The New York Times op-ed page came up with a particularly inane concept: have readers try to identify nice things to say about the unfathomably corrupt man-child currently embarked on a crusade to strip insurance from 24 million people. Astonishingly, the execution is even worse than the very-definition-of-smarmy concept:
Then there is James Comey, the F.B.I. director whom Mr. Trump fired last week, ostensibly for bungling the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and any role Trump’s people may have had in it. For honest liberals, there is a hypocrisy trap here.
No there isn’t.
Mrs. Clinton believes that Mr. Comey cost her the election by revealing, shortly before Election Day, that her emails were still under investigation. It’s hard to imagine that Mrs. Clinton wouldn’t have fired Mr. Comey too if she’d gotten the chance, which makes the whole fuss a bit suspect. It seems that both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump had reservations about Mr. Comey. Mr. Trump is just the one who fired him. Does that qualify as saying something nice about the president?
Even as political analysis, this is bad — it is, in fact, very unlikely that Clinton would have fired Comey. But that aside, this argument hasn’t gotten any less transparently stupid than when every fourth-rate Republican hack trotted it out last week. Indeed, it’s exactly the kind of intelligence-insulting illogic that the 1986 version of Kinsley would have mercilessly decimated. “Comey’s election tampering was a firable offense but firing Comey to obstruct justice is extremely bad” is an entirely coherent position — there’s nothing contradictory or hypocritical about it, at all. As someone said in comments previously, this is like saying that if you think an employee is incompetent it would be hypocritical for you to go to HR because she was fired for refusing to give sexual favors to her boss. This argument is, like, Fox & Friends dumb. Everything about this should be profoundly embarrassing for James Bennet.