Politics

Trey Gowdy: ‘I’ve Been a Pretty Lousy Politician’

“I have a tremendous respect for the bureau. There are 30,000 employees. Let’s assume that there are five that engaged in conduct that we have questions about…that leaves a lot. That leaves a lot that are doing exactly what we want them to do.”

I presume it’s the modesty of man which compels such self-effacing statements. I’d like to think he meant “lonely” over “lousy.” Lord knows…he often beat the drum singlehandedly.

Truly, our species often conjures a self-opinion which differs significantly with the perspectives of those with whom we are surrounded. The recent announcement that South Carolina Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy will not seek re-election made me lower my head in abject disappointment on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Yet my respect for the justice-driven man maintains. After all, can you imagine a man of unrelenting justice working among the hallway lemmings whose salaciousness and secrecy embolden impropriety and impunity?

“Time heals all wounds” they say. In time, we forget what gave us grief. With life’s activities, we succeed in supplanting yesterday’s woes with today’s dilemmas. We move on. But moving on with a modest opinion of our professional performance otherwise reflecting a stellar stature just does not jibe.

Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy interviewed by Margaret Brennan during a February 4, 2018 episode of “Face the Nation.” (Credit: Face the Nation)

During a Face the Nation interview with CBS News‘ Margaret Brennan on Sunday, February 4, 2018…ultra-competent and super-intelligent Congressman Trey Gowdy said some dubious words which I find vexing: “I’ve been a pretty lousy politician.” That statement was preceded by “I was a pretty good prosecutor, I think.” Telegraphing where we are and where we are going? Indeed so.

“There is a time to come and a time to go. This is the right time, for me, to leave politics and return to the justice system,” Rep. Gowdy declared in a written statement. 

“I have differences with the way they discharge their responsibilities but there’s a wide gulf between me having differences with somebody and think they should lose their job” – Congressman Trey Gowdy

How is it that a multi-term Congressman who was ritually supported for Speaker of the House and US Attorney General and FBI director and even the US presidency somehow feels he failed us?

Despite the seeming let-down and eel-like tendency of Hillary Clinton slithering through his and others’ capable hands, it is the courage and nobility which reinforces Rep. Gowdy’s integrity and honorable service. So he didn’t get the big fish to bite the hook, but he did navigate the treacherous and treasonous waters…the tides of which persistently clashed against Mr. Gowdy’s valiant justice stance. He played by the book! No one can fault anyone for unshakable integrity.

(Credit: Facebook/Trey Gowdy Now)

And justice never dissolved from his taste-buds.

“To the law enforcement officers and victims of crime: thank you for personifying courage,” said Congressman Gowdy in his press release signaling his change in direction. Actually, he is ear-marking his homecoming.

And justice is pretty much everything this guy breathes. Throughout the Face the Nation segment which lasted approximately 20 minutes, Rep. Gowdy epitomized the virtues of fairness and frankness when he elucidated his feelings pertaining to large figures in the national scheme of justice practitioners.

“I don’t think there is a bigger supporter of the FBI in Congress than me and those of us who worked with them in a previous life.” –Rep. Trey Gowdy

About recently-severed FBI figurehead Andrew McCabe, Mr. Gowdy said, “I don’t think there is a bigger supporter of the FBI in Congress than me and those of us who worked with them in a previous life.” He is referring to his years as a prosecutor as well as other law enforcement officials who conjoined to get cases solidified and culprits imprisoned.

Mr. Gowdy continued, “I have a tremendous respect for the bureau. There are 30,000 employees. Let’s assume that there are five that engaged in conduct that we have questions about…that leaves a lot. That leaves a lot that are doing exactly what we want them to do.” He went on to explain his feelings about Mr. McCabe, saying he is a credible witness with whom he happened to disagree on a few points throughout testimony.

Referring to the FBI’s Rod Rosenstein and newly-minted FBI Director Christopher Wray, Rep. Gowdy framed it whereby fairness rings through: “I have differences with the way they discharge their responsibilities but there’s a wide gulf between me having differences with somebody and think they should lose their job. I’m really impressed with Chris Wray.”

Speaking of the commander-in-chief choosing Mr. Wray to succeed former FBI director James Comey, Mr. Gowdy said President Trump never asked for his advice and clarified he never even met the president, adding “he has smarter people around him than me.” That can be argued in several ways, primarily stemming from his sheer genius when, perhaps, compared to others in the Trump administration.

A modest man may not buy-into the All the world’s a stage mantra…but I think Congressman Gowdy can find his skills, genius, and principled persona applicable anywhere he chooses.

A modest man may not buy-into the All the world’s a stage mantra…but I think Congressman Gowdy can find his skills, genius, and principled persona applicable anywhere he chooses.

As Trey Gowdy uttered on Sunday, “Political facts make for really bad precedent.” So, too, do fallacies such as “I’ve been a pretty lousy politician.” I think I just found his single, solitary misjudgment. If and only if there is any truth to his self-effacing statement, it is born of a man who is suggesting he could have done more, but didn’t. And who can fault anyone with that sort of integral introspection and measured gauge?

Wrapping-up her Face the Nation interview, Margaret Brennan revisited Rep. Gowdy’s self-claim that he made for a “lousy politician.” Ms. Brennan asked him “Why do you say you are a lousy politician?” Mr. Gowdy replied, “I see multiple sides of a single issue and the fact that someone disagrees with me does not make me challenge their love of the country. It doesn’t make me believe that they’re corrupt…I don’t think the ends justifies the means. I think the manner in which we get places matters…and in politics too often winning is the only thing that matters.” Who does that sound like? In government, to whom is he referring?

Sean Gram said it best: “That look you get when your illegal tactics still didn’t get you there – how many WH losses is that now?” (Credit: Hillary Clinton 2020)

He continued in a more choked-up tone: “Losing is not the worst thing in the world.” I wonder if HRC testimony was on his mind at that moment. Mr. Gowdy expounded, saying “Not knowing what you believe and not caring enough about it to fight for it…that’s the worst thing in the world.” That is less-than-remote testimony regarding politicized events and more-than-concrete sentiment hinting at what electrifies his heart beats: practicing law.

“Not knowing what you believe and not caring enough about it to fight for it…that’s the worst thing in the world.” –Trey Gowdy

In summation, Congressman Gowdy analyzed “the process” in practicing law and securing a solid verdict versus the zig-zag pattern in politics whereby, no matter what, doing whatever it takes to win sullies the soul. “I don’t want to live like that,” he closed.

One more thing of no less importance: Rep. Gowdy referenced his wife while attributing his decision to depart his Congressional seat. That is the nuance of a man who achieved greatly when he said “I do!” long before he uttered those same words when attesting his Congressional oath.

South Carolinians are fortunate to have elected and reelected a man to Congress and will soon stand to reap the harvest they’ve sewn when they sent him to Capitol Hill.

Congressman Trey Gowdy is only 54 years of age…so there’s plenty of time for him to, you know…fulfill his fruitions. Hhmmm…do you think that may somehow default to prosecuting Hillary Rodham Clinton? Special prosecutor down the road?

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Stephen Owsinski

Stephen Owsinski is an OpsLens Content Manager and Contributor. Owsinski is a retired law enforcement officer whose career included assignments in the Uniformed Patrol Division and Field Training Officer (FTO) unit. He is currently a researcher and writer. Follow Stephen on Twitter @uniformblue.

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