Conflict & Justice

Smiley: Democrats now have a 'soft spot' for Comey? Are you kidding?

APPLE-ENCRYPTION-CONGRESS.jpg

FBI Director James Comey arrives for a House Judiciary hearing on "The Encryption Tightrope: Balancing Americans' Security and Privacy" on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 1, 2016. 

Credit:

Joshua Roberts/Reuters/TPX Images of the Day 

Am I the only one not buying it ... all of this Democrat faux anger at President Donald Trump for firing James Comey?

Are we really supposed to believe that the political left is this upset that Trump shanked Comey?

Comey was delivering a speech here in Los Angeles just down the road from my office when he learned, apparently at the same time as all the rest of us, that he had been fired by Trump at the urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

At the risk of sounding disinterested or unconcerned about yet another bizarre and brazen act by Trump, which raises a myriad of questions about his motivations, particularly as it relates to the investigation about the role Russia may have played in our presidential elections, good riddance to James Comey. Trump’s flagrant and foul dismissal, notwithstanding, Comey should have taken a seat, several seats, a while ago.

Easy Comey, easy Goey.

There’s all manner of commentary comparing Trump’s firing of Comey to the “Saturday Night Massacre” in October of 1973 when former President Richard M. Nixon ordered the firing of Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor looking into the Watergate case that would eventually disgrace and dismiss Nixon from office.

Just because you compare it to Watergate, doesn’t necessarily make it a watershed. We shall see.

And speaking of a watershed moment in the nation’s history, what of Comey’s October surprise? It seems to me that Comey got as much warning from Trump as Comey gave to Clinton, when he shanked her on Capitol Hill just days before the election, which helped seal the deal for Trump.

There’s a whole lot of shanking going on.

Trump may have indeed miscalculated, assuming that Democrats wouldn’t care about the way he carved up Comey, given their disdain for the now former FBI head. But am I really supposed to believe that Democrats, after all their public invective, now have a soft spot for Comey?

I was born at night, but not last night.

Rarely have I seen one in public life so thoroughly set himself up for the fall that we could all see coming. No matter who won the election. Comey got clowned, but he played himself.

Do you really believe that had Clinton won, she, too, wouldn’t have kicked Comey to the curb? If he hadn't resigned first, he might scarcely have made it to Jan. 21, the day after her inauguration!

Not a one of us believes Trump fired Comey over his mishandling of the Clinton email investigation, no matter how erroneous, egregious and embarrassing his testimony was last week before Congress. And if you do, please forgive me, but you’re stuck on stupid, and you’re forgetting that this is the same Trump who promised to throw “crooked Hillary” in prison if he won. Like Nixon, it seems to me, only men with things to hide go to these extremes.

But that’s how the game is played. Trump saw a hole, and number 45 powered through, running behind his lead blocker Jeff Sessions and other linemen, who only months ago didn’t even want to be on the same team with him.

I know we’re all gobsmacked, yet again. Every time we think this president has hit rock bottom, he finds a new low to which he descends. Yes, we have every right to be outraged at the way he’s denigrating and diminishing our democracy. But it’s hard to be angry and strategic at the same time. Anger can be great fuel, but eventually, you have to turn the anger into action.

We need an independent investigation of the Russia hacking, no doubt about that, and so much more to give Americans confidence in government, which is paramount for our democracy to survive this Trump implosion. I’m heartened by the fact that a few Republicans seem embarrassed and dismayed by this Comey conundrum, and have joined Democrats in calling for an independent investigation of election meddling by Russia. I'm just not sure it's going to make much difference, given that the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has already kicked that can down the road.

I’m just afraid that when all has been said and done, more will have been said than done, and this normalized corruption will continue unabated.

That's the way these crises of confidence in Washington usually end up — big scare, hot air, nothing there.

I sure hope I’m wrong this time.