James B. Comey as sex abuse victim!

THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 2017

Our pitiful tribe at its worst:
On May 9 and May 11, Donald J. Trump made an accurate statement about something James Comey had done. He said Comey had told him, "on three separate occasions," that he was not the subject of an FBI investigation.

Yesterday, we showed you how our press corps reacted to this statement by Trump, which later turned out to be accurate. To review their behavior, click here.

In substantial numbers, we were told, by reporters and pundits, that Donald J. Trump was surely misstating. In some cases, we were told that he'd plainly lied.

More strikingly, we were told, again and again, that a great man like James B. Comey would never behave in the way Donald J. Trump had described. As with Superman, so too here:

Everyone knew the real Chuckles the Clown would never throw a man to his death!

Last week, Comey testified that he had done exactly what Trump described. From this incident, we can learn a valuable lesson about the practices of the ridiculous guild we still describe as a "press corps."

Briefly, let's be fair! As a general matter, it's understandable that Donald J. Trump was doubted.

First as a candidate, then as president, he has issued a steady stream of inaccurate statements. Many of his statements have been crazily inaccurate. Doubting the accuracy of his claims is second nature by now.

In our view, the press corps' sycophancy toward Comey was a great deal more instructive. Again and again, major pundits told the world that James B. Comey would never behave in the way Trump described.

When it turned out that Comey had done what Trump described, very few pundits revisited or explained their previous claims. Meanwhile, did you see anyone revise his view of the man called Comey the God?

One observer after another had said it would violate DOJ norms for Comey to do what Trump said. When it turned out that Comey had done just that, everyone averted their gaze. Comey remained a god!

We've described this general pattern for years. Over the years, the press corps has anointed a series of figures, mostly Republicans, as The World's Most Forthright Person. Once that designation is awarded, it's virtually never taken back, no matter how the anointed god may behave.

Mewling pundits continue to swear that Person X is impossibly honest, even after Person X has behaved in overt bad faith. And so it has been with Comey the God! Consider the string of pundits who compared him to a victim of sexual abuse in the wake of his admission that he behaved as Trump said he did.

One such piece appeared in last Sunday's Washington Post, written by Christine Emba. Under a truly embarrassing headline, Emba started like this:
EMBA (6/11/17): Mr. Comey, what were you wearing that night?

Thursday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing was riveting in its own right. But at times, James B. Comey’s grilling on the stand recalled nothing so much as a sexual misconduct trial, with the former FBI director playing the role of barely believed plaintiff. The proceedings brought to mind the patronizing, painful back-and-forth that victims have been conditioned to expect should they dare lodge a complaint about harassment or assault. From the exhaustive rehashing of every encounter between the president and the former FBI director to the performative disbelief of many of the questioning senators, the uncomfortable parallels were hard to ignore.
Poor Comey! Was he disbelieved and mistreated, in the manner that's sometimes directed at victims of sexual assault?

Actually no, he wasn't. If it's proof you want, these are the examples Emba provided as she continued her piece:
EMBA (continuing directly): Asked Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), perhaps trying to be understanding: “You’re big. You’re strong...Why didn’t you stop and say, ‘Mr. President, this is wrong?’ ”

Then Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): “At the time, did you say anything to the president about—‘That is not an appropriate request,’ or did you tell the White House counsel, ‘That is not an appropriate request, someone needs to go tell the president that he can’t do these things’?”

There was Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.): “You said...‘I don’t want to be in the room with him alone again,’ but you continued to talk to him on the phone...Why didn’t you say, ‘I’m not taking that call’?”

(Emba's deletions)
Poor Comey! He was forced to take those hurtful questions from Feinstein, Rubio and Blunt! He was being treated like a victim of harassment, or even assault.

Has there ever been a dumber column in the Washington Post? Unlike many victims of harassment or assault, Comey is a 56-year-old, extremely powerful Washington insider who was the head of the FBI during the months in question.

When Trump and Comey had the exchange to which Feinstein referred, two powerful public officials sat face-to-face in a room. It's true that Comey could have been fired, and he eventually was. But it's appalling to see him compared to a victim of sexual assault who no one would believe.

Just look at the questions Comey was asked. In all the cases Emba lists, the senators were asking perfectly reasonable questions.

Indeed, Feinstein, Rubio and Blunt all asked obvious questions. Comey's been running a con for so long that people like Emba can't see this point, or possibly choose not to see.

Consider Blunt's question. It was an excellent question:

Comey, a long-standing self-promoter, bellyached about the way Sessions had left him alone with Trump. Except uh-oh! In the months which followed, Comey continued taking one-on-one phone calls from Trump!

Why in the world had he done that? This was an obvious question from Blunt.

Feinstein and Rubio asked obvious questions too. Ridiculously, Comey pretended to explain why he didn't tell Trump, on various occasions, that Trump shouldn't be working him in the way he seemingly was.

Below, you see the full answer Feinstein received from the god:
FEINSTEIN (6/8/17): Now, here's the question: You're big. You're strong. I know the Oval Office, and I know what happens to people when they walk in. There is a certain amount of intimidation. But why didn't you stop and say, "Mr. President, this is wrong. I cannot discuss this with you?"

COMEY: It's a great question. Maybe if I were stronger, I would have. I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in. And the only thing I could think to say, because I was playing in my mind, because I could remember every word he said— I was playing in my mind, what should my response be? And that's why I very carefully chose the words.

And, look, I—I've seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes. I—I remember saying, "I agree he's a good guy," as a way of saying, "I'm not agreeing with what you just asked me to do."

Again, maybe other people would be stronger in that circumstance but that, that was—that's how I conducted myself. I, I hope I'll never have another opportunity. Maybe if I did it again, I would do it better.
Comey wasn't strong enough? Shameless con man, please!

In fairness to Emba, Comey was almost positioning himself, in that statement, as a stunned victim of an assault. But this leads us to the questions posed by Rubio and Blunt:

Why did Comey keep speaking to Trump on the phone after the initial assault? Why didn't he tell him, at any point, that his conversations with Comey were inappropriate? These are obvious questions too. Also obvious is the fact that Comey gave very shaky responses.

Comey's testimony to the Senate committee was simply larded with cons. He threw an array of other people under the bus, often in ways which were strikingly unfair.

(This includes Loretta Lynch. In our typical way, no one from the liberal world rose to speak in her defense after Comey slimed her before the committee and before the world.)

Should Comey be compared, in any way, to a sex assault victim? No. But that's the kind of treatment you get once the insider press corps has designated you as a god. It's especially true when you're being fictionalized as the cowboy in the white hat during a major chase, in this case the chase after Trump.

Emba's column appeared on-line near the end of last week. On last Friday night's Last Word, Ana Marie Cox picked the bones of the column clean in an utterly ludicrous session with Lawrence O'Donnell.

We can't show you the transcript of their discussion, which also included Joan Walsh. MSNBC has failed to provide one, even on Nexis.

We cant link you to the tape. MSNBC didn't post it.

Over the weekend, we did make notes on the segment, hedging against the possibility that no transcript would appear. (The full hour was still available at the Last Word site.) We'll only say this:

Along with the equally ludicrous Walsh, Cox made a joke of concern about sexual assault as she complained about the way poor Comey had been treated.

Below, you see some of the notes we took as we listened to the segment three or four times. These aren't precise quotations, but they come quite close:
SNIPPETS FROM COX (6/9/17): The treatment of Comey, he's being treated like the way a target of a sexual predator would be treated.

In one of those ways, it's the character of the person that's attacked that's at question here.

It's like people are saying, "Yes he may have done something wrong, but did you see what he was wearing? Comey may have worn that blue suit and tried to blend into the drape, but he was wearing that white shirt like a hussy."

You have all kinds of people coming out of the woodwork saying Comey should have been the one to tell Trump he was wrong, which is what you hear about sexual predators.

You also hear them saying, "If he was so worried about it, why did he stay? Maybe he had a drink or two."

I don't want to make light of this. It's kind of amusing in its own way because Comey's 6 foot 8 and a guy and it's "Ha ha."

But this is abuse of power. And abuse of power is always obscene.
If you want to know what we find obscene, we'd start with that segment by Cox.

It doesn't matter that Comey is 6 foot 8, a point Emba also noted. It he were the 5 foot 8 head of the FBI, the following points would obtain:

At the time of his interactions with Trump (and with Sessions), Comey was a full-grown adult. He was also a very important and very powerful federal official.

He had major obligations to the public. If he couldn't handle himself in those settings, we'd have to say that Obama erred in naming him to his post.

James B. Comey as sex assault victim? If it's obscenity you seek, we'd suggest that you start right there.

Comey was slippery and slick all through last week's testimony. That said, he's played this game for many years, as when he savaged Clinton last summer while all our corporate liberal stars ran off and hid in the woods, refusing to speak or complain.

Because he's a powerful insider god, liberal figures, from Rachel on down, have persistently refused to challenge his conduct. Now that he stands in opposition to Trump, he's being reinventing as a godlike figure. We're shedding tears and comparing him to a sex assault victim.

This is the way your liberal team has played the game for many years. People are dead all over the world because we liberals accept this.

"Mr. Comey, what were you wearing?" In a word, obscene.

15 comments:

  1. A few observations:
    1. TDH opines that our current POTUS has issued a "steady stream of inaccurate statements [many of which] have been crazily inaccurate." I know TDH doesn't care for the use of the "L" word in describing what our POTUS constantly utters, but TDH is watering down the egregiousness here. What we have is a despicable and bald-faced disregard by the new POTUS as to whether what he says resembles the truth. There is a fascist vibe.
    2. TDH points out how Comey "savaged Clinton last summer." Has anyone actually read the Rosenstein memo that was put forth as the reason Trump decided to fire Comey? According to Trump, as the content of the memo was the reason he gave for firing the "god", Comey was fired because he savaged Clinton, both in his initial press conference and the one a few days before the election. Trump basically admits that he fired Comey because of Comey's savaging of Clinton. Rosenstein doesn't say that Comey caused Clinton to lose, but that is a natural implication. I know - the grounds set out in Rosenstein's memo - that excoriates Comey very harshly and in vivid detail for his savaging of Clinton - are not the real reason for the firing. But that's the reason Trump gave, and his AG still gives as the reason.
    3. It's depressing how this whole Russian 'scandal' is being advanced. Will there be evidence that Trump or his team actually colluded with the Russians in the hacking of Podesta's emails and turning them over to WikiLeaks? If not, what is there to this? I don't see the good that is coming from this, though maybe if Trump keeps botching things up, and it lasts and lasts like the classic Washington scandal, future election results will be better (I wish).I actually watched almost all the GOP debates. It was shockingly appalling. They all were terrible; Cruz probably would have been worse as president than Trump, but because he is such an obnoxious snake, maybe would have lost. But when Trump suggested trying to reach more of a rapprochement with Russia, it seemed like a decent idea - he was attacked for this by all his GOP competitors (except Paul).
    4. Has a dumber column that Emba's ever appeared in the Post? Maybe not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clinton would have beaten Cruz. Sanders would have beaten Trump.

      Delete
    2. No evidence of that whatsoever, but before he could beat Trump, he would have to beat Clinton and he couldn't do that. Clinton did beat Trump. She didn't beat Russia and Comey.

      Delete
    3. Clinton would have beaten Cruz. Sanders would have beaten Trump. Easily. Because of older rust belt voters. Period. End of sentence.

      Delete
    4. Better trolling please.

      Delete
  2. Comey showed he had been around the block a few times by quickly transcribing the gist of conversations with Trump.
    Then he portrays himself as a bedazzled intern, stupefied by Trump's blunt talk. Something doesn't match up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of things don't match up.
      After a year of disgust with Clinton's supposed corruption, those same people turn around and vote for know-doubt-about it corrupt Trump. We sure live in strange times.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  4. Sexual assault, sexual abuse and domestic violence are not jokes or metaphors or false accusations to be dismissed summarily because there is often no one there but the attacker and the victim.

    Somerby doesn't have his head on straight about these crimes if he thinks this situation with
    Comey's testimony bears any resemblance to sex crimes trials. His use of this metaphor does resemble the kinds of things men who readily dismiss accusations write.

    Here, Somerby has been arguing that Trump may not have done what he is accused of, that there is a rush to judgment, and now he uses sex abuse allegations as a similar situation. The obvious conclusion is that Somerby doesn't believe in those accusations either, but considers the men accused to be innocent victims of complaints lacking in substance. Way to go, Somerby!

    Not exactly a liberal sentiment. More like something a Bernie bro would write.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Somerby is being critical of the pundit who likened Comey to a sexual assault victim. It is the pundit who trivialized actual sexual assault with that ridiculous comparison.

      Bernie is right. Hillary and many other Democrats have forsaken the working class in favor of their rich donor base. They need to knock it off. A quarter million dollars for a Goldman Sacks speech, it stinks to high heaven.

      Delete
    2. Someone posts as Anonymous, for good reason, and writes:

      >>>Somerby doesn't have his head on straight about these crimes if he thinks this situation with
      Comey's testimony bears any resemblance to sex crimes trials. His use of this metaphor does resemble the kinds of things men who readily dismiss accusations write.
      <<<

      Somerby is the person who might think the Comey testimony bears a "resemblance to sex crime trials"? Huh?

      Look, if you can end up comprehending what you've read after employing some sort of speed reading technique that's all to the good. But here we have an example of Anonymous getting everything bass ackwards.

      Somerby hinges this post on his criticism of Christine Emba's claim that:

      >>> ...at times, James B. Comey’s grilling on the stand recalled nothing so much as a sexual misconduct trial, with the former FBI director playing the role of barely believed plaintiff. <<<

      It is the WaPo headline writer, not Somerby, who suggested the tone of the questioning Comey faced was along the lines of, "Mr. Comey, what were you wearing that night?"

      Somerby responds to this characterization of the Comey testimony bluntly:

      >>>Was he disbelieved and mistreated, in the manner that's sometimes directed at victims of sexual assault?

      Actually no, he wasn't.
      <<<

      Delete
    3. "Comey wasn't strong enough? Shameless con man, please!

      In fairness to Emba, Comey was almost positioning himself, in that statement, as a stunned victim of an assault. "

      ...

      "Because he's a powerful insider god, liberal figures, from Rachel on down, have persistently refused to challenge his conduct. Now that he stands in opposition to Trump, he's being reinventing as a godlike figure. We're shedding tears and comparing him to a sex assault victim.

      This is the way your liberal team has played the game for many years. People are dead all over the world because we liberals accept this.

      "Mr. Comey, what were you wearing?" In a word, obscene. "

      ---------

      Somerby does initially decry this analogy but he also uses it to pin his column upon. He embraces it. It is offensive when Emba does it and it is even more offensive when Somerby, who should know better, builds upon it.

      If you don't like a metaphor, you don't extend it.

      Somerby claims that Comey should have told Trump that his approaches were inappropriate. If Somerby found Emba's column obscene, as I did, he should have said so and moved on -- not continued to employ that same metaphor to his own uses. If it is obscene for Emba, it is double obscene for Somerby because Somerby knows better and is a liberal and should be giving more than token, going-through-the-motions support for women's issues. But this is what you get from the Bernie bros.

      Somerby won't write a straightforward condemnation of this because he doesn't think women's complaints against men are anything more than he said-she said exercises in political correctness. His column reeks of that assumption.

      Delete
  5. First of all, I think the comparison sensible opiners were making was to sexual harassment, not sexual abuse. Very big difference. The comparison was to the way Trump treated and spoke to Comey, rather than the way senators phrased their questions. For example, Comey thought he was going to a dinner with Trump and others at the White House; when he got there it was just himself and Trump. Many women being sexually harassed by bosses have found themselves in similar situations. I think the comparison works better if you consider it as Trump behaving toward Comey the way a sexual harasser would behave in the workplace, manipulating, pressuring, rather than Comey behaving the way a sexually harassed person would in the workplace. I think the metaphor is apt if you think of it that way. It shows Trump's extremely controlling, manipulative side, the same side of him that would just grab a woman by the *****.

    Yes, Comey should not have accepted all those phone calls from Trump, maybe should not have allowed a meeting alone with Trump to proceed at the WH. His behavior should have been different in many instances. He should not have told Trump that Trump was not under investigation. But the metaphor still works in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
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