All the President’s Men…Robert Redford depicting Bob Woodward
As excerpts from Bob Woodward’s book, Fear: Trump in the White House, were released yesterday and today (September 4-5), it dominated the news cycle, even overpowering the Senate judiciary committee’s hearing on Trump’s nomination of Bret Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Then, today, the insider gossip of madness in the White House peaked with an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times by a senior White House official who confirmed just about everything that has leaked about the chaos in the Trump administration. This is the first time someone high in the administration has said publicly—though unfortunately anonymously—that Trump is unfit to be president. Essentially, this high ranking administration official is saying that the president is nuts.
If you haven’t read about it already, here it is.
Here’s a brief excerpt from the op-ed titled: “I am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration. “The dilemma — which [Trump] does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations,” the author wrote. “I would know. I am one of them.”
He goes on: “Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.
“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.”
Here’s the synchronicity. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were given information by an anonymous source within the Nixon administration about the Watergate scandal that ultimately exposed Nixon’s crimes. It led to Nixon’s resignation and to prison terms for H.R. Haldeman, G. Gordon Liddy, John Dean, and several others. Now, 44 years later, excerpts from Woodward’s book, which will be published on 9-11, sets off a firestorm of news coverage and denials from POTUS and his administration. Within a few hours, the New York Times releases the anonymous op-ed, and it’s a confirmation of the material in Woodward’s book.
In both scandals, Woodward’s role was pivotal. Both times the truth teller was anonymous—Deep Throat and now ‘Deep State.’ The revelations in the Times op-ed make Trump’s earlier accusation that Woodward’s book is fiction sound like a toothless defense that even his gung ho supporters would have a hard time accepting. But you never know.
The question with this ‘Deep Throat’ source is why he/she didn’t identify him/herself and use the op-ed as a resignation letter, and send a copy to the appropriate congressional committees. Surely, the person’s ID will come out eventually. But ultimately that’s a secondary matter to the startling and scary assertions presented in the op-ed. In retrospect, on the book yet to be published, Woodward’s title, FEAR, is certainly sounding applicable. He/she assures us there are others who are also working to protect the country from acts of madness being generated by a mentally unstable occupant of the Oval Office.
All of this reminds us of a now prophetic novel from the 1950s—Night of Camp David—that posed the same question that many are considering today.