“He engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions,” was one among many contumacious lines directed at President Donald Trump in an anonymously penned New York Times op-ed from last week. The author, a self-purported senior White House official, berates the intelligence, national loyalty and overall incompetence of the commander-in-chief.
On the surface, this is a brave and scathing critique. Go a bit deeper though, and the author’s cowardice comes into view.
Amidst a string of harsh word-salads, the author is quick to specify that they actually agree with the entire Trump agenda, save for just some of its foreign policy. They write in good favor of Trump’s “effective deregulation, historic tax cuts, and more robust military.” They want the Trump agenda to succeed with the guidance, not of the “deep state,” but the “steady state.”
However, that hasn’t stopped the story from being predictably weaponized by the anti-Trump Resistance, for it would be a crime not to add such an otherwise juicy and eloquently-worded article to the official canon of the never-ending Oval Office soap opera.
Picture it: the anonymous resister’s exposé alongside the likes of the incriminating Steele Dossier, the avenged poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain, the disloyal Michael Cohen, The Mooch, the devilish twins Don and Eric and the coy Stormy Daniels. So many interesting characters, so much fun!
Most importantly, there is our tragic hero’s kryptonite: the cold, manipulative baroness across the street named Vladimir who Trump has fallen head over heels for. Offscreen in the White House kitchen lies Trump’s once loyal wife, American Values™. Haunted by the specter of communism, she weeps uncontrollably into her frail hands, the neglected cuckquean and principal victim of Trump’s treasonous downfall.
Satire aside, this wasn’t a juicy exposé at all. No revelations are uncovered, it’s not even guaranteed that a White House official wrote it. It simply reiterates the obvious: Trump prefers to use discrete rhetoric instead of coded euphemisms, is often capricious and lacks the knowledge/values necessary to inform his policy goals.
Yes, having the adults of the “steady state” in the room to prevent Trump from peremptorily striking Venezuela and Syria is a definite positive. Yet this doesn’t make the anonymous op-ed writer any less of a depraved, self-aggrandizing, hypocritical coward—see? Two can play the word-salad game.
A negative aspect of the steady state is that its long-term policy goals are just as odious as the man it claims to resist. The lack of policy-based criticism of Trump serves as confirmation that anti-Trump conservatives love everything about the MAGA brand minus the mean tweets, which the writer says “have allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.”
If only the president would mix some lower-case letters into his tweets when threatening war with Iran, then he’d be a truly polished statesman like the rest of the GOP.
As for everything else, the writer claims that those good policy initiatives have been achieved “despite the president, who is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.”
No, the positives of the Trump administration have come because of Trump, not in spite of him. The Republican party was able to convert a populist right-wing candidate—who once promised not to cut social security and create such a healthcare plan that would “cover everybody“—to a president governing in lock-step with their agenda.
As much as D.C-insider Republicans—like our anonymous author—would like to pretend, Trump’s malleability has given them everything they’ve wanted at the executive level. The positions where candidate Trump broke with GOP orthodoxy were the very positions that won him the election. Conveniently for the Republican National Party (GOP), campaign promises to maintain funds for Medicare, pull troops out of Afghanistan (a war with a 13% approval rating) and do away with free-trade deals that outsource jobs haven’t materialized with Trumpism in practice, an exception being the heavy tariffs on aluminum and steel.
If only the president would mix some lower-case letters into his tweets when threatening war with Iran, then he’d be a truly polished statesmen like the rest of the GOP.
This leads us back to the hypocrisy. The author claims that in their efforts to “undermine” Trump, they are upholding the values that make America great.
Pretend for a second that Trump actually does possess deeply-held convictions that can’t be reversed by a stern talking-to from an advisor, lobbyist or talking head on Fox News. Can you think of anything less democratic than an unelected deep state politician disabling the power of a person elected by the democratic will of the people? If “the Resistance” is to co-op this anonymous coward and shower them with good press because he or she called John McCain a “loadstar,” then it must also endorse a coup d’etat.
Also, who is making the real “reckless decisions” here? The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent move to replace the Clean Power Plan with a less regulatory alternative, a decision that elicited zero descent from the Trump cabinet, seems to fit the shoe.
The new plan, aimed at enriching a floundering coal industry that’s already “losing ground to natural gas and renewables,” is a great example of the “effective deregulation” the author praises. That is if they consider the projected 1,400 premature deaths, 48 thouand new cases of asthma and a mere 0.7 percent decrease in emissions by 2030 to be “effective.” The only thing that could make the tax bill “historic” would be if it results in a calamity reminiscent of the economic collapse in 1929, as many experts predict it will if the new laws are maintained.
This person is trying to gain lots of publicity by saying very little. If anything, it’s an insurance policy; it resists Trump without actually resisting, a ploy to set up plausible deniability and escape embarrassment if the Mueller probe fells the Trump presidency, and the author appears confident that something will.
How could somebody want Trump to succeed by steering him in the right direction while wanting him to fail at the same time? It’s the mark of a coward. Someone who actually believed in resisting trump would resign from their position. Instead, they pat themselves on the back as if they’re the people’s champion and we should be thanking them. Any praise that “the Resistance” lumps onto this article and its writer will be wasted on a fraud, hungry for some limelight to compliment their near-complete domination of executive decision-making power.