I give the buy sign even though at 565 pages of text, Barr’s take on two presidents and the many dramatic events and controversies surrounding their administrations will take considerable time under the lamp to get through. It will be time well spent. Barr, an unhyphenated conservative, a clear writer, and an acute analyst of matters legal, political, and cultural, gives us a tour de horizon of America and its triumphs and discontents from the end of the Reagan years through the 2020 presidential election and its madcap aftermath.
While Barr’s chronicle reminds readers of the struggles of the George H.W. Bush years — the Rodney King violence, snatching corrupt and dangerous dictator Manuel Noriega out of Panama, the high-tech lynching of Clarence Thomas presided over by Grand Inquisitor Joe Biden, the dishonest takedown of Bush by the press’s phony “Iraqgate” controversy — might seem to contemporary readers like dreams from a previous world, so much even more dramatic having happened in the three decades since then. While his review of the Bush years, Barr’s first tour of duty as Attorney General, may be of interest, the bulk and the heart of the book concerns Barr’s two tumultuous years as Donald Trump’s AG. Years that were tumultuous for Trump, for Barr and others who tried to serve Trump, and for the entire country.
Little wonder that these donkeys, on whom Barr has pinned the tail, starting with the New York Times and the Washington Post, have come forth with a host of poisonous reviews of the book.
One Damn Thing currently sits atop the New York Times Best Sellers list. This should come as no surprise, even though both fervent pro-Trump and anti-Trump readers will dislike portions of the book for different reasons. Barr takes a balanced view of the former president and his works, something few seem to be able to do with this exceptionally polarizing figure.
The large cohort that considers Trump little more than a limb of Satan will object to Barr’s praising of Trump policies that made for a more prosperous and secure America. They’ll go faint at Barr’s assertion that Hillary Clinton is in no way morally superior to Donald Trump. And they’ll bridle at Barr’s criticism of the totally manufactured Russia collusion hustle which saw Robert Mueller, backed by his bullpen of Democrat lawyers and millions of tax dollars, acting as Captain Ahab in hot but fruitless pursuit of the orange whale. Barr concludes, as many sober observers have, that there wasn’t enough probable cause behind the collusion accusation to support issuing a citation for jaywalking, let alone for pursuing a legitimately elected president for years.
Barr praises Trump’s policies that resulted in a vibrant economy, low inflation, a secure southern border, and foreign troublemakers mostly behaving themselves out of concern over how a strong American president might react to their mischief. He also gives Trump credit for not truckling to a hostile press or any other organs of elite opinion that even too many conservative politicians defer to.
On the other side, those True Believers who go to DEFCON-1 when anyone so much as hints that Donald Trump may not be the second time Perfection has been made flesh on Earth will be incensed by Barr’s spot-on cataloguing of Trump’s character and personality flaws, without which Trump likely would have been a very successful eight-year president, perhaps even a great one. These shortcomings are hard for any objective observer to dismiss, and which Barr is convinced lost Trump the election in 2020. These flaws are well enough known to anyone paying attention not to need cataloguing here. No need driving hard-core Trump supporters to their reflux meds.
Of course Barr’s main sin, according to these folks, will be his deconstruction of Trump’s post-November 3 “I was robbed” obsession. There was voter fraud in the 2020 election, as Barr acknowledges, but he argues convincingly that there was not enough to have changed the election’s outcome. He debunks, with chapter, verse, and evidence, one fraud charge after another. OK, I hear the spluttering among the stolen election chorus. I can only say to this lot, read Barr’s arguments and see if you can refute them. It won’t be easy.
That the book sits atop the best sellers list is probably not pleasing to folks on the Times editorial side, or to those in other organs of the mainstream media. Barr continuously takes these villains to the woodshed for being shills for every crack-pot left-wing idea and every Democrat (save for the few remaining moderates) while ignoring the press’s true function of responsibly informing the public. He calls the legacy media, accurately, the “progressive movement’s propaganda arm” and a menace to democratic society. Instead of bringing their readers the truth, they ignore it in favor of the progressive dream world they’re flogging, an ideology Barr describes as “a conglomerate of abstruse ideas, mashing together elements of Marxism, racial and gender ideologies, radical feminism, transgender ideology, and a host of other isms.” (Of course Barr here is speaking of large, corporate media. The folks down at the locally owned River City Daily Bugle and Thunderstorm may well be honest purveyors of truth as they see it.)
Barr cites example after example of what has to be deliberate media distortions in order to further what these folks see as their new mission, which is to be “agents of change.” Change in the direction of the progressive brave new world. Little wonder that these donkeys, on whom Barr has pinned the tail, starting with the New York Times and the Washington Post, have come forth with a host of poisonous reviews of the book. These are mostly lists of distortions and ad hominem insults which help make Barr’s case against them. As Barr might put it after reading these: “The prosecution rests.”
Barr’s long takes on matters American includes chapters on criminal justice and its acute current shortcomings, battling drug cartels, the war on cops, dealing with a powerful and ideological high tech industry, the threats to religious liberty, the current racialist lies and hustles, and the endless COVID controversies. These chapters are all well reasoned from the perspective of a conservative patriot. The sections of the book on Donald Trump and the endless drama surround him are getting the most comment. (Love him or hate him, Trump is a bull who carries his own china shop around with him.) But these other thoughtful chapters are also worth readers’ attention.
So buy the book. And don’t just put it on the coffee table, like Democrats do with those tomes by the Clintons and the Obamas. Read it.