Bizarre Conservative Silence About Comey’s Memo

Jonathan Chait - GOP Reasons for Healthcare Bill Make No SenseIn the modern media era, there may be no surer sign of presidential dysfunction than an absence of talking points on the leading story of the moment. The White House had warning in the middle of Tuesday afternoon that The New York Times would publish its blockbuster report on James Comey’s memo, and yet by that evening it had formulated no defense whatsoever. Last night’s Fox News lineup was a comical procession of unrelated jibber-jabber. Sean Hannity ranted generally about the left-wing media and other Trump enemies, referring only tangentially to the devastating news — “unprecedented leaks, including to The New York Times tonight” — that he neither rebutted nor even described. Tucker Carlson ran segments lambasting the Clinton Foundation and a New York City Council member’s inattentiveness to restroom conditions in Penn Station. The closest thing to a relevant defense witness he could summon was left-wing professor Stephen F Cohen, who reiterated his long-standing and increasingly absurd theory that questions about Trump’s Russia connections amount to “neo-McCarthyism.” Other party organs were likewise silent. The Wall Street Journal editorial page, which had faithfully repeated the administration’s initial claims that Trump was merely following the urging of the deputy attorney general in firing Comey, went to press without any editorial addressing the news.

But then, this morning, a line of defense had begun to fitfully emerge: maybe President Trump did utter English words that, taken literally, amounted to a request that James Comey stop investigating Michael Flynn. But those words did not convey an actual instruction or any intent to influence Comey’s behavior.

–Jonathan Chait
Republicans: Trump Was Just Joking About Obstructing Justice

One thought on “Bizarre Conservative Silence About Comey’s Memo

  1. When you juxtapose the GOP treatment of Trump and Clinton, one can conclude that the GOP has brought “broken windows” policing from the streets up to the corridors of power.

    The notion, that “rule of law” is just a means to the end of enforcing social hierarchies, has been applied ruthlessly in ordinary criminal law. It makes sense that the GOP would bring it to the highest levels of power.

    Democrats can expect to be hounded over three potentially sensitive Emails running through private servers, the intel equivalent to selling a few “loosies.” Meanwhile a Republican can commit the intel equivalent of “shooting someone on 5th Aveneue” and we are greeted with total equanimity by the entire GOP.

    We already knew that the Benghazi-Emails business was political but seeing just how asymmetrical the GOP treatment of Trump and Clinton has convinced me that GOP has instituted a political version of stop and frisk and it applies to only one political party.

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