Yesterday, in a speech delivered to a room full of lawyers, AG William Barr asks that the United States remember and return to the original co-equal, tri-partite structure for the federal government, as the founders intended.
From The Epoch Times, in a post that summed up the grave import of Barr’s concerns:
Barr, who has been repeatedly criticized for defending Trump, said he was actually worried about the presidency and the “steady grinding down of the executive branch’s authority.”
“I’m concerned that the deck has become stacked against the executive,” he said.
I took the time to read the transcript of the entire speech, and it is instructive, offering Barr’s deep philosophical and historical reflections on what the founders actually did intend, and why.
Attorney General William P. Barr Delivers the 19th Annual Barbara K. Olson Memorial Lecture at the Federalist Society’s 2019 National Lawyers Convention
I imagine I’m unusual in actually reading through the whole transcript. And actually, I’m surprised I did that, rather than just staying with the short clip that went viral on my twitter feed yesterday, during the second day of Schiff’s amazing Kangaroo Court version of “Impeachment Inquiry.” Yes, this snippet, designed, some say, to signal Barr’s intent and scare the pants off Democrats.
Jeffrey Toobin, in the New Yorker, went right to work, calling it “the worst speech by an Attorney General of the United States in modern history…[h]istorically illiterate, morally obtuse, and willfully misleading.” The American Mind proceeded to place that same quote in its own version of a larger context:
An Alt-Epistemological note: Context, obviously, matters. It always does. Any meaning or interpretation that we assign to any statement is surrounded, immersed within a larger floating pool of hunches, tacit assumptions, gossip, unconscious biases, attitudes and who knows what else, all loosely or tightly lumped into a floating, half-submerged mass. Think Gestalt Theory: figures (patterns) upon a (back)ground. It’s the ground (the surround, the floating mass) that delivers us to unfathomable mystery, since any point, when looked at from close to, opens into a space, which itself contains an infinity of points which, when looked at from close to . . .
I.e., we can’t ever “figure it out,” be absolutely sure about anything. But we CAN center ourselves while opening to new perspectives, and in this way, remain sane.