What’s really going to tangle up the opposition is that the stated reason for firing Comey is a perfectly good reason to fire Comey, except that it happens not to be why they’re firing Comey. He praised the damn letter to high heaven at the time, and now we’re supposed to believe that he has suddenly done a 180 and come round to the view that the violations of due process that contributed so much to his victory are in fact violations of due process. This is the platonic ideal of tail wags dog: he wanted to fire Comey, and so they found the only remotely plausible justification. As in the case of all of the intemperate CIA hyperventilation about Assange, however, many Democrats agree that Comey deserves the boot– it may not be not nearly so unpopular as it looks from here in the Tidal Marsh.
Do not delude yourself: there won’t be a special prosecutor. The commentariat has got to quit pretending that there might be. There won’t be a special prosecutor because the AG (or deputy AG) has to appoint one, and they’re the ones who recommended Comey’s dismissal in the first place. Failing the AG’s office, Congress could technically have one appointed by passing a law that moved the appointment process out of the AG’s office, but it would have to get past a veto. The story is not that Ben Sasse got out there like a real person and threw a fit. The story is that aside from those few people who have not had their spines surgically removed, Republicans are circling the wagons, no doubt a difficult feat for the boneless. Mitch McConnell is already whoring himself out to the White House. That 2/3rds vote doesn’t exist.
The firing of Comey is a political crisis, not a constitutional one, but it’s still an existential threat to the separation of powers and the rule of law. The regime will survive it. Jack Shafer is funny and also right: Trump is the Teflon Man, and this can get off the front pages fast if he does something sufficiently spectacular elsewhere as a chaser. I dare not speculate what that might be. In Congress, this is going to degenerate into partisan warfare that will make the Benghazi hearings look like the Year of Jubilee. Elsewhere, the Beltway Buzz, or rather the Beltway My-Phone-Is-On-Vibrate-Because-I’m-In-Class-Stop-Texting-Me-Oh-My-God, informs me that the rank-and-file FBI are not amused. There may be leaks on the scale of a major hull breach impending. Not that that helps: it’ll just degrade the rule of law faster.
And fuck you, Lavrov.