I’m mad. Not annoyed, not perturbed, but flat-out mad.

It started back up a few weeks ago when I read Lee Smith’s book “The Plot Against the President,” which detailed Congressman Devin Nunes’s investigation of the Russia investigation into President Trump, named Crossfire Hurricane.

The Republican investigation, which Nunes’s staff called “Operation Medusa,” was aptly named. In one bright spot of the political nightmare that has been the past three years, the Nunes’s memo has been proven to be correct and is right on target.

The book itself is easy to read and comprehensive in its coverage of the Nunes investigation. Inside details and contemporaneous interviews with Nunes’s team from the Intelligence Committee lay out the scope of exactly how many people made deliberate choices contrary to their mandate as a public servant.

The release of the Inspector General’s report on the FISA procedures is already being spun to personal narratives by those involved. From upper management to “low level employees,” no one in this investigation is covered in glory.

And while no one involved in this is still employed by the federal government, the major players obfuscate and spin, minimizing what they wrought upon our populace.

Add to this the rush to impeachment by the House... is it a quid pro quo, no it’s bribery, no wait, abuse of power and obstruction of justice. Yep, that’s the ticket. You get the picture.

So instead of celebrating the season of glad tidings and joy, I’m working up a good old-fashioned mad.

After following the saga of Crossfire Hurricane since it entered the public conversation in the fall of 2016, I’ve spent much time reading memos, government reports and Inspector General findings. I’ve read multitudes of news reports and campaign autopsies. And I keep going back to the same issues that help explain why so many Americans took a chance on Donald J. Trump.

And practically daily, so many of of these government officials, whether elected representatives or staff members, give us new examples.

We have allowed the government apparatus to politicize the law and our system of justice to punish political opponents. We’ve allowed the media to become complicit in party politics. We’ve allowed a system that rewards failure for bureaucrats and advisors, dooming our leaders to make the same mistakes over and over whether in war or politics.

We’ve empowered politicians to enrich themselves at the cost of the American taxpayer, and made running our country a means to wealth and prestige instead of sacrifice and service.

And when the people say enough, the political class doubles down to say we are not allowed.

Here’s the deal. I wasn’t a Trump enthusiast during the primaries but had no problem supporting him in the general election. While I was unsure of how he would govern, the absolute delight his tweaking all the right people gave me was impossible not to relish. And clearly, his stated platform was something that I could get behind.

While I know that any one politician alone cannot stem the tide our betters have set for our nation, the megaphone afforded a presidential candidate and later president to elevate differing solutions to the issues we face is necessary and invaluable.

Contrary to the Democrat Party’s belief, there are other ways of thinking beyond the platitudes of the Obama years. And short of a permanent electoral advantage that was inevitable, the American people said that it was time to try something different.

President Trump ran against the permanent class who on one hand calls for his impeachment because of supposed gross misconduct but an hour later announces an agreement with him for passage of one of the cornerstones of his campaign.

A cynical person would tell you that this wasn’t for the good of American workers and farmers, since it has been sitting in the House for months, but because said impeachment isn’t resonating with voters beyond the far left base that has demanded it since Trump’s inauguration.

Also adding fuel to the fire... Monday brought a Washington Post story that the Pentagon’s top brass and Obama administration officials “misled” the public about what those with boots on the ground were saying during the Afghanistan surge. Soldiers and field generals weren’t being listened to, and were actively ignored by D.C. generals and Department of Defense managers.

Tell me again why President Trump should listen to even one of these people?

We are supposed to look toward a city where credentials mean more than results, abhorrent behavior is rewarded by promotions to special councils, leaking of classified info is shielded by laws meant for those uncovering true government malfeasance and a presidential candidate can buy information that is then turned into a secret federal warrant used to spy on a political rival.

Not enough for your blood to boil?

I’m absolutely incensed that while it is wonderful the inspector general found no smoking gun of political bias in this FISA procedure report, the fact is that at every decision point the bureaucracy doubled down in one direction with a zealousness that would make J. Edgar Hoover blush. Not just sending spies into the campaign, but taking the extraordinary step of falsifying documents and excluding exculpatory information in the files turned into the court.

Let’s be serious, watch any of the impeachment hearings held by the Intelligence Committee and you saw a parade of credentialed bureaucrats and advisors lecturing the public on Trump differing from (Obama’s) stated official U.S. policy. This same attitude pervaded the senior staff in our intelligence agencies and federal law enforcement.

Well, that’s really not how any of this is supposed to work.

Contrary to our elite’s beliefs, what’s been happening in America for a good many decades is not to our liking. The norms and standards that rule their days are not shared by an America that runs on common sense and hard work. 

You want to talk about breaking all the norms? Well, to be perfectly honest, I hired President Trump to break every single one of them.

Staff columnist Toni Butero can be reached at tbutero@mattosnews.com or by calling (209) 862-2222.