Wait, wait, wait: Is Comey the good guy now?
It’s so confusing. As a Hillary Clinton supporter, I had gotten so used to viewing the FBI director as the errand boy of doom. It was, after all, he who was so widely said to have thrown sacred apolitical precedent to the dogs by announcing the reopening of an investigation into Clinton’s e-mails just before election day. In so doing, Democrats from Hillary on down have been insisting ever since, Comey had effectively thrown the election — and, by extension, all hope for humanity — to Donald Trump. Moreover, the contention went, he had done so not out of some tone-deaf Boy Scout scrupulousness, but to appease a nefariously anti-Clinton clique in the Bureau.
Now, this lowlife has been fired and in the eyes and cries of many who have fervently maintained all of the above, it’s a threat to the republic.
Don’t get me wrong. In its context, its pretext, and its timing, Comey’s termination is the soul of suspicious. In its manner, it is the definition of demented. In its rank deracination of a relatively independent, if problematic, investigatory figure, it is the apex of ominous. And in its status as merely one of the crisis-level shocks that this country has been obliged to absorb since January, it is a measure of the mess that Trump apparently wills his presidency to be.
Still, I can’t shake the feeling that if Hillary Clinton had gotten elected and proceeded to axe Comey out of sheer spite, the reaction from some of the same quarters would have been of a rather different, “you go girl!” variety.
It’s become par for the course. Every development — scandal, Syria, FBI-director-sacking — is evaluated strictly in terms of its immediate effect upon clearly delineated political heroes and villains, and whatever clash they happen to be having.
Of course this tendency has existed forever, but it keeps getting more entrenched in our politics and no one seems to mind.
I mind. Don’t you?