Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trump's Gonna Trump

So why and how did the Comey firing happen?  That's the question everyone seems to be asking.  The official rationale for his firing has the irony of being absolutely true and absolutely irrelevant.  It is "world class trolling."  Trump was apparently taken aback by the blowback he's getting from Democrats.  He assumed that because Democrats were and are pissed about Comey's unprofessional meddling in the election a week before the vote that Democrats would be pleased that Comey was fired.

Think about what this reveals about Trump.

Trump is a narcissist.  That can't be in doubt anymore.  He's also a naif.  In his mind, anyone who slights or upsets him, anyone who angers him is by definition an enemy, a bad person.  He projected this petulance onto Democrats (and much of the public).  He seems incapable of understanding why someone would both hate Comey's job performance and yet not want to see him fired.

As a historical illiterate, he probably can't remember the outrage of the Saturday Night Massacre or why the appearance of meddling in an on-going investigation would stink to high heaven.  He has responded to this criticism exactly as one might expect with an unhinged Tweetrum that casts blame everywhere but where it belongs.

All of this - of course - is the most favorable explanation for the firing of James Comey.  Trump didn't like the Russian investigation, because anything that is bad for Trump is, ipso facto, bad.  Comey is a sanctimonious tool who has no friends on either side of the aisle.  Trump wanted him gone, because he's objectively pretty bad at his job.

Trump's inability to see the context of the firing - the recent subpoenas the FBI have filed, the Yates testimony, the possible testimony of Michael Flynn, the possible squealing by Roger Stone - is not terribly surprising.  Again, he's a narcissist and a naif.  He has zero perspective beyond his own blinkered sense of self.  Comey=bad; Comey=gone.

Trump has been under some form of investigation for years.  He was a scummy, scummy business man.  All of these investigations are "fake news" in Trumpistan.

Of course, these is not fake news.  The timing, the circumstances...this screams cover-up.  From a man who still hasn't released his tax returns, from a man who only fired Flynn because someone leaked the damaging evidence of Flynn's compromised state, from a man whose every move has been to silence dissent and disloyalty to Trump the Man, all of this behavior suggests that there is a major fire at the center of the Russian scandal.

But then again, there is another plausible story where Trump's behavior is simply a product of his narcissism and ignorance.  Certainly his surprise that people would be upset by this transparently self-serving move suggests that he's not looking at this as a cover-up.

Nevertheless, even with the best possible spin on this - Trump is an idiot and a narcissist who doesn't understand basic norms of accountability in government - still requires an independent prosecutor.

Whether the sycophantic, craven lickspittles of the Republican caucus can see their duty to the country rather than their party remains very much in doubt.  Very much in doubt.

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