I hate to convict somebody based on nothing but conjecture, but seriously, is there any other answer than that:I don't think Dems (at least not here) are defending Comey but rather pointing out that firing him now is highly questionable and reeks of covering up or obstructing the Russian-link investigation.
A) Trump's administration did something shady regarding Russia; and/or
B) Trump is too stupid to know how bad this looks; and/or
C) Trump is too narcissistic to care how bad this looks?
While I get a small chuckle out of all the Dems now defending Comey (a man most thought was corrupt or incompetent), the principle here isn't all that funny. We have a highly political DOJ and court system already. Using the FBI for nakedly political purposes is bad for everyone.
And the real "chuckle" is that Repubs (and Trump himself) liked Comey up until Comey started investigating Trump.
Trump loved him up until the Flynn story broke, then he abruptly changed his tune, trying to scapegoat him for leaks, for Hillary, for supposed internal FBI dysfunction, and everything else under the sun that might possibly distract the media and public from the fact that something ugly is going on here, something that might eventually bring the administration down.
Republicans in general criticized Comey when he didn't recommend charges for Hillary, then applauded him when he announced the investigation was re-opened. They were disappointed again when the investigation was quickly closed. I don't think Republicans ever "liked" him again after that, but he seemed off the radar until he wouldn't publicly take Trump's side.
Democrats, in general, seemed to have equally opposite opinions, applauding him when he cleared Hillary, and then accusing him of bias when he responded to Congress about the newly reopened investigation.
It's almost like most partisans base their like or dislike of America's top LEO on whether or not he's furthering their political objectives.
I can't really speak to Comey's competence relative to other FBI directors, but he seemed to care about the FBI and seemed to be trying to do his job. That he angered both parties probably speaks to him doing something right. I fear FBI Director will just become another job akin to the Attorney General, a job used almost solely to push partisan agendas.
I agree it is concerning that law enforcement appears to be becoming more political. Every law enforcement controversy, small or large, seems to have political divides. That is unfortunate.
But after living through the Ken Starr investigation of Clinton, the Benghazi witch hunt against Hillary, and then the ill-timed Comey "revelation" 10 days before the election - a revelation somehow predicted by a gleeful Rudy Giuliani on national TV just a couple days earlier - it's hard to think of these investigations as anything but political.
I don't think liberals hate Comey so much as they hate the political machine that undoubtedly pressured him into taking the unprecedented actions that he did.
Were there any equivalent witch hunts against the Bush administration? The 9/11 commission wasn't particularly political, despite 9/11 being a security failure that was 1000x times worse than Benghazi. And most Presidents would have been sunk by the WMD/CIA/Scooter Libby scandal, but that one received relatively limited press.
And now we have a President accused of colluding with an enemy nation because of business ties, and he is blatantly tampering with the investigation. And Republicans have been largely silent about it.
As a liberal I don't want witch hunts or kangaroo courts - such low political acts are bad for our country, and in part instigate the partisan anger you describe.
But I do want to see Trump properly investigated. Maybe Trump is innocent, but he certainly isn't acting like it.