In my post yesterday, after news of the Comey firing broke, I declined to take a position, because I didn’t have enough information to make an informed judgment. Too many people react to situations like this in a kneejerk way, before they have the facts. I’m trying to give Trump the benefit of the doubt.
After paying close attention since then, and listening to a variety of sources, left and right, here’s my take, although I will admit that I still find the thing pretty obscure. Anyhow:
Trump and his compliant Republicans are arguing that it’s hypocritical for Democrats to be upset by the firing, since Dems were angry at Comey for handing the election to Trump, and many of them (including me) had called for him to be fired, or quit. According to Republicans, Dems hated Comey then, but now they’ve become crybabies and his biggest defenders.
Let me explain this to the GOP.
Yes, we Democrats hated Comey. He did something awful: writing that stupid letter to Congress less than three weeks before the election. That most certainly caused enough voters to switch at the last minute from Hillary to Trump.
And yes, Democrats now are enormously upset at Comey’s abrupt firing by the subject of his investigation, Trump. So how do Democrats get around the hypocrisy charge? Easy. Comey appeared to be leading a fair, impartial, independent investigation into Trump/Russia—which is all that Democrats ever wanted. I may have questioned his motives and independence prior to the election. But I was prepared to let History be the judge, and to let Comey, using the FBI’s vast resources, do his job now.
And then came the firing. The White House is said to have been “surprised” at the reaction of Democrats, whom they apparently thought would celebrate the firing. That just shows how politically inept and tone-deaf Trump and his enablers are. Why should it be so hard for them to understand that, while, Democrats were royally pissed off at Comey, at the same time they were gladdened by the way the FBI investigation was going? Democrats can walk and chew gum at the same time.
There are also new reports that Trump has been “screaming at the TV” whenever reports about RussiaGate come on, which is most of the time on the cable news networks. I’m sure he’s frustrated. All I can say is that he brought this upon himself, and has no one to blame except the man in the mirror.
The battle is now on for the hearts and minds of the American public. I think this represents a turning point in their assessment of Trump. Obviously, hardcore Trumpistas won’t care. As Trump himself once said, he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and they’d still support him.
But the loosy-goosy percentage in the middle who voted for Trump and whose minds are actually open to reality are starting to rethink their assessment. It is becoming increasingly evident that Trump has something to hide concerning his Russia ties, and the revelation that Trump fired Comey just days after Comey asked for more “resources” for the investigation strongly suggests a determined effort by a frightened, angry Trump to stop it or at least postpone it until he figures out how to regroup. I’m guessing there’s plenty of bewilderment among Republicans, and that it will show up in the next polling cycle.