The Unprecedented Anonymous NYT Oped and Trump’s ‘Two-track Presidency’

Last updated on Sep 5, 2018

Posted on Sep 5, 2018

When Donald Trump leaves office and US sits back and gets a chance to look at itself – most will not recognize what kind of tragedy hit them.  Worse, what they allowed to be done to them!  Humiliated, scorned, played with, subjugated, forever lying and spinning – the administration officials and the Republican party Congressmen and women have been willing participants of the destroying of US as a nation and polity.

Today, New York Times (not that I am a great fan of its journalistic rigor or value when it comes to foreign polities like India) took an unprecedented decision.  Of publishing an Anonymous Oped piece.  It is never done.  In the aftermath of Bob Woodward’s book, this piece was however imperative.  NYT writes:

The Times’s Opinion desk has taken the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We did so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure.
We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process. Our Op-Ed editor, James Dao, will answer a selection of them.

The piece titled “I am part of the resistance inside the Trump Administration” is stark.  Anyone who has any stake in US and what it means to the world and humanity in general would simply sink into their seats on reading the piece.  It is so heart-breaking.

The resistance that the author talks about is not a “leftist” resistance.  But that of upholding the democratic fabric of the United States.  It is to save the country from Donald Trump.  Many decisions and many things are being done to dilute and indeed negate the work of Trump, lest it destroys the US further.

The author gives talks of a “Two Track Presidency”, where the President does one thing and the administration does another.  It is unheard of.  The author gives the example of foreign policy.

Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.
Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.
On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain. He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration that the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.
This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.

The stabilization work is being done by men and women who are – and probably will remain – thankless.  They are being ridiculed and humiliated by the President and characterized as villains outside.  But they are the ones who are saving the country.

The author discusses the wins of this administration, which as the article discusses – are “despite the President”.  Finally, the author talks about something that has just been whispers all along and mocked as “left loony” talk.  It is what many in the administration are seriously considering and discussing.  Invoking the 25th Amendment.  To bring Trump down because he is unfit to do the job.

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

The author’s hope is that the country will get back to its normal before the Trump era and continue as before.  The fact is that more and more Republican candidates in ever increasing set of elections are becoming Trump clones when it comes to fashioning their rhetoric and taking shots at their opponents.

There is a base of Republicans that Trump has created.  And this base is potent.  Potent enough to poison the whole polity beyond recognition.  The worst in most of us has been unfolded and unleashed.  It will not be possible, unfortunately, to roll it back just by impeaching Trump.

This is a cross that this country will need to carry while it contemplates on its own inherent ugliness which has not been resolved.  Merely covered up.

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