Observers of the Trump presidency might be forgiven for thinking they had seen it all.
This last week has piled breathtaking revelation atop breathtaking revelation. Incendiary anecdotes from legendary journalist Bob Woodward’s upcoming book about the president paint a White House barely able to function, with aides openly disobeying nonsensical orders from the president and stealing important papers from his desk.
They show a raging president, uninformed about the basics of his job.
Then on Wednesday, the New York Times published an anonymous op-ed from a senior administration official, claiming that staffers around Trump are directly working to thwart his worst instincts. Subsequent reporting from other outlets confirmed that many high-level staffers feel precisely the same.
On cue, Trump has reacted, tweeting simply: “TREASON?”
We’re living in remarkable times. The notion that a president’s staffers are openly working against him — not necessarily because they disagree with his policy stances but because they see him as a barely functional adult — should shock everyone.
What’s worse, though, is we have no indication this opinion piece or exhaustively reported book will change the man in the Oval Office.
Trump appears to have little capacity for self-reflection, and little willingness to change his approach to governing. If anything, these revelations could well worsen the president’s suspicion of those around him, pushing him further down the dangerous roads of extremism and would-be authoritarianism.
Where is the stability in the White House? We certainly haven’t seen much recently.
Where is the wisdom? We haven’t seen that either.
Where is the patience? The moral compass? The deep-seated desire to serve?
All appear to be missing in action as this president teeters ever more dangerously on the precipice of public opinion and private backstabbing.
There will come a time when anonymity no longer suffices. There will come a time when those who work in this administration will have to speak up publicly. As damning as Woodward’s book may be, as alarming as the op-ed may look, both are powered by those unwilling to face real consequences for their actions.
Restoring sanity to the highest office in the land will take bravery.
It may require someone to sacrifice both career and reputation.
But at this point, in these times, that seems like a sacrifice well worth making.
— Topeka Capital-Journal