While I take a measure of relief that we now appear to be closer to the beginning of the end than to the end of the beginning, I have some big concerns about that New York Times op-ed by “a senior administration official.”
My concerns are very much like David Frum’s.
Speak in your own name. Resign in a way that will count. Present the evidence that will justify an invocation of the 25th Amendment, or an impeachment, or at the very least, the first necessary step toward either outcome, a Democratic Congress after the November elections.
Clearly this is related to yesterday’s revelations from Bob Woodward’s book. The author of the op-ed may even have contributed to Woodward.
But the author is trying to preserve his/her reputation: I am being a good Republican, helping to execute good Republican policies. I am keeping the country safe from a dangerous president.
That’s a lot of responsibility to take on. The president is elected; the author has been appointed by that president and tells us that he is undermining that president. In the telling, the president is further undermined.
What did the author expect to be the next step? Donald Trump is reported to have freaked out over the Woodward revelations and have started searching for the leakers. This will turbocharge that search. James Jesus Angleton became convinced that there was a Russian mole in the CIA and practically destroyed the agency. Can the author of the op-ed protect us from a storm a couple of categories stronger?
There are a limited number of senior administration officials. We are likely to learn who wrote the op-ed much more quickly than we learned that Deep Throat was Mark Felt. How we will learn is hard to predict.
This senior Trump official works hard every day to make sure a man he believes to be a dangerous, amoral, and erratic tyrant is able to stay in power for long enough to enact a Republican agenda. And this official views himself as a woefully unappreciated savior of the Republic.
— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) September 5, 2018
Some thoughts/ Qs on the NYT oped:
1) Motivation– not to tell the public but to provoke Trump into reacting
2) don't parse the language– he/ she almost certainly deliberately planted crumbs to mislead
3) this is presumably part of a plan. What's the next step?
— Tom Wright (@thomaswright08) September 5, 2018
“Senior Trump Administration” officials weren’t elected to run the country. The President was elected. If the President is unable to fulfill his duties, those officials need to be raising those concerns to the appropriate Cabinet officials and Congress to remedy the situation.
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) September 5, 2018
My 2 cents: It is hard to imagine the NYT would have given anonymity on something like this to someone who was not at least as high as a cabinet secretary or assistant to the president.
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) September 5, 2018