Queen Victoria's description of Mr. Gladstone - 'a half-crazy old man' - seems to fit John McCain, who has called for an investigation into President Trump's dismissal of John Comey, head of the F.B.I.
The outrage from Democrats, who had previously called for Comey to go, is a bit rich, but that's politics. Democrats are exulting that they got rid of Comey in a way that makes the Trump administration look worse than Nixon.
And memories float into my mind of special prosecutors during the Watergate crisis, a crisis I followed with rapt attention when I was still in short trousers.
It is important for the world that the Trump administration is at least a partial success, because otherwise political correctness resumes its reign.
Mr Trump sent his driver to James Comey at the FBI headquarters with a letter firing him but Mr Comey had left and saw the news on television while he was addressing a meeting. He assumed at first that it was a joke. Brutal.
It reminds me of Lord Chancellor Kilmuir, who heard about his dismissal on the wireless and then complained to Harold Macmillan:
You have given me less notice than I would a housekeeper.
But good housekeepers are so hard to find.
Mr Comey has written a splendid letter to his now former colleagues.
I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI Director for any reason, or for no reason at all. I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won’t either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply.
I have said to you before that, in times of turbulence, the American people should see the FBI as a rock of competence, honesty, and independence. What makes leaving the FBI hard is the nature and quality of its people, who together make it that rock for America.
It is very hard to leave a group of people who are committed only to doing the right thing. My hope is that you will continue to live our values and the mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution. If you do that, you too will be sad when you leave, and the American people will be safer.
Working with you has been one of the great joys of my life. Thank you for that gift.