by Bob Barr
In a subtle redirection of Shakespeare’s oft-quoted assertion in Henry VI, to “first . . . kill all the lawyers,” Democrats inside government and their cohorts in the private sector are moving to censure not necessarily all lawyers — just those who fail to kowtow to their liberal orthodoxy.
This purge is but the latest chapter in the radical rulebook long focused on “reimagining” our society into one premised not on individual liberty protected by the rule of law, but rather one built on group identity and forced allegiance thereto. It has been a long time coming, but the Democrat Party’s capture of the Senate majority allows them to dramatically accelerate their villainy.
For decades, liberals have worked tirelessly to deconstruct America’s system of education, one premised on classical pedagogy and local curriculum control – a structure that stressed objective standards of learning and which rewarded achievement. Our country’s public education now is a cartoonish, Rube Goldberg-esque system defined by federal bureaucrats and ruled over by teachers’ unions and tenured professors. In this morass, what is deemed correct and worthy of being learned is subjective, with no foundational values.
This toxic recipe has spawned a generation of government and corporate leaders steeped in the liberal notion that government is the default mechanism to address every real or perceived shortcoming in society. For today’ culture warriors, using the power of their positions in government and in the business arena is a moral imperative.
The so-called mainstream media has trended liberal since at least the 1960s. That this communications sector is wholly embedded with the Democrat Party is no surprise and is not going to change any time soon if at all. What is far more problematic is the explosive growth of communications technology now concentrated in the hands of so-called “progressives.” This, far more than any federal law or regulation ever could do, is empowering the Left to exert a degree of societal control not fairly dreamt of at the turn of this millennium.
Beyond being now on the precipice of gaining control of federal legislative, regulatory, and executive mechanisms, and already enjoying close friendships with the Lords of Social Media (including Facebook, Google, and Twitter), Democrats now are turning their sights on one of the last remaining redoubts of opposition – conservative lawyers.
Well-known conservative lawyers in Washington, D.C., such as Cleta Mitchell, are being forced to “disassociate” from their law firms for having leant their legal skills to the Trump administration’s challenges to evidence of alleged fraud in last November’s election.
An offending attorney’s role need not even have been as an active participant in conferences or conference calls disputing President-elect Biden’s electoral victory to earn the ire of Democrat scalp hunters. One Atlanta-based father and son pair of lawyers with a Philadelphia law firm were forced out after the son was “outed” as having listened in on the January 2nd conference call between President Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger.
The Left has turned especially against attorney Members of Congress who declared any degree of support for Trump’s electoral challenges. Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and his Missouri colleague, Sen. Josh Hawley, committed what in the eyes of the Left are offenses warranting disbarment, if not criminal prosecution. One of their House colleagues, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, has been similarly assailed.
The attacks against attorney lawmakers and other members of the Bar who supported Trump have gone far beyond grievances by individuals who may not like the particular senators or congressmen. The attacks are being led by national lawyer organizations and, more ominously, by law school deans. Some of these lawyer critics imply that those who simply alleged that there were irregularities in the election are themselves guilty of “insurrection.”
There was a time when Democrats in particular would openly defend lawyers who were under attack for having represented an unpopular cause or client (it happened to me when I first ran for Congress in 1994). This reflected the principle that standing firm in defense of the unpopular was the essence of good lawyering. For the Left now, that quaint notion obviously no longer prevails. What prevails instead is a toxic political partisanship reminiscent of despotic regimes of the sort our Founders recognized and provided a Constitution and Bill of Rights to guard against.
Fifty years ago, in 1971, cartoon strip character “Pogo” declared, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” It is no longer a cartoon.
Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s.