By Dan Calabrese
What’s extraordinary here is not so much that this is going on, but that the person telling us about it felt the need to . . . tell us about it.
You work for the president and you want the administration to succeed, but you feel the need to spill its dirty laundry publicly?
If there has ever been an administration – or any company in America, for that matter – that didn’t have some sort of dynamic like this, I’d be surprised. To be sure, it’s likely more intense in the Trump Administration because Trump is a far more unconventional president, and is much further afield from the Beltway crowd that comprises much of his senior staff.
If you really want the president to succeed, you try behind the scenes to thwart his worst instincts and you keep it in-house. If you actually want to undermine public confidence in him (or be a hero to the media and your Deep State friends), you write this:
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.
“There is literally no telling whether he might change his mind from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by an Oval Office meeting at which the president flip-flopped on a major policy decision he’d made only a week earlier.
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.
Nothing of the actual substance here is all that surprising. Most of us who voted for Trump recognized these tendencies in him when we pulled the lever for the purposes of keeping Hillary out of the White House. I expressed a hope at the time that, while Trump may not have been philosophically committed to conservative ideas, he would nonetheless sign his name to legislation championed by the likes of Mike Pence and Paul Ryan.
And he has. And the nation has benefited.
The internal workings of the White House do sound chaotic, perhaps more so than previous administrations although I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a lot more than you knew going on behind the scenes there too. The saner people had to manage their way through it while the blowhards and poseurs played politics and pursued their own agendas.
No one wrote an anonymous op-ed for the New York Times, of course, because when your objective is the success of the administration, that’s not what you do.
There also seems to be a bit of credit-hogging here. James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal pointed out yesterday that if the Trump White House is really as chaotic as people like Bob Woodward say, it isn’t stopping the country from doing very well in the bargain, so maybe we shouldn’t concern ourselves with it all that much. Maybe the “internal resistance” wants it known that if the country is doing well, it’s because of them, not the president.
One thing is clear, though: It was Donald Trump, not whoever wrote this, that was elected president. He has the constitutional mandate to govern, not senior staff members who have decided to thwart his agenda.
Trump is ill-prepared for the job in many ways, which means he needs knowledgeable and experienced people working for him. Their objective should be to help him govern, not to thwart him from doing so, and certainly not to blab to the media about it.
I realize Trump has tendencies that probably do not make this easy. But no one said it’s supposed to be easy. The voters chose him, like it or not, and if you work for him and your objective is to do anything but help him succeed – you’re doing everyone, not just Donald Trump, a disservice.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!