Part 3—Two different liberal approaches: Reading James Comey is hard. All in all, we're inclined to agree with the views expressed by certain Democrats in today's Washington Post.
The report was written by Dave Weigel. In hard copy, the headline stretches across the top of page A4:
Forgive and forget? No, say Clinton backers who blame Comey for 2016 loss.We're perfectly willing to "forgive." Judgment is someone else's, or at least so said the Lord.
That said, we do tend to agree with the highlighted assessment:
WEIGEL (4/18/18): Even in his criticism of Trump, Comey’s Democratic detractors said they see the same flaws they believe led him to mishandle the Clinton investigation: an inflated sense of righteousness and an outsized concern about how he will be perceived.Other Dems are quoted offering similar readings of Comey the person. As they do, they continue to say that he seems to have handed the election to Donald J. Trump.
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said Comey was “an honorable man, but his job was to do everything by the book, and not to manage reputations—either his own, or that of the agency. He seems a little bit too concerned about his own.”
“I think Comey is an honest man who’s extremely self-righteous and thought he could, in his own judgment, violate Justice Department guidelines, with very unfortunate results,” Rep. Nadler is quoted saying.
"Extremely self-righteous?" To our ear, that's a bit harsh, but it's in the ball park. Indeed, we'll have to admit that this unflattering reading by Lanny Davis has sometimes popped into our heads:
WEIGEL: “There is nobody in Washington, D.C., who is more similar to Donald Trump, in his unchecked narcissism, than James Comey,” said Lanny Davis, a longtime Clinton ally who published a book this year blaming Comey for her defeat...."[H]e’s such a self-serving narcissist that he can’t even own up to his mistake.”We'd avoid the clinical term "narcissism," perhaps preferring "self-absorption." But the comparison to Donald J. Trump has sometimes popped into our heads.
Everybody's some kind of way; also, nobody's perfect. Rachel sometimes reminds us of Trump. That doesn't make her evil.
As we've been reading Comey this week, he's mainly struck us as a rather strange duck. Over the next few days, we plan to provide examples.
Major Dems have been reading Comey in the manner described. We've also been struck by the number of liberals who seem to be trying to rehabilitate the godlike figure, now that he's caught in a tribal war with the reviled and aforementioned Trump.
Nadler, Davis and the like have refused to forgive. Other liberals may perhaps be doing so, in deference to the childish desire for simple stories with hats of two colors—black hats arrayed against white.
Was Michelle Goldberg rehabilitating the fallen god in yesterday's New York Times column? As we noted yesterday, the thought has entered our heads.
It sounds like Goldberg has read Comey's book; we're working from excerpts and interviews. She describes the book as an "earnest tome, in which [Comey] comes off as a somewhat tragic figure who, in striving for decency, makes errors of judgment that helped put the singularly indecent Trump in the White House."
That sounds a bit like James B. Comey's reading of James B. Comey! According to Comey, Comey's constantly "striving for decency." To Goldberg, this makes him a tragic figure. To us, it makes him a rather strange duck.
It may be true that Comey is constantly striving for decency. In our reading, it seems to us that the gentleman doth possibly strive too much!
In our reading of Goldberg's column, it seemed to us that she might be striving to rearm Comey for the fight with Trump. No doubt that would be completely subconscious, like so much of Comey's behavior, at least according to Comey, who's buffeted by flashbacks and out-of-body experiences to a degree previously unknown at the top of the FBI.
We'd have to say that Goldberg is one of those people who want to "get Donald Trump." Rehabilitating Comey might help, but good grief! Consider her main takeaway from reading his earnest tome.
Here's how her column started:
GOLDBERG (4/17/18): Whatever you think of the former F.B.I. director James Comey, he has started a long overdue national conversation about whether the pee tape is real.Has Comey started "a national conversation about whether the pee tape is real?" If he has, we don't know where it's occurring.
“I don’t know whether the current president of the United States was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013,” Comey said in his hotly anticipated interview with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday night. “It’s possible, but I don’t know.”
Other people have criticized Comey for detailing the many things which he says are "possible." Everything's possible, after all. That includes the possibility that Goldberg herself paid the fees of those possible Moscow performers.
Still and all, Goldberg spends her column in a somewhat peculiar way. In this passage, she almost gives us our old Comey back—and she offers a shaky assessment of his book's "most significant new information:"
GOLDBERG: I doubt Comey wants these salacious details to be the main message of his earnest tome, in which he comes off as a somewhat tragic figure who, in striving for decency, makes errors of judgment that helped put the singularly indecent Trump in the White House. Yet the book’s most significant new information is about Trump’s obsession with the rumored tape, which he brought up with Comey again and again, and the lies Trump told about why it couldn’t be real.Did Trump tell "lies" to Comey about this alleged performance art? We're sorry, but that isn't clear.
Goldberg's two alleged examples are notably flimsy. So is her alleged "evidence that the pee tape might be real." Even as she cites a highly tangential matter from the Corn/Isikoff book, she fails to mention their report that Christopher Steele himself is pretty iffy as to whether the alleged Moscow incident actually happened at all.
We're dreaming here of getting Trump, and we're locked in on The Sex. The whole package is helped along by the partial rehab of Comey.
Did the Moscow incident actually happen? As we said last week, we'd all better hope it didn't.
If Donald J. Trump, possibly with Goldberg's help, actually staged that incident as a way of sliming the hated Obama, then Donald J. Trump isn't simply unfit. The man is stark raving mad.
And yes, he holds the nuclear codes! If we want the human race to survive, we'd better hope that this attention-grabbing story is wrong.
We're prejudiced against Goldberg for our view of her work during the 2016 campaign. That said, she's among the group of liberals who do seem willing to forgive—and who may be rearming Comey for his novelized fight with Trump.
He "strives for decency," Goldberg said. James B. Comey could hardly have said it better himself!
Tomorrow: Sliming Lynch (and others)
"he has started a long overdue national conversation about whether the pee tape is real."ReplyDelete
If she wants start this 'conversation', first she should show us the tape, play it on tee-vee. Then we can start guessing if it's real or not.
Otherwise, it's like this: I've been told on good authority about the tape where Michelle Goldberg is sucking off a donkey. Yes! Let's start a national conversation!
I wonder if there will ever be a national conversation in Russia about your paymaster and his boss murdering their critics, Comrade Whoever-You-Are-This-Week.Delete
Yeah,,and She should offer some credible proof that Bill Clinton ever raped anybody, dickhead.Delete
Most of what Trump says and does every day is just as offensive as whatever might be on that pee tape.Delete
Let's start with that.
There is good reason to believe that a pee tape would not have a negative impact on how Trump supporters view him.Delete
Bob seems unaware of what the internet is largely used for.
Or maybe he is feigning ignorance, perhaps to impress someone.
It is not hard to imagine, with Trump's adolescent pea brain, that Trump's seeming obsession with the pee tape was an attempt at diversion from more serious offenses.
Trump is a disaster as president, but in all likelihood, those that will suffer in the US will be the middle-to-poor classes, those with little-to-no power. For some reason, perhaps psychosexual, this is immensely satisfying to Republicans.
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“fallen God.” In other words, the whole “Comey The God” mantra was bullshit. Michelle Goldberg is disgraceful, but you can find equallyReplyDelete
bad stuff on Fox at any hour. “The Trial of James Comey” must be seen to be believed.
Amazing how many right-wingers pretending to be leftists still flock to the website you gratuitously cited to.Delete
Thanks for the link, Leroy. (I suppose if you're confused enough to be an uncompensated Resister this passage from the article there might sound right-wing to you:ReplyDelete
[QUOTE] In a short chapter on racial injustice, Comey describes the killings of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, and Freddie Gray as “tragic deaths.” But he turns the killings around, lamenting that they “dominated perceptions of the police. They swamped and overshadowed millions of positive, professional encounters between citizens and police officers, and extraordinary anger was building toward all uniformed law enforcement.” Yes, Comey really went there — blaming the victims of police abuse for making people upset that police were abusing them.
Comey did not hide these views while at the FBI, and after making a speech in Chicago in 2015 that was not well received by the civil rights community, he was summoned to the Oval Office by then-President Barack Obama. Comey describes that session in his book, and he seemed to double down, telling the country’s first black president that the law enforcement community was upset at the way Obama had used the phrase “mass incarceration.” It was offensive, Comey told the president.
“I thought the term was both inaccurate and insulting to a lot of good people in law enforcement who cared deeply about helping people trapped in dangerous neighborhoods,” Comey writes. “It was inaccurate in the sense that there was nothing ‘mass’ about the incarceration: every defendant was charged individually, represented individually by counsel, convicted by a court individually, sentenced individually, reviewed on appeal individually, and incarcerated. That added up to a lot of people in jail, but there was nothing ‘mass’ about it.”
This is a delusion worthy of King George.
The idea that poor defendants are represented individually is true in a strict sense, but if you cannot afford a good lawyer of your own (many Americans cannot), you are unlikely to have decent representation in the face of prosecutor’s offices with significant resources. The idea that people are convicted individually is also a myth, because more than 90 percent of all cases at the state and federal level are settled with plea bargains in the face of prosecutorial threats of unduly heavy sentences if they go to trial; trials are rare but intimidation is not. And the notion of appeals is another sad matter — only the well-off or the fortunate who obtain lawyers with the resources and the time for aggressive litigation can pursue appeals that have a decent chance of overturning a bad verdict.) [END QUOTE]
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Never said I was right-wing, Cmike. I said I was conservative. Not A conservative, in the political sense. Wouldn’t I be a conserrvative if I wanted to preserve SS?Delete
No worries, glad you and I share the same views, we just express them differently.
Oops... I'm such a snowflake. Just realized you were responding to good ol' Sandy. Sure wish I could do that font thing.Delete
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