Beaufort Today -

Have you heard of priming the pump?

With White House statements misaligned with Trump statements, we’ve spent the last week trying to figure out exactly why James Comey was fired as FBI director. Although the underlying truth has become murky, one explanation cuts through all hype and speculation.

Forget charges of lost confidence, overstepping authority, incompetence, showboating and grandstanding. The real reason for Comey’s termination was because he is way too tall. Of course that’s high bigotry and politically incorrect to voice, but simply ask yourself: Is Trump the kind of guy who would appreciate reaching up to shake hands?

No. Bad optics for sure. Comey was a marked man from the moment he first offered his hand and a photographer snapped a shot of the president craning his neck skyward to say hello.

Democrats believe the director’s termination was instigated to circumvent the investigation of Russian interference with our national election. With Comey conveniently out of the picture, they reason, the investigation will falter and Trump will get away with stealing the presidency.

Which, of course, is ridiculous. In fact, Trump has just convened a special commission to prove that in addition to his Electoral College victory he also won the popular vote. The Commission on Election Integrity will ultimately demonstrate that the process was indeed hijacked, not by Russians but by illegal and fraudulent voters. Including the dead.

If the commission is successful, Hillary Clinton’s campaign will be deprived of claiming even a morsel of redeeming value. Meanwhile, the looming appointment of a new FBI director — one more apt to press for indictment over mishandling of classified information — sends shudders through the Clinton household. With ghosts vanquished, the president will then finally be able to relax and get down to governing.

Apparently that includes priming the pump, as the president put it. When told this sounded very Keynesian (meaning, briefly, the twisted doctrine of government stimulus spending to spur economic growth), Trump pivoted to claim he invented the age-old saying. Snickers were justified.

Ironically, the president wasn’t referring to priming as increased government spending, but rather as part of his plan to allow businesses and individuals to keep more of their own money. That’s pretty much the opposite of Keynesian theory and much more in line with Reaganomics. Which in turn, some howled, would increase the federal deficit and subsequently the national debt.

Well, the president explained, we might have to endure a little extra debt in the short term in order to reduce the biggest part of the debt in the long term. Not surprisingly, Speaker Paul Ryan and his affiliates have a different plan in mind that would eliminate some business write-offs and bring in more government revenue that could be used for personal tax reductions.

Sigh. As the back and forth between the House speaker and the president continues, Ryan would do well to keep focus on the most important question: How tall is he?

Columnist Michael Raymond can be reached at mikejraymond@yahoo.com.

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