(Analysis) The president is unfit to serve. We have known this for some time. This nugget did not come from the well known progressive resistance. Those people went DUH! Is this news? This information came from way deep in the Trump administration. It might have come from the West Wing, which is not totally unprecedented, but it is not normal.
Like Richard Nixon before Donald Trump, we have reports emerging from the West Wing of a president who is very angry. He may feel betrayed as well. For the record, he is not paranoid, somebody is out to get him. Who, or how many, is a good question. However, while the president has called it treason, it is not. Nixon used similar language incidentally. The difference is that his volcanic explosions were behind closed doors and on tape. He did not go on rallies, where he used the treason word. This matters, since the president has a very loyal base.
We must be clear on this point. It is not that the deep state wants to destroy the presidency, or at least this president. I understand the fantasy, but it is a fantasy for a reason. Whatever the motives for the author, or authors, are, at least on the surface we are told the love of country and oaths to the Constitution are involved. Whoever did it knew that White House personnel do not take an oath to the president. They take an oath to the foundational documents of the country. We are not a monarchy, After all, this is a small detail that the president has yet to understand. Whether you think this was the act of a coward or a hero, I suppose depends on where you stand.
Trump fans will likely follow the president’s reasoning, and at the very least call the author all kinds of names. If the person emerges, they may want to tar and feather the author. If you do not like Trump, you might call this self-serving heroism. Things are far grayer than that. I doubt though it will take thirty plus years to learn who this Deep Throat is.
Who is the author? The speculation ranges from a disgruntled leftover Democrat all the way to the Vice-President of the United States. Mind you, of all the suspects, the VEEP has a clear benefit, and cannot be fired. He is an elected official. For the record, I doubt it was the VEEP, and the speculation is a way to distract from the content of the piece.
Almost every senior official, hint all of these are Republicans and political appointees, have professed loyalty to the president in the last twenty-four hours. This overt display of loyalty to President Trump is troubling. This smacks of a loyalty oath, but tracks to Trump’s penchant for authoritarian actions. It is also very reminiscent to the last days of the Nixon administration. In the last days, Nixon was searching for rats that still remained in his midst. People like John Dean had already testified. If we had a functional Congress, that would hold this president accountable, perhaps this modern day Brutus might go public and testify. The current Congress has enabled abs protected the president.
Incidentally, this person is per the New York Times a senior administration official. This precludes the lower ranking career staffer who happens to be a Democrat. I mention this since some Trump loyalists have floated this theory on CNN. A lower staffer working at Justice is consistent with the deep state canard though.
The reaction to this story from the White House is adding fuel to it. The president is reportedly volcanic. At this point, he has no idea who he can trust and who he cannot. He may turn once again, fully, to his children. This is how he ran his companies, so this would be hardly surprising.
History can be a guide.
Some of what is happening is quite unprecedented in American history. The essay writer talking to the New York Times is far more gutsy in some ways than deep throat talking to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the dead of night. The Times running it is as well since people will question this. In my mind, it proves that the author, or authors, are at the very least at the assistant secretary level, most likely a cabinet official. Some of the details are very specific to the West Wing. They are also incredibly damning to the current president. They do point to a soft coup, which now the commentariat is talking about.
Then there is the upcoming Woodward book, called Fear. That book tracks down the path of this essay. So did previous works that have already been published. This is where the similarities to Watergate come in. We know from the descriptions in the essay, previous books, and the excerpts, that the president has no capacity to do the job. At least Nixon did and was not there just for his ego. However, near the end, Nixon became paranoid and volcanic-like Trump has. Nixon reportedly walked down the empty White House at night talking to the portraits of old presidents. Trump is taking to Twitter, which has become quite unhinged.
Like the last days of Nixon, we are seeing the beginning of the end for the Trump presidency. This is my view on this. Congress should start to hold him accountable once it flips. This is not a question of whether it will happen, rather if this will be both houses? And this is where the danger for the nation will become acute. The president has multiple walls closing in. The House is likely to flip. The Robert Mueller investigation is closing in. Trump has people around him, he cannot trust. perhaps the Senate will flip as well
We know he is hardly that stable, or self aware. When people feel cornered, they become the most dangerous. He could call for his followers to defend him. This could have disastrous consequences.
We need to ask…how long will this constitutional crisis go on? As we are closing to the end of this administration we have suggestions of polygraphs, from a United States Senator, Loyalty oaths and demands that the New York Times turn in the author of this piece. The word treason has also reared its ugly head.
Near the end of Watergate, Nixon’s orders were not followed. The same is happening right now as I type. People are refusing to carry out dangerous orders that could place the country at risk.
The danger is clear. A leader who realizes his orders will be sabotaged will turn further inwards. He may want to bring the whole house down with the rest of us. He might do what other authoritarians before him have done. He might demand his followers to protect him. We are living in dangerous times.
And do yourself a favor…avoid the guessing game. In time we might learn who, or how many, wrote it. Concentrate on the content of the essay. It is downright scary and points to how deep the crisis we are in.
September 7, 2018