Today, two unprecedented things happened: First, an anonymous source — a self-declared “senior official” — inside the White House declared that they and others were actively working to thwart the agenda of a President they feel is increasingly unstable, unwise, and unfit to hold the highest office in the land. And second, the New York Times published an op-ed by that person, anonymously.
To the best of my knowledge, and I go back quite a while as a politics wonk, neither of those things has happened in recent memory.
But more than his instability, according to the tweet that alerted me to this article, the source is concerned with Donald Trump’s utter lack of a moral compass:
A senior Trump administration official writes an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times and admits that cabinet members have whispered about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump: “The root of the problem is the president’s amorality.” https://t.co/ZVoEf8aV6P
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) September 5, 2018
The official lays out right at the outset of the piece that they are not part of the popular, capital-R “Resistance” that opposes Trump’s agenda in whatever ways possible — on social media, through contributions to candidates that can legislatively fight him, stand/march/sit-in protests — but a servant of the nation itself:
We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous. But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.”
The author argues that good policies that have come out of Trump’s time in the Oval Office — and we perhaps disagree on what makes for good policy — have come in spite of Trump’s contributions, not because of them. They do not believe that Trump is a Republican, and in that regard, we could not agree more. The Republican Party of yesterday is not the Trumpublican party of today, and it seems that never the twain shall meet.
On his behavior:
From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.”
On confrontations with Russia, and foreign policy in general, the anonymous official lays to rest a popular conspiracy theory among vocal Trump supporters who are somehow convinced despite all evidence to the contrary that Obama holdovers are still pulling the levers of power in Washington:
This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.”
Those myriad news reports you read about people considering the removal of Trump via the 25th Amendment? Yeah, that happened:
Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president.”
But the author’s main point was an attempt to reassure a nation weary of Trump’s constant fits of rage, persistent refusal to ever learn even the tiniest bit of civics, and intense opposition to understanding policy nuances that there are “adults in the room.”
It’s small comfort as we watch an unhinged President nearly start wars via social media, normalize white supremacy through staff hires and public refusals to condemn racism, and generally muck things up for himself and anyone that follows.
But the read is worth it just for the satisfaction of knowing that someone, anyone with direct access is trying to stop the worst of his excesses.
Featured image via screen capture