James Comey testimony as entertainment

Watergate took a LONG time to unravel, over two years from the break-in to the resignation.

I guess I’m not zeitgeisty enough – no, I don’t think it’s a word – because the anticipation over former FBI director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8 made me oddly uncomfortable.

As an old poli sci major who sat in front the TV set for HOURS taking in all the nuance of the various committees investigating Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal back in the 1970s, I suppose I should be happy that the American public is interested in a civics lesson.

But it was more like theater, specifically a movie theater, where comedian/late night host Stephen Colbert is seen eating from a bag of popcorn. As the Boston Globe put it, “Comey’s testimony puts Washington in party mode.” As some conservative website noted, “The hearing was treated like a major sporting event by D.C. locals, who lined up to gain entrance to local establishments for standing-room only viewing parties.”

And it wasn’t limited to the District of Columbia. “Festivities” seemed to be particularly popular on the West Coast, with folks at bars in time for the 7 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time event.

At the end of the day, almost no one was convinced of anything they hadn’t been thinking before except that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) seemed befuddled. Those who dislike the regime think that impeachment is just around the corner. Those on the other side believe they’re, in the words of Lou Dobbs, “No crime, No evidence.” Comey was just a “disgruntled employee.” I saw that specific description a lot.

At the end of the day, it’s what Bob Woodward, Washington Post editor, and one of the reporters who helped bring down Nixon said on CBS News This Morning: “We know 5, maybe 10 percent of what we will know” when the various investigations are over.

No, there was no smoking gun, yet. Nor was the regime “vindicated”; saw THAT word a lot, especially on the Twitter feed #MAGA, where I actually read:
“He is bringing back respect and class to this country

Regardless of the results of the investigations, his secret isn’t that he lies. It’s that he crowds out the truth. “The question isn’t whether you’re winning the argument — it’s whether you’re dominating and driving the coverage of the argument.”

I will acknowledge that clearing the room of other people, then being asked by a person in a superior position if you would consider taking a particular action reeks to high heaven, to my mind.

Watergate took a LONG time to unravel, over two years from the break-in to the resignation. This Russia influence/election rigging thing is going to take awhile too. It won’t be solved with a few hours of testimony, but people want more rapid gratification when it simply not how these things work. Or, as some folks interviewed on NBC News this week acknowledged, “It’s too complicated.”

I think, like those in the slow cooking movement, we ought to take our time and let the facts simmer, with the evidence determining the results of the investigation. Because no one still supporting the regime will convince those who don’t of a damn thing, and pretty much vice versa.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

4 thoughts on “James Comey testimony as entertainment”

  1. I was lucky: The Comey testimony was in the middle of the night my time,so there was no way I’d be sucked in by the hype. Besides, I’d already read his prepared statement by the then.

    I think, though, that the hype was useful: It kept a counter-narrative in the news and public discussion, and while Don and his fervent fans kept trying to spin it, it was by any reasonable assessment unflattering to Don personally and, by extension, his entire regime. But I don’t think anyone was persuaded to change their views because of it, mostly because Woodward is right—and there’s much more to come.

    I’m happy to let this percolate for awhile. Ultimately, the relentless pressure may make Don just up and quit, but either that or impeachment and removal from office would put Mike in as president, and in most ways he’s far worse precisely because he knows what he wants and how to get it, unlike Don who chops and changes all the time.

    So, I agree: We should let the facts simmer. If they do, I’m certain they’ll get Don out of office eventually, but that’d be after his agenda (well, whoever’s agenda it is…) is stalled and while keeping theocrat Mike away from power.

  2. There are times when politics as sport bothers me, and this was such a time. I can’t promise that I won’t cheer on whatever day it is that Trump stops being President, but…there’s more to it than this. I have a coworker who gets up every day at 5 and goes to bed no later than 10…but he hated Hillary Clinton SO much (without any ability to discuss her policy views in any way that approached being correct) that he stayed up all night on Election Night just to watch her lose. That, to me, is the political equivalent of watching your most hated NFL team just because they might lose. It’s ridiculous.

  3. Yeah, it made me uncomfortable too. but most people missed the significance of Comey’s testimony, he was asked a lot of questions about criminal acts perpetrated by President Bratty Boy and his minions, but instead of saying “No” a lot he went on record saying “I can’t discuss that at this point.”

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