The New York Times “Anonymous” Op-ed

I defer to another guest column, by Francis Wilkinson in Bloomberg Opinion. Every word is on target. Edited by me for brevity:

Some people in the White House think Trump is ignorant, dangerous and unhinged. They told author Bob Woodward that, though not allowing him to use their names. One wrote a New York Times op-ed about Trump’s deranged reign — also anonymously.

Basically, everyone in the political business, including lots of people who collect taxpayer-funded salaries to pretend otherwise, know that Trump is a malicious, incompetent buffoon.

But 63 million voted for him, some venting their resentments and insecurities. Others hoped Trump, upon taking office, would magically rise from the ethical sewer in which he had spent a lifetime.

Nothing in the Times op-ed, or in comments to Woodward, alters GOP political dynamics. Republican insiders tell one another Trump is an abomination doing an abysmal job. What they tell their voters is something else. Eight in 10 — or more — Republicans approve of Trump’s performance. And because Republican leaders have spent years telling their voters to distrust legitimate news media and to believe only loyal partisans such as Fox News, there is no reason to expect the op-ed or the Woodward book or any other manifestation of truth to penetrate the carefully constructed unreality.

The Republican Party had already become ideologically extreme; contemptuous of inherited social and economic policy; scornful of compromise, of conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

Now it has embraced Trump’s rampant personal corruption and attacks on blacks and Hispanics and women. The party has escalated bad-faith attacks on news media that accurately chronicle Trump lies, and on institutions that resist the almost daily assaults on the rule of law and public ethics.

A nuclear holocaust has thus far been averted — thanks for that, Anonymous. But other acts of aggression, from the Muslim ban to voter suppression, continue undeterred.

The Trump administration planned and executed a policy of seizing infants from their parents at the U.S. border. It did so with such grotesque callousness that it is thus far unable to reunite hundreds of literally kidnapped children with their parents.

Not one Republican in Congress has held a hearing to find out how this crime occurred, and who is responsible. The corruption of the party is endemic. Anyone who thinks they escape the moral and political taint of this administration by murmuring anonymous misgivings about Trump is a fool as well as a coward.

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