21 Apr 2017
There was a little noticed Washington Post article this week that was not widely discussed. Before we get to what Comstock said, let’s just point out how unusual it is for Comstock to give a direct quote to the Washington Post in the first place. She usually lets her spokespeople do the talking for her.
So why is Comstock talking to the Post all of a sudden? Two reasons. The first explanation is she is feeling the pressure. The combined effect of grassroots protests, the billboard, etc. have generated a wave of negative press coverage for her. There are also now several strong candidates opposing her in this race which has led the Cook Political report to change their rating from “Lean Republican” to “Toss Up”. The second explanation is a more familiar Comstock one. She’s trying to have it both ways.
During last year’s presidential campaign, Comstock never once called on Trump to release his tax returns even though this has been traditionally done by presidential candidates since the early 1970’s. She did, however, make a bizarre request to see his college transcripts - something that Trump has also failed to produce. This week, Comstock reversed herself (sort of) in her statement to the Washington Post:
Trump “should release his taxes voluntarily like his predecessors did before him.” She went on to say, “If the investigative committees believe that they need the president’s taxes during the course of their investigations [into Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign] then it is in their right to subpoena them.”
Comstock’s new position can be summarized as follows:
- She agrees we need to see Trump’s tax returns
- He should show them to us voluntarily
- Congress can demand them if they want to
- But they don’t want to (she already voted against doing so)
Here’s why Comstock is making this insane argument. She’s hedging her bets. We’re eventually going to see those tax returns and if they turn out to be damning she will try to say that she called on him to release them. This statement to the Washington Post also emphasizes another quality of Comstock. She is a coward.
This is a quiet statement to the Washington Post in an attempt to trick moderate voters. Notice how she did not issue a press statement or even a tweet. That’s because she only wants certain voters to think that she is standing up to Trump. As usual Comstock is trying to have it both ways.