James Comey: I No Longer Consider Myself a Republican

Welcome to the club, buddy. What took you so long?

James Comey declared on Wednesday that he is no longer a Republican, stating in an interview with “the Republican party has left me.”

In an interview on ABC News podcast Start Here, the former FBI director, who used to consider himself a Republican, was asked whether he still saw himself as a member of the Grand Old Party.

“No,” Comey replied. “The Republican party has left me, and many others.”

. . . .

“I see the Republican Party, as near as I can tell, reflects now entirely Donald Trump’s values,” Comey continued. “It doesn’t reflect values at all. It’s transactional, it’s ego-driven, it’s in service to his ego. And it’s, I think, consoling itself that we’re going to achieve important policy goals — a tax cut or something.”


He’s not wrong. Donald Trump has laughably changed positions on everything under the sun, including matters that are serious (like the propriety of bombing Syria without Congressional authorization) and others that are more trivial (like whether the President of the United States should spend a lot of time playing golf).

And Republicans are just fine with hypocrisy this rank.

It’s true that Donald Trump does have one deniable positive characteristic that will never change — albeit a characteristic that he shares with every person on the planet save one. He is not Hillary Clinton. And for many people, that’s good enough to be OK with him being in office, and I understand that.

That’s a little different from saying that we have to back him up every time he lies or says something crazy. You don’t have to go on nationwide TV and embarrass yourelf by pretending you never heard the man lie, as Jim Jordan did with Anderson Cooper.

You don’t have to pretend that it’s a media conspiracy to label Trump as a kook and unfit for office if you were saying the same thing yourself a year ago:


This stuff is just embarrassing. But it’s the Republican party now.

I have purchased Comey’s book A Higher Loyalty with the audiobook add-on read by Comey. It’s interesting to see how his actual words in context contrast with the way he is portrayed. Comey is commonly portrayed as sanctimonious, apparently because he believes in principles in the era of Trump, where principles are not cool. But he doesn’t sound particularly sanctimonious to me in his book, at least so far. In his introduction, Comey says:

All people have flaws and I have many. Some of mine, as you’ll discover in this book, are that I can be stubborn, prideful, overconfident and driven by ego. I’ve struggled with those my whole life. . . .I know I can be wrong, even when I am certain I am right.

When is the last time you heard self-reflection and self-criticism like that from Donald Trump?

Comey is also pilloried for having made comments about Trump’s personal appearance. He defends himself by saying he includes details to bring the reader into the picture and make the reader feel like he or she is there. Again, this makes sense. Look at his description of FBI veteran Greg Brower: “Greg was a fifty-three-year-old Nevadan with salt-and-pepper hair.” OMIGOD WHY DID HE HAVE TO SAY THE GUY HAD SALT IN HIS HAIR? IS HE CALLING THE GUY OLD?!?!?! No, he’s just describing someone. Calm down.

As I have said many times, I think Comey mishandled the Hillary investigation. I’ll be very curious to see how he justifies some of his decisions. But he just doesn’t seem like a bad guy to me. If anyone is prideful and has a big ego, it’s Donald Trump. And the Republican party seems fine with him.


If you’re fine with Trump’s ego, I don’t really want to hear your whining about Comey’s. All you’re doing is confirming Comey’s description of Republicans as lemmings following Trump off the cliff. Comey and I have gotten out of the marching line. Join us. We have pie.



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