Friday, May 31, 2013

Another Republican, Obama?

By Frank Moraes 

I have had major problems with the nomination of James Comey to head the FBI. But now I'm not sure. You see, today Glenn Greewald wrote, "James Comey is far from the worst choice to lead the FBI." That's probably about equivalent to most people saying, "James Comey is the best person we could realistically get."

Of course, Greenwald wrote that after an article blasting Comey for two very troubling actions while working for George W. Bush. The biggest one is that Comey was the guy who signed off on the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program. You probably remember that. It was big among liberals at the time. I was outraged. Of course, the Obama administration has been no better. In fact, the Obama administration followed the Bush lead by giving all of the phone companies immunity. Well, it was Comey who signed off on that, claiming that it was legal.

Also of concern: Comey signed off on the use of torture. Of course, he was against it and repeatedly said so. But in the end, he did it. That doesn't exactly speak to the mainstream narrative that he's a guy who stands up for principle. I'm sure you know the story of him fighting with Alberto Gonzales over something that was so illegal even Comey disagreed with it. If not, here is Rachel Maddow the other night gushing about it:

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But my problem with James Comey doesn't have to do with any of this. I figure Comey probably isn't a bad choice for the job. But just like with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, "Is no Democrat good enough?" I understand that as often as not these days, Republican bureaucrats are more liberal than Democrats. But I don't like the optics. And I especially don't like them with regards to security and military positions. It makes it look like Republicans really are better at these things than Democrats. In a fundamental sense, this means that Obama really doesn't care about his party. And that's a bad thing at a time when Republican politicians care only about theirs. 

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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