When Solomon offered to slice a baby in half, everyone didn’t go: “Then we’ll both have half a baby—nice!” But that seems to be how James Comey understood the story, because the FBI Director cannot stop splitting babies.

When deciding whether or not to file charges against Hillary Clinton for her emails, he had a choice that was going to make one group of people delighted and another group enraged. Instead he uncovered a third approach—don’t file charges against Clinton (happy Democrats!), but give an unprecedented explanation of why he didn’t file charges in which he still criticized her (happy Republicans!).

In a development foreseeable by pretty much everyone on Earth except Comey, this actually made no one happy. Republicans were enraged there weren’t charges (particularly since he was so critical!). Democrats were pleased there weren’t charges but were pissed Comey still seemed to be dragging Clinton through the mud (prosecutors are supposed to make cases, not talk shit and call it a day).

Comey could not have done a worse job of handling this situation had he casually revealed he’s been forwarding classified messages to Vladimir Putin with the subject heading: “Have You Seen These Already? (If Not, Please Ignore. Thanks, Buddy!)”

Then, thanks to having spent so much time discussing the Clinton investigation, Comey felt the need less than two weeks before the election to send out a message about emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer that just might (or just might not) offer new insights into the Clinton investigation… which he did in the form of a letter vague enough to ensure the maximum amount of confusion about what it actually meant—I know, classic Comey!

Now, two days before the election, he’s put out word: Forget it.

Let’s state the obvious: Comey could not have done a worse job of handling this situation had he casually revealed he’s been forwarding classified messages to Vladimir Putin with the subject heading: “Have You Seen These Already? (If Not, Please Ignore. Thanks, Buddy!)”

People in Comey’s position typically do their job in a fashion something akin to the following:
1. Determine if you have a case.
2. If there’s a case, prosecute it.
3. If not, either close the matter officially or wait until new evidence enables you to pursue the case.

This is the Comey Method:
1. Determine if you have a case.
2. Announce you don’t have a case, then talk about it at great length, just because.
3. Announce you may (or may not) now be able to make a case, depending on this stuff you found.
4. Actually look at stuff you found.
5. Awkwardly back out of room.

Are Republicans now enraged because Comey got their hopes up only to dash them? Check! Are Democrats now enraged because Comey hijacked the entire campaign only to reveal he had bupkis? Check! And does this all bring back memories of the good old days when the F.B.I. was so determined to influence national events that their policies included attempting to drive Martin Luther King to suicide? Double check!

In conclusion: Elvis Costello once sang, “I should have never walked over the bridge I burned.” Give it a listen, Director Comey.