On Thursday, Politico's Eliana Johnson reported
President Donald Trump’s disastrous performance since his news conference alongside Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin has sent West Wing morale to its lowest level since the Charlottesville fiasco almost a year ago.
As happened last August, when the president refused to condemn neo-Nazi demonstrators, Trump’s attempts to tamp down outrage have backfired. Stilted statements followed by ad-libbed remarks left even his allies feeling that while the president was technically acknowledging a mistake, he actually meant what he’d said on the first go-round — that he believed Putin’s denials of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“People are just depressed,” said one Republican close to the White House. “Nobody wants to take on the public heat of resigning right now, but there are a bunch of people who were thinking maybe they’d leave after the midterms who are very seriously starting to consider accelerating their timetable.
There always is a "however" with this group of guys and gals, and so we learn
But the president’s usual defenders, many of whom have been critical of him in public and almost all of whom are privately disappointed by his performance, say the following: While Trump’s statements are regrettable, they have few if any policy consequences. And it’s for that reason that senior-level officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton — those with the most impact on policy — are unlikely to step down...
President Trump has been encouraging hatred and violence since before he was "President Trump." Johnson continues
Last summer, days after sparking a media conflagration for condemning people on “both sides” of the rally in Charlottesville, the president emerged at Trump Tower for a press conference ostensibly intended to tout his infrastructure agenda and declared, “You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”
Behind him, his newly appointed chief of staff, John Kelly, could be seen rubbing his temples with a look of misery that ping-ponged across the Internet. Cohn, then Trump’s chief economic adviser, drafted a resignation letter. But not a single member of the White House staff resigned over it — though Cohn eventually left, amid a fight over tariffs.
Monday’s events have sparked renewed demands for resignations-en-masse from presidential aides.
“Assuming Mike Pompeo and John Bolton still have their own senses intact, they ... should resign following the epic disgrace of the U.S.-Russia summit in Helsinki on Monday. So should their senior staff,” wrote New York Times columnist Bret Stephens on Thursday, noting that he knows and respects both men.
Nonetheless, they won't, and here comes the rationalization:
But others have called for those already inside to stay. “Please don’t resign,” wrote Kori Schake, head of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, in the Atlantic. “We should not want the moral satisfaction and practical devastation of clearing out people of conscience and allow the president to replace them with more malleable or compromised people.”
"People of conscience?" They have forfeited that description by their continuing service to an individual who consistently makes clear his authoritarian impulses and intend. They lend their credibility and prestige to an Administration which should have neither and which rules by threat and intimidation.
Possibly replaced by "more malleable or compromised people? Their very presence assisting a demagogue demonstrates they are "malleable and compromised."
They may be frightened by the prospect of being twitterized by Donald Trump is they leave. However, the aforementioned Gary Cohn left the Administration unscathed and has not been reduced to a pillar of salt.
Pompeo, Kelly, Bolton, and the others remain serving the regime because they want to be there. They are careerists who assume there will be professional benefits once they leave. Meanwhile, they bask in their prestige.
Yet, the period between this date and November 6, 2018 is put up or shut up time. "Better to have him inside the tent pissing out,than outside pissing in," President Lyndon B. Johnson once said of J. Edgar Hoover.
Though Hoover was a really bad guy, the analogy holds, wherein an agency head or adviser inside the tent may have little effect. Once outside the tent, the individual is unleashed and can oppose the President with virtual impunity.
They can remain and continue to enable a President who puts the interests of his country last. Or they can leave, sending Trump and voters a message, and help lead their party and the country away from its destructive path (video from late June).