We Had Barr’s Back; Will You Have Ours?

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May 20 2019



Attorney General William Barr testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019. (Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)


Dear NR Friend,

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. Please donate here.


Rich Lowry

    May 15

  1. Jonah Goldberg: Holding Barr in Contempt Is a Case of Dirty Politics
  2. May 10

  3. Michael McConnell: William Barr vs. Eric Holder: A Tale of Two Attorneys General
  4. Deroy Murdock: Democrats Bully Barr
  5. Rich Lowry: "Lock Them Up!"
  6. May 9

  7. Editorial: Constitutional Crisis as Absurdist Theater
  8. Victor Davis Hanson: Progressives Face a Bleak Post-Mueller Landscape
  9. David French: Against the Persecution of Bill Barr
  10. May 8

  11. The McCarthy Report podcast: Contempt and Contradiction
  12. John McCormack: On Contempt, It's Nadler versus Barr
  13. Ordered Liberty podcast: The Strange Hatred for Bill Barr
  14. May 7

  15. Rich Lowry "5 Points" Video: Why the Anti-Barr Campaign Is Ridiculous
  16. May 6

  17. Ordered Liberty podcast: From Biden to Barr to South Bend
  18. May 4

  19. Matthew Continetti: William Barr: The New Cheney
  20. May 3

  21. Andrew McCarthy: The Big Lie that Barr Lied
  22. Rich Lowry: The Farcical Bill Barr Scandal
  23. The Editors podcast: All Barr . . . What?
  24. May 2

  25. The McCarthy Report podcast: Après la Lettre
  26. May 1

  27. Rich Lowry: No, Bill Barr Didn't Lie or Mislead
  28. David French: Three Thoughts on Barrgate
  29. Editorial: The Incredibly Dumb Bill Barr Scandal
  30. April 25

  31. The McCarthy Report podcast: Let the Fighting Commence
  32. April 20

  33. Victor Davis Hanson: Why the Effort to Demonize Attorney General Barr?
  34. April 19

  35. Andrew McCarthy: The Mueller Report Vindicates Bill Barr
  36. April 18

  37. Andrew McCarthy: The Barr Press Conference: No Obstruction on the Facts of the Case
  38. Rich Lowry: The Worst Executed Cover-up of All Time
  39. April 16

  40. Conrad Black: A Reckoning Is in Store for Democrats
  41. April 12

  42. Editorial: The Anti-Bill Barr Smear Campaign
  43. Rich Lowry: Yes, Investigate the Investigators
  44. April 11

  45. The McCarthy Report podcast: Indictments, Testimonies, and Arrests
  46. April 5

  47. Andrew McCarthy: Court Ruling Implies that Barr Must Redact Grand-Jury Info from Mueller Report
  48. April 4

  49. Rich Lowry: Barr Has Done Nothing Wrong
  50. January 16

  51. Ramesh Ponnuru: Bullying Barr
  52. January 10

  53. Carrie Severino: Bill Barr: An Independent Voice and Bipartisan Choice for Attorney General
  54. December 23

  55. Andrew McCarthy: A Weak Attack on William Barr's Nomination to Be Attorney General
  56. December 8

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

Anyone interested in a tax-deductible contribution to support the work of National Review Institute, our charitable, 501(c)(3) non-profit sister organization that advances the conservative principles championed by our mutual founder, William F. Buckley Jr., should visit www.nrinstitute.org for more information.


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