There was only one Republican in the hearing room who was concerned about Russian interference in the 2016 election: James Comey. That’s the appalling state of our politics right now. The Senators on that panel were unable to say, “Trump had nothing to do with it, but the Russians should mind their own business.” Comey called it an attack on America: He’s absolutely right. The selfishness that permeates the Republican party was out in the open today. It’s no shocker but it’s still not a pretty sight. Remember when the GOP were a party of flag waving anti-Soviet super patriots? Now they’re Putin’s pawns.
I’m no Comey fan but he gives good testimony. He even pointed out a few instances where Trump told the truth. That made Comey even more credible when he said that he wrote his contemporaneous memos out of concern that Trump would lie about their conversations. It was refreshing to hear Trump bluntly referred to as a liar, especially under oath. Comey may not have the best judgment but he’s not a liar.
The best Democratic questioners were Warner and Harris. I was relieved that none of the men on the committee rudely interrupted Ms. Harris as they did during the Rosenstein-Rogers-Coats hearing. I omitted Angus King because he’s an independent but the man gives good indignation. He should consider waxing his mustache to add some panache to the proceedings.
The worst Republicans were Johns Cornyn and McCain. Cornhole looks like the Senator from central casting; if they were casting idiot lickspittles, they got their man. It was Clinton email this, Clinton email that, which led Comey to state unequivocally that there was “no case.” I halfway expected Senator Cornhole to demand an appearance by Anthony Weiner…
Senator Walnuts was pitiful. He seemed confused as to what the subject of the hearing was. We expect them to pivot to HRC but he did it in a way that Comedy did not understand. I’m no doctor but McCain appears to be showing early signs of dementia. One would think that he would be the *other* Republican in the room to be outraged by Russian interference in 2016 but he was so out of it that it’s unclear what he thinks. Sad.
I was not one of those who expected a bombshell or knock-out punch this morning. Political and legal investigations are processes. It’s the accumulation of information and evidence that matters the most. These things take time to unfold even in the internet age. Patience is still called for. More likely than not, it will take a Democratic Congress to remove the president* from office via impeachment. I think, however, that a Pence led 25th Amendment legal coup is increasingly possible.
We can always count on the Insult Comedian to make things worse. He has three addictions: money, applause, and the tweeter tube. He’s incapable of resisting the temptation to showboat. Remember when he called Comey just that? It’s what Trump does: project his own fantasies and weaknesses on to others. Believe me.
I like to write my instant analysis posts before reading what others have to say. I think today’s hearing and Comey’s written statement advanced our knowledge of what’s going on. I would love to be a fly on the wall in the closed hearing this afternoon. Of course, McCain might pull out a fly swatter and chase me around the room. He’s that far gone. Believe me.
Samuel Johnson famously said that the last refuge of a scoundrel is patriotism. In 2017, the last refuge of a scoundrel is defending the indefensible: the integrity of Donald J. Trump. As Gertrude Stein would surely add, there is no there there.