The Meaningless Firing of Andrew McCabe
'Another day, another drama.' President Trump laid down the order to fire acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe just before he was to receive his pension. McCabe is the second FBI Director fired by the president in a year's time. A lot of people who think very highly of themselves are very upset about this, and with good reason.
What have we learned from all this?
Have we learned that the president is a man-child who totally lacks respect for the people who work under him and the institutions he is tasked with protecting and elevating?
No, we already knew that.
Have we learned that he has little to no sense of how his actions are actually likely to be perceived by the broad majority of the people, rather than by his core of supporters?
No, we knew that, too.
Have we learned that the president cares more about petty personal drama than about policy -- or even politics?
Alas, that, too, is something we already knew.
The daily freakshow/circus-act was growing tired already during Trump's 2016 campaign, but at least then it contained a strong sense of humor. When Trump is happy, he is funny. He is not funny right now. Right now, Trump seems as though he is lashing out at anyone in close proximity to him, perhaps in an attempt to scapegoat his colleagues for the various failures of his administration's first year. The temptation to comment on a story like this is strong: to condemn the pettiness of firing McCabe right before he was to receive his pension, to remark on the ongoing Mueller investigation, to speak more broadly of what this says about our norms. But events like these are meaningless in themselves. They conform perfectly to what we already knew about Trump: that he is a petty, vindictive, childish person totally unfit for office. Whatever is destined to come to light about the president will still come to light. The republic will not be affected. Mr. McCabe will not have a problem securing enough money to live comfortably in retirement. What more is there to add? All we can do is sit back and watch as the grotesqueness unfolds in front of us.