Thursday, July 12, 2018


If you haven't seen this, from today's House hearing, just sit back and enjoy.

The embattled F.B.I. agent who oversaw the opening of the Russia investigation mounted an aggressive personal defense on Thursday, rejecting accusations that he let his private political views bias his official actions....

“Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took,” the agent, Peter Strzok, was to tell House lawmakers investigating what they say is evidence of rampant bias at the top levels of the F.B.I.

In his first public comments, he concluded his prepared remarks with a pointed broadside against his antagonizers.

“I understand we are living in a political era in which insults and insinuation often drown out honesty and integrity,” Mr. Strzok planned to say, continuing: “I have the utmost respect for Congress’s oversight role, but I truly believe that today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”
We've heard a lot in recent weeks about whether it's appropriate for opponents of President Trump (and the party that enables him) to maintain "civility." Should we refrain from confronting presidential aides in restaurants? Should we avoid saying "Fuck Trump"?

Also, a few months ago, longtime Hillary Clinton adviser Philippe Reines told us that candidates who want to beat Trump in 2020 should be prepared to go as low as he does. Some of Reines's advice:
● Go high when you can. But when he goes low, take advantage of the kneeling to knock his block off.

● Don’t apologize. Ever. Not over money you took from Harvey Weinstein. Not even for attacking the pope. In fact, proactively attack the pope. Your kid is a shoplifter? You’re proud of them for exposing inadequate security....

● Don’t hire anyone who says they’d rather lose than stoop to his level. If you say it, get out of the way for someone living in the real world.
That's the dichotomy in the minds of most liberals and leftists: politeness vs. insolence. Keep it civil or get down in the gutter. Whichever you think is the most appropriate course of action, you probably think those are the only two choices.

But sometimes there's a third choice: righteous indignation. That's what Strzok delivered today. When you respond to Republicans this way, you're in their faces, but you're not challenging order and propriety, you're making a serious claim to represent those things. You're saying that you stand for civility and your adversaries don't.

Not everyone has a status in life that allows for this option. Strzok is a career FBI agent. That gives him an opening. But the point is that he took it. He was unashamed and unbowed.

Opponents of Trump and the Republicans should keep this approach in mind. To be forceful, you don't always have to be uncivil. You can also, in civil but forceful language, accuse the other side of being a threat to civilization.

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