Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Jacob Heilbrunn — It Was Inevitable That Trump Would Fire James Comey

It was probably inevitable that Donald Trump would fire FBI Director James B. Comey. The surprising thing may be not that Trump terminated him today, but that Trump waited as long as he did. Comey has repeatedly displayed lamentably bad judgment. The question that those outside of Washington may wonder about is whether anyone can shoot straight in this town. Institution after institution has come into disrepute because of bungling by top government officials. Comey’s missteps are not an aberration, but part of a broader pattern in Washington.... 
 His hapless, serial bungling suggests that he was totally out of his depth as FBI director....
The National Interest
It Was Inevitable That Trump Would Fire James Comey
Jacob Heilbrunn | Editor of the National Interest

28 comments:

Kaivey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

Wait until we see who Trump replaces him with.

Ben Johannson said...

Ridiculous. That there is no replacement for Comey waiting and the firing was handled in such an amateurish manner demonstrates this was a last minute action, not the result of a deliberative review process. Something happened that very quickly changed the equation.

Tom Hickey said...

The Director of the FBI is a political appointment that must be confirmed by the US Senate.

James Comes is being replaced by FBI Deputy Director Andrew G. McCabehttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_G._McCabe, who is now serving as the Acting Director pending the appointment and confirmation of a new director.

Comey appointed McCabe in January 2016. He is a Democrat and his wife is a Democratic politician. He joined the FBI in 1996.

Everything in the works will continue as before under McCabe.

lastgreek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lastgreek said...

This 24/7 coverage of Trump is never going to stop. Even the Canadian news are bumping serious stories to cover Trump. We need a respite from this madness.

PS: "Respite," where the second syllable is pronounced like the word "spite." Wrong you say? Ha! I have heard Condoleezza Rice, a Stanford graduate, pronounce it like that when she was asked to give testimony in front of the 9/11 Commission ;)

PPS: Stanford graduate, for Yale's sake!

Tom Hickey said...

It will last as long as it is clickbait. After that, it's history.

Think ka-ching.

Bob said...

So it's McCabe?

Matt Franko said...

"Stanford graduate, for Yale's sake!"

Title 7.

Michael Norman said...

The only question is, what took him so long.

And McCabe is acting director. He will be replaced. That is my hope, anyway. If not then Trump has once again taken a bold move in the right direction, only to negate it by doing something stupid after that.

Bob said...

It looks bad to remove someone who is investigating you, even when that investigation is going nowhere. The question is whether the next FBI director is someone respectable, or a right-wing toadie. Trump's appointments so far have been disappointing.

Reckless and incompetent leadership is now defined as bold, huh?

Penguin pop said...

To me, Trump just throws vomit at the wall and expects it to magically result in something good, hence why he makes all these dumb, reckless decisions. He may be a big crook, but he's also one of the dumbest deal makers I've ever witnessed.

Tom Hickey said...

Well, we aren't at war with Russia in Syria yet, as we would be under HRC,

Lavrov said the meeting with Trump went well.

Deal in the works, even through just about the entire Establishment and Deep State is trying to blow it up.

Tom Hickey said...

Unlike the rest of TPTB, Trump understands that to deal with NK he needs China to lead and to deal with Syria and Iran he needs Russia to lead. He'll work on a deal that benefits US interests as much as possible while also benefiting the other parties enough to make it work.

Conversely, the US, UK, EU, and NATO elites are acting like spoiled brats.

He is carrying out what he said he would do.

Penguin pop said...

I hope you're right, Tom. Maybe I can actually give the guy credit where credit is due just like I did with Steve Mnuchin admitting the debt ceiling is nonsense. Doesn't mean I have to like him and I probably still wouldn't for many reasons, but I can be honest and point out if he did something actually beneficial. So far, I'm not impressed and gave him a chance a while ago and my own patience ran out.

Bob said...

In between lobbing missiles in order to look more presidential, he has accomplished very little. China and Russia will have to do all the work so that he can posture back home to his dwindling number of supporters.

Penguin, spaghetti or your choice of pasta will suffice.

Bob said...

Coming out in favor of single payer would be "bold".

Tom Hickey said...

China and Russia will have to do all the work

That is his plan. It's called "leveraging a deal."

Bob said...

It's called "doing jack shit and claiming all the credit".

Penguin pop said...

I call it being lazy and sitting back and eating more chocolate cake while the big boys do their thing. Being president is so easy. Would be even easier if this guy had any brains to come out and actually do the YUGEST infrastructure bill we've seen in a long time, but nope. That hope is long gone.

Tom Hickey said...

It's called "doing jack shit and claiming all the credit".

While it got DJT several billion dollars, several trophy wives, and the presidency. Not bad for doing jack shit.

Tom Hickey said...

Would be even easier if this guy had any brains to come out and actually do the YUGEST infrastructure bill we've seen in a long time, but nope. That hope is long gone.

I think there is likely a backstory here. A president can't do much domestically without Congress unless he can issue an executive order. DJT has no constituency in Congress and scant power over it. So it's a matter of what he could work out with the leadership. The GOP leadership was just not that into infrastructure. I don't know whether DJT pushed it as a priority, but I doubt he had the power to move it to the top of the GOP congressional leadership's list. This is a big obstacle for an outsider like DJT.

Tom Hickey said...

Obama faced a similar block in passing the ACA where he needed 60 votes to overcome the GOP filibuster. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) was a crucial vote Obama had to get. CT is the insurance capital of the US. Go figure.

Bob said...

While it got DJT several billion dollars, several trophy wives, and the presidency. Not bad for doing jack shit.

Not bad for filing for bankruptcy... yet the story goes that if he'd simply invested his money he'd be even wealthier. As a real estate mogul he was as much myth as self-made.

I hope he gets his brand stamped on each disaster. e.g. Chumpcare.

Tom Hickey said...

Even granting that, he has the trophy wives and presidency to show for it. Still not bad for doing jack shit.

Bob said...

Doesn't matter how you get wealthy, only that you are. Doesn't matter if you're dumb, being a billionaire is portrayed as evidence of being smart. There were several factors that resulted in Trump winning the presidency and most of those were outside his control.

He "leveraged a deal" with the electorate by lying to them.

Tom Hickey said...



Who didn't other than maybe Bernie, although in politics there is a fine line between lying and bullshitting.

Regarding winning the presidency, if you buy Scott Adams explanation, which tracked the campaign extremely closely, DJT was a better persuader.

But it was also that the media did a really bad job of reporting and at least some of that helped DJT. The media was sympathetic to him in the campaign for the nomination but the media was also heavily for HRC during the campaign for election.

Right new DJT is getting everything not nailed down thrown at him from every direction. The bookies are even taking odds on his finishing his term.

Something similar happened with the election of Bill Clinton (recall HRC's "vast right-wing conspiracy") and Barack Obama (DeMint's "We will break him"), but not at this level of intensity publicly in the media.

I am no fan of Trump, but this pattern is undermining not only democracy, which is based on informed debate and compromise, but also the ability to govern.

Bob said...

Look at the candidates who were running for the Republican nomination. Look at Hillary. These candidates were dross. Trump was pitted against a weak field of opponents, who failed to inspire their base.

The media viewed Trump as a clown, yet someone whose outrageous statements were good for ratings.

Bill Clinton was likable, Obama was perceived as earnest. Trump will not be given the benefit of the doubt as those two were. He will be judged on performance. The patience of the electorate has worn thin.

American democracy has devolved into a farce. Debate, compromise and governance have been undermined, as well the institutions that allowed for these things to occur. This is what Chris Hedges writes about.