Is “A Warning” doing the right thing?

I am no fan or supporter of Donald Trump, whom I consider to be a boorish, low-brow, weirdly coiffed, inarticulate embarrassment. He is the Fourth Stooge.

Maybe President Trump isn’t paranoid. (Photo: Wall Street Journal)

I feel that way but I still hesitate to embrace the soon-to-be-published book called “A Warning” by an anonymous author who is identified as a “senior official in the Trump administration.”

For the purpose of discussion, let’s assume the person is actually a biggie in the administration. If you can’t accept that premise, go read something else.

In excerpts from the book published in the Washington Post, and an op-ed published last year in the New York Times, anonymous described the president as a dangerous, near-deranged accident waiting to happen and reported that members of his own staff were actively reversing or ignoring some of the president’s orders.

Is that the right thing to do?

Here I balance on the razor’s edge.

An over-the-top disruptor, Trump was elected president, which means he sets policy, whether you like it or not. Elections have consequences, right?

I am reading news reports right now that former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was enticed to undermine the president by Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Remember that Trump himself appointed these dudes.)

When you hear reports like these, which seem credible, it gives a certain gravity to Trump’s otherwise paranoid ravings about a “deep state.” Remember Julius Caesar? Do these guys remind you of Cassius?

if yes — how do you feel about it? Is this how the system is supposed to work — elect a leader and have him cancelled by his staff?

How would you describe someone on your team who worked against you, countermanding your decisions?

I was in that situation once. I was a top editor of a small magazine, with three staffers under me. I set editorial direction, handed out assignments and led the team with a very loose rein. They were professionals and didn’t need to be spurred. An occasional word of encouragement was all that was needed.

One of the three, unbeknownst to me, wanted my job and set about poisoning the well. No need for details other than to say she got caught undermining me and my boss told me to fire her.

I did. It was the first time I ever fired anyone and it was hard, even though she earned what she got.

That was just a magazine. I was an editor, not a president.

Anonymous says he and others thought of resigning en masse, but that would put the nation in peril, which sounds a little grandiose to me. Maybe Anonymous has an ego as big as Trump’s.

Here’s the crux: Is the “right thing” to undermine the boss because you are listening to a higher voice? Or is the “right thing” to either go public with your concerns or quit with a loud bang?

Anonymous described the president as “a 12-year-old in an air traffic control tower, pushing the buttons of government indiscriminately, indifferent to the planes skidding across the runway and the flights frantically diverting away from the airport.”

Does the enormity of presidential decisions permit the backroom perfidy? Does the end justify the means? It seems like a bad precedent. If you feel it is justified for Trump, others would excuse it for a Democrat.

Despite the stated lofty intentions, I find it hard to applaud anonymous back-stabbing. It feels cowardly to me.

How about you?

23 thoughts on “Is “A Warning” doing the right thing?”

  1. Wow Stu – you really disturbed the hornet’s this time. Good for you! Taking everything you said above, it sure seems to boil down to “damned if you do; damned if you don’t.” You’ve made points for both sides of the “Right Thing” equation. My personal “right thing,” is – if you can’t take the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen. If I were in the position “named” above, and I thought the President was falling off the rails, I would walk away. I would know that, as a single entity, I can’t change the status quo sufficiently. That’s why the “en mass” fizzled out. Most of them realized that they couldn’t change things ultimately. The book will make virtually little to no difference in changing people’s minds, one way or the other. Those of us who can think logically enough already know the prez is not of this real world. To his worshipers, the “expose” is just another fake news or left wing conspiracy item.

    Our only hope is next November. Then again, at the current pace, probably not. And I don’t mean necessarily voting Demo. If the prez is sufficiently weakened after the current debacle, he may not be the next nominee. Yeah, I know, dream on….

    1. You’re right about the hornets nest! But why are the worshipers, as you call us, unable to think logically? I guess that makes us lowbrow.
      I remember saying in 2011 our only hope is November. We got through it, God willing so will you.

      1. Show me the ethical dilemma? Everything is hearsay. I vote for Tony on his soapbox…no bs…no blowing bubbles!
        Thanks again Tony!

        1. It is MY ethical dilemma. I want truth, but I do not respect anonymity. EVERYTHING I do is in the open as were the signatories on the Declaration of Independence, which would have been a death warrant had we lost.

          1. No one has been more open and accessible than Trump, everyday, it seems, before the WH news core. He is not anonymous.
            Three years of unending nightly “Bombshell” after Bombshell reports from the MSM!! Doesn’t this feel suspicious? The truth will prevail, unfortunately History is the Whistleblow
            er. How convenient.

  2. This is a dangerous oversimplification. The people speaking up are not low level employees looking for a leg up. They are career governmental employees who may pay a price for speaking up.

    1. Chad – then you make my point precisely – career gov’t employees usually known to shut up, rather than put up and pay the price. No oversimplification here.

      1. Randy,

        You’re so right. The republic is much better severed by no one speaking up against violations of emoluments clause.



  3. Answer: COWARDLY


    Answer: SAME
    And on and on and on!!

    This whole story is based on an anonymous? Lofty intentions?…. Sounds like a liberal! I’m happy you find it hard to applaud, yet…find It’s a waste of your talented writing.

  4. I don’t read books by “anonymous” people. Stand by your beliefs. Have credibility and an identity is part of that. I think Trump is an anomaly in that he is so unqualified in skills, expertise, personality and character. This is why the American presidency is not an entry level position. No other president has fired so many cabinet members, and put our country in peril with such instability. I’m glad the whistleblower set in motion a process to fully investigate and make transparent egregious actions. That’s what’s great about the U.S. NOBODY is above the law, and if you are unfit, you’re out.

    1. Suzette
      What whistleblower? He/she/they is not going to testify! according to Guess Who? Adam Schiff. The “Set in motion” you speak of started the night of the 2016 election, long before the anonymous whistleblower.
      We’ve all been bamboozled!!!
      Yes, nobody’s above the law including the people involved the last three years in nullifying the 63 million votes in a never before attempt of taking down a duly elected president.
      Please tell her Stu!

  5. Far more unnerving is a quote that dramatized the environment

    “Et tu Brute, then die Caesar!”

    We ain’t there…yet.

    1. Robert,

      It’s funny, because I thought of this quote immediately after reading this article.

      But then another quote came to mind by the character Hyman Roth, in Godfather II, “This is the business we’ve chosen.”

      Trump is president and there are checks and balances. He’s not omnipotent. And PUBLIC SERVICE is the business he has chosen.





    Once again, I am a deplorable. Unlike many of you, Stu and I have both met the man. Stu goes back further than I with Mr. Trump.
    To begin with, our President has broken the mold ! What was once a revered office, seemingly fit for a king, is now entrusted to a no nonsense billionaire businessman. Apparently, in all of the transactions over the years, Donald Trump played hardball. If you were against him, he hurt you. If you were in his employ- and loyal- then you did well. As a successful business man, he did not suffer fools. You were hired to do a job. You had the credentials to get the job and you showed your skills, etc in keeping the job. This practice is not unusual in many professions. I have four artificial joints. Knees and shoulders. I wouldn’t want Joe the butcher working on me.
    And that method of madness is what President Trump brought to Washington, D.C.. Very unusual to say the least! A career government employee! What an oxyMORON is that ! In my career spanning forty plus years in construction, being good at what you do keeps you working. If you’re a bum or trouble maker, then you’re history.
    Think about this. The President walks into the White House with a handful of teammates. (He is a team player) The rest of the staff is your “government employees”.They are all used to doing things a different way, and they don’t particularly like outsiders. Then the Pres starts to fill the appointments. More outsiders. More resentment ! Are you watching the smoking embers start to catch fire ? Pretty soon, the whole place is up in flames . Why you ask? Because President Trump sees that there is a lot of inefficient and unscrupulous people sitting around Washington D.C.. In plain english. Little Biden got caught doing what everybody does. Daddy got him a big paycheck and that is common in these United States. Somebody always takes care of somebody. The difference here is this. The party is over. Democrat, Republican, RINO what ever. Your days are numbered. And those sweethearts are stealing everything that they can while they still have the opportunity. As the American public wakes up and believes the truth, those life long vampires are out.
    Sound familiar ? Think about a past Philadelphia mayor who became an adjunct college professor. The Feds had city hall wired for a year and could not get thing one on the man. Of course, some of his cronies went to jail and one bit the bullet, so to speak.
    Read any good (or bad) books lately? Everybody but the janitor and maid wrote a book about the impeachment proceedings. And naturally, everybody is right. Ash them.
    In three short years, the economy got a helluva lot better. Wages are going up. Everybody that wants to work, can work. The V.A. is getting better for our much deserving wounded Veterans and a few other good things. Much on the dark side. The insurance game is still lousy. Education is still in the toilet. We have no deals with China, Mexico or Canada. The middle east is still a powder keg. And worse of all, this country is so divided that they can’t make up their minds if they want socialism, communism or the hell with it. Just give me everything-ism ! Then if that’s not bad enough, what we can’t stick up our nose, we put in our arm. While you’re doing all of that, remember to hate everyone that is not exactly like you!
    As you all can see. I get up on my soap box and I get carried away.

    1. Anthony – NO one on this list is a deplorable, even if you meant it in jest. We can all agree to disagree, and limit it to that. That’s why Stu was kind enough to let us all jump in on his forum.

      1. still HAPPY TUESDAY !!!
        In jest, I am a deplorable. I am a Republican and I do support our President. I must say, regardless how bad the previous Presidents were or were not, they were still my President. Who ever sits in the oval office deserves our respect. My pallie and I disagree on this one. You don’t have to love President Trump to appreciate the job he is accomplishing. Forget the rhetoric and B.S., Things have been happening in a positive way. More would be achieved if the pettiness went away.
        Think back to the ’50s and early ’60s, when the country was prosperous. Then the long slide downhill. Now we are on the move upward. Our pensions would go much further if and when we get the agreements with our neighbors and China. With that in mind, North Korea will hopefully fall in line and the middle east would follow suit.
        President Trump puts America first, where it should be, unlike the Democrats, RINOs and other vegetative matter found in the swamp.

        1. Tony
          In total agreement, but let us not forget who (not in jest) coined us deplorables and irredeemables…Madam Secretary herself.
          Thanks again
          Number 1 Tony Cheerleader

  7. you would think an impostor most voted against wouldn’t pretend he has a mandate

    Insecure? Paranoid?

  8. If you (editorial you) are looking for the source of the problem, consider the term ‘career politician.’ The Founding Fathers wanted fresh blood to come into government, which is why a congressman’s term is only two years and a senator’s six. But the ‘career politicians’ are the ones doing all the carping — anonymously — because they know they will still be in place when Donald Trump is just a memory.

    Ted Kennedy was a drunk and a philanderer who left a young woman to drown while he saved his own skin. Then he had the chutzpah to run for president, and finally spent some 40-plus years in the senate. The Democrats called him the Lion of the Senate. Some lion. Kennedy is a perfect example of why the Founding Fathers weren’t farsighted enough to put in term limits.

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