by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
For those who have memories that last longer than nine minutes, you probably remember a time — let’s call it “last Tuesday” — when the battle lines were drawn, and they were very, very clear. Republicans knew that the FBI bureaucracy could not be trusted. It was out to get Trump. FISA-Gate proved the FBI’s corruption, and the inspector general was not to be trusted. The FBI cannot possibly police itself.
Balderdash, declared Democrats. How dare you question the patriotism and professionalism of federal agents. Don’t you Republicans profess to like law enforcement? The political components of the Justice Department are rotten to the core. The career civil servants, on the other hand, are the brave bulwark against Trump’s impulsive, lawless, amateurish authoritarianism.
Then, Wednesday, the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) recommended firing FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. …
… So Tuesday’s take was old and broken. Wednesday was a new day. The roles reversed. Republicans online were supporting the inspector general and the proud and nonpartisan civil servants in the OPR. Democrats online were decrying the allegedly obvious political corruption of the review process, a corruption that now had seeped into the permanent bureaucracy of the DOJ. And then, when the attorney general fired McCabe late Friday night, the Left truly erupted. …
… Oh, and keep in mind that all this sanctimony — all this fury — was unleashed online without the public, politicians, or pundits having seen the testimony that allegedly caused McCabe’s termination. No one knew the actual evidence, yet their rage and certainty were undiminished.