Back on April 13, President Trump made an astonishing declaration, even for him, and he’s made some doozies. You might recall that this was the briefing at which he showed a strange campaign-style video including compliments from Democratic officials, which had actually clearly been inspired by a really comparable compilation shown the night before on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, already a de facto Trump event hour.
It was also the look in which he consistently made the claim that he had “overall authority” to resume the government and blathered on about how he ‘d conserved numerous countless lives when he apparently “closed” the nation in the first place.
Kaitlan Collins of CNN asked him a concern I think all of us were doubting that point:
Who– who told you that?
Trump didn’t address.
Trump has frequently promoted his alleged overall authority, saying on one well-known occasion that Article II of the Constitution offers him “the right to do whatever I want as president.” When Collins asked him that question I was quite sure I knew who told him that. The most powerful legal authority in the administration who believes that the president has practically unlimited power is Attorney General William Barr.
Barr made an appearance on Laura Ingraham’s program recently– I wrote about it here — and made some comments at the time which offer us a clue about how he sees the president’s authority in this situation. Ingraham went on a tear about requiring churches to close during the pandemic and Barr correctly mentioned that unless the state was singling out spiritual institutions for closure while permitting other large events, the First Modification had actually not been violated.
What came next in that discussion reveals Barr’s real agenda, nevertheless, and possibly that of all the other schemers in the administration. At the time of the interview, the first rumblings from the astroturf groups in different swing states with Democratic guvs were beginning to be heard. Barr was on it currently:
I believe we have to be really careful to ensure this is– you know, that the severe procedures that are being adopted are fully warranted, and there are not alternative ways of securing individuals. And I believe, you know, when this– when this period of time is– at the end of April ends, I think we have to enable people to adapt more than we have and not just tell individuals to go home and conceal under the bed, but permit them to use other methods– social distancing and other methods– to protect themselves.
Since then we’ve had heavily-covered small demonstrations like this around the nation demanding that guvs rescind their stay-at-home orders:
A minimum of they were using masks.
On Tuesday, Barr appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s program and made clear that if anyone believed the leading police officer in the country may find armed demonstrations versus public health measures to be a threat to public order, they required to think again. He reiterated his belief that the states have actually enforced unneeded and extreme steps and implicitly backed the demonstrations, calling stay-at-home orders “disturbingly close to house arrest.”
The legal problems he believes are significant are civil liberties and something vague to do with interstate commerce. If I needed to think, I ‘d recommend that Barr plans to argue that states that are not open for organisation are in some way striking other states’ rights to carry out service throughout state lines. Either that, or he anticipates that there actually will be checkpoints on the highways as infected individuals from Trump states decide to descend upon others. In any case, he revealed that the federal government will sign up with specific claims to require states to open, whatever the task force standards backed by Vice President Pence may state.
According to the Detroit News, Barr has the assistance of the guy who was commonly thought about the worst attorney general of the United States of current history, Reagan administration stalwart Ed Meese. Obviously, Meese and some other conservative extremists wrote to Barr earlier today, accusing the states of “rampant abuses of humans rights and civil liberties” and exhorting him “to undertake an immediate review of all the orders that have actually been issued by the states and city governments throughout the country.”
Is it possible that these individuals are uninformed that these steps are being taken all over the world to consist of a fatal virus?
It’s hard to understand how commonly Barr prepares to use Department of Justice levers to require Americans to risk their lives for Donald Trump. But he is absolutely determining ways to assist make that take place.
For a guy without a medical degree or any other pertinent know-how, he seems positive that he understands more than the public health professionals about how to deal with a deadly pandemic:
You can’t just keep feeding the client chemotherapy and state well, we’re killing the cancer, because we were getting to the point where we’re eliminating the patient. And now is the time that we have to begin looking ahead and getting used to more targeted therapies.
If there is a worse analogy for what we’re going through, I haven’t heard it.
There is no “targeted therapy,” metaphorical or otherwise.