James Comey’s firing is not nearly as important as it’s been portrayed. It’s just another example of partisan politics.
Depending upon where you heard the news that FBI Director James Comey had been fired, President Trump’s decision was considered either downright Nixonian or a reasonable response to being dealt an unfair hand by Obama-era holdovers in the Executive Branch paired with a pattern of unfair reporting by the Fourth Estate.
The constant back and forth on the left and right caused by something as seemingly trivial as a personnel change is puzzling. James Comey has been the target of the ire of both Democrats and Republicans during the past year. Leaders from both sides of the aisle have called for his resignation due to his handling of the Hilliary Clinton email scandal. Most recently, Mr. Comey was in the public eye because of the FBI’s role in the political scandal involving the highly reported yet unproven connection between Russian government operatives and Trump campaign officials.
The American mainstream journalism diet transitioned its consistent praise of former President Obama to non-stop nit-picking of President Trump. The alternative media’s response has been an exact opposite narrative. The fact remains that at various points in time James Comey has inserted himself into the political process unnecessarily. This fact alone is sufficient justification for his dismissal. Unfortunately, this explanation does not neatly fit into the current narrative of events being pushed by the one side of the media coin.
Colorful imagery like a fish rotting from the head down is most appropriate to accurately portray the current state of the media coverage and cause for James Comey’s termination. The fish is the entire political process. James Comey is not a victim by any stretch of the imagination nor is he a saint. The accumulation of power in the hands of political leaders from local school boards all the way to the highest offices in our nation has resulted in systemic political corruption. The need for politicians to seek favors and funds from interested parties like business leaders, other politicians, and other various rent seekers generates a system of mutually assured avarice.
The facts and circumstances of the problem in question today are the investigations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It is widely considered a fact among many on the right that Hillary Clinton is a corrupt influence peddler. Similarly, most on the left view Mr. Trump’s presidency as an illegitimate concoction of Russian operatives. If you aren’t getting the theme yet, here it is spelled out in plain English. James Comey was caught in political crossfire of epic proportion. The concept of loyal opposition has ceased to exist. Much like the Senate filibuster of Supreme Court appointments or the imposition of the Senate nuclear option by Democrats for other appointments during the Obama years, our political system of civil opposition is gradually eroding.
No matter which political party has won elections over the decades, our national debt still grows, military action in other nations continue, prison populations grow, rent seekers become wealthy, and Congress remains unpopular. Comey’s firing is just the next shoe to fall in the series of other failures of our system. The forced removal of a competent FBI director without just cause would have been unthinkable in years past. This should really not surprise objective followers of political news. It is well known that the Department of Justice changes its mission and focus with administrations. On the left, the idea of justice involves correcting racial disparities by empowering the law enforcement arm of the federal government to take over certain police jurisdictions. On the right, justice has most recently taken the form of reincarnating strict adherence to mandatory minimum sentencing. Removing a politically inconvenient appointee of an agency dedicated to justice is no more scandalous than using justice to seek other political and social goals, as is the practice of both Democratic and Republican regimes.
While it is impossible to predict the future, it is highly likely that the precedent set by Comey’s firing will be repeated by future executive branch administrations. Bi-partisanship is dead and now that the gloves are off the real fighting actually begins. The years remaining in the Trump administration will be filled with negative reporting not seen since the daily civilian war death reports during the George W Bush administration.
The eventual results of the Russia election influence probe is really irrelevant due to the power sharing arrangement worked out between the two major parties. No matter what happens during the Trump administration, the American people are well trained to accept only two political alternatives for most elected offices. If Americans eventually sour on one political party they will gladly accept the other in an endless cycle of collective amnesia and malaise. James Comey’s firing isn’t nearly as important as it has been portrayed. Sure, there will be hand wringing and cries of authoritarianism by one side or the other. These accusations are hollow words as evidenced by both parties’ willingness to engage in one-party rule once they reach office.
James Comey will eventually make his way to a microphone during a Congressional hearing or elsewhere and spill his guts. The media, both mainstream and alternative, will develop narratives and counter-narratives. The eroding system finds itself on the backs of the voters who continue to vote for the Republican and Democratic sides of the rotting fish, both of which have few priorities other than achieving and maintaining power.
Anson Knowles is the host of the Alabama-based radio program The Anson Knowles Show Live, Local, Liberty Oriented Talk on 92.5FM/770AM WVNN and wvnn.com.