the political spectrum.

Andy has discussed the Barr controversies in depth in his podcast that we produce and host, the McCarthy Report.

I’ve chipped in my own contributions (and have considered every bit of blowback they’ve gotten on Twitter and cable TV as a badge of honor).

And we’ve had a couple of dozen other pieces and blog posts defending him as well. Please see the entire list of our Barr material to date below.

Now, I’m sure there are fundraising mavens out there who would read this pitch, and say, “Rich, what are you doing? The theme of this drive is socialism! You’re going to confuse your readers!”

Actually, I think this “mixed message” is exactly why you should help NR reach its $175,000 goal for this Webathon: because we do enduring arguments at a high level of principle, and also mix it up in the hour-by-hour political scrum; because we seek to shape the intellectual climate without ever neglecting the political weather; because broad intellectual trends get our attention and so do the latest taking points on left-wing cable news.

There aren’t many journalistic outfits that can say this, and certainly none — in my view — with writers as versatile, deep, and talented as ours.

If all this work naturally supported itself, we wouldn’t have to hold Webathons. But it doesn’t. We depend on our friends for support.

We’ve had Bill Barr’s back. I humbly ask that you get ours.

May 15

  1. Jonah Goldberg: Holding Barr in Contempt Is a Case of Dirty Politics/

May 10

  1. Michael McConnell William Barr vs. Eric Holder: A Tale of Two Attorneys General
  2. Deroy Murdock Democrats Bully Barr
  3. Rich Lowry “Lock Them Up!”

May 9

  1. Editorial: Constitutional Crisis as Absurdist Theater
  2. Victor Davis Hanson: Progressives Face a Bleak Post-Mueller Landscape
  3. David French Against the Persecution of Bill Barr

May 8

  1. The McCarthy Report podcast: Contempt and Contradiction
  2. John McCormack: On Contempt, It’s Nadler versus Barr
  3. Ordered Liberty podcast: The Strange Hatred for Bill Barr

May 7

  1. Rich Lowry “5 Points” Video: Why the Anti-Barr Campaign Is Ridiculous

May 6

  1. Ordered Liberty podcast: From Biden to Barr to South Bend

May 4

  1. Matthew Continetti: William Barr: The New Cheney

May 3

  1. Andrew McCarthy: The Big Lie that Barr Lied
  2. Rich Lowry: The Farcical Bill Barr Scandal
  3. The Editors podcast: All Barr . . . What?

May 2

  1. The McCarthy Report podcast: Après la Lettre

May 1

  1. Rich Lowry: No, Bill Barr Didn’t Lie or Mislead
  2. David French: Three Thoughts on Barrgate
  3. Editorial: The Incredibly Dumb Bill Barr Scandal

April 25

  1. The McCarthy Report podcast: Let the Fighting Commence

April 20

  1. Victor Davis Hanson: Why the Effort to Demonize Attorney General Barr?

April 19

  1. Andrew McCarthy: The Mueller Report Vindicates Bill Barr

April 18

  1. Andrew McCarthy: The Barr Press Conference: No Obstruction on the Facts of the Case
  2. Rich Lowry: The Worst Executed Cover-up of All Time

April 16

  1. Conrad Black: A Reckoning Is in Store for Democrats

April 12

  1. Editorial: The Anti-Bill Barr Smear Campaign
  2. Rich Lowry: Yes, Investigate the Investigators

April 11

  1. The McCarthy Report podcast: Indictments, Testimonies,-and-Arrests

April 5

  1. Andrew McCarthy: Court Ruling Implies that Barr Must Redact Grand-Jury Info from Mueller Report

April 4

  1. Rich Lowry: Barr Has Done Nothing Wrong

January 16

  1. Ramesh Ponnuru: Bullying Barr

January 10

  1. Carrie Severino: Bill Barr: An Independent Voice and Bipartisan Choice for Attorney General

December 23

  1. Andrew McCarthy: A Weak Attack on William Barr’s Nomination to Be Attorney General

December 8

  1. Andrew McCarthy: The Barr Nomination: A Home Run by Trump

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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