September 6, 2018
It all seems too convenient for #TheResistance. Midterm election campaign season, controversial SCOTUS nominee facing confirmation hearings, and suddenly the New York Times publishes a rare anonymous op-ed from a “senior official in the Trump administration”, declaring they are part of “the resistance”, from within the White House. A person who claims they are working along with other “like-minded colleagues” who have “vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations”.
I don’t believe this is what it is purported to be, and true resistors should be leary.
I am not doubting the veracity of the source, but I am doubting their intent. I do believe it was written by someone from inside the White House, however I believe this is not some honorable, patriotic martyr risking their career or more to keep our country safe. I believe this op-ed was written with full knowledge and permission of the White House, including Donald Trump himself, as an attempt to justify an heretofore unannounced purging of White House staff, something that the writer himself is immune from.
My primary reason for this conclusion: why write the op-ed to begin with, and why publish it in the NY Times?
If this senior official, and his or her compatriots, are so concerned with the President’s amorality, petulance and ineffective leadership style, that they are secretly working to undermine some of the President’s most impulsive and abhorrent actions, writing this op-ed will surely undermine those efforts. Now Trump and his sycophants know that they are being undermined and will react accordingly. Less transparency, less collaboration with advisers, more paranoia (now justified) an already toxic environment will surely become downright hostile.
Additionally, there are more official and likely effective maneuvers which could be used to solve these issues. They could have met with various congressional committee leadership, in secret if necessary. The Republicans control both houses, therefore the party leads those committees, surely a more salient strategy could be forged. It could be argued that doing so would not only be an option, it would be the duty of such senior officials to do so, if the concern over our national security is so grave.
This op-ed does not constitute loyal opposition, nor does it represent patriotic intent. It is, if legitimate, a confession of sedition and implication of co-conspirators. It will be used by the Trump administration to justify new, abrupt and draconian measures to silence dissent both within and outside of the White House, no different than the Reichstag Fire was used by the Nazi Party to do the same. The constant mantra of the media being the “enemy of the people” which Trump has been chanting since the nascent days of his administration, now has even greater salience within his core of followers and catamites within congress.