Peter Cavanaugh

Life on Pluto

By Peter Cavanaugh

For your Consideration

He unraveled. Back in the day, folks would say he had a “nervous breakdown.” Yet it is difficult not characterizing FBI Director James Comey as being other than a self-righteous, supercilious, sanctimonious fool.

In plain English, dismissing him as a selfish jerk. Such designation is seemingly warranted for displaying such a deluded, distorted sense of purist personal integrity at the expense of an overriding national interest in our collective security.

Comey tossed a live grenade into the final days of Election 2016 on Friday in the form of an inexplicably terse, extraordinarily ill advised and possibly illegal announcement that the bureau had suddenly stumbled upon certain emails that appeared “to be pertinent” to Comey’s testimony under oath before members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

While Comey had agreed to keep the committee informed of any substantial new developments in the case of Clinton’s emails, it didn’t take much time before it became evident that Comey, acting alone and against the advice of his boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other top Justice Department officials, didn’t have any idea what he was declaring - the word “clueless” coming to mind both literally and figuratively. There didn’t seem to be much substance in the “substantial development” after all.

This new possibly “pertinent” material had been found on a laptop computer belonging to Anthony Weiner, husband of Huma Abedin, longtime assistant to Hillary Clinton. Weiner is under FBI investigation for prurient activities involving his surname - otherwise defined and immodestly transmitted.

When the ship hit the sand in a megaton media explosion rivaling the discovery of life on Pluto, Comey hurriedly sent out a staff memo that sheepishly confessed, “Given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression.” He added, “In the middle of an election cycle, there is a significant risk of being misunderstood.”

Yep. He nailed it there.

Here’s Donald Trump bellowing onstage only moments after word got out: “This is bigger than Watergate,” - to which his characteristically menacing mob, red hats stylishly substituting for the more traditional brown shirts, screamed at the top of their tobacco encrusted lungs, “Lock her up. Lock her up.”

Just down the road, 22nd District Congressman Devin Nunes, in a typical break from reality, told Fox News on Sunday, “I just don’t see Director Comey opening this case back up 11 days before the election unless it is quite serious.” Representative Nunes is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. This thought alone dramatically demonstrates the desirability of electing a Democratic House majority come Tuesday.

Although I hate being redundant let alone repeat myself, here’s what was observed in this column way back on July 21.

“James Comey is the straightest man I’ve ever seen on national TV - the ultimate Boy Scout - as tight as a mouse’s rear stretched over a barrel. He is extraordinarily conscientious, perhaps even perilously proper to extremes. When he scratches an itch, he thinks it’s sex.”

This was written in the context of trying to figure out why Comey had felt compelled to add the word “extremely” to his assessment of Hillary Clinton being “careless” with her email handling, although he also had testified that Mrs. Clinton wasn’t the first Secretary of State to use a private server. Far from it.

Such judgment didn’t seem to fit with Comey’s more important bottom line evaluation that Hillary hadn’t done anything remotely approaching criminal behavior, nor had those with whom she worked. He later said this decision wasn’t even a close call. I surmised that “extremely” was unfortunately incorporated into the director’s presentation in a doomed effort to placate former Republican friends hating Hillary and dedicated to her destruction.

After weeks of being referenced in the alt right press as a moral moron, legal loser and hack for Hillary, Comey panicked at news of the Weiner revelation and yielded to irresponsible self-interest in fear of further infuriating conservative sensitivities.

In detonating his bombshell, James Comey sought to present us with a dutifully delivered exclamation point, but instead produced a divisive, highly prejudicial question mark.

Here is a man thought above reproach falling far below the most minimal standards of dutiful responsibility.

Appropriate resolution? Immediate expression of regret, followed by eventual resignation.

Uncertainty is ubiquitous. Few things are absolute. Blurred lines abound.

Loosen up, Jimmy. Confidence born of constricted consciousness muddles minds and limits life.

Those who dwell in a black and white world never see rainbows.