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The Banality of Comey—A Sensitive Guilt-Ridden Middle-Aged Liberal Was RUNNING the FBI
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Despite a high signal-to-noise ratio in MSM coverage, there actually is information to be extracted from the FBI scandal. It just takes someone with a sharper eye than mine, and a way better acquaintance with the machinery of federal government than I have, to pick out these traces of signal—signal about our society, our culture, and our direction.

Someone like Tucker Carlson, for example. Here was Carlson on his show this Monday, passing comment on Jim Comey’s just-published memoir.

What have we learned about Jim Comey from his book and the interviews he’s done about the book?

Well, maybe the most shocking fact of all is how banal he is.

Comey ran the most powerful law-enforcement agency in America. He was a central player in the last presidential election and in its aftermath ever since. You’d think you’d be impressed when he speaks, even if you don’t agree with him.

But no. Jim Comey is as conventional as they come—we know that now. His interviews sound like Chelsea Clinton doing a Q&A with Us Weekly.

Comey says his literary hero is—brace yourself—Atticus Finch, because apparently he couldn’t think of anything more clichéd than that, and you couldn’t either.

He says he wishes Trump would read the New York Times op-ed page. He recommended Sheryl Sandberg‘s Lean In to his staff at the FBI—seriously—and he says he’d like to have Sandberg to a dinner party … and so on … and on.

This is America’s top G-man, or was? He sounds like every other sensitive guilt-ridden middle-aged suburban liberal … [Audio here, 15m16s]

That’s really penetrating. What should we make of the fact that our nation’s top cop is a mediocrity, with only the shallowest grasp of what’s going on in our society and culture?

You can make a case that it doesn’t matter. We don’t hire cops for their breadth of literary interest. It might be fun to have Dr. Johnson or Oscar Wilde in the FBI Director’s chair, but from the point of view of efficient law enforcement it would likely be sub-optimal. In Oscar Wilde‘s case, definitely sub-optimal …

Still I’d expect better than a gentry liberal from Central Casting, whose awareness of cultural and social matters ceased developing when he left his last high school English class.

To put it in the ever-useful language of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, gentry liberalism is an Outer Party thing. What Tucker Carlson called “sensitive guilt-ridden middle-aged suburban liberal” types are quintessentially Outer Party. They are the obedient, unquestioning enforcers of ideological orthodoxy: schoolteachers, college lecturers, local TV newsreaders, the Human Resources staff at big corporations, and so on.


Director of the FBI is Inner Party, though. For Inner Party I want people super-smart and canny—clued in and up-to-date with social and cultural issues. In Nineteen Eighty-Four terms, I want O’Brien s, not Ampleforth s. Even when the bastards aren’t on my side, I’d like to think they have more on the ball than my kids’ Social Studies teacher.

I don’t mean to sound snobbish, and I’m sure Tucker Carlson didn’t either. Teaching Social Studies is honest and useful work. Some of my friends and neighbors—lots of my neighbors—are gentry liberals; I wish long life and happiness to all of them.

For Inner Party jobs, though—senior unelected positions in the federal apparatus—I want the very best. Without trying hard I can think of half a dozen people smarter and more capable than Comey. Nationwide, there must be thousands.

Isn’t there some better way we could make these appointments? Or are we stuck for ever with the rule so pithily expressed by the late Nikita Khrushchev: “Gold sinks but crap floats”?

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: James Comey, Political Correctness 
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  1. Although he was no hagiographer,
    John Wain, who was Johnson’s biographer,
    Thought, despite our late date,
    People still underrate
    This witty and great lexicographer.

  2. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    Don’t you mean low signal-to-noise ratio?

  3. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    And the linked YouTube video doesn’t include what you quote in the subsequent gray box.

  4. mikew says:

    I think you meant “Despite a LOW signal-to-noise ratio …”

  5. Tiny Duck says:

    Or Mr. Comey is a decent human being who recognizes the challenges facing a modern open society and wants to deal with his unearned white privilege in a constructive and positive way.

    No wonder you guys are so unhappy. You cannot even recognize a good man when you see one. What other unrealities do you live in?

  6. A fine article, except for this bit:

    Teaching Social Studies is honest and useful work.

    Teachers are parasites and failed losers by definition who picked child abuse for a career.

    They deserve no praise of any kind.

    • Replies: @Jeff77450
  7. Yes, but if Comey were an Inner Party type he would have had Trump sink without a trace.

  8. Stick says:

    Maybe we should be thankful that Comey and McCab are mediocrities? Given their amorality imagine where we would be if they were competent?

  9. anonymous[334] • Disclaimer says:

    He’s not law enforcement but a political parasite careerist. He seems to have gotten in over his head with all this, though. He tried to be clever in his initial handling of the supposed “dossier” by subtly implying he had the goods on Trump without ever so stating but letting this unspoken message come across. It was an attempt at blackmail and intimidation but done in a genteel manner to allow for him playing both sides of the fence. He’s no J Edgar Hoover, that’s for sure. Of course he along with everyone else with two cents of brain cells could tell that it was an absurd concoction but he pretended that it might have some validity just to keep the game going. Now he’s going around pretending that he answers to a “higher calling” rather than the sleazy careerism he’s actually followed. He’s making the circuit getting applause from all the pussyhat marchers with his book that’s been ghost-written by someone else but with his name stamped on it. He and Clinton apparently have violated various laws and it’ll be interesting to see if they’re held to account or if we have two sets of justice, one for them and another for the small fry.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  10. @Tiny Duck

    As Truth said to Tiny Duck on the set of Black Panther 2: African Dawn (based on characters created by Stanley Lieber and Jacob Kurtzberg): ” Hey white boy, let me know when your girlfriend git here.”

  11. I was under the mistaken impression that Mr Comey was head of the Federal Bureau of Impedance (FBI). Federal Bureau of Impedance is the government agency whose primary task was to “impede” information.

    Now I find out that he is (was) actually head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    So many agencies so little time.

    • Replies: @Patricus
  12. The mediocrity of Comey was a plus in the Obama administration; it gave assurance that he would never stand on a matter of principle should it conflict with political expediency.

    • Replies: @Forbes
  13. Forbes says:

    Comey is The Peter Principal personified. A guy who shouldn’t have even occupied his previous post, which was over his head, and then keeps getting promoted again and again.

    • Replies: @Johann
  14. Forbes says:

    Which goes a long way to explain how he got an Obama appointment–they took the measure of him, and found him wanting…

  15. Anon[248] • Disclaimer says:

    Is it just me or has Tucker C emerged as one of, if not the, greatest actors of the dissident right in this country? He somehow manages to be absolutely on point but yet never lets the (((Cathedral))) “get” him on anything by always using careful language. I used to think his bowtie was annoying, now I think he’s an emerging hero.

    • Replies: @Lagertha
  16. That’s really penetrating. What should we make of the fact that our nation’s top cop is a mediocrity, with only the shallowest grasp of what’s going on in our society and culture?

    Look at any top political office in US today and the only people you will see, primarily, will be mediocrities (at best) with NO grasp of reality. If you want to see a complete utter disaster where even mediocrities are hard to come by–look at US foreign policy establishment which is, for the lack of better word, a joke, albeit a grim one.

  17. Lagertha says:

    Comey, Mueller…I’d throw in Schiff, Rosenstein, Schumer, McCain, Corker, Graham (of course, some of them are “retiring,”)…others, are all coming off as pompous, sanctimonious, completely phony, untrustworthy, creepy, whiny men whose obvious hatred of Trump is more and more maudlin every day. They are picking through garbage dumps, or dressing rooms of porn stars, just looking for something to “kill off” Trump.

    The public is turning on them. And, when they mention their pathetic families/descendants, they better realize that if they don’t stop the obvious lies, the bs, the stasi raids, the vengeance (’cause that’s all it is)…they will ruin their legacies. Their children will be embarrassed by them years from now, since their daddies can’t seem to quit Trump.The public already thinks the FBI is the Gestapo! haha! The public already sees that the American legal system has 2 levels: protected and disparaged. And, the media babbles on like a Greek Chorus. Russia, Stormy, Russia, Hookers.

    I predict that many voters in autumn, will be “spite” voters, voters who are so annoyed, so condescended to, that anybody running for Congress who agrees with the deceptive, maniacal behavior of these guys, will be avoided. In fact, I don’t see a blue wave at all…I see a spite wave. The amount of taxpayer money spent on this phony Russia collusion will be remembered in the voting booth. People are so angry; they wanted the Wall, and they got corrupt FBI obsessing over hookers… and now trying to find anything to trap & destroy Trump. And, the downside of this witch hunt/persecution: very apocalyptic. Either way, these hateful 8 will be remembered for their hatred and deception, and pettiness. Pettiness is just the worst!

  18. Lagertha says:

    I’ve always loved Tucker. He got sort of “red pilled”…and, yes, he is extremely careful. You have to remember, he has several children (like I do), so he is fighting for their future – fighting against the nefarious people in the USA who want to usher in socialism/cultural Marxism. I never thought I would say that there are vast numbers of Americans who do truly hate the USA (I am an immigrant/the good kind), but these last 8 years have been an eye-opener. The push for censorship & safe spaces/cult of victimhood and identitarian politics on campus, was a bridge too far for we, parents, who value the Constitution, freedom and the rights of the individual. All that socialist indoctrination in primary and secondary school, has contributed to many young adults walking in lock-step toward communism.

    Tucker is not caustic, and, he appeals to young adults. Bad people have tried to take him down with false accusations. But, since he and at least, 3 others on FOX get the highest ratings of all networks, he is now firmly, established…and, he is always pleasant and laughs a lot.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
  19. Tiny Duck says:

    White misogynist kills 10, injures 15. Gets arrested without violence. Great, I’m not seeing any global pattern here.

    Yesterday you guys were screaming about Islam. Where are you now?

    Just another white loser who couldn’t get a girlfriend.

    The solution is, at least partly, in just you identifying the problem. US & canada focus on small % of Islamist threats only when both counties are drowning in white supremacists who permeate regular sad angry guys indoctrinating them in violent hatred. White male anger shouldn’t=death

  20. Jeff77450 says:

    I’m not a teacher but frankly that’s unfair. There are some good teachers out there. No doubt there’s a lot wrong with public education but we need teachers. What’s the alternative? *Everyone* home schools? This isn’t profound but every industry has some high-achievers who do more than their fair-share, a big group of average employees who do what is required of them and no more, and the problematic under-achievers.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
  21. @Jeff77450


    I just like attacking teachers and schools because it’s a novel position. E.g. my stock reaction to school shootings is to suggest that all schools be closed down.

    To be serious for a moment, the alternative is for most children to enter the workforce once they are literate and numerate.

    Forcing double-digit children to stay in school until the age of 16 (let alone 18 or even 22) is not only unproductive but child abuse. Likewise many if not most white collar workers don’t need to be further educated past 18 or even 16.

    Naturally education requires many other reforms as well such as:

    • Segregation by sex, race, and ability
    • Discipline
    • More physical exercise, especially for young boys
    • More rote learning (phonics, multiplication tables, memorization of facts, etc.)
    • Greater instruction in manners, hygiene, and other bourgeois virtues
    • More male teachers, especially in boys’ schools
    • Correct political and religious education instead of communist brainwashing

    Women also should not be educated as men to say the least.

    Of course as long as our education policy is set by incompetent morons who worship at the altar of equality the cause is lost.

  22. @Tiny Duck

    Unearned white privilege?
    Poppycock. Whites do not have privilege and only fools or cads believe we do. If whites had privilege like we should it would be because it was earned . Earned by my forefathers who built this nation. Unearned? You are a fool of the highest order. Whites deserve privilege in the USA because it is our country that we built.

    Non whites in the USA should revere whites for allowing them to live in our magic lands. Non white immigrants all seem to be the most ungrateful people this nation has ever seen. The rest of us came here and left our old cultures behind and became Americans as we should have.

    Its long past time for non whites to shape up or ship out. Trump is the first shot across the non whites bow to let non white people know that white Americans are fed up. The next shot will make Trump look like the tame man he is. Count on it.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  23. so tiny, how much do they pay you to offer up your predictably trite negative left wing commentary?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  24. My one disagreement with Mr. Carlson is that I seriously doubt Comey is “guilt-ridden” – don’t give him that much credit. Comey may simply be spouting conventional liberal bromides or virtue-signaling, or both. “Liberal guilt” doesn’t exist, except perhaps in some geriatrics rapidly dying off. Plenty of liberal virtue-signaling, though.

  25. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:

    He’s not very good at it, but everything Tiny Duck submits is tongue-in-bill. If you want to see more, keep tossing him bread.

  26. Johann says:

    I like Anne Coulter’s description of Comey, she called him a “gigantic fruitcake”. It is interesting that he announced to the world that his wife, a fanatical feminist, cried when Hilary lost and that his wife and daughters took part in the freakish feminist anti Trump riot in DC where Madonna called for burning down the White House.

  27. @anonymous

    Fault of the editors. I send a transcript of my Radio Derb podcast to ’em and they “distill” it for an on-site article. Original podcast & transcript archived here

  28. John, it’s pretty common among writers to refer to FBI agents (all of them “special”, BTW) as cops, but cops don’t see them as fellow cops, mainly because they aren’t cops at all. The FBI is a domestic intelligence agency, they are spies with the authority to arrest people who catch their attention.

    Cops call FBI agents “feds” when they aren’t calling them by other, more scatological or profane epithets. Comey wasn’t “top cop” he was top spymaster, because the FBI is America’s Gestapo, or Stasi. Since its inception, the FBI has consisted of spies and assassins who rely on informants to advance their cases.

    Good job on pointing out just what an unimpressive, typical liberal jerk Comey is, though.

    • Replies: @Svigor
  29. Svigor says:

    One part candy-assed leftist, one part cunning calculating swamp rat. Comey strikes me as one of those guys with zero real capacity for introspection – perfect for high-level gov’t work.

  30. Svigor says:
    @Twodees Partain

    Perhaps more to the point, they aren’t cops because they aren’t cops – at least at the top, they’re all lawyers.

  31. Svigor says:

    In the Tucker clip, Tucker quotes Comey to the effect that Petraeus should’ve gone to jail for lying to the FBI.

    This is why I keep it strictly honest with feds:

    “I hate your guts.”
    “You’re feces.”
    “I want my lawyer.”
    “Am I free to leave?”
    “I have to defecate.”
    “I have to urinate.”
    “You’re feces.”
    “I want my lawyer.”
    “Am I free to leave?”
    “I’m hungry.”


    And nothing else.

  32. Svigor says:

    White Armenian misogynist kills 10, injures 15. Gets arrested without violence. Great, I’m not seeing any global pattern here.

    FIFY, tiny-dick.

  33. Svigor says:

    My one disagreement with Mr. Carlson is that I seriously doubt Comey is “guilt-ridden” – don’t give him that much credit. Comey may simply be spouting conventional liberal bromides or virtue-signaling, or both. “Liberal guilt” doesn’t exist, except perhaps in some geriatrics rapidly dying off. Plenty of liberal virtue-signaling, though.

    “Guilt-ridden” is probably as close as Carlson can get to “cucked” in normie-speak for Fox.

    “Mope” is the word that always springs to my mind for Comey. His widdle tummy huwt when he tawked wiff Twump.

    Question for the gallery: what is the smallest man we could find who could consistently kick the shit out of Comey?

    5’1″, 120 lbs? Smaller? Probably smaller.

    • Replies: @Ris_Eruwaedhiel
  34. unit472 says:

    Wouldn’t a top law school graduate avoid ‘law enforcement’ like the plague? Your job is dangerous at the beginning and, after 20 years of investigating the dregs of society, you plateau at $200,000 per year as an apparatchik at the FBI or some state agency. Given that FBI directors serve 1o year terms if you are passed over once there is almost no chance you’ll get another shot at the top spot.

  35. @James Scott

    Tiny Dick exists to wind up the unwary, but good takes anyway.

    • Replies: @36 ulster
  36. Dissident says:

    He [Comey] and Clinton apparently have violated various laws and it’ll be interesting to see if they’re held to account or if we have two sets of justice, one for them and another for the small fry.

    Haven’t we already seen that it is the latter? Time and time again. Has it ever really been otherwise?

  37. Their Deep State: The Sublime Porte, Le Phalange, Hezbollah, The Black Hand

    Our Derp State: Congregation Beth Jacob, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

  38. The Z Blog says: • Website

    Deliberately placing a mediocrity into a sensitive position is a favorite ploy of the Left. The Clintons put Janet Reno in as AG, knowing she was easily manipulated by more cunning subordinates loyal to the machine. The same thing appears to have been going on with Comey.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  39. 36 ulster says:
    @Jim Christian

    Aw, don’t get upset, Jim. Tiny D*ck is just engaging in his usual chicanery. I, too, used to get annoyed by him(?), but after a while I got used to his meta-comments. Sometimes his antics make me smile–ironically, of course. But I admit I don’t eagerly anticipate them.

  40. unit472 says:

    The arrest of the ‘Golden State Killer’ highlighted a serious problem in American society. Did the FBI ‘crack’ this case. No! A little known Sacramento District Attorney named Ann Marie Schubert did. A low key lesbian ( she has two children from an earlier marriage) and defender of keeping the death penalty on the books, Ms. Schubert did not attend Yale or Harvard law school. She was a Catholic school girl who went to the University of San Francisco law school and worked as an assistant DA. She became a pioneer in DNA technology in the early 1990’s and, according to the NYT, used private DNA data bases ( they are denying they assisted) in developing a genetic profile of the killer/rapist.

    My point? Why shouldn’t Trump fire Christopher Wray and make this woman the head of the FBI? She may not have a toney law school degree or the sort of background that a James Comey or Robert Mueller has but she isn’t a political hack either. She is an intelligent law enforcement official who gets results.

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  41. Derb, despite his estimable intellect, clings to the notion that everyone who dislikes Mr. Trump is a Hillary-loving hippie. Don’t forget that Mr. Comey’s ill-timed revelation about Hillary’s questionable email practices may have helped Trump into his office. But beyond that, isn’t it just possible that an actual conservative – you know, do your job, don’t cheat on your wife, tell the truth, don’t steal, don’t pay hush money to hookers, play by the rules – might have a problem with a degenerate narcissist like Trump in the White House?

    • Agree: Hibernian
    • Replies: @Svigor
  42. @unit472

    “Why shouldn’t Trump fire Christopher Wray and make this woman the head of the FBI?”

    Maybe it’s because the FBI isn’t a law enforcement agency, per se. They are a secret police bureau, used for political purposes. What law enforcement they undertake is pretty selective.

  43. @Svigor

    He he he!

    “Guilt-ridden” is an older, more established epithet than “cucked.” “Cucked,” the term I prefer, is more associated with the Dissendent Right or Altright. “Cucked” also rhymes with an obscenity, so Mr. Carlson may want to avoid using the term for that reason, as well.

    Aww, Comey’s feelings were hurt. So sensitive.

  44. But beyond that, isn’t it just possible that an actual conservative – you know, do your job, don’t cheat on your wife, tell the truth, don’t steal, don’t pay hush money to hookers, play by the rules …

    Mitt, you lost the election. Trump won.

    • Replies: @Svigor
  45. Patricus says:

    Why do we need an FBI, a national police force? Was that in the Constitution?

  46. Svigor says:
    @Sane Left Libertarian

    Sure, but that’s still far better than the alternative.

    And such a person should surely have a big problem with swamp rats like Comey.

  47. Svigor says:
    @David Davenport

    Beyond that, isn’t it just possible that an actual nationalist – you know, don’t be a cuck, don’t compromise with the left, don’t suck up to the Swamp, don’t throw your allies under the bus, don’t adopt leftist racial narrative/doctrine, and fight like you mean it – might have a problem with actual conservatives?

  48. He might be a pathetic mediocrity, but he’s no Gorelick.

  49. Derb, you might want O’Briens rather than Ampleforths at the highest levels of government, but you only get the latter.

    It seems that with few exceptions Khrushchev was right and time-serving mediocrities like Obama, Comey, Holder, Brennan, Clapper et al, are the only sort that rise to the top in government. These people, lacking the work ethic, imagination and self-respect, go into government because that is the only area of human endeavor where mediocrities like them can rise to the top.

    I remember a very wise man once said “get a government job!”

  50. Art Deco says:

    Just to point out, he’s not a police officer, he’s a lawyer. He’d never worked in law enforcement ‘ere 2013, when he was 53 years old. Since completing law school in 1985, about 60% of his working life has been spent as an employee of the Department of Justice. If you want to guess to what he’s loyal, it’s the career apparat there. (Since 1974, the FBI has been run by a lawyer about 70% of the time; both Christopher Wray and Andrew McCabe were hired off of law firms).

    What’s disconcerting is that he departed federal employment in 2005 and landed a series of financial sector positions which made him quite wealthy. He had absolutely no background in accounting, finance, economics, or business administration. You have to ask what securities firms are purchasing when they hire people like him (or think they’re purchasing with their stockholder’s money).

  51. Art Deco says:

    Beyond a certain point in an apparatus, office-political skills trump professional competence. Not sure where that is in the FBI, but, speaking impressionistically, I’d wager connections and office politics are far more consequential in law than in medicine or engineering.

    I think you’re underestimating how specialized the expertise of many highly educated people is and how weak was their liberal education. I can introduce you to a neuroscience maven properly addressed as “Dr.” He’s a contemporary of James Comey, every bit the gentry liberal that Comey is, but perhaps with more of a sense of irony (and less money). He’s also a federal employee who has spent decades irritated by the creatures to whom he reports (mostly physicians who knew someone).

  52. Art Deco says:
    @The Z Blog

    Janet Reno was a career prosecutor with degrees from Cornell and Harvard. Her deputy Jamie Gorelick may be more cunning, but I suspect you’re attributing 3-dimensional chess skills to White House personnel apparatchicks that they likely never had. Reno got the job after the first two choices the personnel apparatchicks came up with flamed out due to domestic embarrassments (hiring illegal aliens as nannies). The 1st choice was an insurance lawyer with about 500 people working under her at Aetna and the 2d was a shady character ensconced in a federal judgeship in Manhattan. Gorelick was transferred from a GC position in the Defense Department the following year. It all seems too seat-of-the-pants to have been some grand plan.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  53. @Art Deco

    the 2d was a shady character ensconced in a federal judgeship in Manhattan.

    It’s pretty amazing that Wood somehow got a say on some part of the Mueller investigation, and she was a Clinton nominee. You gotta think there’s a conflict of interest there. Not that she’s recused herself.

  54. @Tiny Duck

    Mr. Comey is a limp-dick dweeb of the highest degree. He’s the kind of guy who puts his foot in the toilet and pees down his leg because he’s afraid to hear the splash. The big dork is 6-8, but he’s so timid, he tried to hide among the curtains to avoid The Don. He used to lie about having played college basketball, perhaps a little embarrassed that he was unable to cut the mustard, despite being bigger than Goliath of Gath.

    And please. let’s stop referring to Comey as a “cop” or the “top cop”. He never served as a policeman or an FBI Special Agent at any time in his life. He is a loiyah, pure and simple.

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