Comey: Trump ‘morally unfit to be president’

James Comey

Last night, on live TV, George Stephanopoulos interviewed former FBI Director James Comey. And despite my personal boycott of most political news, I watched. Although my opinion of Comey has shifted several times, I generally like and trust both men and thought the interview might be interesting. Nothing struck me as particularly noteworthy until Comey commented on Trump’s fitness for office:

I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president.

A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds. And that’s not a policy statement. Again, I don’t care what your views are on guns or immigration or taxes.

There’s something more important than that should unite all of us, and that is our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country. The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be president.

The distinction between Trump’s medical (physical? emotional? psychological?) fitness and moral fitness is one I’d not made. I’d thought of it as a whole — a man psychologically unfit for his job, a malignant narcissist/sociopath, exhibiting all the undesirable behaviors that entails.

Comey put a finer point on it. No physical or medical excuses for Trump. Just the moral high ground. Truth above all. I was reminded of Michelle Obama’s assertion: “When they go low, we go high.” Trump always goes low.

If he’s morally unfit, Stephanopoulos continued, do you think Trump should be impeached?

As before, Comey’s answer was carefully considered:

I hope not.

Because I think impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they’re duty bound to do directly.

People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values. And so impeachment, in a way, would short circuit that.

Well, okay, I’d not thought of that way before. Not sure how I feel about it. Is he assuming that lots of people, having seen Pres. Trump in action, will regret having voted for him and will vote him out in 2020? I hope that’s the case, but what if it isn’t? What if we’ve gotten exactly what those voters wanted? What if a screwed up, grid-locked, extremely divided country is exactly what they wanted? I don’t particularly share Comey’s confidence that the voters will make things right.

~~~~~~
And believe it or not, the whole Comey interview story has already been blown out of the headlines by Stormy Daniels, Michael Cohen, and Sean Hannity.
That’s what I get for watching politics last night.

 



Categories: Politics

11 replies

  1. Although this guy isn’t exactly trustworthy himself (and he has a new book out…), I do believe in the last two sentences of his that you quoted.
    The country has had wacky leaders (both executive and legislative branches) before. “Morally unfit?” Well, we survived Clinton, LBJ, JFK, Eisenhower…and probably a multitude of others who were not impeached.
    It’s like having a bad teacher one year in school – “gut it up and learn to work with them the best you can” said parents. I know this is not the same, but read those last 2 lines again – People must pay attention this time – AND people must be offered good solid candidates to choose from. That last part is the difficult part: the country is so divided, people don’t want to compromise and work together – it has to be all “this way or the highway” so many candidate mouth whatever they think will get votes so we can’t trust them. And worse, it seems the main trend with campaigns is to be as dirty, trashy, gossipy, salacious, scandal-driven punches and counter punches not to mention the childish name calling – what decent person will want to run?
    So not looking forward to next elections

    • I’ve thought for years that no decent person would want to get into politics. It’s a dirty business. And even the most well-intended end up compromising themselves in order to get something done.

      I agree with everything you said. The 2016 campaign season was the ugliest, dirtiest I’ve ever seen. And in the end many voters were voting for the lesser of two evils. It shouldn’t be that way. But like you, I wonder if we’ll ever see decent, qualified people running again. Maybe when the Parkland generation gets old enough to run …

      • Every generation says thing have gone down the drain – we can only hope
        A concern is that with the poor education system/ lack of teaching all the positive and negative methods of persuasion used in marketing ideas, some individuals – even the teachers and young voting adults – have never experience civil debate, negotiation (which actually means everyone gives up a bit and no one gets what they want, but they cooperate and compromise for the larger good), and Agree to disagree and still be friends…along with keep your nose out of other people’s business when it doesn’t involve you directly.
        Somehow life goes on – different, but moving on anyway

  2. From an outside, a way outside point of view. Mr Comey appears to be an honest man of integrity. A man who did what he believed was the right thing by the people he served. Not the government, they paid his wages, but the people of America.
    He did, it appears from way over here, that what he believed had to be done when he did it,. Hillary Clinton may well hold him responsible for losing the election, but was he? No I don’t think so, it was by then too late for her, when Mr Comey reopened the file, those that voted potus in had already made up their minds

    • I tend to agree with you. In fact, his downfall may have been holding himself to too high a standard, one which those around him did not appreciate. I think he should not have announced the reopening of the Clinton investigation unless and until there was something substantial to report, and I think it probably cost her the election. But we — and Comey — will never know for sure.

  3. Comey made two excellent points, and they reveal what I really like about the man. He has an incisive intellect, and can see right to the critical center of things.I agree with the way he analyzed Trumps lack of fitness, and the point that the American people need to take responsibility for the outcome of their vote. And yes, I worry that another vote may produce the very same divided result.

    • I looked forward to the opportunity to hear him speak at length without a specific agenda, and I was not disappointed. “Incisive intellect” is a good description of the man I saw. We need more men like him in high office, and his firing was the nation’s loss. A man that smart and honorable was (and still is) a definite threat to Trump.

  4. I detest Trump, but I only dislike Comey. Comey is right though about making the voting public take responsibility for their ignorance. I also agree with you in doubting their ability to do so. As long as the two major parties concentrate on nothing except one-upping the other and appealing to the lowest common voting denominator I’m afraid we may be in for excessive liberal (socialistic) and conservative (religious fanatic-fascist) swings.

“I cannot be an optimist but I am a prisoner of hope.” ~ Cornel West

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