April 21, 2018

"Remember that kid in school—every school has at least one—who everyone tolerated but never really liked, who was more concerned with adhering to and obeying the rules than understanding the reasons for them..."

"... and who self-righteously prided themselves on reporting everything to the nearest teacher they could every time? The kids who always seemed to end up 'in charge' of small-authority things like the A/V equipment, hall monitors, or street crossings, who immediately lorded their 'authority' when doing their 'jobs,' who invariably ended up wearing their 'uniforms' (vests or badges or whatever) literally everywhere they went, and who started virtually every sentence with, 'Well, as a hall monitor, I think...' If they never grow out of that attitude, they grow up to be James Comey."

That's the top-rated comment at a Jezebel article by Ellie Shechet titled "On James Comey's Book Tour, America's Daddy Complex Gets a Pacifier." Shechet herself has this line:
Comey, whom Trump recently dubbed the “worst FBI director in history,” is a center-right believer in the innate goodness of America’s law enforcement institutions, and possesses the affable demeanor of a little league coach, or a generic provider-type leaning casually over a barbeque in an Old Navy commercial. If I were to write a script for a movie about the life of James Comey, which I would find unpleasant, it would include wholesome lines like “These brussels sprouts are delicious, Patrice,” and “Say hi to your mom and dad for me, kiddo.”
Shecet's point (of course) is that Trump is so awful that this kind of bland mediocrity seems attractive now, and that is very different from what the commenter expressed. The commenter's attitude is closer to mine, perhaps because I've been instinctively resisting anti-Trump hysteria. And also the idea that Comey "possesses [an] affable demeanor" does not resonate with me at all. I think he seems hostile and cranky but capable of maintaining a robotically calm game face.

77 comments:

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

And... the left's "loyalty" meme - sprqad by the DNC press is falling apart.

Byron York:

Now, Comey’s book and the revelations it has triggered are casting new light on the “loyalty” issue — a light that makes Trump’s position look far more understandable.

The short version is this: In Trump’s first meeting with the FBI director, on January 6, 2017, when Trump was president-elect, Comey asked to meet alone with Trump. When the two were by themselves, face-to-face, Comey told Trump about the “golden showers” episode in the Trump dossier. Comey didn’t discuss any other parts of the dossier. He just outlined the dossier’s tale of Trump involved in a kinky sex show in a Moscow hotel room in 2013. . . .

At Comey’s next meeting with the president, however, on January 28, Trump brought up loyalty, according to the Comey memos. The two men were discussing leaks and how damaging they could be. Comey explained to the president that “the entire government leaks like crazy.” Then Comey wrote that, “[Trump] replied that he needed loyalty and expected loyalty.”

The news of that exchange — leaked by Comey after Trump fired him — spurred widespread outrage over Trump’s mention of loyalty. But the context of Trump’s statement — not known until now — adds to our understanding of the president’s talk.

Why would Trump wonder about the FBI director’s loyalty? Perhaps because in their first meeting, the FBI director dropped the Moscow sex allegation on Trump, followed immediately by its publication in the media. It seems entirely reasonable for a president to wonder what was going on and whether the FBI director was loyal, not to the president personally, but to the confidentiality that is required in his role as head of the nation’s chief investigative agency.

tcrosse said...

Comey is Eddie Haskell all growed up.

rhhardin said...

Advancement tricks learned in school life don't often get you better than second best in real life, but they did for Comey.

It's just that they didn't happen to work for media reality-show life too.

"Who is this fuck-off?"

rhhardin said...

School life fits with swamp dweller life.

Tommy Duncan said...

As I have previously noted, one definition of "loyalty" is "don't stab me in the back". The context provided by Byron York seems to confirm that definition.

rhhardin said...

It's not anti-Trump hysteria but the appeal to women that causes it that ought to be resisted.

Darrell said...

Center-right.

My ass.

Humperdink said...

A caller to Rush's show yesterday stated that reviews for Comey's book on Amazon are essentially locked. Yep, they are. Of course, the ratings are locked in at 4.5 stars.

How convenient.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

I am instinctively resisting anti-Comey hysteria.

sykes.1 said...

Ruby Ridge, Waco ... The FEEBs are a violent criminal gang and always have been since their founding in 1908.

JackWayne said...

I saw this caricature in Animal House but I never saw it in real life. The closest anyone came to it were the creeps that reveled in student government.

David Begley said...

Comey is a Swamp creature who played an insider game to bring down Trump and get him impeached. And it still might work.

He's a leaker. His leak to the Columbia law prof was the proximate cause of Mueller's appointment.

Comey is the guy who gave CNN the news hook so that the Steele Dossier could go public. Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist has the story. She's spot on.

Lucien said...

Pity Secretary Clinton lost, because Comey sounds like the perfect guy to work under President Tracy Flick.
Sad.

IgnatzEsq said...

My assessment of Comey is the same as Putin's:
"It sounds very strange when the head of the security services writes down a conversation with the commander-in-chief and then leaks it to the media through his friend."

Pathetic.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Is he a Lackawanna County volunteer sheriff's deputy?

Hagar said...

I think Comey in his various government employment positions bent or outright fabricated evidence for prosecution of some people as favors for their political opponents and expected to be rewarded for doing so.
That simple.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Comey thinks he's affable. In his mind, he's a reasonable person--in fact, he's the standard by which reason and morality in others can be judged. As soon as a person proves he meets Comey's standard, Comey will be as affable as anyone. Unfortunately, this may not happen all that often.

tcrosse said...

In his mind, he's a reasonable person--in fact, he's the standard by which reason and morality in others can be judged

There's a lot of it going around.

Chuck said...

I don't begrudge you, Althouse, as you expose and resist "anti-Trump hysteria." I am rather interested in your skillful media criticism.

But I don't understand why you would resist "anti-Trump sensibility."

Your buddy Scott Adams has gone to "pro-Trump hysteria." His quote about how he "no longer care[s] about the fucking law [and Scott Adams just wants every single person who had anything to do with the subpoena of Michael Cohen to be fired]." No word yet on whether Scott Adams thinks that Trump could fire the Article III federal judge who approved the warrant.

Big Mike said...

As he do often does, Trump is indulging in hyperbole. Namely, Comey is not the worst FBI Director — Nixon’s L. Patrick Gray was. But Comey and Mueller are right up there, meaning down there, in the muckiest part of the Swamp. And let’s not forget that William Sessions was Director when children were being burned to death in Waco.

Gahrie said...

Comey is a wanna be Mark Felt.

Big Mike said...

In his mind, he's a reasonable person--in fact, he's the standard by which reason and morality in others can be judged.

A hero — a reasonable hero — in his own mind only.

Curious George said...

"Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...
I am instinctively resisting anti-Comey hysteria."

We already knew that.

tim maguire said...

I instinctively recoil from name calling of any sort. It virtually never advances the discussion. It's rarely even accurate. This whole thing about the hall monitor is just a smear dressed up as applying an archetype.

narciso said...

Exactly Gahrie, and it was like his idol, his idols self regard was his downfall,

Stephen Carter notes the odd rationalization re hoover about the king wiretap and that poison pen letter but not the irony.

Felts who caused him to reach out to Woodward and Bernstein, however he touched off a series of events that led to his part in the black bag operations against the weathermen that undermined the case against Bill Ayers and yadda yadda Barack obama.

Fernandinande said...

Well, as not a hall monitor, I think it's pretty goofy to describe Come-y by comparing him to imaginary person rather than just describing him.

narciso said...

Rosenstein is the hall monitor, letting Mueller do anything to anyone, he's had some practicing doing prevent defense in doj tax division.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

Darrell said...
Center-right. My ass.


You should get that looked at.

narciso said...

The facts about felt and the embellishing by Woodward and bernstein come from max Holland, by examining Alan pakulas papers about the screenplay vs bob Woodward papers at the u texas.

Dad29 said...

Comey...is a center-right believer in the innate goodness of America’s law enforcement institutions

Ludicrous on its face. Comey's ideology is that HE believes in HIS OWN innate goodness.

Ray - SoCal said...

Interesting how Journalist has decided to portray Comey.

Unfortunately the memos have shredded that image.

Hagar said...

Nope. Comey just believes everyone is dirty so why should he be different.

Bay Area Guy said...

Comey is an unctuous prig, who enabled McCabe and Strzok to run wild in the 2016 election.

The good news is that slowly the FBI by jettisoning both Comey and McCabe is repairing the breach. Thank God for Michael Horowitz.

narciso said...

Now back then, comey leaked to gellman re cheney, probably to name meyer to lichtblau all to frame Alberto Gonzales about an event that would not come to light until four years later.

Darrell said...

Beclowned Commenter ARat-facedMan said...

Something stupid.
As usual.

Sebastian said...

Both the piece and the comment underestimate Comey's nastiness: besides being a self-righteous prig, he is also an operator scheming to undermine his perceived adversaries--most notably, of course, in the leaks that precipitated the SC investigation against Trump, led, surprisingly, by his buddy Bob. Of course, the real deep-staters also perceived him as a clueless dolt--no doubt one of the reasons the O forces tolerated him at FBI. He could be played, and was.

narciso said...

Now from gellmand account we can see that comeys fellow mutineers were James baker, now removed from the bureau, Christopher Wray now bureau chief and Valerie caproni now a federal judge who might have been on one or another fisa panel.

Narayanan said...

I was that kid, not any longer, thank you, you are welcome.
I call to your notice ... Professor blogged about young James Comey identifying wrong suspect and sticking with it against proven alibi.

narciso said...

Now re the previous thread Shawn Henry was recommended by Mueller to the board of crowdstrike, where they promptly botched the Sony back. This just encouraged more gigs thanks in part to their cheerleader Ellen nakashima at the Washington post.

robother said...

Commenter pretty much nailed the type. There were a fair number of them in every Catholic School class K-12. I've assumed that Comey was Catholic for that reason (pauses to check Wikipedia). Sure enough, raised RC, even though went to public schools. His undergrad thesis was in theology. The Catholic nuns loved this type of "religious" boy. No dark night of the soul for him.

Michael K said...

Comey is not the worst FBI Director — Nixon’s L. Patrick Gray was.

No, L Patrick Gray was an honorable man appointed by Nixon to end the FBI political maneuvers and "black bag jobs" that went on under Hoover. That action stimulated Felt to use the FBI's spying apparatus on Nixon and, because Nixon left himself open to such conspiracies and was hated by the left, he was able to complete a successful coup.

The result was the abandonment of South Vietnam and interest rates of 21% after Carter finally tried to control the 13% inflation set off by the 1974 leftist Congress.

narciso said...

Mollie Hemingway has noted many of the times Mueller and comey have made had calls, or protected same like whitey bulger.

Michael K said...

I think Gray and Comey are the only two Directors of the FBI who have never been agents.

narciso said...

This includes the witch hunt against aipac headed by David dzady who wrongly persecuted Robert Patrick Kelly for the crimes committed by Robert Hansen.

The Weinstein level degenerate who was the star witness in the yes Stevens case, protected by his fib handler.

narciso said...

Szady ended up a vp at allied United, for his screwups

narciso said...

Now I admit when I'm wrong I suspected deep state player David laufman was cooperating in the witch hunt against trump but recent emails unearthed between page and strzok suggest he was putting up resistance.

William said...

I think this is the low point for the public's esteem of the FBI, and, not coincidentally, it happened during Comey's tenure.......Hoover conducted a number of black bag operations at FDR's specific request against the America First and German-American Bund societies. These were considered proactive and prudent. Hoover never got in trouble for them.....The ball and strike zone has always been politicized and not necessarily by the umpires. As a general rule, it's politic for the umpire to call a strike against the Republican and give a walk to the Democrat and to do this uniformly and universally. Some of Comey's calls were detrimental to Hillary, so no hero status for Comey. Perhaps after Spielberg makes the movie of his book, he'll get the respect he deserves.

narciso said...

The fellow behind concussion made a big biopic about felt starting Liam Nilsson casting heavies like Anton czorkas and Michael Sizemore as his rivals it disappeared without a trace last uear.

narciso said...

Tom Sizemore he and Michael Madsen might be twins.

Another player general flapper who I've dubbed magoo has a history of missed calls and pillow covers as Michael Waller notes re the dgi asset Ana Belen montes when he was head of dia.

CWJ said...

"Some of Comey's calls were detrimental to Hillary, so no hero status for Comey."

I suspect this is when he became "center-right," rather than neutral straight shooter.

buwaya said...

Szady is on Linkedin

So much of this can just be looked up these days.

FIDO said...

When you have lost Jezebel readers...

narciso said...

Well that part is, their criminal negligence not so much.

narciso said...

You've wondered why you bothered.

Christopher said...

I tend to view Comey as the firefighter who starts fires so he can then play the hero when he's seen putting them out.

Basically he inserts himself into political controversies in a highly visible manner, thereby exacerbating them, and then portrays himself as the only reasonable party.

Hagar said...

Blogger Michael K said...
I think Gray and Comey are the only two Directors of the FBI who have never been agents.


According to a commenter earlier this week, no FBI directors since have come from inside the Agency, except that Freeh had been an agent at some time.

It looks like Mark Felt et al. won the battle, but lost the war.
It is really a bit frightening, but it appears that they just set out to destroy Nixon in order to teach "the politicians" a lesson: Don't mess with the FBI's internal affairs or its rank of succession!

Michael K said...

"It looks like Mark Felt et al. won the battle, but lost the war."

We won't know that until we see if Trump wins this war.

I haven't thought about your point. I knew Freeh was an agent. He used to come down to the Academy when my daughter was there and run with the candidates. By the time she finished, she was running 7 miles a day.

I looked at the list. Most Acting Directors plus Kelley were agents. Since Gray, the appointed Directors except Kelley were not.

Hagar said...

If it is true that the lesson "the politicians" drew from the affair was to never again promote a director from inside the Agency, they "lost the war."

And it is the lesson they should have learned; a police agency not accountable to civilian control is a frightening thing.

Yancey Ward said...

Gahrie nails it to the wall with this:

"Comey is a wanna be Mark Felt."

Exactly right! This is why he took it so hard when he was fired. I think it will eventually be learned that he was the source for multiple leaks that occurred in the Winter and Spring of 2017.

Hagar said...

I also think it is a very odd arrangement to have police agencies attached to the Department of Justice.
As we have seen here lately, it is not a good thing when they get in cahoots about whatever.

Hagar said...

"Comey is a wanna be Mark Felt."

No. Mark Felt was about the Agency; Comey is about himself.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...


“Nope. Comey just believes everyone is dirty so why should he be different.”

Exactly. Comey is the renegade Boy Scout who realized that no amount of merit badges were going to help him get laid as often as the stoners and ne’er-do-wells. And that, my friends, is how a swamp gets dwellers.

Phil 314 said...

ARM said
“I am instinctively resisting anti-Comey hysteria.”

Ennui might be a better description.

Michael K said...

I don't think Felt was as much about the Agency (the agents call it "The Bureau") as about himself and being denied the role he thought he deserved as next in line. He did get superlative revenge on Nixon but the country was badly damaged until Reagan.

Even then, Reagan was limited in what he could do. He did win the Cold War but the Administrative State thrived under the Bushes.

Etienne said...

We used to call them Finks.

e.g., Batman was a Fink.

I used the term "Fink" recently, and people had no idea what I was talking about. I think they thought I was calling someone a deplorable by their reaction.

Phil 314 said...

Chuck said...
“I don't begrudge you, Althouse, as you expose and resist "anti-Trump hysteria." I am rather interested in your skillful media criticism.

But I ......”


That pretty much sums up every Chuck comment.

(And me a quasi anti-Trumper.)

Jim at said...

Comey is Eddie Haskell all growed up.

Not fair. Eddie Haskell actually grew up to be a cop in LA. And a fine man by all accounts.

Hagar said...

Mark Felt may or may not have been "Deep Throat." In any case he was not alone in that caper.
By the time he "confessed," he was far gone with Alzheimer's and would cheerfully have confessed to being Genghis Khan, as one wag put it. The family needed money to take care of him and might well have gone along with a scheme to put further interest in the story to rest.

Krumhorn said...

One of the things that has continuously brought me daily to this blog for years is that while I’m pretty sure that our hostess doesn’t agree with me very much on political issues, she is far more consistently honest than I am about about examining those issues dispassionately and skeptically. I suspect she wouldn’t vote for Trump if his was the only name on the ballot, but she’s not part of the vicious anti-Trump cabal.

She pushes back.

- Krumhorn

tcrosse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tcrosse said...

No fair. Eddie Haskell actually grew up to be a cop in LA. And a fine man by all accounts.

"What a lovely frock, Mrs. Trump. Can Donald come out and play ?"

Rockport Conservative said...

I have been calling him the kid who tattled on everyone. And I think I'm probably right.
Newt Gingrich said Comey's been practicing that somber, sorry to have to say this, face since he was 7 o4 8. I certainly agree with him. (I'm paraphrasing Newt because I don't remember his exact words)

Q said...

James Comey and the rest of the Deep State nomenklatura are "center-right" in the same sense that their ideological soul-mates in Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, and other police states were.

Not at all.

Howard said...

In 8th grade, the rumor was Eddie Haskell growed up to be John (Johnny Wad) Holmes of Wonderland fame

wildswan said...

I think of Comey psychologically, more in line with the Althouse way: as the first little girl to be head of the FBI.

But if it was a party or a religion it isn't Catholicism or the center right. It's opportunism but a slightly out-of-date opportunism. He mentions Niebuhr. Niebuhr has passed his sell-by date, as he himself would be the first to say. Conditions have changed. Saying, as Comey does, that he subscribes to his Niebuhr's ideas - which were evolved in response to the challenges of the Forties and Fifties - is like having a CRT TV proudly displayed in your living room. Now as it happens, people don't know what Niebuhr's ideas were and they don't realise he's a 12" black and white TV in the flat screen era. So as a result, mentioning Niebuhr makes Comey seem like a deep thinker without the unpleasantness that might result from bringing up any real concrete Christian insights into life today. For instance, Planned Parenthood (which gets Federal money) has been shown to be selling body parts from aborted children. So James Comey, deep spiritual Catholic guy, higher loyalty man, what about that investigating that and putting an end to it?

And also Comey was a Hillary-Obama lackey. And that whole thing is also past its sell-by date. How the stench from spoiled politics can be passed off as perfume from democracy hasn't finished playing out. But the ugliness is apparent to all. They've got a little boy up clenching his tiny fist and sadz looking, to pretty up the mess but it's a mess. When you bring in the kindergarden to do the talking, you've got nothing important to say.

tim maguire said...

Blogger Gahrie said...Comey is a wanna-be Mark Felt.

When a generation of journalists are all wanna-be Woodwards and Bernsteins, should we be surprised?

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

No, I don't remember that kid who suddenly multiplied into kids mid-analogy.

Nobody ever said, 'Well, as a hall monitor, I think...'.

There's plenty to ridicule about Comey without citing shared memories of shit that never happened.