The NY Times Anon Op-Ed: Who Done It?

Someone asked for us to open a can of skeptical whoop-ass here at O Society on the Op-Ed published in the New York Times a day ago. You can find it here.

My first reaction upon reading this piece Wednesday was to stay away from it.

Because it smells like teen spirit…

What does that mean? Hell if I know…

Ask the smell-ol-ogist whether the cute teenager with the eyebrows is correct when she gleefully exclaims: “It smells really natural!

Wait… as an adult man, can I say a teenage girl is cute? I mean, this commercial was made in… at least 25 years ago, so she’s no longer a teenager. Statute of limitations.

What have we learned here?

Nothing? Shit. Ok. Here goes. We’ve decided to lay the skeptical hammer on it then…

First question: Does it pass the smellologist scratch’n’sniff test?

The Op-ed. Is it legit?

You know, I used to worry about being pedantic… then I saw this.

If you don’t feel like reading it because you are lazy, the quick and dirty version is half of people in America do not know what terms such as “Op-ed,” “anonymous source,” “native advertising,” or “attribution” mean. Don’t forget the “fake news.”

Exactly. Half of Americans “know” the term fake news means when newspeople say “unfair things” about Donald Trump. You see where this is going, right?

That is correct, Senator! It’s going to the land of make believe!

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You know the Land of Make Believe is a real place, right? I hope it’s in New Jersey. The Trippy Owl says it is, and Trippy says LoMB is the bomb! Seriously. It has to be real. They got a Facebook page.

If I can figure out that fast the average American doesn’t know the difference between an editorial and factual news reporting, then we can be damned-beyond-certain the New York Times knows people don’t know too.

Let’s spell it out. Americans are going to assume there are two options, typically based on whether the person is wearing blue or red underwear at the very moment they read the Op-ed. Right?

Option one is The New York Times wrote it themselves. As in some guy, who works at the NYT, wrote this story himself or herself. An editor, a reporter, a janitor…

A mulatto. An albino. Who knows?

If you are on the red team, it is “fake news” regardless, now isn’t it?

Writing this sort of thing should send you straight to jail, do not pass “Go,” do not collect $200 for writing it. Fake news. Fox News says so, right here.

We’re going to skip the irony of the Fox News guy saying the writer of an article – any article – in the news should go to prison for writing it.

The Fox News guy goes straight to Treason Land.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? He even knows where the statue is. Quotes it right here.

Fox News guy quotes the statute, but he either didn’t bother to read it or doesn’t bother to understand it. The very first words of the statute are “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them…”

Uh oh. Know what that means? It means America has to be at war for somebody to commit treason.

Someone should tell John Brennan and Donald Trump and Fox News guy to stop accusing people of “treason”  because neither they, nor the public, have the slightest idea what the fuck they are talking about. Or maybe they do. And they’re lying, manufacturing drama. For ratings. For book deals. To be on TV. I dunno. But they do.

Here’s the man from 100 years ago. He says it plain and simple. This Yale lawyer guy. There has to be some foreign enemies you are helping wage war against the US.

Don’t take my word for it, read it yourself here.

You’d think a president of the United States or a Head of the CIA or anybody else in charge of any of this fustercluck could read. Here’s the list of ten people who have been convicted of treason in the US.

Did you figureout why I wanted to stay away from all of this?

It’s an STD. It’s Donald Trump herpes. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

So either the editor at the NYT wrote the Op-ed to manufacture drama with the Washington Post because they both hate Trump and want to incite “magical thinking treason” against Donald Trump OR it really is a Trump administration staff member who wrote this anonymously.

Yes. That’s a false dichotomy. There are other possibilities. I think Russians did it. No really. Putin wrote it. So there are more than two possibilities here.

Vlad the Impaler Putin wrote the Op-ed. Kompromat. Pee tape. You know the drill.

Mike Pence wrote the Op-ed. He wants to be president. Scratch that. God wants Mike Pence to be president. You know the drill.

James Dao, the NYTimes Op-ed editor wrote the Op-ed. Because he’s fake news. You know the drill.

This is WWF wrassling, not government.

If the Boogeyman was not real, it would be necessary to invent him.

Why does it matter? Let’s ask Judith. She’s worked at both FoxNews and the NYTimes.

She’ll know! Here she is now:

“The extraordinary column was published Wednesday, a day after initial excerpts emerged from Bob Woodward’s new book, “Fear: Trump in the White House.”

Some say the essay was the pathetic “me too” effort by The New York Times to match the scoops in Woodward’s book published in The Washington Post.

Others say the op-ed just reiterated what most people who have been watching this White House closely already know: This is a president like no other. The op-ed reinforced the book’s disturbing portrait of a vain, venal, volatile man who has a vague relationship with the truth in a nation’s capital that has become “crazytown.”

That is not new. But the fact that someone senior in the Trump administration claims to be part of an internal “resistance” dedicated to thwarting parts of the president’s agenda and protecting the nation “against his worst inclinations” is news. So is the fact the author of the op-ed was willing to say so in one of the nation’s most influential newspapers.

In my view, with some reservations, those sentiments merited publication.

Make no mistake. Publishing such an anonymous essay was an unusual, though not unprecedented decision by the newspaper of record.”

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Ummm… wait a minute. What did Judith say? Let’s repeat it. For clarity (gawd knows we need it):

“That is not new.

BUT THIS IS NEW!!! THIS IS NEWS!!!

The fact someone senior in the Trump administration claims to be part of an internal “resistance” dedicated to thwarting parts of the president’s agenda and protecting the nation “against his worst inclinations” is news.”

Let’s look at the Op-ed. What does the person claim to be doing? It doesn’t say, really. Nothing specific. It does point us to this link though.

The Op-ed says verbatim:

“That is why many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”

Many Trump appointees vowed to “DO WHAT WE CAN.” Now that’s vague, non-specific stuff, so let’s go to the link and see what “WE DO WHAT WE CAN” looks like.

You know, with detail. Specifics. Not just vague “RESIST!!!” bullshit. Say something that’s not a bumpersticker slogan for the feebleminded.

This link we’re referred to by the Op-Ed is to another NYTimes article on Woodward’s book. Well, what does it say?

First paragraph. Here’s the money shot:

“Trump’s aides became so worried about his judgment, Gary Cohn, then the chief economic adviser, took a letter from the president’s Oval Office desk authorizing the withdrawal of the United States from a trade agreement with South Korea. Trump, who had planned to sign the letter, never realized it was missing.”

There we go. Specific. Took a letter off the desk in the Oval Office. They take his paperwork, and they put paperwork on his desk too. They manage Trump the bureaucratic way. Now that is believable.

Ahem. Not saying I’ve  done it myself, but ahhh… I’ve done it myself. Not at a government job in the White House. Never had one of those. But papers get lost in the shuffle. Seen it happen. That’s all I’m saying.

Sounds extremely plausible, unlike most of the hairbrained Donald Trump Learned To Talk To Americans In The WWE  Wrassling Heel vs. Face soap opera storylines people fall for in the news these days.

Woodward’s reporting adds another layer to a recurring theme in the Trump White House: frustrated aides who sometimes resort to extraordinary measures to thwart the president’s decisions — a phenomenon the author describes as “an administrative coup d’état.” 

Cohn told a colleague he had removed the letter about the Korea free trade agreement to protect national security. Later, when Trump ordered a similar letter authorizing the departure of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement, Cohn and other aides plotted how to prevent him from going ahead with a move they feared would be deeply destabilizing.

“I can stop this,” Cohn said to the staff secretary, Rob Porter, according to the book. “I’ll just take the paper off his desk.”

More detail. Same scenario. Trump aides – Cohn named specifically – tell Woodward they “slow walk” Trump’s agenda and “lose paperwork before he can sign it.”

I’ll buy that. Sounds plausible.

Wait a minute. You know what? This isn’t new or news. Remember Fire and Fury?

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Sure you do. Here’s an excerpt from when the book came out:

Here, arguably, was the central issue of the Trump presidency, informing every aspect of Trumpian policy and leadership: He didn’t process information in any conventional sense. He didn’t read. He didn’t really even skim. Some believed that for all practical purposes he was no more than semi-­literate. He trusted his own expertise ­— no matter how paltry or irrelevant — more than anyone else’s. He was often confident, but he was just as often paralyzed, less a savant than a figure of sputtering and dangerous insecurities, whose instinctive response was to lash out and behave as if his gut, however confused, was in fact in some clear and forceful way telling him what to do. It was, said Katie Walsh, the deputy chief of staff, “like trying to figure out what a child wants.”

But wait, there’s more!

Wolff quotes economic adviser Gary Cohn writing in an email: “It’s worse than you can imagine … Trump won’t read anything—not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers, nothing. He gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored.”

While Trump and his allies, as well as some mainstream journalists, have attacked the accuracy of Wolff’s book, Trump’s allergy to reading is among the most fully corroborated assertions Fire and Fury makes.

Ahead of the election, the editors of this magazine wrote the Republican candidate “appears not to read.” Before the inauguration, Trump told Axios, “I like bullets or I like as little as possible. I don’t need, you know, 200-page reports on something that can be handled on a page. That I can tell you.”

In February, The New York Times reported National Security Council members had been instructed to keep policy papers to a single page and include lots of graphics.

And amid the hype over Wolff’s book, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough wrote a column saying in September 2015, he confronted Trump over poor debate performances, asking, “Can you read?”

Met with silence, Scarborough pressed again: “I’m serious, Donald. Do you read? If someone wrote you a one-page paper on a policy, could you read it?”

Trump replied by brandishing a Bible from his mother and saying he read it all the time—probably a self-aware joke, given Trump’s proud impiety and displayed ignorance of the Bible.

As James Fallows notes, the real scandal of the Wolff book is so many people have such grave misgivings about Trump but have kept their heads down. 

And there we have it. Trump doesn’t read the stuff people give him. Put it on his desk or don’t. He ain’t gonna read it. He’ll sign it though…

Cohn, hell, everyone knows it. Trump actually brags about not needing to read anything. Is he dyslexic? Too cool for school? Does he have attention deficit disorder?

Contrary to what Judith says, the realization people have been bureaucratically managing the documents Donald Trump doesn’t read, but does sign, his whole entire life, isn’t new and it isn’t news.

It’s highly probably this has kept him out of prison.

And Fallows is correct. This Op-ed person is not a “hero of the resistance.”

The fact Trump has had so many enablers his entire life due to his ability to pay them speaks volumes on what sycophants in America are willing to do, prostituting themselves for potential for cash and prizes from guest starring – however briefly – on Trump’s reality TV show.

To recap: Who wrote the Anon Op-ed? Don’t know and don’t care. Maybe it really is “fake news” manufactured by writers within the Times. Don’t think the mighty could have fallen that far? You sure about that? Everything in this Op-ed letter can be found in Wolff and Woodward’s books about a guy who admittedly can’t read a book: 

“Well, you know, I love to read. Actually, I’m looking at a book, I’m reading a book, I’m trying to get started. Every time I do about a half a page, I get a phone call…”

And we’re in a country where half the people have no idea what an Op-ed is to start with. You decide.

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OK, Dave. Enough foreplay. Let’s look line-by-line at the Op-ed contents, which are in blue. My skeptic hammer appears in red.

Yes, it’s not so easy on the eyes. Apologies. Not sure of a better way than color coding to make it obvious who is speaking. Look at it this way: we’re in red, white, and blue.

Feel free to tell me where I am wrong in the comments… meanwhile, here is a version which is not hiding behind a paywall.

I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration

The Resistance™ is Not Real, as we have discussed often at O Society.

I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I once worked for a Burger King manager and so feel your pain.

By Anonymous – The writer is a senior official in the Trump administration

The Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.

I’m not convinced it is authentic nor that it is inauthentic either.  I don’t know.

Not Knowing is the skeptic’s holy land.

Here is a former Wall Street Journal editor who calls it an out-and-out fraud:

“The op-ed is an obvious forgery. As a former senior official in a presidential administration, I can state with certainty no senior official would express disagreement anonymously. Anonymous dissent has no credibility. Moreover, the dishonor of it undermines the character of the writer. A real dissenter would use his reputation and the status of his high position to lend weight to his dissent.”

President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader.

Sometimes those presidency tests can throw a curve ball at your head…

It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall.

Umm… did you ask the party leadership? No?

You just made that up, didn’t you? Thought so. Liar.

House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi says her party’s position is “Impeaching Donald Trump would divide the country and do more harm than good.”

Yes she did.  Right here.

The dilemma — which he does not fully grasp — is many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.

I would know. I am one of them.

To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of the left.

To be clear, the popular Resistance™ you are talking about is not “the left.” The Resistance™ is composed of corporate Democrats who are self-described Centrists.

Yes they are. Here is Obama calling himself a “New Democrat Centrist.”

Despite Rush Limbaugh’s fantasy-fueled baboon gibberings about “the left” he makes daily from within the bubble wrapped safe space where no one can question Rush’s utopia, both HillBillary Clinton are Centrists, as are Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

By the way, for a high up Trump administration official, you don’t seem to know much about politicians. Don’t mess with me asshole, I read and I understand what I read.

We want the administration to succeed and think many of its policies have already made America safer and more prosperous.

I, for one, feel much safer knowing all of these elementary school kids are in cages snuggled in sleeping bags made of space-age NASA fabric at night, where they can’t get you. BOO!

But we believe our first duty is to this country, and the president continues to act in a manner detrimental to the health of our republic.

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.

Exactly.

Aristotle used first principles to formulate logical statements, propositions, postulates, axioms, definitions, mathematical relations.

In philosophy this is called a priori or ab initio.

A prominent example of first principles from our own American history is contained here in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

As David Hume said here, morality is not rooted in rationality but rather in empathy.

As noted here, Donald Trump lacks the ability to feel empathy. Whenever I have mentioned this observation to Trump supporters, without exception, they have responded this is an asset rather than a liability. It makes Trump a “better businessman” is their justification. Therefore, many Trump supporters suffer from a collective narcissism which emotionally retards them, just as it does their leader.

As noted here, Donald Trump has no known ideology except for “Me.” This is his first and only principle. All his interactions with human beings are transactional. See paying prostitutes such as Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal for sex.

Although he was elected as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free minds, free markets, and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, he has attacked them outright.

Sounds as if you are describing Libertarianism.

In addition to his mass-marketing of the notion the press is the “enemy of the people,” President Trump’s impulses are generally anti-trade and anti-democratic.

What if the mass-marketed media and Donald Trump are both enemies of the people? These aren’t mutually exclusive possibilities…

Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless negative coverage of the administration fails to capture: effective deregulation, historic tax reform, a more robust military, and more.

If you are into deregulation of the few restraints on cupidity, tax cuts for rich people who already have more than they know what to do with, and feeding the military/ industrial complex with human lives, then your so-called “bright spots” are the real enemies of the people, also known as neoliberalism and neoconservatism, respectively.

In other words, you are no hero to me nor to anyone with open eyes.

Did I get you wrong?

But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty, and ineffective.

Maybe it was the Kochs’, Mercers’, and Adelsons’ leadership style then? Those are the names of the American oligarch families who pay to have their agendas become your so-called “success stories.”

Oh yes they are.

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.

This has all been said before.

“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.

Seriously? Remember that time Trump took 5 different positions on abortion in 3 days?

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.

Here. Let’s sing you a song so you aren’t unsung any longer… 

I’M A COWBOY!!!

It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know 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.

Adults in the room? Seriously?

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The result is a two-track presidency.

Take foreign policy: In public and in private, President Trump shows a preference for autocrats and dictators, such as President Vladimir Putin of Russia and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, and displays little genuine appreciation for the ties that bind us to allied, like-minded nations.

Astute observers have noted, though, the rest of the administration is operating on another track, one where countries like Russia are called out for meddling and punished accordingly, and where allies around the world are engaged as peers rather than ridiculed as rivals.

On Russia, for instance, the president was reluctant to expel so many of Mr. Putin’s spies as punishment for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain.

Let’s just entertain the theme of that week’s show, which is cooking up poison. Not that there’s been any evidence – because there hasn’t been any evidence – but exactly why does some Spy vs. Spy action in the UK necessitate America doing much of anything?

No really. Enquiring minds want to know why a dispute over possible seafood poisoning or fentanyl overdose involves Americans “punishing” Russians? Are we the world’s kindergarten teacher?

No seriously. Why is it our place to spank Russia when the incident in question doesn’t involve American citizens, spies, or poison? Not our jurisdiction.

If you want to know the truth, it’s a bit like saying Colin Kaepernick killed OJ’s wife, so we ought to let Rudy the nacho vendor take a break from selling cheese whiz & chips up in the stands to drop kick mighty justice into the back of the head of the running back playing for the San Francisco 49ers.

There was some kind of crime committed, but what’s that got to do with expelling Russians from embassies? Huh?

He complained for weeks about senior staff members letting him get boxed into further confrontation with Russia, and he expressed frustration the United States continued to impose sanctions on the country for its malign behavior. But his national security team knew better — such actions had to be taken, to hold Moscow accountable.

This isn’t the work of the so-called deep state. It’s the work of the steady state.

Intentionally attempt to start wars of choice with nuclear states such as North Korea and Russia. Hmmm… sounds suspiciously like the work of the Drunken State.

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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.

Now I ain’t no psychiatrist, but I guarantee you Trump is bat guano crazy and incompetent too. So what? 

I mean, that’s a problem.  But what’s the answer?

The guy was elected by our so-called “democratic” electoral college system. The people chose him. Yes, the people made a mistake by choosing a demagogue, but that’s an inherent flaw of the democratic process.  Like it or don’t, but it’s their prerogative to choose Bozo T. Clown and his big red shoes.

He’s a celebrity TV game show host and WWF Wrestling Hall of Fame member.

But the rubes still elected him. We can’t just pretend they didn’t elect him or that they “didn’t know” who he was.

Yes, We the People have elected a solipsist who cannot care about his fellow human beings, as to him we are all props playing roles on his reality show and nothing more.

However, the 25th Amendment wasn’t designed to throw the bums out and wind cuckoo clocks.

The 25th is used when a president gets shot. JFK. Reagan. Bullets. Surgery. Comas. Anesthesia. Unconsciousness. Inability to perform due to this sort of medical necessity.

However,  “unpopularity, incompetence, impeachable conduct, poor judgment, and laziness do not constitute an ‘inability’ within the meanings of the amendment.”

The 25th Amendment, proposed by Congress and ratified by the states in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, provides the procedures for replacing the president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.”

In other words, if Trump is guilty of an impeachable offense – ahem, such as he is a proven finger puppet for Putin, and together they rigged the election and lived happily ever after – then impeachment is the route afforded for his removal.

The 25th Amendment outlines the line of succession after he’s impeached/ convicted/ removed/ resigns etc.

If on the other hand, he’s still signing everything you put in front of him, then Trump isn’t incapacitated in the sense of being unable to fulfill his job duties. He’s doing what his fellow plutocrat gangsters want by pretending global warming isn’t real, thus dumping sacks of blood money into their laps.

So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

Wait… you finally said something interesting:

Until — one way or another — it’s over…

Is it time to call Fox News guy?

Are you calling for an overthrow of the government? That’s ahhh… all jokes aside, getting into sedition instigation of coups (or something bad) since you are using the national paper of record to imply a call for this….

The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.

Speak for yourself, penisbreath.

Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.

Wait for it… here comes the obvious plant…

We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.

What does “lodestar” mean?

It’s a clue, gang! Someone accidentally on purpose unmasked that masked man!

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I’m thinking fear may be the proper response to men who drop flaming napalm bombs out of planes to land on helpless naked children. When are we great Americans going to honor the dead by… say… not killing them any longer?

Do we share that value? We know John McCain did not share it.

mccain-poster-m-en

There is a quiet resistance within the administration of people choosing to put country first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favor of a single one: Americans.

Don’t forget to give that person across the aisle a piece of candy.

The writer is a senior official in the Trump administration.

You know what I think? I dunno who wrote this Op-ed, but I think I do understand the motivation. The letter’s content is more interesting than its provenance. You see, the 2016 US Presidential election scared the blazin’ blue Beelzebub out of the powers that be. They got spooked when the royal families didn’t get crowned, again.

Don’t you remember? The Royal Rumble.

Jeb Bush. He was supposed to continue the royal line of Bushes.

Hillary Clinton. She was supposed to continue the royal line of Clintons.

When those two candidates didn’t meet in the finals, the oligarchs got worried. Scared even. Throw in Bernie Sanders, and the whole entire royal lumberjack match got wonky on them. When Col Sanders tossed HillBillary over the ropes, and the DNC referee disqualified him.

Oh yes they did. They got scared by the glitch in the matrix.

You know what I think? I think the Resistance™ member who wrote this New York Times Op-ed works for the status quo like this:

“The two most powerful think tanks in Washington, representing center-left and center-right political elites, responded to the populist shocks of the 2016 presidential election by trying to reposition themselves – the Democratic and Republican Parties – as more sympathetic to populist concerns, even while maintaining their attachments to the interests of big business (ahem, neoliberalism) and war-making complex (ahem, neoconservatism).”

In other words, the NYTimes Op-Ed smells like not only Teen Spirit, it smells like native advertising for the duopoly to me.

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Update 10/20/18 : the first time I read this NYTimes Op-Ed, the “adults in the room” phrase made me think the author is James Mattis. Therefore, with such an effective phrasing to immediately bring Mattis to mind, the question became did Mattis actually write this, or is the “adult in the room” phrase designed to bring Mattis to mind intentionally?

In other words, the author could be someone else in the Trump administration – or even NYTimes employee for that matter – who wrote the Op-Ed in such a way as to intentionally sound like Mattis.

As noted here, it is quite possible the author of the Op-Ed wrote in Mattis’ voice:

The first question to ask is not Who wrote it?

but rather, Who is the “I” of the narrative?

The two questions are not identical.

We make a useful distinction between “the I of the narrative” on the one hand (the speaking subject within the text, whether fictional or autobiographical, male or female, left or right) and the “I of the text” on the other (the author or authors who produced the document).

The initial project is therefore not to identify the author, but to determine, Who in hell does Anonymous think he is?

And that question is easy to answer, because he tells us:

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. 

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2 thoughts on “The NY Times Anon Op-Ed: Who Done It?

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