Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
The op-ed published in the New York Times Wednesday by an anonymous senior administration official alleging he or she is part of a broad internal subterfuge effort against President Donald Trump garnered an explosive reaction, both from the president himself and from Beltway commentators.
And the op-ed’s claim that the writer is not the only one secretly trying to curtail Trump’s behavior is starting to look credible.
On Thursday, Axios reported that two more senior administration officials told them that they share the feelings of the anonymous author.
“A lot of us [were] wishing we’d been the writer, I suspect,” said one. “I hope he [Trump] knows — maybe he does? — that there are dozens and dozens of us.”
On one hand, it may be hard for Trump’s critics feel overly grateful for this alleged silent coup against the president, given that his right-wing agenda continues apace and none of this internal resistance appears to have spurred Congress to perform their own oversight duties.
On the other hand, there is no way to know just how much worse the last two years might have been if Trump had had free reign to pursue his base instincts. Last year, he tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, only to be thwarted by now-outgoing White House Counsel Don McGahn. And Bob Woodward’s new book alleges that soon after taking office, Trump wanted to declare war on North Korea and assassinate Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. A counterfactual universe in which none of Trump’s aides ever worked against him might have seen these things happen.
Whether or not the internal strife in the White House is worth celebrating, it will almost certainly have the effect of increasing Trump’s terror and paranoia. He was already convinced there is a “deep state” of loyalists to former President Barack Obama plotting to bring him down, and at one point even carried around a handwritten list of people working for him who he suspected of treachery.
It remains to be seen whether any of this will fatally doom his administration. But in any event, the downward spiral continues.
Matthew Chapman is a video game designer, science fiction author, and political reporter from Austin, TX. Follow him on Twitter @fawfulfan.