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Where’s the fire?

June 8, 2017

It seems as though Director Comey found the President crass, perhaps uncouth, and personally off-putting but even with a lifetime colored by dealing with the seamy side of the world, he was not as Nixon put it, a crook.

At least as regards the issue at hand, i.e. did he order Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn and the Russian thing, the paper released yesterday was anticlimactic. It was also probably intended to leave a lot of white space to be filled in according to your personal bias.

It did tend to support some of the President’s tweeted and spoken remarks, but it is long on innuendo as well.

It seems that he really was told three times that he wasn’t under investigation, and no, while he may have hinted strongly, he didn’t order Comey to suspend any investigations.

If anything, Comey’s remarks show a newly elected political novice who, with all due respect to the President, didn’t have a clue about how government actually works at the subterranean levels.

Both sides, sans real evidence, will see in this what they want to see.

That certainly won’t be the last of this however, since now this becomes a contest to see which political camp can twist it to their advantage the most effectively.

Judging from the foaming and frothing from the left,  they see it as just slightly more egregious than, well just about anything.  A slightly obsessed Texas representative says (for about  the fortieth time) that he’s drafting articles of impeachment.

The right on the other hand tends to ignore the statements from President Trump that at least show an incredible ability to say the right thing the wrong way at the wrong time.

It’s common in business to demand personal allegiance to the management, but it’s not the way political appointees such as directors are supposed to behave in Washington. Like elected officials they should (but seldom do) work in the best interests of the American people first.

Had Trump simply asked Comey if he could count on him to perform his duties in a fair and impartial way, no one could have faulted him. The Trump camp insists that is how he meant what he said on the subject of loyalty.

By asking for Comey’s  loyalty without qualifying it, and accepting the assumption that it happened exactly as the ex-director said it did,  he demonstrated that he didn’t have a grasp on Comey’s job description, much less the director’s personality.

It is important to remember that as evidence, Comey’s notes are only his opinion. Absent any witnesses or actual recordings, this is a case of he said, he said.

If you have nothing better to do, the hearing today might be instructive from a score-keeping vantage point.

If, like most of America, you already know the general outline of the playbook, you can wait for the media to report the score on the late evening news.

Democrats bent on resisting (and maybe a few notable Republicans with the same goal) can talk about how they feel all they want, and they will, just as they did on Wednesday.  They can try to lead the ex- director down the path they want him to follow,  just as they did on Wednesday.

Mr. Comey may get his tongue tangled and contradict himself. He’s been known to do it before.

But when push comes to shove, at least as regards the public testimony, if this is all there is, there is no there, there.

How much damage the whole sordid affair is really going to do to the President depends mostly on the President. He needs to cool it during the hearing, but he has already signaled that he won’t.

Rationally, he could be excused for feeling like he just cleared the fence on a 3-2 pitch, but it’s probably a whole lot too early to rush to the mound and celebrate.

Given the unprecedented opposition he has faced so far, you can’t help but want to root for him.

Who doesn’t love an underdog, even when the underdog sometimes behaves like an injured dog snapping at everyone.

Even his staunchest supporters have gotten to the point where they simply stand back and let him do his thing, since they sure as heck can’t protect him from himself.

It must be frustrating for them when the good things he’s done have to take a back seat to who he is.

As far as much of  the rest of the country goes, they may just be hoping he wakes up one day and can’t find his phone…for a week or so at a time.

From → op-ed

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