Adults in the room, doing jack shit

Also in the annals of High-minded Horseshit: the Times breathlessly posts a Deep Throatesque anonymous op ed by Someone High Up in the Trump administration, saying don’t worry folks, we’re keeping Trump under control, and it’s all worth it because TAX CUTS and DEREGULATION and MORE BOMBS. Apparently we’re supposed to be impressed.

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.

In other words you want tax cuts at the expense of the non-rich 90% of the country so you put up with the lying homicidal maniac because he provides them.

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.

Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.

Free minds? Pull the other one. The Republican party is home to the theocratic Evangelicals and to the theocratic bishops and their fans. Free people? We have the highest prison population by percentage in the world – 724 people per 100,000. Republicans love that. The Democrats aren’t great at doing anything about it, but they don’t embrace it with the passion Republicans do. Also note the ideals that are missing: equality, justice, a fair distribution of social goods.

Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military and more.

Don’t worry, I’m not getting you wrong, I think you’re disgusting. By “effective deregulation” you mean getting rid of environmental laws, labor laws, safety laws, laws that protect consumers, laws that make it difficult for banks to drive us all off a cliff while pocketing the profits. By “historic tax reform” you mean making billionaires even richer. By “a more robust military” I don’t know what you mean – I guess ten times more than we need rather than five? Anyway, it’s all crap, so we’re not about to get you wrong.

But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.

From the White House to executive branch departments and agencies, senior officials will privately admit their daily disbelief at the commander in chief’s comments and actions. Most are working to insulate their operations from his whims.

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.

That’s all interesting, but the Republicans could get rid of him now if they really gave a rat’s ass about the general good. 25th Amendment or impeachment, either one; they could do it. They’re not doing it because they’re looking out for themselves.

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.

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right even when Donald Trump won’t.

Heroes my ass! They could and should get him out, not thwart a few of his worst ideas and then come bragging to us for cookies.

Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.

I knew that was coming – the invocation of Saint John of McCain. He was a Republican, he voted for Trump’s stuff, he was as greedy and cynical as the rest of you.

We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.

Cue vomit emoji.

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