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Tuesday Night Massacre or Not?

by John on 05/10/2017

ComeyFor the record: It was me.

I said it first.  I want credit for saying “Tuesday Night Massacre” before anyone else.

That’s right, my Watergate memory banks pulled this gem before anyone on cable news could, but they stole it from me moments later.

OK, I didn’t post it right away.  I just blurted it so my wife could hear.   Still, that makes it mine – even though you didn’t hear me say it or write it!

Yes, I lived Watergate as a politically aware, news junkie in high school.  So I remember the infamous Saturday Night Massacre with Nixon wielding his appointment ax.

But, is Trump’s firing of Jim Comey as FBI Director similar?

Not yet.

  1. If FBI investigations into Russian election tampering are diminished or given little effort, then maybe.
  2. And if those investigations move forward and U.S Attorneys decline obvious prosecution, then maybe.
  3. If the GOP-led Senate fails to put the money and manpower behind their investigation, unlike they did with Benghazi, then maybe.
  4. And if the Senate, which has already happened, continues to refuse to appoint an independent counsel, then maybe.

It is difficult to give the Trump Administration much cover or credit in the firing of Comey.

As a public relations move, it is ludicrous.  It raises more suspicions and questions while offering no calm or control to the situation.  Who wouldn’t make a connection to Watergate?  It screams Nixon: desperate to control a situation that is getting out of control.

Sure, Comey’s firing might be Trump’s balls bent out of shape that Comey was getting so much more TV air time.  If so, then this gives credibility to theories of Trump’s behavioral inadequacies.

And yes, Comey’s erratic performances during the campaign made both parties suspicious.  But shouldn’t that joint suspicion be applauded as a rare but awkward form of equal justice?

Saturday_Night_Massacre_Front_PageBut to pin his dismissal on only his handling of the Clinton emails is like believing your kid when he says he didn’t get into the candy even though chocolate is smeared on his face.

It really looks like a move to consolidate power in the executive branch to possibly supersede the other two branches.

And for Trump supporters in and outside of government to support the Clinton-only motive is only doing the country a disservice.  Hey, I am no Hillary supporter.  In fact, when I saw Comey’s news conference about Hillary’s emails last July I said:  “If he has all that stuff on her then why didn’t he indict her.  Others have been indicted for less.  Why even hold a news conference?”

To dismiss any of the Russian allegations – after Flynn, Jared, FBI investigations, evidence of Russia hacking in France, and more – is absolutely insane.  To not at least admit there is a possibility it happened, and to not want it to happen again, is frighteningly un-American.

McConnellSo what’s ahead?  Here’s what I am seeing.

  • The Trump White House will retrench and hunker down to fend off any investigation or connections to Russian hacking in the election.
  • Russia will now be the number one topic throughout the summer and probably the remainder of this administration.  I can recall the summer of 1973.  I would paint houses during the morning hours and then get home to watch the Watergate hearings.  This summer may be similar – except I won’t be painting houses.
  • A majority of the American public will turn even more on this president.  Trump will maintain his 30-35% of followers.
  • Senate Republicans are the ones who are now in the cross hairs of the American public.  If they line up behind Trump blindly, then it will be their own detriment.
  • Trump has sealed himself as a one-term president.
  • My worst fear is violent protests.  The anger on both sides is strong and myopic.

Let’s hope cooler heads prevail during this hot, emotional summer.

 

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