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It’s Worse Than You Think: Putting Barr’s Senate Testimony in Perspective

I don’t think we fully realize the profundity of Barr’s assertions yesterday. The ideas that a president can determine whether or not he ought to be investigated or that a president is incapable of committing obstruction are not just outrageous assaults on Constitutional values.

Taken in the context of this administration’s systematic rejection of the oversight role of Congress and of the law–whether it is the emoluments clause of Constitution or the obligation of the IRS to hand over tax returns to the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee what we are seeing is nothing less than a coup, to use a word the president has grown fond of. Trump and Barr are seeking to eliminate the checks and balances that are a hallmark of our system and to effectively render the Congress subservient to the presidency.

Combine this with the efforts of the Senate to load the courts with judicial candidates loyal to the president and the implication of McConnell, Graham & Co. that they will not fulfill their own Constitutional obligations, and you see a devastating picture.

The GOP, in order to achieve narrow political objectives which translate into the further empowerment of a tiny minority who represent America’s richest and most powerful individuals, corporations and financial institutions, are seeking changes that will forever change us.

That they are doing this in complicity with foreign enemies, themselves captive to oligarchies whose interests are commingled with those of our ever, rapaciously ascendant ruling class, makes this all the more pernicious.Not only is the power of the few being raised above that of the many who once were the supreme source of authority in our democracy, but our national interests are being compromised to serve those of foreign rulers who wish us ill, or who are actively seeking to destroy us as a nation.

Should Trump, Barr, McConnell and Graham succeed, then those foreign enemies, notable Vladimir Putin, will succeed as well. Our democracy will lay in ruins. Our Constitution will be gutted. The idea that no man is above the law in America will be murdered before our eyes.

That is the effort we saw afoot yesterday…and that we see today as Barr refuses the House’s request that he testify…and that we are seeing daily in serial rejections of the authority of the Congress or of the laws, regulations and standards that have governed past presidents.

It may have appeared that Barr was just an incompetent, a bad liar lying badly. But look at his words–from his assertions of presidential authority to his refusal to condemn the most obvious forms of collaboration with a foreign enemy and you will recognize the depth, severity and urgency of the crisis we face. Don’t discount this as politics as usual. Don’t shrug this off as more partisanship in Washington. Read or watch what was said…what is said and done daily.

And then recognize that impeachment of Trump and of Barr, potent challenges to their efforts to grab power and systematic efforts to remove them from office by the ballot box must be our collective highest priority. The alternative is the final step in the empowerment of an American aristocracy and the cold blooded murder of the ideas and ideals that our founders and every subsequent generation of Americans fought for.

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