At this point, everyone is sick of hearing about James Comey. But when news of his firing came across the chyron last Tuesday, I had a flashback. My mind returned me to April 1982. I was walking down Fifth Avenue in New York and I saw the newspaper headline
ARGENTINA SEIZES FALKLAND ISLANDS; BRITISH SHIPS MOVE
Great Britain at war with Argentina. What????
It was a perfectly nice spring day, I was going to meet friends . . . and Britain was sending warships and planes to the South Atlantic? It didn’t make sense. This bizarre news stopped me in my tracks. However, it being New York, I had to get moving again quickly or I’d end up as a spot on the sidewalk.
Flash back to now. Unexpected, out-of-context, low probability events rock the world of normal politics several times a week. People’s world-views are challenged, government agencies are thrown into disarray, and cable TV talking heads spend hours ruminating on the latest outrage. And here comes John Dean again (bless his heart) to tell us how much the latest development is (or not) like Watergate.
I guess we’re lucky – when Americans elect an authoritarian, they pick a really incompetent one. If he was savvy about how the government actually worked, we could be in real trouble. We got an administration whose malevolence is exceeded by their incompetence. So there’s that.