The former FBI director tapped his fingers against the podium, his nerves wracked, his body tense.
“You’re big, you’re strong,” one of the Republican Senators asked, a woman, no less. “Why didn’t you say something?”
“If I could do it again, maybe … maybe I would have done things differently,” the ex-director answered. She didn’t understand. She refused to. The fear that comes from being in that situation. The heart-pumping anxiety of being alone, in a dark room. with someone who has more power than you do, more strength … the ability to fire you at any time if he has reason to dislike what you’ve said, or what you wore. The grooming, the expectation of loyalty because you’ll supposedly get something of it … and the inevitable punishment and rejection if you came out against him, as happened to that news reporter from the conservation. Kelly, the director thinks her name was. As happened to numerous other women before him. As was happening to him now.
So the director played his cards carefully. He paused. He thought about what to say. He answered the President’s questions as best as he could, always keeping in mind the power imbalance. Trying to do his job to the best of his ability without commenting on anything he couldn’t say for sure. Trying to hold onto his position and perform his duty.
Yet, he was still fired. Not only fired, but had his name dragged through the muck, and raked before an investigative committee that was more interested in shaming him or talking about the loser of the last election than anything to do with the actual subject matter, not to mention one of the older Senators had gone completely off his loopy meds and wasn’t making sense, even by the low standards most of his party had set for themselves.
All because of a power imbalance that they would never understand.
Comey’s experience isn’t equal to a rape victim’s. But they’re not dissimilar either.