Strange Bedfellows
Thu Sep 6, 2018 9:31am (XFF:

I was listening to NPR today, and they had on a former White House staffer from Trump's first year - someone who still works with the president from time to time - talking about the op-ed and the concept of the "resistance" within the White House.

And he was not happy. He felt that it was strange that anyone would celebrate the idea that people who were supposed to be working to implement the president's agenda and policies would be undermining him. And as usual, I tried to consider the arguments from as neutral a position as possible. I found them compelling. The people did elect Trump, God help us, and it isn't the job of any of these appointees to decide what should or should not get done. Legal frameworks exist for dealing with Trump if he can't be allowed to remain in office, and the right thing for these people to do would be to do their job and use those frameworks.

And I realized that I ended up where I was yesterday on another post, questioning the nobility of our anonymous op-ed author in using Trump to accomplish what they believe is good while thwarting what they believe isn't good. They were not elected. They do not have the right to do that.

So now, I find myself agreeing with Trump supporters, albeit on a very narrow issue.

I have no delusions about what would have happened should Trump's cabinet have invoked the 25th Amendment. It would have been refused by a Republican controlled Congress intent on milking Trump for all they can get, and Trump would have likely reacted by firing as many of his cabinet as he could as rapidly as possible, and the country would be in further disarray. Trump would try to replace those who called for him to be set aside with obvious cronies who would understand that their only loyalty was to Trump. These nominees would probably have difficulty getting approved. Government would grind to a halt. Tensions would rise.

I get it. Those involved weighed the prospects and decided (with some self-interest) that it would be best to take the path they chose. But it was the wrong choice. Our system has flaws. One is that it relies on the good faith of the participants to work well. When we bow to those who have shown they will not work in good faith, we ensure that they remain in place and that the system continues to not work. For our system to work as well as it can, we have to make the hard decisions and suffer for it, sometimes, to drag to the bad faith actors into the light and make them do what they do in full view. So we can make their positions untenable and replace them.

And I don't speak now of replacing Republicans with Democrats. I speak of replacing bad actors with good on both sides of the aisle.