New York Times Trump Op-Ed: What Was the Goal?

What if we discovered who wrote the recent anonymous New York Times op-ed piece about what it is to work daily for Donald Trump? What if it’s indeed true that the author is a White House “senior administration official”? Since tales of Trump’s incompetence and the White House chaos are nothing new, would the identity of the person who penned the New York Times op-ed matter as much as the motivation behind writing it?

The letter begins: “I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

The author goes on to say that he or she is not alone among the White House officials who are working to, in effect, save the nation from the president.

“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.

“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.

“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.”

Is this New York Times op-ed piece indeed the story of a group of “unsung heroes” who stay in a detestable situation for the grander purpose of thwarting the potential damage Donald Trump could cause to our nation? If so, then why not look into invoking the power of the 25th Amendment? If damage control and prevention are regular White House staff responses to Donald Trump’s erratic and impulsive behavior, why not drop the anonymity and band together to speak out?

Is the letter simply a publicity stunt to draw attention to the new Woodward book? The media has made much about the coincidental timing of the publication of this op-ed in the New York Times and the release of Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House.

Or is this New York Times op-ed piece an attempt by the GOP on a larger scale to cover all GOP bases at once (from “We, too, support the administration’s policies and want it to succeed, Trump supporters,” to “We know he’s incompetent and amoral, but we we’ve got your backs, moderates”)? Maybe (and this may be a stretch) at the same time, it’s even an attempt to toss one to the Democrats (“We know things are in a state of bedlam in the White House, but don’t get your hopes up that this administration or the GOP are going down”).

Even if the op-ed’s author came forward with solid evidence of the piece’s veracity, would Donald Trump’s supporters be swayed by truth about Trump? Would moderate Republicans feel reassured and trust the integrity of someone who claimed to be the resistance, yet remained in the Trump White House? What did the author of this op-ed piece in the New York Times hope to accomplish?

Opinion | Trump is right. The anonymous op-ed is ‘gutless.’ | Washington Post [2018-09-06]

‘Senior official’ pens anonymous op-ed blasting Trump | Fox News [2018-09-05]