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Editorial: Chaos in the White House?

The anonymous commentary published in the New York Times last week has since dominated political gossip in the nation’s capital and across the political landscape with the added tension of an unknown that one day will surely be known — and probably sooner than later.
The shock of the commentary was that it came within senior administration within the White House, and it portrayed a picture of Trump as a president incapable of carrying out his duties. The commentary confirmed he was unfit for the job, amoral and, in short, a disaster in the making. The criticism of Trump’s chaotic tenure was marked by this harsh assessment: “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… the president’s leadership style…  is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.”
The author portrays the day-to-day operations in a way that should alarm all Americans:
“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. Some of his aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing, though they are clearly not always successful.
“Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.”
In Trump-world, where alternative-facts and alternative reality rule, Trump supporters have taken two approaches: They suggest the commentary was planted by the liberal media, or by Trump-haters, or the sinister Deep State — and, simultaneously, that the government (the attorney general’s office) should do all it can to discover who the traitor is and string him or her up.
Trump supporters, who have a shred of objectively left, should take a moment to consider the obvious: This is not a comment from Democrats, the Deep State, the liberal elite or the media. This is from a senior leader in the White House who was tabbed for that position by Trump himself or a cabinet-level member of Trump’s team. This is a person who wants Republicans to be successful.
The author writes: “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. That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”
Think of that. An inside administration official says the president “continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic.”
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The author wrote this in the hopes his or her insights would prompt action that would safeguard the country. The person’s clear intention is to shed light on the internal workings of this president so as to expose his weaknesses and the threat that presents to the country. Rightly or wrongly, it was written with noble intentions.
Yet, what is the Republican reaction?
Trump and many party leaders have decried the author — a Republican through and through — with “treason,” yells the president in an off-the-rail, uninformed, rant; followed by holier-than-thou statements from Republicans (United Nations Ambassador Nicki Haley was the latest) saying they a true patriot would oppose the president directly and not do undermined things behind his back. But that totally glosses over what is happening in this administration.
Trump has created an atmosphere in which he tolerates little to no dissent. If anyone speaks out against him, it’s off with their heads, or, in Trump-speak, “you’re fired.”
In that atmosphere, no civil servant who believes he or she must stay at their post to prevent Trump’s “worst impulses” would leave.
Yet, the public’s attention has shifted away from Trump’s awful leadership, to the author’s betrayal of Trump — and to the New York Time’s decision to run the commentary. Again, for Trump and his minions, the action is to shoot the messenger, not to address the problem.
That’s the state of America under Trump.

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