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The Strange Anonymous ‘Resistance’ Op-Ed

There are legitimate political and constitutional remedies for an unfit president, but the anonymous "resistance" official isn't interested in any of that.
Donald Trump

The New York Times published a strange op-ed purportedly written by a “senior official” in the Trump administration:

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them.

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 author of the op-ed flatters himself by claiming to be acting in the best interests of the country, but there is something very wrong with having self-appointed guardians assuming that they have the right to sabotage certain policies of the elected president. For one, they have no authority to do what they’re doing, and no one voted for them. It is one thing to argue that professionals should be willing to serve a bad president in the interests of public service, and it is quite another to argue that the officials working for the president are entitled to disregard and override the president’s decisions because the president happens to be an ignorant buffoon. The “two-track presidency” that the official boasts about is an affront to our system of government. It is not reassuring that U.S. foreign policy continues as if on autopilot no matter what the electorate votes for.

Perversely, the more that Trump administration officials “frustrate parts of his agenda,” the more likely it is that Trump remains in power longer than he otherwise would. The official says that the core of the problem is the president’s “amorality.” That raises the obvious question: how can someone acknowledge that the president has no principles or scruples of any kind and still in good conscience try to help him succeed? These officials are not only enabling a president whose behavior they consider to be “detrimental to the health of our republic,” but they are helping to make sure that he stays in office instead of hastening his defeat. They want credit for “resisting” Trump when their “resistance” amounts to manipulating the policies of the government to their own liking.

There are legitimate political and constitutional remedies for an unfit president, but the anonymous “resistance” official isn’t interested in any of that. He prefers to keep the administration from completely imploding because it also happens to be advancing a mostly conventional Republican agenda that he likes. There is nothing particularly admirable about that, and he should not have been granted anonymity to write his self-congratulatory article. If this official feels so strongly that the president endangers the health and well-being of the country, he should put his name on a statement to that effect when he announces his resignation.