Thursday, September 06, 2018

it's the NYT, so proceed with caution, but...

From here:

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them.

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. 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.

That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

As with all things news-related, we have to ask: how much of this is real, and how much is bullshit? (A related question might be: how much of this is even surprising?) Does it make sense for a person with a nefarious agenda to out him- or herself in this manner? What would be the point? Well... I've heard Trump's seemingly erratic behavior described as "psy-ops" by some. If so, then maybe Trump can psy-ops his way to sussing out these moles and hanging them out to dry in public, for all to see.

Regarding that "might well lose the House" barb, which is a reference to the so-called "blue wave" that Democrats are fervently hoping for: alt-media sources seem to think that, at worst, the Democrats might swing the House of Representatives slightly over to blue; that said, the Senate will remain defiantly red, and Republicans might even pick up a few extra seats in the Senate. In terms of impeachment, it's the Senate that matters because it's the Senate that functions as the jury during impeachment proceedings. So let a blue-tinged House kick and scream all it wants: if there are impeachment proceedings, the House decides nothing (it merely passes articles of impeachment, i.e., it presents the accusation[s], after which the accused has been officially impeached), and the president's fate will be in the hands of a mostly sympathetic Senate, whose duty is to put the impeached on trial. It also won't help the Democrats' cause if they appear obstructionist (as they already are) for the rest of Trump's term. This will blow back on them if and when Trump wins a second term: a new midterm election will do much to erode the House's blue and turn it back to red when an angry public decides it's had enough obstructionism from the Dems.

If you take the time to read the rest of the above-quoted piece, which is relatively short, you'll see fairly quickly that it's written from a rather specific perspective, one not at all espoused by the figures in the alt-media to whom I listen. The writer of the article arrogantly ascribes to him- or herself (and to like-minded individuals hidden in the administration) a level of maturity and vision that, according to him/her, Trump does not possess. With unselfsconscious hubris, the writer assures us that "Americans should know that there are adults in the room." To me, this person's objection really comes down to a clash in style: Trump is from the business world, where CEOs often act autocratically and erratically as they engage in their A/B testing; the man is not a creature of the Washington, DC swamp, and make no mistake: this is a pro-swamp article. "If only Trump did things the way they've been done for decades," is what the writer is actually saying. Well, too bad: like it or not, Donald Trump is the president, and he's decided to upend the chessboard, so the "quiet resistance" had better spend less time undermining him and more time acting constructively.

ADDENDUM: replies to "the anonymous White House coward" who wrote the above-quoted editorial can be found here. Of particular note is Glenn Greenwald's scathing tweet:

The irony in the op-ed from the NYT's anonymous WH coward is glaring and massive: s/he accuses Trump of being "anti-democratic" while boasting of membership in an unelected cabal that covertly imposes [its] own ideology with zero democratic accountability, mandate[,] or transparency[.]

ADDENDUM 2: Gender Guesser overwhelmingly thinks the writer is male based on the above sample from the editorial. The site also claims the text's word count is too small for the algorithm to get a good handle, but the stats that the site spat out show a strong preference (about 70/30) for male.

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