The release of the anonymous op/ed in The New York Times from a senior White House official elicited a wide range of responses, including the need for every talking head on cable news to let us know that they’ve “never seen anything like this before,” which is quickly becoming the political equivalent of telling people that you vape. We get it- nobody has seen anything like this before. Enough already. Move on to what matters. We’re watching a coup, people, and serious f*cking business.
Adults in the Room? Says Who?
The response I found to be particularly disturbing came from Democrats expressing their relief that there are “adults in the room” preventing President Trump from taking any overly destructive actions. The anonymous op/ed states: “So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.”
This statement and the op/ed, in general, expose two gaping head wounds in our body politic that cannot go ignored. Not only are the actions of these unnamed senior administration officials blatantly illegal, but they are also practically guaranteeing us a 2020 victory for Donald Trump.
First, let’s be clear on the indisputable constitutional crisis we find ourselves in as a nation. Whoever the anonymous author and his or her “steady state” cohorts may be, they all have one undeniable common trait: none of them were elected President of the United States. Like it or not, Donald J. Trump is the duly elected President, and unless or until we find out his election was materially compromised by Russian interference or something similarly extraordinary, the man is currently the only person legally entitled to hold the office.
The Steady-State Coup (aka Republicans Without Courage)
And keep in mind that I think Trump is probably the worst-qualified human elected to high office in American political history, but it doesn’t matter. I’d rather see him bumble-fuck his way through his tenure in office than see him removed by any way other than resigning, dying, or as the invocation of the 25th Amendment. Respecting and honoring the institutions of this nation is not conditional on whether you like the person who won.
So weirdly, I’m arguing in Trump’s favor here. If the man gives an order he is legally authorized to give, it should be followed. The idea that there are some people on the inside essentially screening out the crazy is bullshit. If we adopt a strict constructionist view of the situation, a dark reality comes into focus. These people aren’t patriots; they’re actively engaging in a coup.
Let’s take a minute to look back to a simpler, albeit fictional time, courtesy of The West Wing:
You say the cabinet doesn’t want to invoke the 25th Amendment because “no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis?” Dude, the only crisis here is the unwillingness to follow a document you claim to cherish (which also happens to be the law of the land) because the outcome doesn’t personally benefit you and your political pals. I don’t know how to break it to you, but when they make a Broadway musical about all of this, you’re not going to be one of the good guys.
Let me put it another way. How about if half of Americans woke up tomorrow and decided to ignore the Second Amendment because watching children murdered at school by crazy fuckers with assault rifles might get complicated? You don’t get to pick and choose which parts of the Constitution you get to ignore, especially since you are the ones who have taken it upon yourselves to prop up the republic without anyone’s permission or authority.
Yeah, cause this scene is fine and dandy, but a cabinet meeting would somehow be a bridge too far? Go to hell.
What happens if President Trump walks into the West Wing tomorrow morning and decides to fire his entire cabinet and senior advisors to replace them with people he knows to be personally loyal? It’s like, not wholly beyond the realm of possibility, and also happens to be Trump’s legal right to do so. Will people refuse to leave because they’re the “adults in the room?” Except for Mike Pence, every single person in the White House serves at the pleasure of the President, and he can kick their collective asses to the curb anytime he chooses.
Not only are the actions taken by the “steady state Resistance” illegal, but they’re also brazenly political with total disregard for any American who does not share their views. The op/ed comes right out and says they like many of the things Trump has done regarding policy, which is a big reason why they’re sticking around to negate the big whoopsies like using trying to use military force to take out monsters like Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
So, getting down to brass tacks, we have someone inside the Trump White House actively working with other senior officials to press the political levers they want and ensuring others are left untouched despite the specific order of the Commander in Chief of the United States. Am I missing anything?
Trump 2020: F*ck Your Feelings, Snowflake
Oh yeah, there’s the part about how this coup d’jabroni practically guarantees a Trump victory in 2020. It’s really simple.
The majority of Trump voters still support Trump because they have not personally felt the repercussions of his lack of capacity for the job. By protecting America from Trump’s erratic impulses, we are being fed a false narrative that Trump is incapable of any real damage. And if that’s so, then why not re-elect him in 2020? I can hear the talking points now: “Shut up, snowflake- Trump didn’t start any wars in his first term, did he?”
2020 is going to make 2016 look like a middle school student council election.
We got stuck with Trump in 2016 because voters genuinely believe at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who occupies the Oval Office, a concept many of us- but not all- now know to be patently untrue.
I say screw it- let the man go Full Trump. If he’s going to make some catastrophic mistakes despite warnings from his advisors, then let it happen, consequences be damned. And I realize that we’re talking about people’s jobs and even lives on the line, but how am I going to know how good I am at riding a bicycle if the training wheels never come off? The American voters deserve to make their choices based on the performance of Full Trump, not Trump Lite; otherwise, what’s the point of electing our leaders?
By filtering out the toxicity of Donald Trump, his anonymous handlers are making him electable for 2020, a scenario in which they would ostensibly still be operating as a shadow government for the “establishment” Republican Party. They’re feeding the monster.
Does anybody even want to think about what Donald Trump would be like in a second term without every worrying again about being elected? The image of Trump riding on a missile comes to mind, and it’s only about 40% a joke.
I went into the future and took this photo from a Fox News Interview in 2021.
In summary, nobody should be cool with what’s happening right now. We have a group of unelected people essentially steering the federal government, enabled by Republicans in the House and Senate who lack such collective backbones; it’s hard to believe they can walk upright.
The American people elected Donald J. Trump. They deserve Donald J. Trump. And only then, after we see Trumpism in action, raw and unfiltered, can we begin to Make America Great Again.