The NYT Has Published An Anon Op-Ed From An Anti-Trump Senior Official

The New York Times has published an op-ed from an anonymous senior member of the Trump administration, who claims to be “thwarting” some of the more extreme and chaotic parts of the president’s agenda.

“Many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” writes this anonymous politico, who goes on to to describe a kind of administrative coup whereby this so-called ‘resistance’ helps Trump enact his agenda while keeping him in check.

This passage basically captures the gist of it:

Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.

Astute observers have noted, though, that the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.

The writer takes great pains to say that this resistance is not made up of lefties. In fact, they applaud Trump for pushing effective deregulation, historic tax reform [and] a more robust military,” indicating that they’re pretty orthodox Republicans who just so happen to not like Trump very much. Not really a progressive victory – in fact, it sounds more like a bunch of Republicans who are scared Trump being insane might ruin their party.

You might expect that Trump – who famously hates the “failing” New York Times – would not enjoy this little op-ed. You’d be right! Just look at this tweet:

He clarified this point moments later:

It’s probably not particularly reassuring that there’s someone in the administration who is totally fine with, say, locking kids up in immigrant detention, but is absolutely furious with optics and elite political nonsense which doesn’t affect the average person. But hey! They’re trying.

There’s a hilarious (and almost certainly not true) rumour shooting around the blogosphere right now that the piece was authored by Vice President Mike Pence himself, based on the fact the author used the unusual word ‘lodestar’ – a word Pence loves. It’s funny to contemplate if you’re the kind of person who loves writing political fanfic inside their own heads.

If anything, we should probably just read all this as exactly what it is: an indication that regardless of anything, the Trump administration is definitely not operating on a united front. Instead, it’s a collection of right-wing Republicans with wildly different visions of how they should implement their agenda.