In February 2019, William “Bill” Barr assumed the position of U.S. attorney general for the second time in his life. Now, someone has bestowed another title upon him: “Adult of the Year.”
Writing for the Wall Street Journal, columnist Kimberley Strassel suggested that Barr is underrated and should be praised for his “willingness to speak truth to power.”
The winner: Bill Barr
Strassel began her Thursday column by lamenting that “person-of-the-year awards are almost always bestowed on men and women who already meet with fawning praise.” Instead, she suggested an award based on a much higher standard.
“Let’s instead craft an award based on a person’s willingness to speak truth to power — whether to the press, the boss, or to partisan operators. Call it Adult of the Year,” she suggested. “The winner: Attorney General William Barr.”
According to Strassel, Barr’s first praiseworthy move came before he even took office. During his confirmation hearings in early 2019, Barr refused to deny that spying was perpetrated against members of the 2016 Trump campaign team.
“I think spying did occur,” Barr insisted.
“Barr’s decision to return to the Department of Justice to look critically at how the institution was being run was a courageous move,” Strassel wrote Thursday. “And it’s because of his willingness to speak truth to power that Bill Barr is Potomac Watch’s 2019 Adult of the Year.”
For the good of the country
But while Strassel and fans of the president may be heaping Barr with praise, not everyone thinks so highly of him. Critics like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have accused the AG of being loyal to the president rather than his oath of office, according to BuzzFeed News.
For her part, Strassel thinks she knows the real reason for those allegations.
“In reality, of course, Washington was merely in shock that someone had the courage to launch a retrospective investigation into what had been going on,” Strassel wrote. “Then came the Horowitz report,” which Strassel said “highlighted alleged FBI abuse of FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] warrants, which were obtained using a dossier funded by a political party.”
Barr’s work to expose such wrongdoing has led to “a delegitimization campaign” against him that continues “to this day,” Strassel lamented. Still, she hopes the attorney general will stand strong in the face of it.
“May Barr continue to subject his institution to scrutiny, for its own good,” Strassel concluded, “and that of the country.”