The Anonymous NY Times Op-Ed Piece On Trump: Mostly Self-Serving

By

Leonard Zwelling

This is confusing.

On the one hand the op-ed piece in the paper on September 6 claims to have been written by a senior official in the White House. It points out that the President of the United States is unhinged, immature and arbitrary in his decision making. Wow! That’s a real surprise! Not!

On the other hand, why bother telling us what we already know and do so anonymously under-cutting your own credibility?

So if this isn’t news, why is it news worthy?

Well, this story broke twenty-four hours after the leaks on the Woodward book began to appear in the press which echoes what was in the op-ed. Essentially, it is making heroes of the people around the president who are saving the nation from him and his behavior. Gee, thanks, but you weren’t elected!

Then what’s the point of the NY Times publishing an anonymous op-ed anyway?

Apparently the Times knows the identity of the author so it is reasonable to assume the source is a legitimate one. But, this could easily be a disgruntled employee with an ax to grind (were they passed over for an appointment?). Could it even be a gruntled employee (something I have called myself while at Anderson) trying to do what he or she thinks is right?

But this is not right. A faculty blog is one thing. The NY Times quite another.

If the country is really in danger, then step up and acknowledge your identity and take the consequences. If you are right, you’re a hero. If you are not, you really are just disgruntled.

If the reports in the Woodward book Fear are correct, you certainly sound like you are correct and president has no business being commander-in-chief and the 25th Amendment needs to be invoked. Surely, you could work with other insiders to improve things. You would probably argue that this is what you are doing. It was until you wrote the article. If you are saving the country get on with it, but understand no one asked you to do that and that you are acting on your own. That used to be called a coup d’etat.

This is really serious now. It’s worse than Watergate. It may involve foreign powers and may mean the president is involved with felonies way beyond obstruction of justice and abuse of power. Remember, Mueller still hasn’t reported in on the Russians yet.

The opinion pages of the NY Times are for opinions. This is one person’s opinion and should not be taken as fact. That it reflects what has been reported to be in the Woodward book is most disturbing. That too is reportage and even some of those named in the Woodward book deny the veracity of what is said between the covers about what they said.

The real group that ought to be investigating this is not the special prosecutor or the press. It is the Congress. But Congress is dysfunctional as the Kavanaugh hearings are showing. If indeed Senator Booker publicly releases documents that have been stamped confidential to the committee, he may be setting himself up for severe disciplinary action by his colleagues. This is no way to run a government.

The only hope the country has at getting to the truth is the Mueller group’s work. No other one of the checks and balances seems to be effective any longer. This is a sad and dangerous time for the republic. A savior is needed. There is none in sight. The Supreme Court has been politicized. Congress always was and now can’t even work across the aisle. The executive branch cannot investigate itself especially if Mr. Trump thinks the Justice Department contains his lawyers.

Only the independent counsel has a prayer of both getting to the bottom of the corruption in the White House and making it public so that every American can be assured, as they were after Nixon resigned, that the right thing happened even if it took two years.

Mueller matters. Now more than ever.

Leonard Zwelling