One of the most controversial figures in American politics over the last year didn’t run for President. Now former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey has repeatedly drawn the ire of either side of the political spectrum. Undoubtedly, given the stakes in a presidential election, his position was a no-win scenario. He was faced with allegations of mishandling classified information involving one candidate and improper foreign connections involving another candidate.
At what point does the F.B.I. intervene with its progress and when does it decide to stand back from potentially influencing the election?
For Comey, these questions likely weighed heavily. Yet, for many observers across America, it was more about Comey’s relationship to their respective candidate or political party. Over the course of several months, he went from being loved to hated and back again. One moment, Comey was a shill for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and another moment he was protecting President Donald Trump.
America was unable to assess the evolving controversies, let alone find a consistent narrative when it came to the man running the F.B.I.
For Democrats, Comey was a professional for not further pursuing the e-mail controversy last summer. Democrats, who have long held that mishandling classified information isn’t a big story, viewed this of validation of their position. That all changed when Comey dropped a bombshell just before the election about how the case was being re-opened in light of new evidence.
At that point, James Comey went from being hero to villain. Democrats grabbed their torches and pitchforks and began calling for his ouster. If Comey wouldn’t resign after allegedly interfering with the election, he should be fired.
Months later, President Donald Trump would do just that. But at this point when Comey was fired, Democrats have reacted with outrage. Calls for investigations over Comey’s firing erupted almost immediately. While some issues do arise in the timing, it’s interesting to see Democrats coming to the defense of the former F.B.I. director.
The narrative is flipped for Republicans. When Comey announced he initially wouldn’t press charges against Clinton, Republicans went after him for not doing his job. They had a change of heart when Comey dropped the pre-election bombshell. Furthermore, they believed Comey shouldn’t be fired and defended his integrity.
When the Republican President fired Comey, the move was defended and excuses were given as to why Comey had to go.
Circumstances change indeed, but the common underlying point is the damage that partisan politics is doing to America. Both sides of the political spectrum had an intense love-hate relationship with a man that is supposed to be an impartial investigator and nonpartisan figure. With the issue of Comey going forward, as well as all other issues, America should seek to embrace a more consistent line of thought and be less overtly partisan.
Former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey didn’t change over the last year. His style, whether right or wrong, remained consistent. The only thing that wasn’t consistent was America’s reaction to his actions.