Andy Barr doesn’t care

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Here’s the basic point of this post: Donald Trump has shown that he is unfit for office. He has done things that would have gotten any other president impeached. He has damaged our country, perhaps for generations. And he is moving closer and closer to authoritarianism.

And Andy Barr doesn’t care.

Truthfully, the construct “Donald Trump is [insert bad thing], and [insert Republican] doesn’t care” could be used for every Republican in the House and Senate, including our two Senators and most of our House members. Why, then, pick on just Rep. Barr?

Because he has invited this misbegotten president to come campaign for him. Andy Barr has shown, very clearly, that his race matters more to him than anything that Trump has said or done.

So, even though listing all the bad things Trump has done would require a book, we’re going to focus on just three. If you agree with our assessment, feel free to share the post on social media, or use the click-to-tweet links to tweet the headings.

Let’s get to it.


Donald Trump is a kleptocratic grifter … and Andy Barr doesn’t care.

From before he was elected, Donald Trump let it be known that one of his goals was the money. He had his campaign stay at his hotels, so he could make money off his own campaign. He charged the Secret Service for a suite of rooms in Trump Tower to protect him, and the cost was so great that the Secret Service overran their budget for such work in just months.

Once in office, the Department of Defense had to do the same thing, in order to have military support staff near the president. There were numerous trips to his resort in Florida, where the government got charged the newly-doubled membership fees.

The Trump Organization wanted to purchase the post office building in downtown D.C., and approval for the deal came through the GSA, which Trump oversees – even though the lease specifically says that elected officials cannot lease the space.

Officials from other countries have moved their meetings to Trump properties in order to curry favor with Trump. China approved 13 trademarks for Ivanka Trump. Governments around the world are building infrastructure to benefit Trump properties.

We could go on and on and on – but you get the idea. As one writer said, “Naked corruption is now the expected way of doing business.” And let’s not even start on the people serving under Trump (Wilbur Ross, anyone?).

Andy Barr knows all of this. He knows that Donald Trump and the Trump administration is stealing everything that isn’t tied down, and some things that are. But because Andy Barr is worried about his election, he has turned a blind eye to the kleptocracy that is Trump Inc., and invited this old-fashioned grifter to Kentucky.

Donald Trump is a kleptocratic grifter ... and Andy Barr doesn't care.Click To Tweet

Donald Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator … and Andy Barr doesn’t care.

There have been ongoing comparisons between Donald Trump and Richard Nixon. Frankly, Trump is worse in a number of ways. But one comparison has recently become very relevant: calling Trump an “unindicted co-conspirator.”

When Michael Cohen was pleading guilty to the charges for which he had been indicted, he implicated the president in the last two, stating that he made illegal payments “at the direction of” the president, and worked in coordination with the president to do so.

As noted in this article, an unindicted co-conspirator is “defined as a person who is alleged in an indictment to have engaged in a criminal conspiracy, but who was not charged in the same indictment.” Whether Trump will ever be actually indicted is a question for the Justice Department and eventually the courts (and probably the Supreme Court). But it is clear, based on Cohen’s testimony and pleadings under oath, that Trump fits the Nixonian moniker.

In normal times, someone running for office would run the other way whenever an unindicted co-conspirator showed up. But Andy Barr is standing with the president. Barr’s spokeswoman said “Congressman Barr would welcome President Trump to Kentucky.”

Donald Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator ... and Andy Barr doesn't care.Click To Tweet

Donald Trump is a Russian asset … and Andy Barr doesn’t care.

This is the charge that will probably generate the most controversy among Barr supporters. Where has it been proven that Donald Trump is working for Russia?

We could walk through all the evidence linking Trump to Russia, from the change in the Republican platform at the convention, to the effort to lift the sanctions immediately after the inauguration, to the attempted destruction of NATO (a long-term Russian goal), to the Helsinki summit and its aftermath.

But, I think the clearest statement on this comes from Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, after the Helsinki Summit press conference:

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I’m pretty cautious in my arguments, cautious on a lot of fronts. I can be aggressive in how I frame those arguments. I sometimes speak in hyperbole. But in basic judgments I’m quite cautious.

Something is fundamentally wrong here. There is no reasonable explanation for the simple facts we see other than that Russia has some kind of hold over President Trump.

. . . I don’t know what the specific details are. I don’t know whether Russia has some compromising information on the President, whether they have enticed him with personal enrichment. I truly don’t know. But none of the standard explanations – truculence, trolling, anger over questioning the legitimacy of his election – none of them remotely add up as an explanation.

. . . As I wrote eighteen months ago, as the Russia story was erupting, you can infer the scope and depth of a scandal by its gravitational pull, often long before you know the particular details. President Trump’s actions make perfect sense if your assumptions are correct. Either by fear or avarice or some other species of control that exceeds the capacity of my imagination, Russia exerts a control over President Trump. So the US is in grave danger.

Look, this isn’t about Repub versus Dem, or any sort of political game. This is deadly, deadly serious. Our government and our president appear to be compromised, and the Republicans in Congress, including Andy Barr, are not only doing nothing about it, they are actively protecting the president from investigation.

I am hopeful that at some point, the truth of what has happened will come out. When that happens, the people who either actively stood with the president, or who stood to the side and did nothing, will deserve all the scorn they will receive.

In the meantime, we must call them out for their cowardice and their unpatriotic self-interest. Andy Barr inviting this president to campaign with him is just such as example of cowardice. It demonstrates the lack of courage and the politics-over-country attitude that disqualifies him from serving in Congress. It is time to vote him out.

Donald Trump is a Russian asset ... and Andy Barr doesn't care.Click To Tweet

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Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. He has been President, Vice-President, and Treasurer of the Metro Democratic Club, and has served on the Democratic Party Executive Committee in Louisville. He began blogging in 2004, and currently operates two personal blogs (BruceMaples.com and brucewriter.com). He founded Forward Kentucky in the wake of the state elections in 2015, and expanded it in the summer of 2016. He has lived in Louisville since 1992 with his wife and two sons.