Remember the story of Br’er Rabbit? It’s an old story about a trickster who basically fools his foe into doing what he wanted all along. James Comey could very well be the modern embodiment of that hustle. Yesterday, Comey went out in front of America, unannounced to the White House or anyone else in the government but orchestrated well enough to get every network to pre-empt their programming and have the nation’s collective attention. Comey stood up and spoke for about 14 minutes about what an awful and careless person Hillary Clinton and her staff were. Then, in a brief summation during the final minute, announced that ‘no reasonable prosecutor’ would pursue an indictment or take the case in any way.
Immediately, the right wing went nuts as the left wing celebrated the ‘no charges’ verdict.
Perhaps that is exactly what the right wing wanted? The ‘outrage’ is more of a ruse.
James Comey is indeed a political employee. Some might be surprised to learn that Comey was a Bush appointee that Obama brought back in a gesture of good faith and appeasement to the GOP. So yes, Comey is a republican.
Step back and take a look at what Comey did and what the reactions have been since then. Comey came out and gave a litany of ‘facts.’ This was a 2-year investigation. Was there any way Comey could have given a complete dissertation of the facts in 10 or 12 minutes? No, probably not. What he could do is give a selective disclosure of what he wanted us to hear — like a LAWYER does. What Comey did, was akin to a litigator’s opening statement if you just lob off his ultimate conclusion. It wasn’t a layout of facts in a transparent manner, it was a speech, presenting his side of an argument.
Also, keep in mind that some of what he said were cleverly worded and not exactly as much ‘fact’ as he may have persuaded some that it was. For example, everything he says about her email being hacked is pure speculation. He even says there is no evidence. Yes, he uses the word ‘direct’ but by omission, never tells you if there was even any indirect or any evidence at all. It is just his speculation.
Then there is the reactions and actions now being taken. This might really show this was a very intentional act by the GOP. First, the outrage. Comey gave every right wing media outlet a feast of talking points to devour and spit back out to their viewers, listeners, and readers. This can be churned day after day ad infinitum. Next, it was announced today that Comey, after throwing all that red meat out there, is being summoned to Capitol Hill tomorrow by a House committee. Surely, the hearings will get wall to wall coverage.
Oh, there’s one more detail. It isn’t the full House committee being called, just the GOP members.
So we will have one GOP appointee being fed softballs and giving him a platform to selectively go off on Secretary Clinton — kind of like a one-sided Grand Jury hearing. The kind of hearing one could get a ham sandwich indicted, as the old saying goes. What the GOP will get is the opportunity to try Clinton in the court of public opinion in a totally partisan, lopsided way.
I submit that what Comey did wasn’t to exonerate Clinton, that was probably inevitable — because of the whole body of evidence, not his selective damning excerpts. Comey’s staff did the work there and are probably the ones that could not recommend any charges. The ‘career’ people with no political ax to grind. This investigation, after Clinton herself met with the FBI last weekend simply could not be dragged out any longer. Comey knew that and basically went out, unauthorized and gave the GOP a gift that can possibly keep on giving through November.
For democrats, it means they gotta take it as well. An indictment was about the only thing that Bernie Sanders could have hoped for to turn the electoral tide before the convention. That isn’t going to happen. So, after Sanders has lost the ‘FBI primary’ nothing is really in Clinton’s way to the nomination. Clinton won’t want to relitigate this in any way. So, every piece of mud thrown by the right wing will probably go unrefuted outside of just saying the FBI found that no charges would or should be brought.
So Comey’s party got everything they wanted, sans an actual indictment. They get to retry this in their kangaroo court and the court of public opinion from now till November. If Comey himself was in favor of indictment while the staff was against it, Comey got to give his party everything they could have wanted before admitting that despite his selective ‘transparency’ that no charges would be forthcoming and that ‘no reasonable prosecutor’ would pursue them.
Can you say hustle, boys and girls?
About the only thing democrats might want to consider doing is crashing the GOP’s one-sided hearing and get out the actual reasons that there won’t be any charges brought. They need to ‘sit-in’ on the proceedings that will be happening in the House on Thursday. If they don’t do that, the plan will have succeeded and the GOP will have their ammunition vs Clinton for the fall.