I don’t get it. I for one can’t wait for a solid month of Comey on TV 24/7 rolling out ever more tortured metaphors to explain Trump’s effect on “norms” (a “forest fire”?) and marveling at how inspired he is to see kids marching in the streets to support gun-grabbing. He’s the Last Honest Man and he won’t let you forget it.
At least not for the rest of spring.
It takes a *lot* of sanctimony in a Trump critic to get other Trump critics to make a stinkface. How smug do you have to be in attacking Trump to make Ana farking Navarro want you to dial it down?
Maybe it’s just me…the more I hear from @comey, the more conflicted I feel. I want to believe him that this is all about loyalty to country and inviolable respect for the truth. But damn, the guy has a big ego, is selectively inconsistent. I find him obnoxiously self-righteous.
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) April 16, 2018
Between the book and the Stephanopoulos sitdown, Jack Shafer has already had all he can stands, he can’t stands no more:
Having used both his book, A Higher Loyalty, and his interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos to portray himself as the defender of truth, the paragon of integrity, the embodiment of ethical values and principles and as someone guided by a steady moral compass, former FBI Director James Comey has drenched the public discourse with the stink of sanctimony. Not to mention his heavy yammering about leadership, the likely topic he’ll be lecturing on at $60,000 a speech on the stemwinding circuit for the next couple of years.
As a former U.S. attorney, deputy attorney general, corporate attorney, hedge-funder and FBI director, you’d imagine that Comey had viewed himself through life’s mirror often enough to realize that overdressing himself in the vestments of truth and honor might backfire. But there he goes in the book and interview, posturing like the deacon of justice he obviously thinks he is.
Two years ago Max Boot pronounced the GOP dead, murdered by Trump, and has devoted most of his work product ever since ripping into POTUS. His op-ed today is about Comey’s sanctimony pairing oddly with his cheap-shot attacks on Trump:
Comey’s invective will now feed the crackpot conspiracy theory of Trump partisans who are convinced that an organization made up primarily of conservative, white, middle-aged male cops is out to get a Republican president…
Up until now, Comey has been a devastating witness against Trump because, unlike the president, he is so obviously upright and so careful in what he has said. He sounded truthful when he testified under oath that Trump tried to extract a loyalty oath from him and asked him to go easy on disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn. But Comey is now undercutting his own standing as an impartial avatar of justice by giving into the temptation to tell the world what he really thinks of the president who fired him.
Frank Bruni, NYT op-ed page mainstay, lobs the ultimate anti-Trump insult, accusing Comey of behaving Trumpishly himself:
[I]n succumbing to this sort of showboating and spite, hasn’t Comey joined Trump almost as much as he’s defying him? Comey says that he means to shine a spotlight on what leadership should and shouldn’t be, and I hope that’s the long-term takeaway of the “Higher Loyalty” rollout and all the hours and miles being devoted to it. But right now I’m cringing at a food fight.
Trump personalizes everything. Ideas don’t joust. People do. And it’s vanity, not verities, at stake. With the way that Comey has written his book, which charts every last tremor of his conscience, and the staging of his appearances in promotion of it, he has abetted his own transformation from a crucial witness to a character in the serial drama and nonstop spectacle of Trump’s life.
What is it about Comey that seems to get under people’s skin? He’s really no more self-righteous than any other Trump critic, me included. Tedious lectures about “norms” are the coin of the realm. Is it a simple matter of his own behavior in 2016 having been so controversial/dubious that people think he should go easy about judging others? Or is it the suspicion that he’s dialing up the sanctimony for profit to pander to book-buying Democrats? Because I don’t know if that’s true. Remember, this is a guy who tweets stuff like this unironically:
In NYC to meet with my publisher. Hope leadership book will be useful. Reassuring to see Lady Liberty standing tall even in rough weather. pic.twitter.com/KIjb29k2Cg
— James Comey (@Comey) December 6, 2017
Is it just the fact that he’s seemingly *so* earnest, like the kid in class who raises his hand to answer every question? Or is it the fact that, given the FBI’s history, maybe we can do without moral lectures from the former top man? I feel irritated by his sanctimony too but can’t pinpoint why.
Here’s Meghan McCain on “The View” remarking that Comey sure does seem to love the media. That’s actually not true — this was his first interview since he was fired, wasn’t it? — but it’s related to the phenomenon I’m describing in which his foibles seem oddly exaggerated. Why do we all have this reaction to him?
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