Toxic Waste on the Potomac

Posted on May 10, 2017 in Justice, Politics

 

When I heard the news yesterday that President Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey, my first thought was that the testimony he’d given to Congress last week, which the FBI had to walk back yesterday, was a last-straw event for a man who had crossed the line from investigator to prosecutor too many times.

It was huge news, so I spent several hours absorbing reports from television and the internet. As details unfolded—in particular the termination letter and the fact that Mr. Comey had not been contacted about his dismissal—my blood started to boil.

Not because I thought Comey shouldn’t have been fired. Not because Comey hadn’t been notified before his firing was made public (though that was very bad form). Not even because the president, in his habitual style, had injected a personal element into the termination letter (“I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation”).

What upset me most was that the White House wasted an opportunity to use the report of the newly-confirmed deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein (94-6 vote in the Senate) as a catalyst to bring the warring factions of our government together on an issue of grave importance.

The subtext of yesterday’s events screamed—partisanship in Washington has become so toxic that the people we sent there to represent us have become blind to their responsibility.

If, as the White House insists, “there’s no there, there” on Trump campaign collusion with Russian intelligence, then why not read-in Congressional leaders from both sides on the DoJ recommendation to fire the FBI director? Isn’t doing everything possible to ensure, within the limits of human fallibility, that our country’s top law enforcement agency is kept out of the political fray in everyone’s interest?


The subtext of yesterday’s events screamed—partisanship in Washington has become so toxic that the people we sent there to represent us have become blind to their responsibility.


Attention to process and transparency would have gone a long way to calm the waters. Instead, the suddenness of action and lack of disclosure feed the beast.

If you’re a praying person, pray for a deluge of wisdom from above to fall on our nation’s capital and wash away the toxic waste.

The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.

John F. Kennedy said that “civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof.” How about it, White House and Congress?


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