The Price of Political Incompetency
Robert Sasso, Politics Contributor
Opinion - On May 9th, President Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey. In doing so, he ran into his number one enemy: his political incompetence.
President Trump is embroiled in another battle with the Democrats and the media, I repeat myself, in the aftermath of his firing. According to a New York Times report:
“Mr. Comey was addressing a group of F.B.I. employees in Los Angeles when a television in the background flashed the news that he had been fired. In response, Mr. Comey laughed, saying he thought it was a fairly funny prank.”
Regardless of your opinion on Trump or Comey. The optics of this firing looks really bad for President Trump. From the July 2016 exoneration of Hillary Clinton to the October 28th letter, both parties have flipped positions on the issue. Comey is a controversial figure that needed to be handled with care. In the most Trumpian way, he abruptly fired Comey. On both sides of the political aisle, talking heads came out to defend or attack this decision.
On the left, John Podesta tweeted "@realDonaldTrump Didn't you know you're supposed to wait til Saturday night to massacre people investigating you?" This was the popular sentiment amongst pundits on the left. On May 17th Rep. Al Green (D-TX) stepped on the house floor to call for the impeachment of President Trump on the ground of obstruction of justice. Democrats are banking this decision on the unsubstantiated theory Trump ousted Comey right before he found a major breakthrough on Trump/Russia collusion narrative.
Those of the right, including talking heads like Tucker Carlson, have shrugged off the scandal as merely unimportant for those in flyover country. He stated on his show "I am not saying the Russia question should be ignored... but is it more important than the stated goals of the administration, xor the opioid crisis in your state?"
Both sides have shown their vested interest in playing their hand. The Democrats are screaming bloody murder, and Republicans are calling the media out for their overblown stories and their continued exaggeration of the Comey firing. However, one simple question is being ignored: Is President Trump incompetent? This question is the most plausible and reasonable explanation of Comey's abrupt departure from the FBI.
Donald Trump has consistently demonstrated throughout his administration that he does not have a cohesive world view. Over the first few months of his administration, he has been known to make knee-jerk decisions. Trump has, from foreign policy to healthcare, moved drastically from his campaign statements and has sent the GOP scrambling to defend his statements. In the Comey firing, Trump has proven that knee-jerk reactions cannot translate into sound policy.
As seen in the 2016 election cycle, the main gripe against Hillary Clinton was her corruption. There were more scandals associated with her than any other politician in modern political history. The whole argument from the Trump campaign was that Hillary was not trustworthy of handling classified information. Everyone who supported Trump knew with him they were not going to get the corrupt and incompetent leadership of a Clinton Administration. When Trump reacts on his emotions and does something irrational, he hurts his own credibility.
Most ardent Trump supporters would be quick to say a comparison to Hillary is just hyperbole. Realistically, it is important to note that it is not. The defense from the Trump supporters would be that this issue does not matter to the average American. However, the 2018 generic Congressional ballot would say otherwise. A poll released by Public Policy Polling on May 14th had Congressional Democrats at a +11 advantage over their Republican counterparts. This is a much higher number than the GOP had in 2010 when they won 65 seats to take back the House. America is not pleased with the Trump Administration. They get the general perception from the media that the White House is in a state of chaos and panic. Most Americans do not read in heavily to these issues and see the headlines and they are not friendly to Trump.
Going forward Trump needs to stop being his own worst enemy. When his tweets contradict what his surrogates say, he loses credibility. When he dives head first into every issue and triples down on all his talking points he alienates more Americans. Trump needs to sit back, listen to his advisors and start governing. Americans want to see change, not Congress locked up in corruption investigations. Trump is better off laying off Twitter and letting policy speak for itself. Throughout the whole time of the Comey firing Democrats are gaining momentum and quotes for ad time in the next election cycle. In most cases, the Democrats get caught overplaying their hand. However, when the Trump White House continues to shoot themselves in the foot, more people are willing to listen. Trump is best off sticking to policy, not controversy for the rest of his time in office.
Follow this author on Twitter: @thereal2eight
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