I had not read the unsigned opinion piece in the New York Times when I published my last blog post. I won’t go over it all, but the opinion piece in the Times is said to have been penned by a senior official in the Trump administration. According to the writer there is a surreptitious resistance in the White House whose members believe Trump is unfit to be president, that he is, well off his rocker and is dangerous.
They thought of instigating an attempt to remove him via the 25th Amendment but decided it would be too cumbersome and might do harm by causing a constitutional crisis. So instead they are trying to do what they can to thwart some of Trump’s erratic and wild moves by doing such things as purloining letters or documents he has written or issued to keep bad ideas from being carried out. At the same time, the writer claims that many good things have come out of the Trump administration even with a mentally disturbed man who lacks any sense of morals sitting as president.
This sounds like a move toward the 25th Amendment, except that route was rejected (for the time). I personally don’t know what to think of it. Seems to me that if it is that dire they ought to take the 25th Amendment step, except that it is doubtful that would work. It seems that the secret resistance from within, who the writer claims are not the liberal resistance, are caught between on the one hand liking things Trump or the administration is doing but at the same time are scared of what he might do and the damage he is doing to our democracy.
And as usual Trump will try to score points on this by claiming the “deep state” is out to get him. He tarred the intelligence establishment and the FBI as part of that, and he can now point to what looks like a mutiny by traitors from within. I don’t know if this is the beginning of Trump’s fall or just another episode of the continuing unreality reality show.
My previous post follows:
The remarkable thing about Bob Woodward’s new book “Fear”, an off-the-record insiders’ blab-all look at what is portrayed as some kind of crazy house — the U.S. Whitehouse — is that these fearful and disgruntled hangers-on do hang on. Some of them anyway.
Someone suggested to me that maybe they hang on to keep our crazy president Donald Trump in check. Well I guess that is a good excuse. But I think that if they had any self-respect they’d exit. On their own. Seems to me that those who continue on are aiding and abetting the president. Better to leave and not be part of the crime, I think.
And of course many have — some on their own, some not.
Seems to me that the best weapon against Trump is to ignore him and move on. And that goes for both Republicans and Democrats, and anyone else for that matter.
There is and always has been a disagreement or question of what the role of the president is. He is definitely not supposed to be a dictator and yet the public at large often seems to prefer a strong leader.
To me, Trump is somewhat of a symbolic leader but one of a minority, composed maybe of the uninformed or ill-informed, the bigoted, and those who are attracted to fascism or some form of authoritarian rule. And we know that the religious right has ironically made a deal with the Devil, supporting Trump not for his Christianity (of which there is no evidence he has) and despite his sinful ways, solely as a pragmatic move to push a legislative agenda and to pack the Supreme Court to their liking.
And it seems there are others who are simply willing to ignore his outrages as long as the economy of the nation seems to be humming along and the unemployment rates tumble. And that makes some sense in the short run, but I would be concerned about long-term damage to our democracy and core values and world standing.
And the number-one immediate danger is that if the commander-in-chief really is wacky in the head he might give the go-ahead to push the nuclear button or otherwise start some military action that would quickly get out of hand.
There are some mechanisms to deal with this, such as the 25th Amendment that provides a way to remove the president from office if he is judged unfit — but time is of the essence and all that seems problematic.
What we can only hope is that the situation would be handled Nixon-style, as when President Nixon’s advisors judged he had gone off the deep end and because of that military commanders were told to check with the secretary of defense and/or advisor Henry Kissinger before launching nukes.
Meanwhile, those of us who do not care for Trump have to live with the reality that he is the legitimate chief executive of our nation and until or only if the 25th Amendment is used or the public supports impeachment or votes him out at the next election, that is that.
For Democrats in congress it might be better to move on the best they can with their own agenda than fight it. Too much noise only seems to play into his hands by energizing that vocal and volatile minority and even to cause some empathy from those who are just cynical about the motives of all politicians.
Of course there are the standard denials and one has to question information that cannot be verified but Woodward has credibility from his Watergate years, and his new book seems to follow a pattern of the ones about the Trump administration by other less credible authors.