The Republican’s Comey Strategy: The Bubble and the Damage Done


The story, to any rational person, is that FBI Director and de facto Trump Campaign Chaperone James Comey confirmed that the FBI “is investigating Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, including possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow.” He also shot down, in no uncertain terms, Trump’s insane wiretap claims, British involvement and quotation marks and all.

As a lot of people are saying, this might be just the beginning. Comey made it clear that all he will say is that there is an ongoing investigation, and he can’t comment on that. While that might seem like hypocrisy, it fits his very narrow definition that he established with Hillary Clinton.

There is something here, and while it is true that Russia didn’t literally hack the election, there is clearly enough to warrant an investigation. So the GOP strategy, led by Trump? Ask just who is doing the leaking that top security advisors are having secret meetings with Russians while also getting paid by Turkey.

Republicans on the committee focused their questions on getting to the bottom of who leaked to the news media the fact that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had pre-inauguration conversations with Russia’s ambassador.

Sure, part of this is distraction. They don’t want to talk about the real issue here, and are hoping that people will be more offended by the leak. But that’s because, I think, a lot of them actually sort of believe that. Once all this started, the idea of “leaks” being part of the Obama shadow campaign has become axiomatic on the Right. It’s an article of faith. It’s how they explain the disaster everything has been.

This is part Trump, part the broader GOP, and entirely at the intersection between the two (and there is very little difference, really). The GOP has no idea how to govern, and no desire to. They’ve based their entire identity on being not-liberals, and more to the point, not-Obama. So being faced with the reality of government, of course they turn to what it comfortable.

For many, it isn’t much of a turn. These are talk radio kids and internet idiots. They live in the bubble, and what they hear is that people are worried about the shadow government. I think they actually believe it, and that they actually also think it is good politics.

That’s also the world, of course, in which Trump lives. He honestly thinks the only important thing here is the leaks, because that’s the “deep state”, and it’s the only reason he isn’t already being placed on Mt. Rushmore (or a bigger, better mountain, somewhere in Manhattan). His own personal pathologies and vanities make it impossible for him to understand that he’s a know-nothing idiot with no idea how to be President. So of course, the only thing that matters is the leaks.

By temperament, in paranoia and accusatory frenzy, in believing that what 10,000 idiots on Twitter are convinced of, Trump and the GOP are perfect for each other. And so they believe it’s not what we know that matters, but that we know it at all.

And that it’s the black guy’s fault. I mean, that goes without saying, right?

4 thoughts on “The Republican’s Comey Strategy: The Bubble and the Damage Done

  1. Slightly unrelated but having to do with the investigation…

    I’m disappointed no one asked Comey how his revealing that the investigation into Hillary Clinton was reopened within a week of the general election should not be grounds for distrusting his credibility into an investigation into a republican administration.

    I’d be very pleasantly surprised if this investigation leads to the improsonment of Flynn and maybe Manifort, Tillerson and Sessions and the impeachment of Trump as well as Pence… but something tells me that even if this could be done, it would require someone to apply as much scrutiny to members of the party he identifies himself as belonging to and that the secret services, depite the hyperpartisonship politics bar now taken on the right, be immune to corruption from within.

    I can’t say for certain that anyone or everyone in the administration is guilty, but I would be less surprised than more if they were and it is how these investigations go that will show how much integrity these agencies have if they take it down. Otherwise, it is either that the affairs were innocent enough or that they turn their blindside for partisan reasons.

    Either way, the fact that Trump encouraged Russian hacking will never sit well with me.

  2. Hey Al! I think the Dems had reasons not to bring that up. All signs pointed, correctly, to Comey backing the story that Russia certainly interfered, and that there is an ongoing investigation. While it still makes me seethingly angry about what he did, it’s good to not make this partisan. It plays better. It’s a sort of “we accept that you’re commitment to truth led you to do X about emails; so of course we assume you’ll have the same probity now.”

    It’s annoying and political, but it also is the smart play. Because then, if something does come up, the only GOP move is to say that Comey was telling the truth to hurt Hillary, but somehow lying to hurt Trump, for some reason.

    So, as much as it grinds me, it is good to not bring that up and to treat Comey with respect, even though all of this, including the Supreme Court, is partly on his shoulders.

  3. Pingback: Trey Gowdy’s Comey Strategy: All Tomorrow’s Conspiracies | Shooting Irrelevance

  4. Pingback: Overtime Regulations and Health Care: GOP Demonstrates the Measure of Human Existence | Shooting Irrelevance

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