Insult machines kick into high gear

I have been watching U.S. politics for a long time.

At no time have I heard the disgusting and disgraceful level of insults being hurled between two individuals and their allies at the highest levels of our federal government.

One of them is the former director of the FBI, James Comey. The other is the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

Holy cow, dudes! What has happened to civil discourse?

Comey has written a book in which he declares that the president — who fired him a year ago — is “untethered from the truth” and who runs the executive branch of government like a “mob boss.”

Then comes the response from Trump, who calls Comey an “untruthful slime ball.” The president’s allies refer to Comey as a “disgruntled former employee” and a “partisan hack.”

Are you proud of our government at this moment? Me, neither.

To be truthful, I expected a lot more from Comey than from Trump. I had hoped that the former FBI director could have refrained from some of the gratuitous personal criticism of Trump he has written in his book. He is a former federal prosecutor, a top-flight lawyer who then led the FBI — a once-universally highly regarded law enforcement agency.

I didn’t expect Comey to sink to Trump’s level of juvenile petulance.

But he did.

He has opened the door for Trump and his allies to respond as they have done. Slime ball? Partisan hack? Disgruntled employee? And who knows what the president and his pals are saying to each other in private, out of public earshot?

This is not a good era in the annals of American political history.

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