Trump Battles Barr: A Useless Fight Right Now

BRANDON J. WEICHERT | THE WEICHERT REPORT

Since winning an historic election over the “most qualified person to ever run for” the presidency, Hillary Clinton in 2016 (a woman who cannot win in any free and fair national election, mind you), Donald J. Trump and those around him have been subjected to nothing less than a coup attempt by corrupt elements of the permanent Washington bureaucracy–notably by those in the supposedly non-partisan Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, and a whole medley of alphabet soup agencies (even by elements within the White House National Security Council).

Now that the impeachment hoax the Democratic Party perpetrated upon the entire country is over, President Trump is understandably ready to not only just move on–but to finally clean his government of the corrupt detritus from the previous administration. Trump wants revenge. He now fully understands that the bureaucracy was weaponized against him for years ago by his predecessor.

Yet, Trump has grown frustrated with the entire bureaucracy and has taken to attacking his mostly-loyal attorney general, Bill Barr, on Twitter. Angered that one of his oldest friends and loyalists, the gonzo political consultant, Roger Stone, faces life in prison for the now-disproven Russia collusion delusion, Trump wants Attorney General Barr to intervene in the legal case.

Barr has expressed frustration over the fact that President Trump is increasingly placing pressure on him to involve the Department of Justice in what Barr views as partisan issues. Here is the now-infamous interview that prompted the president’s rebuke via Twitter:

Courtesy of ABC News.

And, to be fair, Barr has thus far done right by the president.

Still, the fact that even Barr is chafing under Trump’s request to intervene in the Stone court ruling is giving new life to the “mainstream media” and its ongoing mission to destroy the Trump Administration. Right now, the Democratic Party is imploding as the democratic-globalist oligarchs who run the DNC vie for dominance over the socialist-populist base of the party. They are devouring each other in front of the entire world. As this continues, more Americans will flock to the Trump reelection bid, as he appears the most stable–though that is not going to happen, if Trump keeps distracting the voters with these sideshows.

Here is the Tweet that started the storm this weekend:

As I have noted, the Trump Administration has presided over a relative boom in the American economy. Times are good. The Trump foreign policy has also struck a positive balance between isolation and intervention. Meanwhile, Trump appears committed to preserving the traditional and conservative social mores of the country–even in the face of stifling odds. Should he win reelection (which I pray he will), Trump will have the ability to totally remake the country and return it to its previous status as the greatest power on Earth–while positioning the country to best survive what will be a century of dynamic instability.

But, as I have also written about, Trump must avoid being dragged away from the winning issues.

His policies are working beautifully, for most Americans. The country is finally prospering. No matter what may happen, we do have strong leadership in the Oval Office which counts for more than most give credence to. And, the president’s ability to reach out to the public via Twitter should not be discounted either. Yet, his insistence on keeping the American voters away from seeing the abject disaster that is the DNC Primary process by making himself the center of the story is problematic.

A Time to Tweet and a Time to Campaign

For everything there is a season. Right now, the season is for Trump to more carefully calibrate his public push for reelection by focusing on the issues that Democrats are either unable or unwilling to talk about, while the Democrats totally implode. The president’s twitter spat with Barr, while I believe it will be short-lived, is a telling example of how not to use his incredible Twitter advantage. When your adversary is in the process of hanging himself, get out of the way.

We saw this last summer. Back then, the DNC had half a dozen candidates running for their party’s nomination. And, all of them were in a race to see how insane they could appear. The debate that month had Andrew Yang calling for the abolition of private car ownership. It saw Bernie Sanders unapologetically declaring himself a socialist–with little to no pushback from anyone. Joe Biden, the presumptive frontrunner, was making himself appear more senile and creepy with each public statement. Meanwhile, the DNC conspired to deny Tulsi Gabbard her rightful position in the debates–indicating that the fix was already starting to come in from the top.

Rather than let the Democrats eat each other without interruption, Trump came in and started tweeting about how Hurricane Dorian was going to slam into the coast of Alabama. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), said the president was wrong.

The infamous Hurricane Dorian black sharpie incident from last summer. Courtesy of Slate.

Trump decided to double-down and make a massive stink in the media–using his big, beautiful sharpie marker to draw a line from where Hurricane Dorian was to where he thought it was going–and continue arguing that he was correct. It was a totally irrelevant and wasteful exchange that resulted in the president looking bad for that period of time and giving cover to the imploding Democrats (remember, the “mainstream media” is always looking to ignore damaging stories to the Democrats, particularly now that Trump is in full steamroller mode).

Thankfully, the Dorian incident happened last August, far removed from the election. And, it is true that the NOAA ultimately claimed that President Trump was correct. By the time the NOAA did agree with Trump’s claims, though, the damage had been done; no one paid attention to that fact, and everything was focused on the initial controversy–making Trump, not the NOAA “deep state” or the corrupt media, look bad.

But, the nearer the country moves to the election this year, the more important it is that Trump focus on his reelection campaign and less on his (necessary) revenge campaign against the corrupt elements of the “Deep State.”

That can come over time, particularly if he wins reelection. It is important for the Trump team to remember, though, that 75 percent of Americans when asked said they wanted more witnesses to have been called during the impeachment hoax. What’s more, according to the same Quinnipiac poll, 53 percent of Americans said they did not believe President Trump’s claims that he did “nothing wrong” in his phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky (the call that had precipitated the Democrat impeachment case).

By continuing to snipe at Bill Barr (a man who, whether Trump likes it or not, is widely believed to be a very pro-Trump AG) in public over the matter of rescuing his former campaign associates from legal trouble, the president is only weakening himself, the Attorney General, and his reelection campaign.

Look, Bill Barr may ultimately end up being a dud as attorney general. Who knows? We have been told for almost two years that those who attempted a coup d’etats against the duly elected president would be getting theirs under Barr’s leadership at the DOJ. And, while Barr has burbled periodically about the excesses that occurred under his predecessors regarding the investigations into the Trump Campaign and, later, the administration, very little has been done visibly to live up to these expectations.

Barr is also not a “MAGA” loyalist in the way that certain others on Team Trump are (most of whom are no longer in the administration for various reasons). He is a former Bush family operative. Yet, he has mostly acted in accordance with the best wishes of the president.

Unlike many analysts, I do not believe that the attorney general is required to be independent of the sitting president. In practice, there should be a degree of separation between the Oval Office and the AG’s office–and under Trump there has been. Ultimately, though, the AG’s office reports to the president (who reports to the voters). That’s our system. It’s insane to think that the DOJ (or any other bureaucracy in Washington) that is officially subordinate to the Executive Branch would be required to enjoy independence from the chief executive.

Thus, the president is not wrong to insinuate himself in what has been a blatantly corrupt court proceeding against key members of his 2016 campaign (not only has Roger Stone been wronged, but so too has the young George Papadopoulos, Mike Flynn, Paul Manafort, and a host of other, lesser-known people whose only real crime was helping Trump win the presidency away from the “inevitable” Hillary Clinton).

The attorney general, ultimately, works for the president. The very notion that the AG should have no interference from the big boss is an absurdity that only a Washingtonian can believe (which, of course, they really don’t believe that, they just use it as a crutch when they wish to circumvent the will of the people or the Constitution). At the same time, though, the president can insert himself into various DOJ functions without causing a public stink. Also, Barr should have kept quiet in his interview with ABC News. Kellyanne Conway, one of Trump’s loudest defenders in the media, says the president should be applauded for having tweeted his upset with Bill Barr rather than sticking to quieter means.

One must question, then, how effective Trump’s action will be?

Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn, and all of the others who have been wrongly ensnared in the Democrat-concocted Trump-Russia collusion delusion deserve to be absolved of their ongoing woes with the Justice Department. If it takes a presidential action to accomplish that, then so be it. But, the larger issue–Trump’s reelection–is what everyone should be focused on. With his sniping at Barr, the president is weakening Barr–who has been a dutiful implementer of most of Trump’s policies in the department.

Predictably, after the tweet storm against Barr, a group of more than 1,000 former DOJ officials signed a letter calling for Barr’s dismissal. The Democrats have piled on. It has now become one of the key talking points in the press. And, every second wasted on this issue is a second that the Democrats are let off the proverbial hook by the press.

The narrative has shifted away from the DNC’s clear corruption and opposition to Bernie Sanders; away from the potentiality that New York City oligarchs, Mike Bloomberg and Hillary Clinton, are conspiring to rig the DNC primary in their own favor, to now endless discussion about President Trump, his reputed corruption vis-a-vis Ukraine, Russia, and the 2016 election, and the credibility of Bill Barr.

All of this could have–and should have–been avoided.

Besides, if the president wants to absolve his former campaign aides of their legal woes (which he absolutely must), then he should issue blanket pardons for them. It’s not as if he isn’t the president. Their entire ordeal could be over tomorrow if Trump simply did that. I have been told that Bill Barr is working to remedy the excesses that occurred in the DOJ during the Obama Administration. I am in a wait-and-see mode on that. But, I am more than willing to give Barr a degree of the benefit-of-the-doubt, if only because he has done mostly right since taking office as attorney general.

Plus, as the John Durham investigation into the FBI and DOJ abuses of the FISA Court occur, Barr could potentially deliver a huge “October Surprise” that further catapults the Trump reelection effort at a critical moment. This is not the time to begin sniping and weakening Barr’s leadership at the DOJ (which has already been under attack since he assumed office last year).

Stick to the Issues

What Trump should be tweeting about is the incredible economy we have. He should be reminding Christian voters of how well he has protected our sacred traditions. Trump should be constantly highlighting the total mania that the Democratic Party has been consumed by, allowing others to compare-and-contrast his leadership with the true chaos of the DNC (so much so that voters should be asking themselves “is that the kind of DNC leadership I want presiding over the whole country?) He should be doing more victory laps at the Daytona 500 (without getting too complacent).

The Trump Campaign should also not just stick to the issues the GOP establishment is most interested in. It’s not just tax cuts and foreign policy that matter. Trump won on immigration, trade; he won by promising to rehabilitate the country’s ailing infrastructure (which has only gotten worse since 2016).

Trump should also recognize that 41 percent of all Millennials in this country voted for him in 2016. To secure their vote, rather than engaging in these sideshows with members of his own administration on Twitter, Trump should start talking about the issues that Millennials care about (notably the student loan crisis). Trump should announce that his initial plan to allow veterans to expunge their student loans through bankruptcy will be expanded to cover anyone with student loans.

Trump should start coopting some of the DNC’s most valuable talking points–precisely what Bill Clinton effectively did against George H.W. Bush in 1992. He needs to keep breaking the Democrats’ OODA Loop and enhancing his own campaign up to unprecedented speeds, to keep the Left off-balance and unable to mount an effective resistance.

Trump should be tweeting about his own “Green New Deal” which, rather than the AOC and Bernie version, is about a) lowering energy costs for most Americans, b) increasing output and efficiency of energy production, c) making energy consumption safer and more efficient, and d) inspiring greater level of innovation. Trump should announce a greater emphasis on offshore drilling, as the fracking sector undergoes radical changes that will negatively impact overall production.

From there, he should announce his full-throated support of not only nuclear fission reactor construction, but small, modular nuclear reactor (SMR) production; he should link his vital Space Nationalist program to energy production in the form of support for lunar and asteroid mining of Helium-3–a potential efficient and clean fuel source for nuclear fusion. Trump should also invest federal research and development dollars into building out Space-Based Solar Power.

He isn’t talking about these things.

Instead, Trump is wasting time and energy dinging Barr, who likely won’t even stay on very long in a potential second term anyway!

All of this will not kill the Trump reelection bid, thankfully.

Fact is, the president is benefiting from the abject stupidity and banality of his enemies–as are we as a country benefiting. Still, as a Trump supporter, it is frustrating to witness the president go down rabbit holes such as he has. In turn, this has given his rivals a renewed lease on political life–however temporary it may be. Plus, there is a chance that the Democrats will ultimately come together after their convention; there is even a (slight) chance that Bernie Sanders becomes their candidate. If that is the case, the dynamics in 2020 change considerably–as Bernie is the only person who poses a real threat to President Trump’s reelection in a free and fair election.

This sort of Twitterscapade, if conducted closer to the election, when the recovery time is less and more people are paying attention, could significantly harm Trump–particularly if the Democrats do manage to recover from what I assume will be a bruising convention of intramural rivalry this summer.

Please remember that Hillary Clinton did manage to win the popular vote. Again, a majority of Americans polled (take that how you will) were in favor Trump’s impeachment. While the president has enjoyed his highest approval rating since taking office–49 percent–his disapproval rating is extremely high as well. Bottom line: President Trump is a very viable, though vulnerable, candidate.

The longer the Democrats languish in their own divisions, he will ride a wave to victory. However, his victory is not assured. Our country is as divided today as it was in 1860, when Abraham Lincoln was elected, and the country was placed on the path to Civil War. It is, therefore, imperative that Trump continue to be Trump–but that he simply calibrate some of his attacks to the issues that matter.

I don’t want him to stop tweeting. I don’t want him to hide. I just want him to be more like a precision guided munition and less like a carpet bomb. There is a time for scorched Earth politics. This is not yet it. When he does win reelection, the president must carpet bomb the administrative state, and if Bill Barr does not deliver then Trump will have to destroy Barr first.

But, that will come in time.

For now, the president must focus on continuing to Make America Great Again–otherwise he will give his rivals a chance to catch him in a down moment…and that would be disastrous for the country.

A second term for Donald Trump is absolutely required to save this country from the abyss. Although, he needs to be more cognizant of blowback from some of his tweets.

In essence, don’t do stupid sh*t.

©2020, The Weichert Report. All Rights Reserved.

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