If there’s one thing this White House does well, it’s drama. In the latest fit of Pennsylvania Avenue palace intrigue, everyone’s playing the guessing game of who wrote the anonymous New York Times op-ed on being “part of the resistance inside the Trump administration”. Yet while the entire D.C. Beltway is getting caught up in this hot new parlor game, families are still being hit by the actions emanating from this White House that were never met by any “resistance”. This is another example of a White House where perception isn’t really reality.
Who wrote the op-ed? We don’t know, and it may not really matter.
So all the tongues are wagging over the anonymous New York Times op-ed, including President Donald Trump’s. He’s even resorted to tweeting, “TREASON?”, over one of his own spilling the tea to the very “Grey Lady” he despises the most.
While The Times is keeping its little secret all to itself, other national media outlets have joined the guessing game. Might it be Vice President Mike Pence trying to save face? Might it be media maven Kellyanne Conway trying to make peace with her “old guard establishment” friends (and spouse)? Might it be be beleaguered Attorney General Jeff Sessions trying to exact some revenge?
Whoever did it, it’s important not to lose the content of the message amidst the quest to unmask the messenger. Even as the author admitted what we already know about Trump’s erratic behavior and efforts inside the White House to contain his damage, the author nonetheless claims that “many of [their] policies have already made America safer and more prosperous”, leading me to wonder what the true intent is of this supposedly “courageous act of resistance”.
So Trump finally agrees to #KeepFamiliesTogether… In jail
While the nation’s asking, “Who wrote the op-ed?”, the Trump administration is proceeding in its drive to cement in place the policy that caused one of the most horrifying scandals to rock the White House. As federal courts continue to rule against Trump administration actions rooted in its “zero tolerance” policy, it’s decided to withdraw from a 21 year old settlement that sets standards for detention of migrant children rather than end the mass incarceration of non-criminal immigrants.
Then President Barack Obama attempted a somewhat similar protocol for extended immigrant family detention in 2014, only to be rebuffed by the courts due to the Flores v. Reno settlement. Instead of learning from the Obama administration’s mistakes, the Trump administration seems hellbent on implementing even harsher standards for arrest and incarceration by attempting to rip up this settlement entirely. This will likely intensify the already growing pile of lawsuits against the White House, yet in the meantime it will likely lead to more immigrants being abused by federal officials in the name of the so-called “rule of law”.
Never mind that the law includes a little thing called the Eighth Amendment that forbids “cruel and unusual punishment”, and never mind that the U.S. signed onto the U.N. Convention Against Torture nearly 25 years ago. Oh, and never mind that we are talking about people who are escaping extreme violence and poverty. Trump wants to “win”, and he’s trying anything possible to stoke that “economic anxiety”.
So why does the op-ed, and the mystery of who actually wrote it, (not) matter?
Donald Trump’s family separation scandal has not only damaged America’s reputation at home and abroad, but it’s also damaged Republicans’ poll numbers and encouraged more Democrats to be bolder in demanding change to our immigration system. On top of this, the growing list of corruption scandals is also taking its toll on Republicans as their odds of holding both houses of Congress next year continue to dwindle.
So whoever wrote that op-ed, that individual picked quite the opportune moment to have it published in The New York Times. The White House is already suffering a “brain drain” of staffers fleeing for greener pastures, and those left behind may soon have to pick up the pieces of a Mueller investigation producing hard evidence of criminal activity and a midterm election giving Democrats control of one or both houses of Congress.
Whoever wrote it, it may just be nothing more than another attempt to save face. Instead of joining in the parlor games and palace intrigue, it might be a better idea to pay closer attention to what they’re doing rather than what they’re saying (in anonymous op-ed’s).