Ethics Observations On “I Am Part Of The Resistance In The Trump Administration” [UPDATED]

You can find the instantly sensational op-ed here, as well as the New York Times’s various and predictable articles exploiting their own “scoop.”

“I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” says this alleged “senior official.” “…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….The erratic behavior would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the White House…. It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t….

Observations:

  • It doesn’t, or shouldn’t to fair and rational readers, matter what the author claims. He, or whoever he, she or it is, is inherently without credibility, just as all anonymous hit pieces are.  By his own admission and the evidence of the essay, the author is a liar, a coward, a spy, a mole and a saboteur, and an individual who is deliberately attempting to undermine democracy. There is no justification for trusting any aspect of his representations. Of course, those who want to believe the worst  about the President will believe everything he writes, because they want to, and because confirmation bias is strong. Nonetheless, the piece is untrustworthy on its face. It would not be admissible as evidence in any investigation or formal proceeding. No manager or leader would treat such a document as useful or probative.

The essay is less credible and less worthy of discussion or serious consideration than the inflammatory claims of Omarosa, the hearsay/speculation/ fantasies of Michael Wolfe in the generally debunked “Fire and Fury,” orthe latest hearsay and anonymously sourced Bob Woodward “tell-all.” And none of those are respectable either. At least, however, those authors have the decency and courage to reveal their own identities.

  • Despite all the hype and horror, this could have been written by an Ethics Alarms commentator—in fact, I could name some likely candidates— as one more familiar, standard statement of why any Trump-hater is determined that he should be impeached. It is a generic brief on the theory that “Donald Trump is unfit to be President and must be removed,” the first assertion of which was rejected by the electorate, and the second of which is legally unsustainable at this point.

The only aspect the op-ed arguably newsworthy is that the author claims to be a Trump administration official.

  • It should be unnecessary to point this out, because it is obvious, but I will anyway: such an op-ed could be issued by any arrogant, self-anointed “savior” who disagreed with the policies and character of any and every President. Every White House has enemies who would write essentially the same words and accusations. Why has this White House been the first to vomit out such vile stuff in the pages of the Times? My guess is that the vicious culture of the anti-Trump Left has created confidence that there will be a critical mass of journalists and others who will represent this inexcusable conduct as not just excusable, but laudable.

The conduct would never have been regarded as anything but despicable coming from a senior official (if he actually is one) of any other administration.  Democrats, “the resistance” and NeverTrumpers have jettisoned all ethical norms in their hatred of this one man who dared to foil them, who is in fact no different from any other President in the most important respect: he was elected, he holds the office, and he should be allowed to do his job.

  • If the op-ed is not a hoax, and if there are, as the writer says, highly placed members of the Trump Administration who are pretending to be loyal government employees but who are actually trying to undermine the President and his policies from within, then the assertions by conservatives and Trump supporters of the existence of a “deep state,” much mocked by the news media and Democrats, have been accurate all along.

This was apparent, or should have been,  before the op-ed, of course.

  • Should the Times have published this? If they confirmed to their satisfaction that it was genuine, and really came from a senior official who revealed to them his identity, sure. The public should know that there are pompous, lying, unethical saboteurs in their government. And it should scare the hell out of them.

We knew this too, though, before the op-ed.

  • President Trump is not blameless here. He and his staff have shown absurd incompetence in vetting staff high and low. It should surprise no one that a President who would allow the likes of Omarosa, Steve Bannon, Anthony Scaramucci and others to have places of trust within the administration would blunder into admitting other moles, spies and turncoats as well.

The fact that a manager or leader takes inadequate measures to ensure ethical conduct does not justify or mitigate the unethical conduct that results, however.

  • I assume that we will eventually learn who wrote this. Besides firing, what is the  appropriate punishment for someone who deliberately betrays the trust of elected leaders and who sets out to undermine the efforts that he or she is obligated to support? Such conduct flagrantly violates federal regulations, as promulgated by President George H.W. Bush’s Executive Order 12674. issued on October 1990. That EO begins,

By virtue of the authority vested in me as President, by the Constitution and the laws of the United States  of America, and in order to establish fair and exacting standards of ethical conduct for all executive branch employees, it is hereby ordered as follows… To ensure that every citizen can have complete  confidence in the integrity of the Federal  Government, each Federal employee shall respect and adhere to the fundamental  principles of ethical service as implemented in   regulations promulgated under sections 201 and   301 of this order:

The “Principles of Ethical Conduct” following that the anonymous writer has violated and is violating include,

(a) Public service is a public trust, requiring employees to place loyalty to the Constitution, the laws, and ethical principles above private  gain.

(e) Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.

(h) Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individua

 (j) Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or  negotiating for employment, that conflict with official Government duties and responsibilities.

(k) Employees shall disclose waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption to appropriate authorities. [NOTE: The New York Times is not an appropriate authority.]

(n) Employees shall endeavor to avoid any actions creating the appearance that they are violating the law or the ethical standards promulgated pursuant to this order.

  • Of course, the President is taking the bait, and now fulminating in his usual clumsy and childish way against the writer and the New York Times. In this he again falls into the trap being constantly set and re-set by those who are engaging in the slow-motion coup.

I wish he’d let me ghost write his tweets.

  • The conduct the writer extols and claims to be engaged in would be unethical and indefensible in any organization, large or small. The ethical responses to opposing ones’ superior’s conduct or the policies of one’s organization are to resign, or not to take the post in the first place. Joining an organization and actively working against the authority of superiors is never justified or justifiable except in wartime or as part of a law enforcement exercise.

Reactions to the op-ed from around the web:

Althouse:

“If I didn’t maintain rudimentary trust in the basic integrity of The New York Times I would think that there is no real person behind the famous anonymous op-ed. I’d think it was a concocted composite based on the Woodward book and motivated by the Woodward book. Look how that little thrown together collection of paragraphs is now drawing more attention than the book Woodward labored over, which dominated headlines on Tuesday. Wednesday, this column comes out. What is in the column that couldn’t have been extracted from the book and worked up into an op-ed purporting to be from a senior official in the White House?”

(Why does Althouse have any trust in the integrity of the New York Times?)

She also writes,

“This person is singing about his own heroism. We just don’t know his/her name, because he/she has got to stay hidden to continue sabotaging the work of the President the deplorables elected”

Bingo!

The LA Times:

“If you’re reading this, senior White House official, know this: You are not resisting Donald Trump. You are enabling him for your own benefit. That doesn’t make you an unsung hero. It makes you a coward. “

Liz Shield:

“How does it feel to learn that there is a powerful self-interested bureaucracy asserting itself above and against the will of the people?”

Byron York (Washington Examiner):

“Early in the piece, the author admits that the Trump administration has had significant success on the issues most important to American voters. “Many of [the administration’s] policies have already made America safer and more prosperous,” he writes. Later, he makes a list: “effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.” Perhaps the author doesn’t see it that way, but peace and prosperity are any president’s two most important accomplishments. Conceding Trump’s achievement undercuts the broader theme of the article.”

Glenn Greenwald:

The irony in the op-ed from the NYT’s anonymous WH coward is glaring and massive: s/he accuses Trump of being “anti-democratic” while boasting of membership in an unelected cabal that covertly imposes their own ideology with zero democratic accountability, mandate or transparency

Professor Reynolds: 

“The more they tell us Trump’s crazy, the crazier they act. Meanwhile lefties are starting to push the 25th Amendment again — it’s like they’re cycling now — and I have to say, if you think removing Trump will leave you in a better position, well, it won’t. Getting rid of Trump won’t return things to “normal.” It will make sure things are never normal in our lifetimes. But why do I bother? These people are crazy.”

Nick Gillespie (Reason):

There is no question that Trump was a uniquely unqualified candidate to run for president and he seems to have virtually no expertise in anything other than Twitter trolling. He clearly understands nothing about trade deficits, for instance, and his policies clearly don’t add up to anything particularly coherent (then again, they didn’t on the campaign trail, either). He is not a traditional Republican, but since when is that an impeachable offense? The author genuflects to John McCain, a well-respected public figure but also one whose incoherent and grandiose economic, social, and foreign policy positions were hardly worth emulating, and concludes

“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.”

With all due respect: What the fuck does that even mean?

Few outlets have been more stridently #NeverTrump than The New York Times, a fair stand-in for the legacy media which also has nothing but contempt for Donald Trump and sympathy for Hillary Clinton (it was her time!) and a broad Democratic agenda of more-active government. The anonymous op-ed can only be read through that light and thus discounted.

To sum up, the Times op-ed is just one more manifestation of the horrific mass misconduct that the entire left side of the political spectrum has persuaded itself is responsible, fair, rational behavior when it is in fact dangerous, undemocratic, and reckless. I am bored with pointing out this fact, but this President was faced with impeachment demands before he took office, was not accorded the minimal election spoils of united acceptance of his election traditionally symbolized by a peaceful, joyous celebration of our system and history at his inauguration, and he has continued to be undermined by behavior that never would have been tolerated by the public or the news media if focused on any other Chief Executive.

There is no question that it is wrong. The only question is how much damage it will do to the United States of America before it has run its course, and whether that damage will be permanent.

 

56 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, U.S. Society, Workplace

56 responses to “Ethics Observations On “I Am Part Of The Resistance In The Trump Administration” [UPDATED]

  1. Cynical John

    It is hard to imagine the hysteria that would follow should Trump run and be elected in 2020. I don’t like Trump. [My characterization of the 2016 election was “Bozo the Clown meets Lady Macbeth.”] But political campaigns generally have degenerated into mutual character assassinations. Why can’t we get decent and honorable people to run for office? Because who needs this kind of crap. As Mercutio said in “Romeo and Juliet”: “A plague on both your houses.”

    • As of this moment, only one “house” is actively trying to undermine the election process and the Office of the President. That’s an important distinction.

      • Cynical John

        I don’t disagree with that at all. I was thinking more about what is going on in some of the Congressional and other local elections in my disdain for both parties. But you are correct–the Democrats against Trump have not only driven off the end of the pier; they’ve been swept out to sea.

        • It is important to understand that they are ALL the Establishment Elite (“The Swamp”): Republicans who do not push the agenda they ran on are playing a role as the ‘loyal opposition’ even when they are in power.

          Kabuki theater.

          Trump is actually doing what he promised, and decreasing the power of the Establishment Elite.

    • dragin_dragon

      I have said before and I’m sure I will again, people who are smart enough to run for President are smart enough not to.

  2. luckyesteeyoreman

    Second try to post…

    The alleged comments by the “senior official” are a main reason why I would not (and did not) vote for Hlary Cnton.

    Given the character of presidents who have been elected since at least, oh, LBJ or JFK, I would EXPECT that highly placed officials – being loyal to (1) the country, (2) the Constitution, and (3) the office of President of the U.S. – would serve as “adults in the room,” as often as necessary. But, I also expect that they would neither begrudge that duty, nor broadcast their performance of it while in office, nor disclose anything about it for at least as long as the president they served was in office.

    A Cntons administration would not have consisted of such loyalists – only wagon-circling sycophants – and the New York Times would never have published such remarks, even if someone actually made them. So the public would never know of the paranoia, the snarling self-righteous sociopathy, the obsessions and narcissism in the Cnton White House. Even when the exercise of the 25th Amendment would have plainly been appropriate, even necessary. (Picture “hubby” doing his wife’s work.)

    We know what a Cntons administration would be doing, up to this very minute and for every minute of their opportunity to rule. They would be, well, Democrat Party loyalists first: employing the utmost in abuse of power, in service to the principle that the ends justify the means. They would be doing everything that they could possibly get away with, to force a “blue monopoly” on the body politic. Make that a “democratic socialist” monopoly.

    NYT sycophants-to-the-regime of Cntons would have “finked” on the “squealer” and “traitor,” and (deservingly and fittingly) such “leakers” (saboteurs, really – just like Jack called them) would be out the door in a fartbeat. They would likely be prosecuted within months or even weeks of departure, because laws are such that it is possible to prosecute ANYbody, ANYtime; such is the power of today’s Big State.

    With such “turncoats” thus out of the way and discredited, ruined for life by being prosecuted (even if not convicted), the Cntons administration would merrily prance along its way, unaccountable, untouchable, safely in command of the Swamp.

    Oh yeah, sure, I’ll vote for Democrats and only Democrats in 2018 and 2020.

  3. To be honest I think the core of the piece, that the author is a “senior officials in his own administration… working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations” is a balded-faced lie and the NYT likely knows it a lie.

    This piece wreaks of psychological propaganda which is basically any action which is practiced mainly by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people and specifically designed to influence the recipient’s value system, belief system, emotions, motives, reasoning, and behavior.

    The New York Times is a propaganda machine and has become the equivalent of an internet troll that is trolling society as a whole and very specifically trolling the President of the United States.

    Have you ever heard of people driving an alcoholic to reach your goals; well the NYT is intentionally trying to drive Trump into irrational head explosions (which is relatively easy to drive a narcissist to do) to undermine his ability to do his job and “prove” that he’s psychologically unstable and therefore unfit to be President of the United States and the NYT doesn’t give a damn about any collateral damage it can cause the United States of America. In my opinion, what the NYT is doing is is subversion leading towards sedition.

    Jack wrote, “I wish he’d let me ghost write his tweets.”

    Me too but the problem is that no one would believe that it’s his tweets.

  4. Glenn Logan

    I am now officially of the opinion that violence is not only inevitable, but frankly necessary. There is a coup underway that must be stopped at any cost. Enough is enough. This op-ed confirms a group of people who will stop at nothing, including the sabotage of our country’s governance, to get their way.

    This, and the surrounding events, constitute a rejection of constitutional government both by the left and apparently a secret cabal within the bureaucracy. It cannot and must not be allowed to continue.

    For those of you who may have read the Honor Harrington novels by David Webber, this is exactly what happened when the reconstituted government of the Republic of Haven was subverted from within by an unscrupulous foreign minister. He changed the words of diplomatic correspondence during peace negotiations, resulting in his own government restarting a war that killed millions – an outcome he did not desire, but created by substituting his judgment for that of the duly elected government. This op-ed admits exactly the same kind of thing. Can catastrophe be far behind?

    Do we really think it can’t happen to us? We have saboteurs pressing their own agenda, and subverting the will of the democratically elected president – just like in the novels.

    Just when you think fiction could never become reality, it does.

    • Glenn Logan you are basing your conclusion on the assumption that what the person wrote is factually true that in fact “senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations”; I think it’s a lie and a very intentional one.

      • That statement in the piece is accurate. Comey? Yates? Why would you doubt it?

      • I’m going to go out on a limb here…

        I think that after this has had plenty enough time to fester and infect society as being “fact” we’ll read some half-baked retraction that it wasn’t actually a senior official after all but it was someone lower in the Administration, and then later on we’ll hear that the source was not entirely truthful and the NYT was only reporting the facts as they were presented.

      • Sensed

        There’s nothing that would lead one to believe it’s a lie. The reports and evidence of backstabbers in the Trump administration is overwhelming. If you believe that a substantial portion of the political class is actively plotting against the President, why would it come as a surprise that some of that plotting is coming from the most inner sanctum?

        I think Jack’s point about “taking the bait” is an interesting one to consider. I would propose that it is in fact the left who has, sadly, taken the bait. Donald Trump is transparently inept, and it’s an understandable temptation to block his ineptitude from being the will of the people. The temptation has clearly overwhelmed a sizable portion of the population both in and out of politics.

        • Donald Trump is transparently inept

          Inept?

          Looked at his record so far?

          Perhaps you mean ‘uncouth.’ ‘Narcissistic?’ Certainly ‘intemperate’ and ‘brash’

          But not inept.

      • Glenn Logan

        You could be right, but I’m taking them at their word. The Times is unlikely to have simply made this up from whole cloth, although you can never know for sure.

      • I am curious, Zoltar, why do you conclude that the Op-Ed is a lie, a part of psy-op to destabilize the Trump Administration (which CNN and others refer to as the “Trump Regime”)? Anne Althouse is of the same belief. I am not sure where you and she draw that conclusion. She breaks down the writing style and compares it to a synthesis of the Bob Woodward tell-all book.

        I read the Op-Ed and I wondered about why the NYT published an anonymous Op-Ed and if the NYT has done that in the past. I also wondered why (well, not really, . . .) the anonymous Trump Administration source did not resign and utilize the whistle=blower statutes to expose what is in the Op-Ed. I also wondered what was so revealing about the Op-Ed that anyone with an ounce of sense couldn’t see with the naked eye. Trump says he loves to manage by chaos and he has shown that he loves to do that. That is not impeachable, it is simply bad management.

        jvb

        • johnburger2013
          I actually didn’t write that the “Op-Ed” is a lie I wrote that this statement “senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations” is a lie, but since that’s really the guts of the Op-Ed yours is a reasonably fair extrapolation of my words.

          Right now the author and the NYT have absolutely no credibility on this one. If the author had identified themself thus giving genuine credibility to their words instead of remaining anonymous and the part about “frustrate parts of his agenda” had been left out, I wouldn’t have written that it was a lie. I would agree that senior officials in the Trump Administration are quite likely trying to “frustrate parts of [Trump’s]… worst inclinations” which I understand as a person’s natural tendency or urge to act a particular way, but I do not believe that they are trying to “frustrate parts of his agenda” which I understand as the policy goals. It’s my opinion that Senior officials of the any Administration wouldn’t be in their positions if they didn’t agree with the agenda as in policy goals of the President of the United States.

          The author had the audacity to write “We want the administration to succeed…”, again the implication that these senior officials are working together to resist Trump, but moreover by writing the Op-Ed for the NYT the author knew full well that it would feed the anti-Trump frenzy and undermine the ability of the Administration to move forward with their agenda. The whole Op-Ed was psychological propaganda feeding the anti-Trump frenzy and anyone with a rational brain knows that the Op-Ed is anti-Trump Administration subversion. Someone wanting the Trump Administration to succeed would never have written this Op-Ed.

          My conclusion based on the authors words and the contradictions I perceive within the Op-Ed is that the author is a liar and until the author comes forward to lend credibility to their words and explains away the contradictions I perceive I’ll stand by my words.

    • Rich in CT

      I am now officially of the opinion that violence is not only inevitable, but frankly necessary. There is a coup underway that must be stopped at any cost.

      So you want violence to suppress constitutionally protected speech????

      • Glenn Logan

        Yeah, that’s exactly what I meant by that. I want to do violence speakers that I disagree with. It’s so obvious.

        What a stupid comment.

        • Glenn had written: I am now officially of the opinion that violence is not only inevitable, but frankly necessary. There is a coup underway that must be stopped at any cost.

          If I may I’d like to offer a comment and a perspective. The perspective comes, as far as I know, more from *our* side — that is, the New Alternative Right of the Traditionalist Right.

          It goes like this: Hyper-Liberalism is in an advanced state. This liberalism has infected the occident and, like a disease, will kill the host. And it has come about because of long causal chains of events. There is no way, given the causal factors, that any part of this decadence, this disease if you will, can be cured in a day. It has taken about 50-60 years for the present Hyper-Liberalism to take shape.

          It will therefor take some similar length of time to reverse it.

          Here, on this Blog, the focus is the legalities of the Constitution, and everything is seen through (what I personally consider to be) a too-limiting lens: America and Americanism (and ‘the tenets of the American civil religion’ and also ‘The Americanopolis’).

          This narrow viewpoint must be expanded. If we are dealing with a crisis, we are dealing with a ‘crisis in the Occident’, and America must not only see itself as part of the Occident, it must re-link itself with The Occident in a larger sense. This does mean, in fact, turning back against certain traits of Americanism (closed-mindedness, a form of arrogance, and too much emphasis in ‘America’s uniqueness’ and that peculiar idea that America had been selected (by God or Providence) to have some special, guiding role. Now, at this point, America does not look like a solution to much of anything, given that it has fallen, substantially, into the disease of Hyper-Liberalism. America in this sense is an *occupied nation* and this, of course, leads to theory about who and what has occupied it.

          So far, on this Blog, no one has even begun to broach that topic. It obviously leads into areas that represent, in the American present, *unthinkable thought*. One is not even allowed to mention certain things on this Blog.

          But until the *real facts* are seen, and until they can be put out on the table for conversation and analysis 100% free of interposing ‘political correctness’ and any censoring of thought and perception, no advance can be made in reversing the present conditions. Without such a renewal of perception, which amounts to interior and personal work for the highly indoctrinated American, no progress will be made. Therefor, the first order of business is describing what is going on. Seeing it. This is a profound hermeneutical issue. Here, it connects back to the general Occidental situation. Not just America but the entire European world. And all of the former English colonies. This means everywhere that there are white Europeans.

          Now, these are the facts (according to *us*). This is the base for *looking at* the present situation.

          Once it is seen and understood that there is a larger assault going on, and once one realizes what, in fact, this means for white European culture (the Occident), one will begin to see *America* differently. And begin, therefor, to disentangle perception from a whole range of hyper-liberal trends that operate, oh so strongly, oh so virulently, in American Progressivism. What is implied is not a carrying forward of American Progressivism in its post-Civil War forms like some religious crusade! but in fact the reconsideration of the entire structure: essentially Postwar America: Weimerica.

          If this is not done, if things just coast along in chaos and confusion, things will devolve into blind violence. But violence is not required! And violence will serve no (real) purpose. What serves *our* purposes is awareness, the continuation of efforts to educate and reveal (explain), and to win those who are receptive to our understandings over to our side. This is a GENERATIONAL PROCESS. It took 50-60 years to get to this bizarre point, and it will take that long again to reverse it.

          One either understands and acts toward renewal of European Categories, or one serves the processes of chaos that undermine them.

          Once there are enough of us simply holding to the awareness of what is really happening, and why, that is the point where things might begin to reverse. But since it is, really, about European Renewal, it really has to do with renewal, and this is in essence, and in respect to Europe, a spiritual issue. I am not making this up. Europe was created through these spiritual processes, and it is being disintegrated through the lack of them, the weakening of them. If you renew yourself, if you really and genuinely seek and build on that, and if you communicate that to others, this might happen.

        • Rich in CT

          What a stupid comment.

          Are you referring to your own? If so, I concur. Using violence to address the “coup” is stupid.

          Who are you going to be violent towards? White House staffers for publishing tall tales of heroically undermining the President? Senator Cory Brooker for publishing confidential documents? The press for publishing subversive material? Members of the Democratic Party petitioning for redress of alleged unstable conduct by the head of government?

          The Constitution protects expression, even expression that undermines it. Any criminal behavior accompanying that expression is already criminal.

          Are you saying that violence is frankly necessary to protect the Constitution from itself?

          • The Constitution protects expression, even expression that undermines it.

            Habeas Corpus Suspension Act (1863)

            “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That during the present rebellion, the President of the United States, whenever in his judgment the public safety may require it, is authorized to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in any case throughout the United States or any part thereof. And whenever and wherever the said privilege shall be suspended, as aforesaid, no military or other officer shall be compelled, in answer to any writ of habeas corpus, to return the body of any person or persons detained by him by authority of the President; but upon a certificate, under oath, of the officer having charge of any one so detained, that such person is detained by him as a prisoner under the authority of the President, further proceedings under the writ of habeas corpus shall be suspended by the judge or court having issued the writ so long as said suspension by the President shall remain in force and said rebellion continue.”

            It seems to me that there is a precedent for when a radical government opts to suspend certain Constitutional protections when it deems a crisis to be enough severe.

            The hysteria of the American Progressive, allied with business interests, the deep state government intelligence apparatus, seems to be concluding that the times are dangerous enough to take steps to limit speech. Although the modern American corporation is not, not quite, the State, nevertheless the recent Twitter/YouTube/PayPal bannings seem only possible under the aegis of the present, shall we say, regime. And that regime must be defined in terms of its ties to the business community and their interests.

            What is curious, to me, is that formerly some Radical Republicans seemed to fulfil the role of today’s Radical Progressive Democrat. One was, and the other now is, 100% certain that its values and choices were/are the right ones. And they are, it seems, sure enough to take steps to impose their will and ‘nip in the bud’ the fascistic elements that they have trained themselves to hate.

            All very curious really… One wonders how it will all turn out.

            • dragin_dragon

              That Act was determined to be un-Constitutional by SCOTUS.

              • But that was not my point. It served its purpose during a radical period.

                My understanding and my belief is that the Constitution is an obstacle to the operations of power: concentrations of power, business, intelligence, military and governmental power. My researches have indicated that there is now and there has been many many levels of use of shadow power, or para-military power, in the 20th century. To understand how this intelligence- and para-military power operates, one could start looking into the activities of a person like George Bush Sr.

                Therefor, it stands as a fact, in my view, that already, and in many different instances, the Constitution is, while not a sham obviously, rather a formal obstacle to power and its machinations. I believe that this has been demonstrated in so many different ways that it is now common knowledge.

                I believe that *behind the scenes*, now, and certainly at other times, para-governmental and para-military operatives work extra-Constitutionally to achieve their goals and purposes.

                I am undecided how this ultimately should be viewed. For example, my understanding is that shadow operatives of a para-military sort were very much at work during the Sixties period. Take for example COINTELPRO which is the best-documented example. There are dozens if not hundreds of examples of similar para-military programs that operat(ed) to manipulate events and mold culture.

                My central issue is the Thracymachus-question. As you may recall it was his assertion that *power determines* and that what power determines is the just and justice. The question is how one related to this fact. In the world that I observe it is of powerful players using power to achieve their ends, and they subvert when needed any obstacle that stands in their way. And once they gain what they set out to gain, they then justify themselves by adherence to the *rule of law* (until it becomes necessary to break the rules of law). My primary example, in my own life, and as a general example, is that of the State of Israel. Illegal by all measures. Born out of terrorism and full use of raw power. Once attained, it digs in as it were, and validates itself through mythic stories. Once, I had no other option but to *defend Israel* because the alternative was unthinkable. But Israel really is a illegitimate state and, because this is so at a foundational level, no good will ever come from its existence. And its existence, though a *good* for individual living Israelis, is very much a bad insofar as it cannot ever be a just state and a just creation. It requires justice to remediate the injustice that has been done, and continues to be done, in Israel’s name.

                It was with this problem, and through this problem, that I was forced to deal with the Power-question.

                Another assertion of power, and also an evil consequence of the unjust use of power and force, was the North’s invasion and destruction of the South. A whole nest of evils and profound problems stems out of this. They don’t ever go away though they can, for a time, be buried or denied. Once such a violation occurs, and is not addressed, it *festers* within the social body.

                The National Government and the *regime* of government, if you will permit this term, is an *outcome* of this abuse of Power. That is, structurally, and historically, it is founded on the choices of powerful interests, yet which are para-Constitutional. The errors that were committed then were not addressed or remediated and they have continued. It is a deep problem and I also believe that a good portion of the problems of our present are connected through causal lines to these previous events.

                In our present I do not doubt that powerful players, likely invisible and shadowed, are working diligently to deal with the *crisis of democracy* that appears to be upon us. A *crisis of democracy* is cured not by allowing *democracy* to function democratically (whatever that means) but rather through efforts to control and direct it. Its para-military and para-governmental power that works to subvert democratic choice and process. To my mind if one does not acknowledge this Thracymachan fact, one is not behaving intelligently.

                I wonder if what I have just said, which makes great sense to me, is intelligible to you or others. But this is how I see things.

  5. dragin_dragon

    This op-ed is either a hoax and the NYT knows it or it was composed by the NYT staff, and the whole thing is an NYT fabrication. Go ahead, try to convince me thr NYT never fabricated a story.

    • This one? It would be too stupid. Not worth the risk.

      • If the “source” is never revealed as them, what’s the actual risk to the NYT?

        • A major newspaper caught in a complete fabrication adied and abetted by the editors would be ruined. It’s mot explosive enough or significant enough to take the risk, no matter how small the risk may be.

          • Jack wrote, “A major newspaper caught in a complete fabrication adied and abetted by the editors would be ruined.”

            Maybe some other newspaper outlet but this is the New York Times we’re talking about, it would simply be rationalized away by them and their loyal followers. I think the NYT and it’s loyal followers have shown that they are morally bankrupt and the ends justifies the means, but that’s just my opinion.

          • Joe Fowler

            They seem to have survived quoting one intern who later secured an entry level job, as three separate “senior officials”, in an anti-fracking article a few years back. From Townhall.com, by Phelim McAleer, today:
            “Well unfortunately for the New York Times, the emails were from the Energy Information Agency – a government organization – so this meant Senate investigators were able to find the original emails and work out the identity of all these different senior experts. It turns out the federal analyst, the energy analyst and the officer turned out to be the same person who was actually an intern when he wrote the first email and in an entry level position when he wrote the other comments. Yes, that’s right, the “Paper of Record” misrepresented an intern/junior employee as a senior official to push an agenda.

            Was the New York Times embarrassed when their deception was uncovered? The Senate investigation did attract the attention of the New York Times Public Editor Arthur S Brisbane. “Can an intern be an “official”? It doesn’t sound right to me,” he stated.

            Well it sounded fine to the New York Times editorial board. They stood by their mislabelling of the intern/low level employees as a senior official. They later decided they didn’t want their stories to be second guessed in their own newspaper so they ended the role of public editor in the newspaper. And the reporter who misrepresented the intern, well, he was promoted. Ian Urbina is now a New York Times “investigative reporter based in Washington.” Maybe part of that investigation involved finding someone to write anti-Trump anonymous op/eds posing as a “senior official in the Trump administration.” President Trump is probably wondering who the anonymous official is. Perhaps given the New York Times’s history of dissembling in this regard he should take his eyes off the cabinet table and wander down to whatever part of the White House holds the interns.”

      • Glenn Logan

        Yeah. That’s what I think as well. Not impossible, but quite unlikely.

    • Maybe some hacker is phishing a senior officials email account and the NYT like the article so they just ignore the possibility that it’s total fiction.

  6. Other Bill

    Ironically, I don’t think this is a very big deal. The left and media have become such non-stop shit stirrers that this story will be replaced by the next story that’s coming down the conveyor belt in a really short period of time. Heard anything about children being separated from their parents and put in cages lately? Not really. Or Vladimir Putin? Little Rocket Man? Omarosa? The media and the left have the attention span of a gnat. They bring out the horror du jour each and every day, often times more than one a day. And then it’s on to the next thing. People are exhausted. I really think they’ve lost their audience.

  7. It reads to me like a Frankenfic, cobbled together from several sources. Whether hoax as I think or not, this was only put out to rile and ferment cultural war. Maybe even civil war. I detest Trump, but this is far worse than this rounding up the mob with pitchforks to oppose a Supreme Court fight and any part of getting by until the next election,

    What are they drinking?

  8. Chris Marschner

    Given that Jack, Zoltar, and Glenn Logan have captured much of my thoughts I wish to only add that this Op Ed piece smacks of the same tactic of using circular corroboration to obtain FISA warrants and initiate the Mueller investigation.

    The FISA applications used Yahoo News to corroborate the Steele dossier and it was Steele that provided the information to Yahoo News. Now it appears that this Op Ed piece is designed to corroborate the Bob Woodward book but we are relying on the NYT, which objectively is anti-Trump, as the validating entity for an unnamed opinion that validates Woodward’s book. The timing is interesting.

    Some other thoughts:

    Given that a third part intermediary gave the Op Ed text to the NYT, does the third party gain the protection of being the source or can the administration demand who the third party was that delivered the text? Exactly to whom does the NYT owe a duty to protect as the source?

    To the lawyers in this communtariat I ask what is meant by attempts to overthrow a government as enumerated in 18 U.S. Code § 2385 – Advocating overthrow of Government. What I can assess is that the phrase “by force” is the operative word in that section. But, where does the suggestion of using force need to originate such that it meets the definition of the code? The legal community who actively engage in polemics is very careful to avoid any language the would suggest using force but their following are often explicit in saying that violence (force) to battle (bad) hate is good and necessary violence; in which hate and Trump are synonymous.

    I have heard elected persons state unequivocally that there is no moral equivalence between Antifa violence and Alt-Right violence. Obviously, this is political violence on both sides but only one side wants to bring down a duly elected president by any means possible. As all of this is tied to the election of DJT, or at least reared its ugly head after the election, it seems to me that such violence is politically motivated and is intended to force an elected president out of office. I suppose the question then becomes what is meant by overthrow of government. Does it mean one branch or all branches?

    In today’s world of asymmetrical warfare, can a conspiracy be proven if all combatants are encouraged to act not by direct order but by indirect suggestion?

    As for the writer of the Op Ed piece I think the following quotes are relevant:
    “A coward boasting of his courage may deceive strangers, but he is a laughing-stock to those who know him.”
    Phaedrus

    “The coward only threatens when he is safe.”
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    “Cowardice rightly understood begins with selfishness and ends with shame.”
    Jose Rizal

  9. A lot of the commentary I’m seeing across the broad swathe of commentary assumes that this deep-state commenter probably exists, for no reason other than the expectation of professionalism on the part of the times. I have no idea where this faith comes from anymore.

    Even before the Trump administration, journalism has been haemorrhaging credibility. I think The Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus.” Was an especially low point. A major publication didn’t do even the most basic of fundamental checks and balances on journalism. You could blame the author for being a biased hack with a narrative, but that doesn’t excuse the layers of editors between that author and publication, and that is by no way an unusual story anymore.

    Since the Trump administration, this has gotten worse, the frustration over the impotence of the media’s manic, primal screeching has reached a tipping point. No longer able to control the narrative outside of their rapidly shrinking bubbles, the expanded punditry has been reduced to an assortment of attempts to signal their virtue so bright it shines like the sun…. If the sun was hidden behind a nearly opaque blend of hair dye, face tackle, and liposuction equipment. Article after article of toxic bile dredged up by people who can’t think past their hate have slipped past all the safeguards that used to define a profession.

    Because of this, I have no conception under God why anyone assumes that the Times is acting in a way that could even be seen as approaching journalistic integrity. I mean…. Sure, this person might exist. Just as easily: a biased author made the whole thing up from whole cloth and the layers of editors on top of that author didn’t even read the piece.

    • Bernard Goldberg wrote the book Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News in 2002. In it is an editorial he wrote May 2001 for the WSJ that noted he asked Dan Rather about the NYT. Rather responded it was “middle of the road” and not liberal or conservative. Goldberg reflected:

      “I couldn’t believe he was serious. The Times is a newspaper that has taken the liberal side of every important social issue of our time, which is fine with me. But if you see the New York Times editorial page as middle of the road, one thing is clear: You don’t have a clue.

      Apparently “journalism has been haemorrhaging credibility” for longer than many of us care to admit. Interestingly some members of Christian Crusade in 1965 decided to expose the liberal press with a book entitled Distortion by Design. I suppose no one really listened the those guys then for being…well…on a Christian crusade. Anyway author Billy James Hargis had some sage advice that applies now more than ever.

      “If the situation is ever to be improved to any substantial degree, Americans must stop accepting without question anything they read in their newspapers and in popular magazines. There is a critical need for many more Americans to adopt an inquiring attitude and learn to dig for the truth rather than accept the prevailing view in editorials by left -wing writers, slanted news reports and in left-wing articles. Americans must stop depending on the press as a sole source of news.

      People must test the printed word for truth.

      In other words, use discernment. NYT gets away with this stuff because we have let them. Maybe things will change, but if this crap has been going on since ’65 (and likely much longer) it’s likely NYT, CNN, et al. will continue to distort and the public will continue to pay for it.

  10. “A lot of the commentary I’m seeing across the broad swathe of commentary” Barf. I wish I proofread myself.

  11. JutGory

    Sort of relevant: why is the New York Times untrustworthy?

    I seem to recall they made a statement the the traditional rules of journalism did not apply to Trump, but I am at a loss to think of a good google search for that.

    By contrast, the statement by the Washington Post that they would not cover his campaign would be easier to find.

    Just need a cite to suggest why the Times May not be trustworthy and want to know what the Times actually said.

    -Jut

    • You’ll find a lot of good reasons here, at the New York Times tag. And I have the link to the Times announcement that it was abandoning objective journalism.

      But really, JG, you don’t think hiring an editor with a long social media record of anti-white racist statements as well as statements denigrating the entire male gender is evidence enough?

      • JutGory

        Jack, that is one thing. Her crap is guilt by insinuation. It is much better to say that they are untrustworthy, not because they employ a racist Asian but because they said they were not objective.

        In other words, I don’t like the Times, but bias makes you stupid. Before I oppose this anonymous op-ed because the Times has abandoned journalistic integrity,I want to see it for myself.

        It is easy to have a casual opinion. I am only making the inquiry here because I am pretty sure it was discussed here.

        So, when Jack criticizes Althouse for still trusting the Times, I want to make sure I have my facts straight before spouting off, especially because I recall a smoking gun where the Times said they were treating Trump differently.

        I just want to verify what I heard and believed to be y true without verification

        -Jut

  12. Chris Marschner

    Interestingly, the anonomous writer laments the fact that Trump is ill informed. Well, what the hell are the advisors doing? Their job is to inform him of relevant facts. His job is to assess the facts as presented and make decisions based on those facts and recommendations. If his judgement is impaired it can be said that those responsible for providing the intel did not perform their duties.

  13. Sue Dunim

    Putting your own beliefs in front of your sworn duty, as well as the expressed wishes of the electoral college, if not the electorate, is a very dangerous thing.

    If you have the slightest shred of Faith that the legislature would do its duty and put national before political interest, then you go to them first, not the NYT.

    If the President orders the H-Bombing of Los Angeles because a tweet upset him, or something similarly egregious, then you stop him, and hand yourself over to the courts for trial. You don’t white ant him by ‘losing’ papers and the like, while still being an accomplice to an administration neither qualified nor competent (in the 25th amendment sense) to govern, despite the precedent of the last days of the Nixon presidency – where those around him did exactly that.

    If the facts in the OpEd are true, and there is considerable reason to believe they are, then the current incumbent needs a babysitter at all times to stop him from irreparably damaging the nation. That’s an untenable situation, but the constitutional remedy is impeachment or removal via the 25th, not putting yourself above the wishes of the electoral college. That way lies madness and despotism. If the constitutional remedies are broken, as again, I think there is reason to believe they are, then you sign your name to the document, and put yourself before the courts. You don’t set yourself up as a dictator.

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