A Day That Saw The Best and Worst of Our Politics

After the day of testimony and cross examination of FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers, I think I’ve figured it out:

The Russians wanted New England to win that Super Bowl so they could steal Tom Brady’s jersey.

At the end of a long hearing, both sides got something out of it. Democrats, led by the crisp and able Adam Schiff, took the two witnesses through a well-laid path that culminated in Russia getting what it wanted from the election. Republicans got the two to all-but-admit that the leaks of classified intel and “unmasking of US persons” were the crimes we know were committed.

The committee members were highly-prepared, spoke precisely, and were playing for keeps.

Comey and Rogers sat there with the facial expressions you used to see on those old Southwest Airlines ads with the theme “Wanna get away?”

By the way, I would hate to have Trey Gowdy mad at me.

The day provided an interesting juxtaposition, in that the House Select Committee on Intelligence was holding its Russia hearing at the same time the Senate Judiciary Committee began considering Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.

If the House was mucking around in the darkest corners of American politics and paranoia, the Senate was listening to a man being praised by both the Republican and Democratic U.S. senators from his home state of Colorado, as well as being enthusiastically endorsed by President Obama’s Solicitor General.

Renowned for writing judicial opinions with clarity and strength, his statement more than lived up to expectations. He cited great justices like Antonin Scalia and Robert Jackson, and spoke of “the modest station we judges are meant to occupy in a democracy. In other countries, judges wear silk, scarlet and ermine. Here we judges buy our own plain black robes…

“Ours is a judiciary of honest black polyester.”

As foreboding as the Russia narrative might be, it’s clear that Judge Gorsuch is a remarkable pick by President Trump. Even people whose instinct is to oppose him because he’s a Republican president’s nominee…just can’t.

Those not disarmed by his body of work seem helpless in the face of his personal charm.

For all we know, Trump may be president today for the simple reason that hesitant voters guessed that at least his Supreme Court choices would be preferable to Clinton’s.

It’s looking like the new President rewarded that hunch.

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