In Firing Comey, Trump Shows He's Afraid of No One

Say you're a terrorist out there, plotting your next massacre, as ISIS does. Or a malevolent and unpredictable dictator, contemplating another illegal missile launch over Japan, such as North Korea's Kim Jong-un. Imagine you're a power player yourself, such as Russia's Vladimir Putin. Imagine you're a crazed failure running out of money as the mobs build, such as Chavista Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro.

What do you think when President Trump fires 'the most powerful man in Washington?'

And not just fires him, but does it in the coldest possible way -- publicly, through the television screens, as Comey bizarrely laughed, convinced he was unfireable, just as he began to make a speech in Los Angeles. It was an artful use of the media, of which Trump has a masterly understanding. "You are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately," Trump's letter read, released soon after the laugh.

You're not going to mess with that man.

World leaders, ever since the days of President Reagan's air traffic controller's debacle have long noted how a U.S. president behaves on domestic mattters as their cue to how to act with the U.S. leadership. Part of holding power is knowing how to use power. Trump knows how to use power and his firing of Comey shows that he is not afraid of powerful people.

In Comey's case, it came off as a drunken arrogance of power. Investor's Business Daily notes that Comey had a history of peculiar timing, and failed to show any integrity when news of the Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch meeting on the tarmac occurred -- he went ahead and declared Hillary Clinton unprosecutable after news of her illegal private server in some guy's bathroom went public. He gave other power players such as Clinton's longtime aide, Cheryl Mills, immunity from prosecution and allowed evidence to be destroyed. New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin wrote that Comey's agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had a spectacular record of Deep State leaks.

That kind of leak-power and capacity to release news at strange times was calculated to inspire fear in elected leaders -- much as Edgar Hoover once inspired fear in successive presidents through much of the 20th century. Trump's firing of him anyway is a sign he isn't intimidated. He's a street rat, a man who has probably had to chase off the Mafia, placate union thugs in the building trades, find ways around slimey corrupt New York City officials with their hands out, and came from Queens. He never made a misstep in any of those hazards in the world's toughest obstacle course. Nor did he make a misstep on the Democrats' favorite crybaby sop, that the Russians hacked the election and Trump colluded with them. He's perfectly clean -- or he would have been afraid of what Comey had on him. After news of Comey's missstatements on Clinton aide Huma Abedin's email forwarding, he threw it in the face of his rabid critics.

Comey's problem is was not a matter of left or right quite so much as it was a matter of leftism and and power. He was a leftist, but he loved swaggering out on establishent power. Strangely, he had contempt for J. Edgar Hoover, who was hardly an unalloyed villain of leftist, (Marxist) enemy lore. Hoover, you recall, averted the first 9/11 in 1961 when Cuban romance boy Che Guevara plotted with domestic guerrillas to blow up the New York subways under Macys and Bloomingdale's on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. Comey's contempt for Hoover goes in the areas of civil rights, where, like any leftist, he is anxious to distort history into black and white. Comey errantly claimed that communists had no role in the civil rights movement that was led by Martin Luther King, Jr.  A look at the history, despite King being a generally good man, tells a very different story. Hoover's book, Masters of Deceit is no rightwing rave tome, but a carefully nuanced look at how communists infiltrate different areas of power in the U.S. Comey could have read that instead of condemned it wholesale and sent FBI agents to 'sensitivity' sessions.

Ultimately, he was about the arrogance of power. His minions leaked one swamp-thing claim after another against Trump, while his Democratc Party allies in Congress brayed that Trump was in bed with the Russians. He let Hillary Clinton off the hook on open-and-shut classified information mishandling, calculating that Clinton would be elected president and his best move would be to suck up to her. He made a lot of misstatements, not just the one that got him fired, but others, too. I was struck by his claim that he had never heard of Gazprom. Within weeks of that one, news came out that Comey's FBI was investigating Carter Page, a Trump ally -- who was afffiliated with Gazprom. Then he said that Hillary's aide forwarded hundreds of emails to her pervy husband Anthony Weiner's sex-obsessed account.

Would a president worth his salt want someone like this running the nation's most important law-enforcement agency? Could any president trust him? Hardly. Then it could only take a strong leader who could fire him. Trump showed that strength, even as Comey laughed in his face, extremely impressively.

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