There’s enough news most days right now to fill a normal week, but we shouldn’t lose sight of how crazy Trump’s Washington is- someone senior to his administration wrote an anonymous op-ed that essentially says Trump is immoral and incompetent. This is simply unprecedented. At the height of Bill Clinton or George W. Bush’s difficulties, people resigned and left them, but they did so publicly, and citing a specific issue they had with the President. This person is publicly calling the President an imbecile, but doing so anonymously because they believe the nation needs them to continue serving, and thwarting the President. That is astonishing and remarkable. It is possibly the most chilling thing I have read.
The problem with this, of course, is that it is confirmation bias for everyone, but especially Trump’s base. It is an admission that there are people within this government working against Donald Trump, and that they are using the New York Times and press as a whole to spread information that is damaging to the President. While it also confirms that the President is a buffoon, as many of us knew, that’s not the part his base will hear. As long as his base hears what they want, they paralyze Republicans across Washington into inaction on the President’s insanity. It’s great that we know he’s an idiot, but we can’t do anything about it.
It’s absolutely horrifying that someone this insane, this inept, and this immoral received 46% of the national vote for President. That there was such a large market for his brand should terrify us. It is cold comfort to know there are some in this administration who see what a problem he is and are thwarting him- because this won’t end with Trump. His voters won’t all go away when he leaves, this line of thinking won’t die. What happens when they elect a competent, but equally immoral version of Trump? What happens if Mike Pence actually does get into office?
We can’t live in hypotheticals though, we live in now. Where we are now is troubling. We have a President that is so terrible that members of his administration are writing op-eds anonymously trashing him. Bob Woodward is writing a book that essentially says the same thing- our incapable President doesn’t even control his own administration, because his senior team is undermining his worst impulses. Our system of government is being stressed to it’s limits. Our republic is in actual danger. “Small D” democratic norms are being trampled. Things are really bad.
Unfortunately I don’t expect things to get better quickly. I expect the President and his supporters to rage at this discussion of his ineptitude. I expect members of his administration to publicly rally around him and do things to affirm their loyalty to the President. I expect terrible things, and for people to get hurt.
But the good news in all of this- there’s a chance our republic survives this. There’s a chance the people undermining the President from within will succeed. That’s at least somewhat comforting.
Oh- by the way- this didn’t go on when Barack Obama was President.