“‘People are scared’: Paranoia seizes Trump’s White House”

by Bob Schwartz

This from today’s Washington Post:

 ‘People are scared’: Paranoia seizes Trump’s White House

Staffers are leaving their phones at home, using secret apps and monitoring each other’s social media.

A culture of paranoia is consuming the Trump administration, with staffers increasingly preoccupied with perceived enemies — inside their own government. In interviews, nearly a dozen White House aides and federal agency staffers described a litany of suspicions.

The report is essential and surreal reading.

There have been two parallel concerns about the trump presidency:

It would be ruthlessly effective at remaking America in an unrecognizable and un-American form.

and/or

It would be totally ineffective at getting anything done, even that which is necessary. In other words, the government would be in leaderless chaos and falling apart.

Many of the stories up to now have been evidence of the first. This story, though, is on-target about the second.

The American ideal is a government led by three branches, each one reasonably aware and capable, each one taking its role as a check and balance seriously. Right now:

The Supreme Court, thanks to the Republicans refusal to fill a vacancy last year, sits one Justice short.

A Republican-controlled Congress is caught between loyalty to the supposed leader of their party in the White House and the realization (something they knew from the campaign) that the president has…problems.

The executive branch? You can watch and read the news, including the above-mentioned report, as well as anybody.

As political theory, some say they want less government. But what if, in effect, we end up with none?

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