Building a Better Vocabulary With Bill ‘Low’ Barr

My parents, as regular readers know, were lawyers and had aphorisms around the house about the majesty of the law, and the value of opinions, etc. They even told me that precise wording is the key to being a good attorney. And so with that in mind, let’s build a better vocabulary with Bill Barr!

Fox News:

“Attorney General William Barr said that his handling of the Mueller report and its aftermath is rooted in a desire to defend the power of the executive branch rather than personal support for President Trump.

And I am czar of all the Russias. Do continue.

“I felt the rules were being changed to hurt Trump, and I thought it was damaging for the presidency over the long haul,” Barr told The Wall Street Journal in El Salvador in an interview published Monday, where he traveled last week to boost support for Trump’s policies toward the violent street gang MS-13.

And the key in that paragraph, above, really is in the verbs: Felt and Thought. Felt is an opinion—a soft verb—and needs no underlying evidence to support it; he might as well say “I guessed…” Thinking needs evidence to support a conclusion. Of course, you can be wrong in your thinking!

“At every grave juncture the presidency has done what it is supposed to do, which is to provide leadership and direction,” Barr added. “If you destroy the presidency and make it an errand boy for Congress, we’re going to be a much weaker and more divided nation.”

And again, a sleight of hand: the presidency does X. But you might notice that Low Barr does not say that Prznint Stupid does X/Y/Z, because he knows Prznint Stupid doesn’t. (Knows, btw, is a very strong verb!)

Look, this is a master class in misdirection, cheap rhetorical tricks to mislead a gullible press and people. It is not surprising that the conservative media picked this up. When Barr speaks, pay attention to his verbs. It’s a clue the moment he decides to squirt squid ink and swim away in the confusion.

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5 Responses to Building a Better Vocabulary With Bill ‘Low’ Barr

  1. donnah says:

    Trump has a lousy record for appointments and picks. He’s the king of bad judgment and putting terrible people into positions of authority. But he did himself a big favor with Barr. This fat little toad is everything Trump wants: pliable, clever, sly, and willing to do whatever he can to shield his balloon-headed master. Barr is smart and he knows how to phrase his comments to wiggle through a lot of loopholes.

    I’m hoping for some major humiliation for Barr. I want him to be held accountable for his weaselly ways.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. ohniner says:

    Good observations. edit: change “slight” to “sleight”.


    • tengrain says:

      Good catch, Ohniner, and thank you. I’ll add that to my running list of homophones that trip me up. All. The. Time




  3. roket says:

    Can someone please refresh my old person memory? Where was Bill ‘Low’ Barr during the Clinton Presidency with this benevolent Dictator crap??


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