Day 9: You think you can’t be surprised any more, but




Trump fired FBI Director James Comey today. This is one the best pieces I’re read so far (five hours in).

FBI directors normally serve for terms of ten years, i.e. though multiple administrations, to raise the office above politics. Before now, only one FBI director has ever been fired, when he refused to resign after committing ethical violations.

Even a very few Republicans are admitting they’re baffled and disturbed. I usually disagree with Charles Krauthammer’s political/ideological opinions and beliefs, but his political observations are often spot on. Here’s what he had to say tonight on Fox:

There was one other major development that flitted across my Twitter feed: the U.S. census director resigned because the 2020 census was going to be so underfunded—Republicans were demanding it cost no more than the 2010 census. This is insane. This is also huge news. That, conveniently, is getting buried.

Remember that it’s the 2020 census that determines population numbers for… redistricting. On which elections for the following 10 years depend.

The Comey firing was immediately called “Nixonian,” which made me think, as I have hundreds of times in the past few months, about the great movie (also great book) All the President’s Men. I didn’t see it until I was an adult, although I’ve seen it several times since. The thing that breaks my heart for America, every time, is how long it takes Woodward and Bernstein to grasp what’s going on–how long it takes for them to accept it. Their naïveté is astonishing, and even more so when you realize that their innocence was completely normal, completely shared by the about-to-be-blindsided American electorate.

They simply could not imagine the President being that corrupt.

I was seven when the Watergate hearings began. It was implied that they were unusual; but, of course, I absorbed them as usual, because I had no frame of reference. (The fact of them, that is…I absorbed the hearings themselves as boring and endless, taking over the TV.) Nixon was the first president I could remember, and he was impeached because he was a crook. The America I feel sorry for when I watch All the President’s Men is the America that came before me, the one that was surprised.

What is the America sinking into our children’s heads? We’ll have to work in ways I can’t imagine to teach them that this, right now, is an extreme aberration, and then work even harder to make sure it is an aberration. Somehow we have to counterbalance the rot in our country right now. We have to be that good.

This isn’t a bright spot, exactly, but it’s true that this latest development, that’s shocked even (a few) Republicans, comes at an excellent time for the impeachment fight. More on that tomorrow.