After Six Months, a Shocking Clarity
Perhaps one James Woods said it best on Twitter (@realjameswoods) over the weekend: "I've never witnessed such hatred for a man who is willing to work for free to make his beloved country a better place. It is pathological."
Mr. Woods did not exaggerate. The last time the United States saw such a wholesale refusal to accept the result of a national election – and to overturn it – the year was 1861.
As the Trump administration moves past its 200th day in office, we have arrived at a moment of extreme clarity. It is even – even by the standards of Watergate (which did not start, remember, until President Richard Nixon's second term) – unprecedented in the history of the American Republic.
Just consider what we've learned since January 20 – and especially in the last two weeks.
1. Persons holding top positions in our national government (including its national security apparatus) are seeking to force the removal of an American president lawfully elected less than a year ago. To achieve that goal, they have shown themselves willing to compromise the national security of the United States, including the conduct of its foreign affairs, and to commit serious felonies.
2. The MSM has united with these criminals (that is what the leakers of classified information are) in seeking to achieve this goal. In particular, they are willing to facilitate achieving their objective by publishing information they know has been leaked to them in violation of federal law.
3. Democratic elected officials, at all levels of federal, state, and local government, oppose all aspects of the president's agenda, upon which he was elected, and vigorously seek to block its implementation. They have made no secret (thank you, Maxine Waters) that, if given control of Congress again, they will impeach and remove the president and, possibly, the vice president.
4. In a return to the days of the George W. Bush administration, the left is using "lawfare" (litigation for its own sake) to obstruct or defeat implementation of the president's agenda, upon which he was elected. A blog, Lawfareblog.com, offers daily info. Another blog, The Intercept, promotes leaks of classified and other information.
5. For the first time since the Vietnam War years, there is a national mobilization – calling itself the Resistance – that can put people onto the streets and, occasionally, is willing to use mob violence in furtherance of its goals of ousting this president and stifling free speech. Democratic elected officials have tolerated that violence.
6. Some Republicans in Congress have joined the Resistance. Many more, even where they deplore the Resistance, openly (or privately) oppose this president's announced agenda, upon which he was elected.
7. Some Republicans in the Senate and the House who, for the last seven years, voted to repeal Obamacare, in fact, have refused to repeal it now that a Republican president is in the White House who would sign such a repeal.
8. Prominent conservative media outlets and opinion leaders, such as Erick Erickson of theresurgent.com, redstate.com, the National Review and Bill Kristol's Weekly Standard, oppose this president, hope for his removal or resignation from office and are, moreover, prepared to defend these national security breaches (which are occurring in an attempt to achieve that goal) as regrettable but necessary and to praise those who commit them.
In a signed editorial, Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard wrote on Friday (emphasis added):
Short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was an utterly forgettable political hack. But he said one thing before he was dismissed that's worth reflecting on: "There are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from this president. Okay?" Scaramucci was right about that. We know these people, and we admire them. We wish them every success.
9. Former Bush speech writer David Frum, writing in the Atlantic this week, both deplored and rationalized the leak of transcripts of presidential phone calls to foreign leaders. Yes, he said, it's illegal and compromises national security. But it's really Trump's fault for making such breaches necessary.
Frum said (emphasis added):
The risk of national-security establishment overreach looms even larger. The temptation is obvious: Senior national-security professionals regard Trump as something between (at best) a reckless incompetent doofus and (at worst) an outright Russian espionage asset. The fear that a Russian mole has burrowed into the Oval Office may justify, to some, the most extreme actions against that suspected mole.
The nature of this particular leak suggests just such a national-security establishment origin.
10. It is quite obvious, in short, that the president of the United States has good reason to believe that he is, literally, being spied on in his own White House, by members of his own staff and by others elsewhere in the Executive Branch – especially including the national security apparatus. And, furthermore, that his most confidential communications are not secure.
11. This exceeds, by some orders of magnitude, the national security threat faced by President Richard Nixon and national security adviser Henry Kissinger within the Nixon White House in 1970 and 1971.
Those are facts. What does it all mean?
First, it means that next year's congressional elections have grown enormously in importance since January 20. The president will struggle to enact his agenda unless he has more allies on the allies on the Hill.
Second, it will probably take at least two full terms for the president to purge the Executive Branch.
But those are just politics and elections. Here's what should be concerning now:
If this pattern of the last six months continues, there will develop a real threat to the Republic and to the survival of democratic government. While the national security threats the United States is presently facing – North Korean ICBMs, Chinese man-made islands in the South China Sea, and an expansive Russia – are serious and pressing, the most serious threat may be within.
We may be confronting a national security threat comparable to that which the United States (unknowingly) faced in the 1940s when American communists and fellow travelers penetrated the federal government, the Executive Branch, and the White House. It was pooh-poohed at the time, called a "witch hunt" and a "Red Scare," but, decades later, the release of the Venona Intercepts and the opening of Soviet archives after the fall of the Soviet Union confirmed that, in fact, Soviet penetration of the highest levels of the U.S. government had occurred – and resulted in the loss of state secrets.
Here, there can be no dispute. The proof is appearing every day in our American media.
Attorney General Sessions is, therefore, amply justified in pursuing prosecution of the source(s) of these national security leaks – and, if necessary, targeting their media enablers.
The question of whether an American Deep State exists can be deferred until another time. May cooler heads prevail until then.
But for now, the current crisis is not some political sideshow for the annual August "silly season." It is a struggle over who controls the government of the United States.