How Bill Barr has enabled Donald Trump’s darkest instincts

US President Donald Trump (R) and US Attorney General William Barr step off Air Force One upon arrival at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on September 1, 2020. - US President Donald Trump said September 1, 2020 on a visit to protest-hit Kenosha, Wisconsin that recent anti-police demonstrations in the city were acts of "domestic terror" committed by violent mobs. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNN)President Donald Trump has spent his presidency looking for a co-commiserator, someone who carries the same conspiratorial and cynical view of the government and those who work within its massive bureaucracy. In Attorney General Bill Barr, he has finally found him.

In a speech — and question-and-answer session — hosted by Hillsdale College, Barr was stunningly blunt about his views on, well, everything.

“Name one successful organization or institution where the lowest level employees’ decisions are deemed sacrosanct, there aren’t,” Barr said of alleged unhappiness within the Department of Justice among the rank-and-file. “There aren’t any letting the most junior members set the agenda. It might be a good philosophy for a Montessori preschool, but it is no way to run a federal agency.”

Of governors resisting full reopenings of their states amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Barr said this: “You know, putting a national lockdown, stay-at-home orders, is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.”
Yes, you read that right. He compared state elected officials taking precautions to protect their citizenry from a virus that has killed almost 200,000 Americans to slavery.