No — our fears are not allayed by an anonymous op-ed

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The secret “high official” who wrote the recent op-ed in The New York Times— I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration — denouncing his own boss as immoral and un-moored, also alluded that a large fraction of Trump’s cabinet had informally mulled whether to invoke the 25th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in order to protect the republic and its people from a jabbering, terror-stricken, bully-toddler. According to reports, those worried officials decided instead “to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.”

Woof, so many aspects to this:

1) I have long believed that there are many grownups, in the civil service, along with the justice, intelligence and military professionals, etc., and even maybe a quarter of today’s billionaires, who are alerted to the danger and strenuously doing what they can to maintain a semblance of a strong and sane national government and economy, amid all this. It is this civil society of dedicated servants to the rule of law that Vladimir Putin will never understand.

2) In order for the 25th to be invoked, the Vice President must call an official cabinet meeting. And Mike Pence will only do this on his terms, at his own time, when it serves the interests of Mike Pence. That won’t happen while the MAGA Trumpists still seem a potent force, and while Murdoch’s shills are stoking that inferno…

…though it could be an unforeseen side effect if there truly is a huge “Blue Wave” in November. At which point the Casino and slumlords and mafia kingpins who help Rupert Murdoch run the GOP may decide to ditch the MAGAs as hard as they threw the Bushite neocons under the bus, in 2005.

3) Remember that this op-ed writer — whoever it is — was appointed by Two Scoops. Despite Trump’s constant claims of being an “excellent judge of people” — he has picked a higher proportion of “disloyal betrayers” than any national leader in the history of our species. “ Confront your MAGA uncle with a bald fact that no squirming rationalization can evade. Donald Trump has proved to be a wretchedly awful judge of character.

Because of this, whoever the anonymous “high official” is, we must temper our gratitude with a dark awareness that it’s probably not a person qualified to strike a match with five tries. Oh, there are a few exceptions, decent appointments in Defense and a couple of other agencies, like NASA. But on the first order: anyone chosen by Donald Trump for high office should bear a presumption of utter disqualification for service or office.

And yes, op-ed writer, this includes you. Look in a mirror. He… picked… you. Try some humility.

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4) If the scenario reported by the anonymous official is true, then he/she just did us all a profound disservice by bragging about it! By alerting His Highness to the existence and extent of the “Resistance” within the administration. How is that helpful? See how this self-serving betrayal — plus the recently released Bob Woodward book — may have made untenable James Mattis’s strategy of defending us by flattering the toddler.

As for the 25th Amendment, yes, it is an option. But there are aspects and quirks that I’ve seen no one even remotely consider — which I’ve presented in an article: Exit strategies Part II: Surprising aspects of the 25th Amendment. I don’t expect any of these clever things to be done by this treasonously lazy Congress. But the next one should at least know its options.

5) Then there is the stunning hypocrisy of assailing Trump while defending the overall GOP policy outline — e.g. continuing insane experiments in “Supply Side” voodoo economics that have never once, across the last 40 years, predicted a single outcome with a feather of success, always, always achieving diametrically opposite results. And this is your silver lining? Oh, the purpose is obvious, to lure disaffected Republican voters to come out for the party in November one-last-time, before the deluge. We see you.

As Virginia Heffernan notes in the Los Angeles Times, “There’s nothing comforting about a soft coup d’etat in the White House made up of unnamed vigilantes who are accountable to no one…”

6) And finally, we are justified in viewing the Op-Ed writer with a certain amount of contempt, for “There is no redemption; no exoneration for you or your colleagues inside this shit-show of an administration. You think an op-ed in the paper of record is going to cut it? Gimme a break. You cannot write an article admitting to the president’s “anti-democratic” impulses while also saying you want his administration “to succeed.” You cannot publish a 965-word piece excoriating Donald Trump’s “worst inclinations” while omitting any and all references to his racism, bigotry, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and white nationalism,” writes Mehdi Hasan in The Intercept. We need — and deserve — more than passive resistance.

We need — and deserve — more than passive resistance.

What can the rest of us do? Let’s not be content to stand aside and hope there are more grownups out there, combining into a critical mass for sanity. Of course we must all think about what we can do: I am a big believer we should all see if there’s a nearby swing district for State Assembly or State Senate worth devoting some hours and cash. That’s where the real action is, this year and where small contributions can make a real difference… and where the candidate will remember your name!

But it will take more. Each of us knows a RASR or two — Residually Adult/Sane Republican… as the anonymous-coward Times op-ed writer claims to be. The spirits of Washington and Lincoln and the Greatest Generation rejoice when each RASR is roused to rejoin the Union side in this struggle. and you… yes, you… should fulfill a quota of two or three, wakened from their Fox-induced fever.

I believe that one way to approach those who disdain facts and objective reality — is to use the polemical power of wagers, bets, dares, and challenges. But that’s another matter. For now, keep of strong heart. Stay in it for the long haul.

And… in answer to the question in the title above: No, our fears are not allayed. They are justified.

Author, scientist, public speaker. My books include The Transparent Society, The Postman, Earth, Existence, and Startide Rising.

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