Pathetic: GOP divided on Comey firing as Democrats are unified
GOP sounds the retreat

Pathetic: GOP divided on Comey firing as Democrats are unified

Posted May 10, 2017 02:32 PM by Chris Pandolfo GOP sounds the retreat
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Count on Republicans to be disorganized and send mixed messages whenever the Trump administration does something big.

After President Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey Tuesday, Democrats and the media are screaming bloody murder – accusing the Trump administration of “Nixonian” tactics for removing Comey as he presided over an investigation into Russia’s alleged connections to the Trump campaign.

Many liberals are acting hypocritically, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., slamming Trump for firing Comey (last November Schumer said he did not have “confidence” in Comey) and calling for a special prosecutor. 

Conservative Review Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin pointed out the Democratic hypocrisy on the radio Tuesday night, demanding that Republicans go on offense.

Instead, several GOP representatives and senators are questioning President Trump’s decision to fire the FBI director.

Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., said he was “disappointed” by the president’s decision. “While the President has the legal authority to remove the Director of the FBI, I am disappointed in the President's decision to remove James Comey from office,” McCain said in a statement. McCain is renewing calls for a “special congressional committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.”

Representative Justin Amash, R-Mich., is of a mind with Sen. McCain. Amash announced Tuesday that he and his staff are reviewing legislation to establish “an independent commission on Russia.” 

In a series of tweets, Senator Richard Burr, R-N.C., said he was “troubled” by the timing and reasoning of Comey’s firing.

Senator Ben Sasse, R-Neb., called the timing of the firing “very troubling.” Referring to Comey as an “honorable public servant,” Sasse said he has reached out to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein for more “clarity” on his recommendation that Comey be fired.

Likewise, Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., said that “the American people need clarity and deserve an explanation for [Comey’s] immediate firing.” He took a more middle-of-the-road approach, noting that Comey “had lost the trust of so many people on both sides of the aisle.”

And Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., is at a loss to explain what happened.

What is there to be confused by? What is unclear? As Levin pointed out on the radio, the deputy attorney general who made the recommendation to President Trump to fire Comey has only been on the job for a week. In that first week, DAG Rod J. Rosenstein reviewed Comey’s actions as FBI director and, as he explains in his letter, found that “the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.” 

Comey was defending his actions during a sworn congressional testimony just seven days ago. “Having refused to admit his errors,” Rosenstein wrote, “the Director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective actions.”

The timing is sudden because the formal review of Comey’s actions just began and also because Comey’s actions were put back in the national spotlight during that review. It’s a simple explanation, but it also makes the most sense.

There are some Republicans defending the president.

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, expressed support for Comey’s firing, noting that “Mr. Comey had lost the confidence of both Republicans and Democrats, and, frankly, the American people.”

 

His colleague from Texas, Senator John Cornyn, R, reminded reporters that Comey served “at the pleasure of the president.”

"Obviously he's been the center of controversy both among Democrats and Republicans at different times. ... It sounds to me from reading the president's letter that he lost confidence in him," Cornyn said.

And the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, also supports the president.

“The handling of the Clinton email investigation is a clear example of how Comey's decisions have called into question the trust and political independence of the FBI," Grassley said in a statement. Speaking on Fox News Wednesday morning, Grassley criticized the media’s overreaction. “My message is this – suck it up and move on.”

Grassley, along with Senator Rand Paul, R-K.Y., are adopting the Levin-endorsed tactic of taking it straight to the Democrats and the media. 

While it’s nice to see some fighters in the GOP, why is it so hard to get the whole party on the same page? Is there a single Democrat praising President Trump for firing Comey? 

There’s not. That’s why the GOP is the party of self-defeat.

Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.