Elections have consequences is a common refrain, though few Republicans appear to consider that “do unto others” is still good advice.Democrats should appreciate, for their part, that if Trump’s White House can be crippled by internal subterfuge acquiescence, by silence, invites similar conduct by future aides, regardless of party affiliation.
Many Democrats want to retaliate for wrongs done their party. It’s not hard to understand their rage at Russia, and ire at being called enemies of the state. There’s a hard push for revenge on the Republican Congress that has legitimized irregular order. Fighting back is one thing, but it shouldn’t consist of committing the same abuses they criticize in Trump’s government which is why it’d be a mistake to make cause with conspirators in the executive branch.
A news organization can’t be faulted for publishing material its editors deem newsworthy. The Pentagon Papers needed to come out, as did Nixon’s crimes. So, too, did the information in an anonymous op-ed informing that there are unelected double agents in the White House with their own action agendas. The Times did the country a service by revealing the existence of plotters against the nation’s business. Obama is right. This isn’t normal.
The Times op-ed went beyond saying, in so many words, that aides think Trump is crazy and disorganized. That’s protected opinion, fair game in a love and war kind of way, and certainly nothing new in politics where one president, even, was accused of cannibalism. This is different because the op-ed revealed sabotage of the people’s business, however dunderheaded it may seem. This makes the task of finding the author(s) a matter of nation security. What is it that these people are doing? When, what, and where are questions that demand answers in our democracy.
The resistance’s legitimacy depends on the norms it employs, even if Trump respects none. If a president does a bad job the people can vote him out, or he can be removed by other lawful means. It’d be wrong to cozy up to faceless, unaccountables who presume they know better than everyone else what’s best. Free men don’t countenance shadow governments. Trump must find the conspirators, make a truthful accounting of what they’ve done, admit shortcomings, and send a thank you note to the New York Times for saving his presidency, for now, however painfully.