Thursday, September 6, 2018

Lodestar




I don't know why I follow Yahoo! news feed other than I have my e-mail account through Yahoo!  Sandwiched between all the stories of the Kardashians, missing teens, fallout over Nike's Kaepernick ad, and most luxurious castles to sleep in are a few stories on the anonymous editorial in the New York Times by a senior official in the White House.

Everyone is trying to guess who he is.  The most intriguing theory is Mike Pence, largely based on one word -- lodestar.  More likely it is Dan Coats or Don McGahn or someone we don't pay much attention to.  Whatever the case, it sure has gotten the Donald's dander up.

Some have come out and said a senior administration official is "gutless," as he is answerable only to the Commander-in-Chief and is himself or herself posing a national security risk.  Others feel all these officials are answerable to the United States, and if they have grave doubts about the sanity of the President, which Bob Woodward's new book makes explicitly clear, then it is their obligation to invoke the 25th amendment, which is one of the hottest hashtags right now.

Not since Watergate have members of a President's administration so brazenly defied their boss, and for good reason.  Trump is certifiably nuts.  We don't need Omarosa to tell us this, or even Bob Woodward.  All one has to do is look at his steady stream of tweets -- five, six, seven or more per day -- that show a man that is truly unhinged.

To this point, his administration had drawn a wagon circle around him but with his former lawyer and accountant flipping on him and no telling how much information the FBI landed from their raid on Paul Manafort's home, there are a lot of Trump officials, both senior and junior, fearing they might be next.  As such, the wagon circle now has a few holes in it, and one big gaping one to read the NYTimes op-ed piece.

This is truly damning, as the anonymous editorial reinforces pretty much what Woodward says in his new book, Fear, and for that matter Omarosa too, that this administration has entered a "Twilight Zone," where aides have to keep information and papers away from the President for fear he might do something truly stupid and dangerous that would threaten our national security.  Does Congress need anymore reason to impeach him?

Apparently, yes, as Republican leaders in the Senate have for the most part remained mum on the subject and they are the ones who ultimately decide this issue.  Regardless of how the House votes on impeachment, the Senate must approve that decision by a two-thirds vote.  That's 67 Senators.  It is doubtful Mitch McConnell would use the so-called nuclear option in this case.

The best course is to try to get Trump to step down at the end of the year, especially if Democrats take the House in November.  An impeachment hearing is almost certain at that point.  The only problem is the Donald is not the kind of person to go quietly.  He will resist such efforts to the bitter end.

Leaks have always been a problem for this White House.  From day one stories came poring out of the West Wing that made the President look bad, prompting him to vent his anger on the "fake" news media for reporting these unsubstantiated rumors.  More and more, these stories have been substantiated, with the documents and tapes in question being released anonymously, or in Omarosa's case proudly before the public.

Rudy Giuliani hasn't done a very good job of doing damage control.  In many cases, he just added more fuel to the fire.  It also doesn't help that Trump regularly vents his rage on twitter, often incriminating himself as he recently did by calling the the judgement of the Justice Department into question for prosecuting two Republican legislators.  The mid-terms weigh very heavily on Trump's addled mind, as he sees the Congressional elections as a validation of himself, posting nearly everyday how well he is doing, and that there will be a "Red Wave" in November that will allow him to fully enact his policies.

If he can't run a tight ship, it is pretty hard to enact any meaningful policies, especially when senior officials pull papers from your desk so that you aren't able to sign these questionable policies into action.  The amazing part is that he apparently has no memory of these papers having been on his desk in the first place, which makes one wonder again about his state of mind.

It is doubtful, the "resistance" in the White House has enough votes to invoke the 25th amendment, but their duty is to the country not the Commander-in-Chief, and we should be thankful that some persons within Trump's inner circle are finally questioning the president's sanity.

1 comment:

  1. It's funny to see Pompeo, Huckabee and Trump himself try to downplay this editorial when there must be genuine panic in the WH.

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