The DexFiles: Notes And Quotes On Trump’s White House Dysfunction

+ “Dear White House Aides: Save Yourselves. Save Us.” | Yahoo News | 5/18/2017

Leave the room as quietly as you can. Find a box. Go back to your office, pack up your things, leave the badge on the desk and go.”

Get out while you can is Matt Bai’s advice to White House staffers and aides who think working for President Trump is still worth it.

His response is quite devastating:

But maybe you’ve seen that terrific movie “Get Out,” about the dude who finds himself stuck in a house full of deranged predators he thought were his friends?

Yeah, I know this is hard to get your head around, but you’re the black guy.

Because every day you spend at the White House now, trying to keep this thing on the tracks, is a disservice to yourself, and ultimately to the rest of us.”

No way could a Trump White House have been a team of political, military, business, and academic all-stars brought together by a stable, visionary leader to address some of America’s most pressing problems.

Rather, we always knew 45’s administration would be an unstable brew of family, sycophants, billionaires, cynical politicos, nationalist hacks, and rank B-teamers.

For this we should be somewhat grateful. It’s burning through precious time and momentum, leaving executive orders and White House staff paranoia in its wake. Thus, in some odd way the current regime is preferable to one headed by Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, both of whom would have been less disruptive and more business as usual. Just think about the horrors that a laser-focused president birthed by the Tea Party could unleash…

While I feel sorta sorry for mid and low-level staffers torn between leaving and staying (perhaps compromising their careers with either choice), I also think they must’ve had some idea of what they were getting into. Trump could never have been more than exactly what we thought he was. Which explains why “Give him a chance!” from supporters and Fox commentators always rings hollow. We always knew what he would do with that chance. And we knew his base would ride or die with him. Perhaps because he brought them to the dance. Perhaps because they’re desperate for anyone who can do something to restore a collapsing middle class. Or perhaps because he thinks just like they do.

Perhaps the best thing a White House staffer can do now (before getting fired or indicted) is leak as much as possible for the sake of whatever remains of our democracy. To that end, we’re getting to the point where we need fewer anonymous sources quoted in The New York Times or Politico. Now we need documents and recordings.

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Trump’s Nixon Moment

A few hours after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey I Googled “Nixon” and found 80+ articles on the similarities between this action and the infamous “Saturday Night Massacre.”

Typical among so many breathlessly written articles was this:

On the evening of Saturday October 20, 1973, Federal Judge John Sirica sat in front of his television set watching FBI agents seal off the office of the Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who had just been fired at the command of the Nixon White House. The scene reminded him of a banana republic coup. “What the hell is this crowd doing?” he asked.

It’s far too early to say whether President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey will have the same dire consequences for his political future as Richard Nixon’s dismissal of Cox did for his. But not since that “Saturday Night Massacre” more than 40 years ago has a sitting president dared to fire an official in the middle of investigating potential misconduct by his own campaign. The risks of doing so are enormous.

Todd S. Purdum. “Trump Pulls From Nixon’s Playbook”. Politico. 9 May 2017

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