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Quiet resistance

Editorial |

Is Donald Trump facing quiet resistance? This was the dominant query in the perspective of America’s civil society on Thursday when the head of the fountainhead of libertarian democracy debunked the venerable New York Times. The US President has accused the paper of committing “treason” for having published an opinion piece by an anonymous senior administration official who detailed a quiet resistance that is working to rein in the incumbent at the White House.

While the piece has been binned as a “gutless editorial”, it is hard not to wonder whether Mr Trump has been cut to the quick, so severely that he had his dander up in course of a midterm election campaign. In a digression from the core point of the article, the President has praised the Republican Congressman, Greg Gianforte, as a “fighter and a winner” for having assaulted Ben Jacobs, a reporter on the equally venerated British newspaper, The Guardian.

Freedom of the press lends no scope for the squaring of accounts, specifically Mr Trump’s tit for the NYT’s tat. In his reckoning, even the attack on a journalist merits praise from the Head of State. Both the US President’s ranting at the NYT and his undisguised glee over the attack on a reporter run counter to the certitudes of a free press. In the editorial, the unnamed administration official wrote of a “coalition within the US administration” that was focused on thwarting Trump’s “worst inclinations”.

“Unelected, deep state operatives,” said the US President, “who defy the voters to push their own secret agendas are truly a threat to democracy itself.” So too must be the epithet that he has coined ~ “gutless editorial”, couched in the demand to disclose the writer’s name. Suffice it to register that the leading article by an unnamed senior administration official has caused a flutter in the roost, most particularly because of the reported rumblings within, arguably targeted at Trump’s impetuous policies both domestic and diplomatic.

The article by an insider comes as a grave embarrassment to the White House barely two months before the crucial midterm elections. Markedly, President Trump bared his angst during a campaign appearance in the state of Montana and at a critical juncture ~ the Republicans are straIning every nerve to gain control over both Houses of Congress.

Pre-eminently, the Vice-President, Mike Pence, and the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, have distanced themselves from the article, which has been published as the White House contends with yet another firestorm. A book authored by the famed journalist, Bob Woodward, and scheduled for release next week, chronicles the “chaos and dysfunction” within the Trump administration. Excerpts provide an uncharitable portrait of the President, who has been described ~ once again by aides ~ in disparaging terms, even likened to a schoolchild.