Anonymous the Anonymous

September 15, 2018

So last week the New York Times published an Op-Ed by… no one knows! But they claim to be resisting the Orange Thing from the inside. Let’s have a look…

The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done 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 here.

Intriguing. Do go on.

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

In other news, the word “leader” wants to sue you for defamation.

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

Awww, poor Orange Thing with all the shit he and his party brought on themselves.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I mean, he might know now. But then again, how would you know?

I would know. I am one of them.


To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left. We want the administration to succeed and think that many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.

“We’re not like THOSE resisters. See, we’re totally cool with locking immigrant toddlers in cages.”

But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.

Figure that out all by yourself?

That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.

I take it you’d like that “out of office” part to come sooner rather than later. Welcome to the club. It’s called “everybody”.

The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making.

Nothing that doesn’t require $130,000 in hush money anyway.

Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people.

“Free markets” is underlined.

At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.

“He only seems to hate freedom when he’s speaking in his own words, but not so much when saying what someone else has prepared for him. I have no idea where he really stands!”

In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion that the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.

You had the New York Times editorial department at this line.

Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.

Yes, those are some of the negatives. Were you going to give examples of bright spots? No? Okay then.

But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.


From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions.

Yeah, really. Whispered to one another in the halls. Hand signals across the table. New York Times anonymous op-eds. You know, privately.

Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.

Because this is a thing that they need to do apparently.

Meetings with him veer off topic and off the rails, he engages in repetitive rants, and his impulsiveness results in half-baked, ill-informed and occasionally reckless decisions that have to be walked back.

Do they all just turn into him bragging about the election win nearly two years after the fact? I’d be surprised otherwise.

“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.

If only he’d flip on this whole “wanting to play president” thing…

The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.

“So basically if you like what comes out of the White House, it was something we support and allowed to happen, and if it’s something you don’t like, it was just one of those things we failed to stop this tangerine freakshow from doing, sorry!”

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room.

Pretty sure the only one in the White House who isn’t an adult is Barron, and he’s probably causing the least trouble. This statement is ridiculous.

We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.

Do you want a cookie?

The result is a two-track presidency.


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.

I’d call that a red flag.

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.

“Yes, friends, we the non-Orange Thing administration have been going behind his back and trying to be normal. Thanks for looking!”

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.

Now Putin is going to punish him by… not letting him build a hotel in Moscow! All that collusion for nothing!

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.


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.

Why? Is he having a colonoscopy?

But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis.

“And by ‘constitutional crisis’ I of course mean ‘butt stuff‘.”

So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

“One way or another” is underlined.

The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.

Well, let’s give some credit to the red state voters who saw this lack of civility and were like “cool”.

Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.

Yeah, listen to the unity message from the guy who placed Sarah Palin on the national stage.

We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.

Lodestar? Is that like a lodestone but shinier?

There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first.

“Therefore, since you don’t know who I am, please just absolve all of us of this administration’s nonsense. Unless you like the nonsense, in which case, yeah, we meant to let that happen! Whatever the case, we’re American heroes! Yay, us!”

But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.

“Vote for me in 2020!”