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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Comey flareup proves the DC swamp isn’t even close to being drained

By now everyone understands Donald Trump staked his inaugural run for president on being an outsider with business and real world know-how who could drop into the middle of the festering political bog that is Washington DC, clean house, fire a lot of people and drain the swamp.

Trump’s was an enticing sounding proposition, one that persuaded millions of Republican primary voters to cast off their historic inhibitions to support a man who’d never served in any public office before at any level. Comey ABC InterviewTrump defeated the establishment (Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and John Kasich) and then conquered the principled conservatives’ favorite, Senator Ted Cruz.

It was an exciting time (whether Trump was your first choice or not); everything he did was outside the norm – his blunt manner of speaking, his unique choice of language, his overt and personal assaults on his Republican opponents and his unnuanced way of framing the most salient issues – immigration (build the border wall!), foreign policy (no more stupid wars!) and, more generally, to make America great again.

Ever since Trump’s astonishing victory over Hillary Clinton he’s fought hard to keep his campaign promises. Trump hasn’t always succeeded – or handled situations well -- but most conservatives are willing to grant him the benefit of the doubt.

Trump’s enemies, however, claim he’s become part of the very swamp he’s tried so earnestly to drain. In an op-ed titled “The stench from Trump's swamp is growing,” liberal Juan Williams wrote at The Hill earlier this week, “Is it just me or does it smell like the swamp around President Trump is overflowing?...

“Last week, Trump told those irritating reporters to ignore reality because ‘it may not look like it, but believe me we are draining the swamp.’...

“The president still refuses to release his tax returns; he still refuses to divest from his sprawling business empire; and don’t forget his hiring of his daughter and son-in-law as senior White House advisers, as if he were running a family business to serve his bottom line instead of the national interest...

“’Drain the swamp,’ has become as empty a promise as ‘Build the Wall.’ If you ever believed Trump, you got duped.”

That Juan, he’s such a kidder, isn’t he?

In his piece Williams employs a “kitchen sink” strategy of tossing out everything he could possibly recall to make Trump look guilty of joining up with the ruling elites and liberals (like Williams). It’s almost as though Williams is asserting Trump is just another conventional politician who doesn’t care about appearances of impropriety as long as it makes him (or his family) richer, etc. The liberal pundit doesn’t stop there – he groups in the entirety of Trump’s administration, basically alleging all conservatives are scoundrels with secrets to hide.

Williams even dredged up an (former White House press secretary) Anthony Scaramucci quote and chastised the president for pardoning Scooter Libby – as though a decade isn’t enough time to let bygones be bygones for an innocent man (Libby) who’s suffered enough through public humiliation and an unwarranted government witch hunt. Characteristically, Williams also hit Trump for pardoning 85-year-old Sheriff Joe Arpaio over the Arizonan’s undeserved battle with a federal judge concerning the lawman’s treatment of suspected illegal aliens.

If Williams – or any Democrat immigration apologist – could do a better job than Sheriff Joe of enforcing the border laws, let them go down south and try. In a day and age when political correctness has crept into just about everything meaningful in the government sphere, liberals shouldn’t be lecturing someone who’s had to deal with the real problems onsite.

But back to Williams’ larger points: is he correct in saying Donald Trump not only perpetuated the DC swamp but made it worse? Most conservatives agree there are legitimate concerns over Trump’s character and some of those closest to him. For example, many aren’t wild about Trump’s daughter and son-in-law working so close to the seat of power when neither possesses credentials to do so (other than sterling educational backgrounds and a demonstrated ability to live well).

Smart and rich people don’t always relate to the common folk; but Trump himself appears to “get it” when broaching subjects like international trade and pulling out of the flower-power leftist inspired Paris Climate Accord. Trump may never have been poor or worked a trade yet he appreciates the working man’s dilemma and sees how government may play a role in reversing some of the damage inflicted on flyover country by well-intentioned but hopelessly out-of-touch federal bureaucrats of the past.

Then there’s the obvious layer of sleaze on top of the swamp as perhaps best embodied by former FBI Director James Comey. Comey’s tell-all book came out this week and is being panned by folks from all across the ideological spectrum. Even Comey’s colleagues are now saying he’s full of it (and himself).

Debra Heine reported at PJ Media, “[I]t's becoming increasingly clear that not everyone in the FBI has been a fan of [Comey’s] conduct while he was at the FBI and especially after he was fired. It's quite likely, in fact, that he's lost some fans due to behavior many of his former colleagues consider completely inappropriate.

“FBI employees, both current and retired, are panning the book and blasting Comey's unseemly interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos that aired Sunday night. ‘He's an absolute mess,’ said one former FBI agent to Fox News' Laura Ingraham…

“It's quite something. Comey's book and media tour were designed to discredit President Trump, but the effort seems to have backfired. Comey appears to have only discredited himself.”

Comey didn’t need to write a book or go on an establishment media tour peddling it to disembowel himself – Comey’s been more or less discrediting his own integrity ever since the July 2016 press conference where he announced there would be no prosecution of Hillary Clinton over her email scandal despite the FBI director not having prosecutorial discretion in the matter and the facts (and law) most definitely being against him.

Subsequent release of the minutiae of the Clinton investigation revealed the depth of depravity in the Obama Justice Department and the so-called non-political branches of federal law enforcement. It’s obvious there are many, many good men and women serving under the flag and their oath to the Constitution, though Comey and Andy McCabe and company completely poisoned the well at FBI headquarters.

The house has partially been cleaned but there’s still a stench needing to be eradicated.

The multitude of revelations that verified Trump bashers were leading various investigations into the 2016 election only shored up the public’s impression that something was rotten in Obama’s inner circle. In his piece cited above Juan Williams argued Trump is making the swamp stink worse – but what is the liberals’ reaction to the goings-on in the Justice Department?

The air is thick with flies and buzzards are circling overhead as detail after detail emerges regarding Comey and crew’s putrid carcass of lies. Yet Comey’s still treated as a hero by people like Clinton-buddy-turned-TV-host George Stephanopoulos and other partisan media hacks who not only focus on the most prurient aspects of the events, they’re out to make a public case for obstruction and impeachment under a Democrat controlled House should it come to pass.

They’re just fueling Nancy Pelosi’s fire, but here’s guessing the majority of the public that’s still paying attention to Comey and the gang sees these hapless dolts for who they really are: a biased cluster of statist establishment ideologues on a mission. There are just too many coincidences not to conclude there was a hefty dose of anti-Trump cooperation among the perpetrators.

Victor Davis Hanson wrote at National Review the other day, “Some sort of collusion likely occurred when the Obama DOJ and FBI sought FISA-court requests to surveille Carter Page and, indirectly, possibly many other members of the Trump campaign. On repeated occasions, they all made sure the FISA-court judges were not apprised that the Steele dossier, the chief basis for these requests, was paid for by the Clinton campaign, that the dossier was not verified by the FBI, that the dossier was the source of media stories that in circular fashion were used to convince the FISA judges to grant the surveillance requests, and that the FBI had severed relations with Steele on the basis of his unreliability.

“Such a collusion of silence was similar to James Comey’s admission that he apprised President Trump of every iota of lurid sexual gossip about him — except that his source was a dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton and written by a campaign operative hired to find dirt on Trump and who had been working with Comey’s FBI to get FISA approval to spy on Trump’s own aides.

“Apparently, a number of government officials must have been in cahoots to get all their stories and agendas straight ahead of time. They certainly agreed on talking points to keep embarrassing facts from FISA judges, and they did so on a number of occasions. Does that behavior fall under the definition of some sort of colluding obstruction?”

As usual Hanson’s article is long and very thorough. If you need a full treatise on what happened and when in this FBI/DOJ/Mueller affair a perusal of this article is highly recommended.

It’s the height of hypocrisy for Democrats and their media pals to keep pounding the “collusion” narrative when the real collaboration was taking place in the highest reaches of the previous administration. All the anti-Trump forces managed to come up with is a single meeting at Trump Tower that took place before the candidate was even officially nominated at the GOP convention.

Indictments for process crimes of a few in Trump’s orbit isn’t much of a basis for claiming widespread wrongdoing.

Meanwhile Democrats are knee-deep in culpability – and just think, the full Investigator General’s report hasn’t even been released yet. Various congressional committees have completed their work but no “collusion” came of it, dueling memos notwithstanding.

The truth is the Mueller investigation is propelled by fantasies only Democrats dream up, a non-shooting rebellion intended to fulfill their sinister aims. They had friends in high places, too.

George Neumayr wrote at The American Spectator, “Even as Jim Comey and John Brennan lecture the American people on what is ‘normal,’ they adopt an astonishingly abnormal role for former heads of the CIA and FBI — the role of coup leaders whose partisanship grows more reckless by the day.

“’This is not a tin-pot dictatorship,’ says Comey. But aren’t Brennan and Comey acting like officials of a displaced one? They are trying to claw back to power by spreading unverified charges against a duly elected president. Brennan says without evidence that the Russians have ‘something’ on Trump. Comey says without evidence that it is ‘possible’ Trump paid prostitutes in Moscow to urinate on each other. Here we have the two former guardians of the nation’s secrets showing less restraint than gossip columnists at TMZ.

“Comey compares a president who gained power lawfully to a ‘mobster,’ while he casts his own illicit power grabs as ‘ethical.’ It is Comey and Brennan who are behaving like deep state thugs, staging a coup through cronies in the press to whom they had been criminally leaking before Trump’s victory. Thanks to that cozy relationship, Comey and Brennan can spread their smears far and wide.”

Democrats embrace swamp creatures like James Comey and John Brennan and Rod Rosenstein and Andy McCabe despite their lack of character and fortitude. Is this what American politics has become?

Donald Trump came to Washington in order to shake the system to its core and wrest power away from the swamp dwellers who’d polluted the water for decades. As the recent Comey episode proves, the work is just beginning – there’s an awful lot of slime to scrape off the sidewalks.

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