Three Ways to Look at Comeypalooza

1. Remember a few weeks ago when the media were breathless with reports that Steve Bannon was on his way out from the White House? Almost completely unremarked upon during Comeypalooza this week is that Bannon appears to be firmly back in the first saddle (if he was ever in jeopardy in the first place), and Jared Kushner is the person in eclipse at the White House.

Recall that Bannon was opposed to firing Comey, while Kusher reportedly told President Trump that he’d get a free pass from Democrats because they hated Comey. Oops. Whose political judgment looks better now? Combine this with Bannon winning the fight to convince Trump to dump the Paris Climate Accord (Jared and Ivanka wanted pop to remain), and the omission of a mention of Article V in Trump’s speech to NATO a couple weeks ago (also attributed to Bannon’s influence), and suddenly the media narrative, which was probably wishful thinking guiding their story lines, doesn’t look very good.

But can Trump fire Kushner? It would make Thanksgiving dinners rather awkward. It is a bad idea to have family members in senior positions.

2. Comey’s behavior is a classic case study in how the permanent government protects its undemocratic supremacy. Thesis: Comey took it upon himself to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president, and is now taking it upon himself to try to destroy and drive from office President Trump. His public conduct in the Hillary email “matter” (heh), albeit prompted in part by Bill Clinton’s outrageous airport meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, was completely unprecedented. Now Comey has admitted leaking to prompt the appointment of a special counsel to harass President Trump. His humble “I’m just protecting the reputation of the FBI from a liar” shtick is as palpably phony as San Ervin’s “I’m just a country lawyer” bit in the Watergate hearings. To be sure, Trump brought a lot of this trouble on himself, with his inappropriate (but not illegal) conversations with Comey, and his unnecessary tweets and statements about Comey after the firing.

3. Even if you grant that Trump’s behavior toward Comey and the Russia has been problematic, it falls far short of obstruction of justice or other fevered dreams of the left. Still, it is not too early to see how this might play out. Right now it is possible Democrats will regain a majority in the House in next year’s mid-term election. After which there will be intense pressure on House Democrats to begin impeachment hearings and bring a bill of impeachment to the House floor. (From Tom Steyer, for example.) After which the whole thing would die a quick death in the Senate, where impeachments are tried. It will be a rerun of the Clinton impeachment in 1999. But could House Democrats avoid doing it? Not with their insane base to keep happy.

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