What were the editors of the New York Times smoking when they decided to publish an op-ed by an anonymous official in the Trump Administration? “I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” he wrote. He and his buddies are “the Resistance” – secret Star Wars heroes fighting a guerrilla war against Donald Darth Vader.
Since November 8, 2016, the New York Times has a clear agenda: to delegitimise the President and to ensure that Republicans crash in the mid-terms and that Trump loses in 2020. All going well, he could even be impeached.
The publication of the op-ed shows that they are willing to breach their own editorial standards to achieve this goal. Serious publishers are loath to publish anonymous accusations, although they make exceptions for contributors whose lives may be at risk.
But that’s not true here.
The anonymous insider complains that “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.” But Trump was not elected because he was a conventional conservative Republican; he was elected to “drain the swamp”.
The unprecedented op-ed will only energise Trump’s base by fuelling their fears of a “Deep State” in DC which regards ordinary voters with contempt.
True, Trump must be almost impossible to work for. The insider alleges that he is a lousy manager – “impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective”. He tweets in the early hours of the morning; he regards the media as an “enemy of the people”; he is mercurial and erratic; he is incredibly rude.
But this was evident in the 2016 primaries and he still won the election. Voters elected him; they didn’t elect “the Resistance”.
The allegations surprised no one. What was surprising was the editorial decision to give the writer anonymity.
A spokeswoman for the Times explained the decision: “We are incredibly proud to have published this piece, which adds significant value to the public’s understanding of what is going on in the Trump administration from someone who is in a position to know.” This is nonsense; Trump’s chaotic management style has been making headlines since the day of his inauguration.
In fact, publication is sure to make life in the White House even more chaotic. The responsibilities of the Executive Branch will be neglected while the President does his best to smoke out the “traitor”.
One sentence of the op-ed reveals the insider’s agenda: “This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.”
“It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era,” he continues, “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.” In other words, Trust me. I can run the government better than your elected President. You don’t know who I am, what I look like, what I think, whom I answer to, who pays me. Just trust me.
Amazingly, the editors of the Times don't seem to grasp how condescending this must sound to millions of Americans. Adults have the courage to take responsibility for their actions. Adults who disagree with their boss take him on face-to-face or quit and take their complaints to the media. Adults don’t throw hand grenades into crowded rooms.
The op-ed merely exhibits the narcissism of two Olympic heavyweights in virtue-signalling – both the contributor and the New York Times. Thanks to the undemocratic arrogance of people like them, Hillary Clinton’s Democrats lost in 2016. Perhaps they will lose again in 2020.
Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet