The Left Gets Its Own QAnon

Just a few weeks ago, progressives were gleefully ridiculing conservatives for buying into the QAnon conspiracy – an anonymous Internet poster claiming to have access to secret government information regarding Trump’s efforts to take down the Deep State.  However, it turns out that progressives were just envious. They too wanted their own secret agent within the Trump administration working to undermine the president they so deeply despise. Two days ago their wish was granted.  An anonymous op-ed piece claiming the existence of a Resistance movement within the White House appeared on the pages of The New York Times. Both sides having their own QAnon is rather amusing, actually laughable if it weren’t embarrassing for the country. The reaction to Trump's election the last two years has telegraphed to the world that America is in serious decline. We may still have the strongest military and a vast consumer market but politically, institutionally and culturally we are in decline.

I find it very difficult to believe that the piece was written by a senior official  in the administration. Why would anyone – who according to the article is working to save the country from an “amoral” president – out himself?  Why risk being discovered?  How does going public help his cause? If anything, it has jeopardized the entire enterprise. More likely, the author is someone at The New York Times drawing from information relayed to him by various sources the paper has within the administration. I don’t believe The New York Times would be reckless to the point of printing pure fiction – although the president’s opponents have become so unhinged that it cannot be completely ruled out. 

Several have noted the author’s main criticism of Trump was in the area of foreign policy. The ranting about Putin, the praise for John McCain, railing against Trump's treatment of our traditional allies is standard neocon criticism. It would not surprise me at all if Bill Kristol is somehow behind this latest scheme to bring Trump down. He probably had someone from his little neocon cabal contribute to the piece – Nikki Haley comes to mind.

Speculating about the identity of the author is entertaining but it’s not what intrigues me about the piece. More interesting is that it contains - almost word for word - the same arguments that were used against Trump during the last election. He is temperamentally unfit for office. He has no principles and is too close to Russia. There was nothing insightful or original in the article. It is really remarkable that those who clearly see themselves as intellectually superior to the president have not been able to muster one new argument against Trump in two years! 

Clearly the op-ed is just the latest attempt to throw the upcoming elections to the Democrats and historical trends do favor them getting control of the House. It is a sure bet that the GOP establishment will work to sabotage Trump - as it did in 2016 - because Democrats controlling the House means no wall, continued mass immigration and paralyzing the administration for the remainder of its term. Should the blue wave materialize, Trump will be challenged for the GOP nomination in 2020 – again Nikki Haley comes to mind.

I doubt that the same arguments that failed in 2016 will be successful this cycle. Two years ago Trump was a jump in the dark. The dire warnings that he would crash the economy or plunge us into a nuclear war had the best chance of gaining traction back then when there was no way to know what he would do in office. But two years have gone by and the economy is doing well – outperforming when both Barack Obama and George W. Bush were presidents. Despite the predictions that the mere mention of tariffs would cause a world wide economic depression like it happened in the 1930s, the stock market keeps surging, the tariff have helped reduce our trade deficit and, thus, improve our GDP growth. We are not involved in any new wars and for the first time in more than half a century there is a real chance for  peace with North Korea. Trump is still unpredictable, crass and the pivot to being more presidential will never happen. But that was also true two years ago and the voters were able to overlook it and will do so again this fall.