Trump: Genius or Savant?

From the beginning of Trump’s implausible rise to the presidency, I’ve wondered whether he’s a Chauncey Gardner-style idiot savant (which is what liberals always thought of Reagan, even after he demolished them at successive elections), a shrewd genius of sorts, or just plain lucky. Increasingly the evidence leans toward the second explanation—that underneath Trump’s verb-tense and syntactically-challenged stream-of-consciousness speaking (and Tweeting) style, there is a shrewdness about him that bespeaks some real genius at work. And this genius is his ability to get liberals tied up in knots on an almost daily basis. To adapt an old Dennis Miller line, Trump has liberals more off balance than a Chinese acrobat with an inner-ear infection.

The Comey firing is a sublime exercise in giving liberals what they wanted while sending them into new fits of apoplexy and Watergate nostalgia. Just last week Hillary Clinton was once again blaming her election loss on Comey, so what’s the problem? (I notice Hillary has been silent about Comey’s firing, unless I missed a statement from her camp.) The fact that Trump was unafraid to do what five presidents were afraid to do with regard to J. Edgar Hoover shows an additional aspect of his character that, while problematic, probably plays well with a lot of the public. It has not gone unnoticed that when Stephen Colbert announced the news of Comey’s firing at the beginning of the taping of his late night show yesterday afternoon, the instant reaction of the studio audience was to erupt in cheers, which was not the reaction Colbert was expecting—or desiring.

But finally, it ought to be noted for the historical record that Comey might well be considered the last casualty of the recklessness of the Clintons. Aside from the specific controversy of Hillary’s home-brew server, it was Bill Clinton’s dodgy meeting on the airport tarmac with Attorney General Loretta Lynch last summer than compelled Comey to come forward with his extraordinary press conference letting Hillary off the hook while explaining clearly that she is in fact a criminal.

As Dana Milbank reported last week in the Washington Post:

So now it can be told: Bill Clinton cost his wife the presidency.

Almost three hours into a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, FBI Director James Comey shed new light on his decision to go public about his agency’s investigations into Hillary Clinton’s emails, first in July 2016 and again, with devastating effect, in late October, 11 days before the election.

The specific reason he cited: Bill Clinton’s decision to board Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s plane in late June, when their planes were both on a tarmac in Phoenix. “The capper was — and I’m not picking on Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who I like very much — but her meeting with President Clinton on that airplane was the capper for me,” Comey said. Comey decided to “step away” and announce, without consulting the Justice Department, that Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be charged.

In Comey’s telling, this public announcement in turn required Comey to speak up again in October, when more emails were found. “Having done that [the public announcement] and then having testified repeatedly under oath that we’re done,” he said, “it would be a disastrous, catastrophic concealment” not to go public on Oct. 28 with the newly discovered emails.

It’s a tragic chain of events: If Bill Clinton hadn’t boarded that plane in June, Comey might not have spoken out in July, which means he wouldn’t have felt compelled to speak up again in October, which means Hillary Clinton would have won the election in November.

Heh. This is going to break my schadenfreude meter.

This also adds more fuel to the fire that Bill really didn’t want Hillary to win the election in the first place. After all, he could have campaigned for her on his in own in Michigan and Wisconsin if he’d wanted to. He’d have been much more effective than she would have been anyway. I think the Big Dog just didn’t want to be succeeded by a . . .

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