The Ballad of Slippery Jimmy Comey
Born in a neighborhood in the Big Apple,
Learned how to lie with the precision of a scalpel,
Raised with crooks so's he knew ev'ry trick,
Kilt him a Clinton crime clean and slick,
Slippery, Jimmy Comey, leaker of the F B I !
-Adapted from the Ballad of Davy Crockett
Ok, maybe it’s possible I should stick to my day job instead of plundering archaic ballads from yesteryear. However, I was inspired by James Comey and his book tour which begins in earnest today, where he makes the rounds trashing the President. To be perfectly honest, this is being played in an incredibly smart manner. Every high profile book that’s attacked Trump has been an instant bestseller, buoyed by the profound hate of HASHTAG RESIST. Michael Wolff, despite numerous factual errors, is still on the bestseller list after being propped up by our entire media apparatus. He, and likely Comey as well, have been given incredible latitude by the media in pursuit of the newest Trump dirt.
Let me preface all of what I’m about to say by detailing the incredible respect I have for law enforcement, and how my confirmation bias always leans toward giving them the benefit of the doubt. It takes a lot for me to dump on anyone serving the community, and the country in the way that they do. They have an incredibly dangerous job, in which they are not given the benefit of the doubt by a significant portion of the population. Having said all of that, the most striking element of James Comey in my estimation, is not how he handled the Hillary Clinton investigation, or committed perjury, or even admitting to leaking under oath. What is astounding to me is the sheer weakness he’s exhibited through this entire process. When I think of an FBI director, I think of the ultimate G-Man. I think of the biggest badass, the smartest and most skilled of all of our law enforcement personnel. The ones who always got the job done, and always stayed apolitical and unbiased. Should we expect any less from one in command of such power?
What we got is a guy who hides in the drapes, leaks classified memos to professors, and says “Lordy” a lot. I remember, way back in May 2017, which feels like an eternity ago, the account of Benjamin Wittes of how Comey hid in the drapes from President Trump:
“He was wearing a blue blazer and noticed that the drapes were blue,” Wittes wrote. “So he stood in the back, right in front of the drapes, hoping Trump wouldn’t notice him camouflaged against the wall.”
Upon first hearing this story, my first thought was: This is our ultimate badass law enforcement officer? It was a fleeting thought, and I put it away. Shortly after that, in July, he issued the Clinton statement, essentially exonerating her for her classified emails. In his statement, he explicitly stated that others doing the same thing would likely face penalties. That also struck me as strange, that Clinton was being held to a different standard from the general populace. As we later learned, he also allowed the language change from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” in an effort to dodge the penalty associated with “grossly negligent.” As I stated earlier though: I always give law enforcement the benefit of the doubt, so unlike a lot on the right who were already mercilessly savaging him, I was still not sold that he was such a terrible guy. The final straw for me was his testimony in front of Congress. This was the arena that revealed to me what the man was all about, and this exchange hit me like a ton of bricks:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein: Why did you not stop him and say. “Mr. President, I can’t discuss this with you?”
James Comey: “It’s a great question. Maybe if I were stronger I would have….what should my response be? Maybe other people would be stronger in that situation.”
Are you kidding me? I could not believe the FBI director was acting like such a pathetic weakling. Over and over throughout the testimony, he exhibited the decision making and confidence level of a 15-year-old asking someone out for a first date. Then another:
James Comey: “I don’t want to make it sound like I’m Captain Courageous.”
“It was kind of a cowardly way of trying to avoid telling him.”
Lordy, is this guy for real? I remember thinking what a weenie we had as an FBI director. With this level of cowardice, how am I to expect he wouldn’t bend from perceived pressure from Attorney General Lynch or the Clintons? Let me tell you what really happened. He got out-alphaed so hard by President Trump that it literally shaped his perception of key events. What should have been elementary conversations, navigated easily, morphed his perception of President Trump into this sort of “mob boss” character he describes in his book. As much as he might like to believe otherwise, James Comey is no Elliot Ness. Regardless of anything else, his level of weakness alone justifies his firing. Should we be surprised? He wasn’t a super cop badass going on raids to take down criminals. He was an attorney, from start to finish. James Comey never broke down a door or went undercover; instead, this is the guy who sent Martha Stewart to jail over nothing. That’s right, Super Cop 9000 James Comey was actually the one that sent Martha Stewart to jail. Not for insider trading, since they couldn’t prove that, but for lying to the FBI. This is a charge which has grown to mean very little, and even Comey’s former colleagues admit the charge was “petty and vindictive.” After all of this, we then learn that Comey, McCabe, Strzok, and Page all bore animus toward the President, and we still don’t know how far they took these ill feelings.
Here’s the reality: James Comey is a feeble pushover that needed to transform Donald Trump into a Godfather caricature in order to make himself out to be a hero. He needed a real villain to fill the void of burying Martha Stewart types his entire career. In his mind, I believe James Comey sees himself as the white knight, riding in on an armored horse, illuminated by a sunburst in the background, here to save the kingdom from the villainous Trump. He’s not an honorable veteran, cop, or FBI analyst; he’s a lawyer that was out of his depth and never should have had such power. If he felt so strongly that Trump was such an unethical leader, he could have resigned at any time, yet he didn’t because he wanted to maintain the illusion of himself as the paragon of virtue.
He’s not a knight, he’s the court jester role playing a knight.
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Steve is the author of Forging the Iron Mind, and is the founder and CEO of Americana Prime.