My column at Real Clear Politics today shows how the anti-Trump Resistance, typified by the anonymous author of “A Warning,” follows the pattern set out by a French author in 1928 in “The Treason of the Intellectuals.” It’s the entrenched bureaucracy against the rest of us. “What a tangled web they weaved, when the Deep State did at first deceive.”
Anti-Trump Resistance Is ‘Treason of the Intellectuals’
By Frank Miele
The anonymous traitor who declared war against the president of the United States in the New York Times a year ago is set to strike again.
The author rose to fame with “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” an essay proclaiming that he or she was actively working to subvert the presidency of his or her boss, Donald Trump. Now, just over a year later, the high-ranking (possibly former) official has written “A Warning,” a book that promises to add fuel to the impeachment fire.
It also provides a bookend to that other “anonymous” conspirator against President Trump — the famed Ukraine phone call “whistleblower,” whose identity is all but confirmed by the work of Paul Sperry at RealClearInvestigations, among others. I’ve written about the presumed whistleblower on my own blog, HeartlandDiaryUSA.com, and celebrated Sen. Rand Paul throwing down the gauntlet in front of the “hear no whistleblower, see no whistleblower” media, telling them to “Do Your Job!”
But the complicit mainstream media insist on “respecting” the anonymity of the Ukraine whistleblower and, for now at least, the anonymity of the official who wrote “A Warning.” Indeed, a less supine media would be hard to imagine. It’s almost as though they are literally in bed with the anti-Trump whistleblowers and Resistance.
Of course, what has become increasingly apparent as the impeachment farce proceeds is that anonymity provides the perfect cover for score-settling, back-stabbing, fact-stretching bureaucrats to take aim at the president they hate — namely, one Donald J. Trump.
A perfect example of that surfaced last week when the HuffPost (formerly the Huffington Post, more accurately the Huff and Puff Post) published a “non-excerpt excerpt” that recounted a story from the book about “highly placed White House officials [who] did a back-of-the-envelope tally of which Cabinet members would be prepared to sign a letter invoking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.” The 25th Amendment would theoretically allow Vice President Mike Pence to take over as acting president after declaring Trump to be incapable of discharging the duties of his office, but more likely it would be the first shot in a civil war.
The Resistance Media seized on the story. The new “woke” Drudge 2.0 blasted a typically inaccurate but thoroughly clickable headline: “Book Bombshell: Pence ‘would support’ Trump removal.” Trump haters salivated at the prospect of Pence joining the rebellion against the president, but of course it was all hocus pocus. A few hours later, Drudge was forced to run a headline beneath the original tantalizer that now dismissed it summarily as “Fake News.”
Indeed, this story could be the textbook example of “Fake News” in a Journalism 101 class — if anyone still taught the basics of journalism to aspiring reporters instead of instructing them on how to ferret our personal pronouns or how to groom anonymous sources.
Essentially, the unsubstantiated story by the anonymous author tells how unnamed but “highly placed” White House officials had guessed in a parlor game how anonymous Cabinet members might vote if asked to eject the president from the White House and replace him with the vice president. Moreover, “there was no doubt in the minds of these senior officials” playing their parlor game that Pence would sign off on their coup d’etat if they ever managed to elevate it past the back of an envelope. Or at least that’s what our “brave” anonymous author is telling us he guesses was going on in the minds of those “senior officials.”
The only person who is named in the account — Vice President Pence — has flatly denied it. My guess is that one thing is certain: Mr. Anonymous Warning was probably enjoying a double Scotch when he scribbled out some names on the back of his envelope. I can’t prove it, but my top-secret anonymous sources swear it is true, and they are usually reliable (at least when they have not themselves been tippling a toddy or two).
Needless to say, the mainstream media will lend great credence to the unverifiable chortlings of “A Warning.” That is to be expected since they are part of the same corrupt machine. I wrote about this phenomenon one year ago in a response to the original op-ed by Mr. Anonymous Warning, in which I explored the deep state as a manifestation of what French author Julien Benda described as “The Treason of the Intellectuals” in a 1928 book of the same name.
As I noted, Benda foresaw at the beginning of the age of mass communication that “political passions have attained a universality never before known. … Thanks to the progress of communication and, still more, to the group spirit, it is clear that the holders of the same political hatred now form a compact impassioned mass, every individual of which feels himself in touch with the infinite number of others, whereas a century ago such people were comparatively out of touch with each other and hated in a ‘scattered’ way.”
Benda recognized that we were entering an age of manipulation of the masses by those who think they know better — whether you call them the “deep state,” the “opposition party,” “the national elite,” “the entrenched bureaucracy” or just “the establishment.” Just as the Ukrainian whistleblower and the author of “A Warning” see themselves as protectors of the status quo, so too did Benda’s intellectuals see themselves as the only qualified judges of right and wrong in matters of state. Elected officials be damned!
No doubt, the diplomats and national security personnel (such as “adjutant whistleblower” Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman) who think it is unwise to let the president set foreign policy — in opposition to the all-seeing, all-knowing “interagency” — will recognize themselves in Benda’s description of the “wise” intellectuals who think they alone are to be trusted in setting the course of the nation.
Benda’s “treason of the intellectuals” centered on “men of thought, or men giving themselves out as such, professing openly that they would not submit their patriotism to any check on the part of their judgment, proclaiming … that ‘even if the country is wrong, we must think it is right,’ denouncing as ‘traitors of the nation’ those of their compatriots who retain their liberty of mind, or at least of speech, in regard to their country.”
That surely is how Vindman and his associates in the national security apparatus see themselves. Their judgment cannot be questioned. They are the indispensable men and women who exist to stand guard against the Deplorables and their unwashed foreign policy. You can see that attitude on full display in Thursday’s Washington Post article that was written with a copy of “A Warning” in hand.
According to the Post, “The author … describes Trump careening from one self-inflicted crisis to the next, ‘like a twelve-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.’”
The only problem is that every example of this out-of-control “behind the scenes” behavior that terrified Mr. Anonymous Warning and his West Wing colleagues is exactly what Mr. and Mrs. Middle America cheer when they attend a MAGA rally.
- Laugh at judicial activists and plot to remove them? Check.
- Consider pardons for the victims of the illegal FBI and CIA plot to overthrow the president? Check.
- Say “to hell with political correctness”? Check.
- Fight back against the leakers and traitors in his administration? Check and double check.
What ultimately exposes the agenda of Mr. Anonymous Warning is when he ventures into the field of diagnostician and puts his powers of observation up directly against the powers of the American people:
“I am not qualified to diagnose the president’s mental acuity,” he writes with rare accuracy, but then storms ahead with his unqualified diagnosis anyway:
“All I can tell you is that normal people who spend any time with Donald Trump are uncomfortable by what they witness. He stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but with regularity. Those who would claim otherwise are lying to themselves or to the country.”
Thanks for the information, pal. But what you forget is that this is the most accessible president in U.S. history. He addresses the public virtually every other day — on the campaign trail, stopping for the press when boarding or exiting his Marine One helicopter, in his daily tweets — and what we see is the exact opposite of the stumbling, bumbling fool you describe. The American people see a president who has weathered an incessant storm of slurs and subpoenas with not just a soupçon of self-assurance but a whole boatload of it.
If you want to talk about politicians who “stumble, slur, or get confused,” you need to look at Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. If you’re interested in a politician who gets “easily irritated,” take a look at Bernie Sanders or Kamala Harris. If you’re looking for someone who “has trouble synthesizing information, not occasionally but with regularity,” then take a look at any number of prominent denizens of the press. Throw them all together with Adam Schiff and the anonymous whistleblowers and what you get in full is “The Treason of the Intellectuals.”
Those who would claim otherwise are lying to themselves or to their country.
WHO WE ARE
Frank Miele has spent four decades in the news business and now offers conservative commentary to counter the left-wing bias in the national media. If you enjoy reading these daily essays, I hope you will consider purchasing one of my books. They are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions. My new book — “The Media Matrix: What if everything you know is fake?” — shows that Fake News has been around for years. The “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy tackles the politics of the last two decades: Part 1 is subtitled “Bush’s Global Failure: Half Right.” Part 2 is “Obama’s Fundamental Transformation: Far Left.” Part 3 is “Trump’s American Vision: Just Right.” Also consider subscribing to Heartland Diary on YouTube by clicking here for News Every Conservative Can Use.