Saturday, October 29, 2016

Comey Acrimony

I woke up this morning with my non-numbers, partisan hat on. I was loaded for bear, ready to use this platform to denounce FBI Director James Comey. But then I discovered that my friend Carll Tucker had already done the job with this early morning missive, and done it well, and I reprint it with his permission. 

As for the impact this revelation will have on the polls and the election, my sense is...very little. I think that the lines are fairly well drawn at this point, and nothing short of a true smoking gun could be a game-changer. 

It will become clear that no one at the FBI has actually even seen these emails as yet, much less determined if any of them are problematic in any way. All Comey knows now is that they exist, and for some reason he thought that was worth a mention that, surprise, October surprise, ended up as breaking news. 

I can foresee a narrowing of the margin, but hardly a threatening one.  On to Carll, with thanks...

Not a good morning. FBI Director James Comey is very stupid or very evil. To announce the possible reopening of an investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails twelve days before the Presidential election without even giving the White House a heads up? A Presidential election on which many people think the free world’s fate depends? Did you not consider, Mr. Comey, the impact of your announcement on this election? Or did you consider it and think, a-hah, here’s my chance? Did you imagine that the President, your boss’s boss, would be pleased with your surprise?

The confusion generated by Director Comey’s decision is so spectacular it’s blinding. Is it OK to shout fire in a crowded theater, panic folks with news of a Martian landing, proclaim to the thirsty the water’s toxic? No! The FBI’s practice is never to discuss ongoing investigations. Why this exception?

Do you smell Putin? I hate to contribute to the cyclone of conspiratorial speculation encouraged by Trump, but isn’t the timing here a tad too convenient? We know the Russians have been trying to confuse our national conversation with hacking and leaking emails. How better to confuse than to damn Hillary without indicting her? Where there’s smoke there’s fire, heh-heh.

Is America being played? Thrice in my life I’ve been shocked by malicious betrayal. No feeling’s worse. I trusted and was lied to – deliberately – so I’d be hurt. My gut hollowed, fingers trembled, footstep wobbled. Who else might be out to get me? Suspicion blurred my vision. My brain howled with self-disgust. How could I have been such a dope!

If this supposed act of justice is a sneak attack, score one for our foes. At Pearl Harbor or on Nine Eleven, while taken unawares, we knew we’d been hit and by whom. War had been declared. What a neat trick to get impregnable America to destroy itself by electing its nemesis!

Sounds like crazy talk, I know – I apologize – but when you smell a rat, shouldn’t you speak up? I don’t spook often. This morning I woke tense, in a sweat, feeling stalked.

If I were President, I would fire Comey today. That he dropped this bomb into our political process without warning the White House is crime enough. Evil and idiocy often look alike. If Comey didn’t suspect the impact of his weird letter, he should have. If he did and stayed mum, he’s up to something.

Then what? To preemptively pardon Hillary might lose her the election. To pause the investigation might likewise inflame suspicion. In this embittered divided hour is there any one American the majority would trust to sort out this mess rapidly and fairly? President Bush the lesser? Chief Justice Roberts?

Tell me, please, I am overreacting. I’ve been watching too many movies like The Manchurian Candidate. I’m being paranoid. This can’t happen here.

Oh, how I hope that is so. Please heaven Comey suffers from stupidity, not ambition, and his mistake was innocent. How sweet if a pill or a drink could dispel this terror. How I long to be wrong.

Can it be – oh, irony! – that the Internet, our most brilliant invention, is the disease that takes us down? Hillary’s damn email server has been Trump’s single salient attack point (“Lock her up!”). Periodic hacks and disclosures have armed Trump’s mud-machine. The fair-and-square revelations about Trump show him to be a loathsome, predatory liar. Hillary’s hacks have turned up internal squabbles and debates, nothing vile. But the Internet is an equal opportunity sniper, suggesting between candidates an equivalence in awfulness.

Write me, please, and tell me I’m nuts and should take a nap.

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