The former FBI director hit a new shrieking high in the blossoming genre of Trump-is-the-Devil essays, portraying him as a literal fiend who can make grown Republican men forget their loyalties to their country and even family.
Even his most committed deputies would agree that working with the current US president (though probably some other bosses too) requires you to compromise and see things from his point of view.
How does Donald Trump exert such power that Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller to the Russia investigation, now ignores the collusion Comey can see so plainly in the Mueller Report?
“Speaking rapid-fire with no spot for others to jump into the conversation, Mr. Trump makes everyone a co-conspirator to his preferred set of facts, or delusions. I have felt it — this president building with his words a web of alternative reality and busily wrapping it around all of us in the room,” Comey writes in the New York Times.
Part dictator, who demands “public display of personal fealty” at the risk of… what exactly?
“While the entire world is watching, you do what everyone else around the table does — you talk about how amazing the leader is and what an honor it is to be associated with him.”
“Accomplished people lacking inner strength” like Attorney General Bill Barr and his former deputy Rosenstein “feel this happening” but instead of resigning with honor, compromise as “you convince yourself that you simply must stay, to preserve and protect the people and institutions and values you hold dear.”
“And then you are lost. He has eaten your soul.” Ta-da-da.
It’s not even that Comey’s piece has no merit – there is something in the psychological picture that he paints that is plausible, insightful even.
But in a desire to jack up the drama, he tips into purple prose, then bathos. He seems agitated, vaguely unhinged. No politician is a soulsucker. Not Trump. Not Obama. Not Putin. Not even Mao or Hitler.
Fainting like a possessed schoolgirl in a over-ripe Southern Gothic novel at the mere presence of Trump evokes only sighs from Republicans and moderates, while inflaming further the already overactive imaginations of on-looking Democrats.
I mean, how do you even fight soulsuckers? Can you beat one in an election? Can Nancy Pelosi overpower Beelzebub? Is the Supreme Court full of zombies? Whose side are THEY on?
This is really no way to talk about politics.
What this is, however, is a chance for James Comey, a man with a distinguished public service career but small stores of public affection, to shed his dignity trying to stay relevant, as he stands on the street shouting “Listen to me! I’ve seen Satan himself and looked him in the eye! Only I can save you!”Kim Jong-un supervised North Korean army’s military exercises