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Trump Incoming
Eliot Cohen: I Changed My Mind

Earlier this week, Eliot Cohen wrote in these pages that if Republicans are asked to serve in the Trump Administration, they should do so, if cautiously:

You asked what I thought about going to work in a Trump Administration. I do not have to worry about that, of course: I was one of the ringleaders in denouncing him as unfit by temperament, character, and judgment for political office. They will have no use for me, or, to be fair, I for them. But others, including some of my younger friends, will have jobs dangled in front of them, because the government has to be staffed.

It seems to me that if they are sure that they would say yes out of a sense of duty rather than mere careerism; if they are realistic in understanding that in this enterprise they will be the horse, not the jockey; if they accept that they will enter an administration likely to be torn by infighting and bureaucratic skullduggery, they should say yes. Yes, with two conditions, however: that they keep a signed but undated letter of resignation in their desk office (as I did when I was in government), and that they not recant a word of what they have said thus far. Public service means making accommodations, but everyone needs to understand that there is a point where crossing a line, even an arbitrary line, means, as Sir Thomas More says in A Man for All Seasons, letting go without hope of ever finding yourself again.

Now, he’s changing his tune, writing in the Washington Post that an encounter with the transition team left him very worried about the direction of the incoming administration:

My about-face began with a discreet request to me from a friend in Trumpworld to provide names — unsullied by having signed the two anti-Trump foreign policy letters — of those who might be willing to serve. My friend and I had agreed to disagree a while back about my taking an uncompromising anti-Trump stand; now, he wanted assistance and I willingly complied.

After an exchange about a senior figure who would not submit a résumé but would listen if contacted, an email exchange ensued that I found astonishing. My friend was seething with anger directed at those of us who had opposed Donald Trump — even those who stood ready to help steer good people to an administration that understandably wanted nothing to do with the likes of me, someone who had been out front in opposing Trump since the beginning.

Read the whole thing.

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  • Angel Martin

    All the people who said the Trump campaign was disorganized, incompetent and couldn’t win, now warn us that the Trump Administration is disorganized incompetent and won’t win…

    • JR

      Their belief in there own clairvoyance despite all the evidence to the contrary is truly a sight to behold. But don’t worry, facts have a liberal bias, haven’t you heard?

  • JR

    More sour grapes from Eliot. His piece is the same “never Trump” BS we’ve been hearing for months. A yawner….

    • f1b0nacc1

      Have you seen this:

      I am a big fan of Remy’s….this is one of his best…

      • JR

        ohthat is funny

        • f1b0nacc1

          I thought so too…. Remy’s stuff is well worth your time…

      • M Snow

        Thanks for sharing. That was a real treat.

        • f1b0nacc1

          You are most welcome, I am very glad you enjoyed it

    • Beauceron

      It was a rather odd pierce, wasn’t it?

      I mean, he pretends to an awful lot of insight into the internal workings and dynamics of the entire transition team based on one email exchange with a friend.

      • JR

        I see the Trump derangement syndrome is slowly but surely taking hold. Rachel Maddow is talking about concentration camps.

        • Beauceron

          Is she really?

          For illegals? I could see needing a place to hold them if you’re rounding up a lot of people.

          Or has she gone into full meltdown mode and saying that it’s for anyone who opposes our American Caesar?

          • JR

            I think she meant for illegals. I honestly don’t know what she is talking about half the time. I have been partaking in some MSNBC both during and after the election. It is quiet fascinating.

  • Anthony

    Partisanship aside, Eliot Cohen (a conservative scholar) is a serious analyst and wise historian – he is sober minded in his work (Supreme Command, Military Misfortunes, and others). Americans ought to reflect on his thoughts referenced in post beyond facile loyalist rebuttal. This remains a country of 320,000,000 plus! “Its going to be a bumpy four years.”

    “Let it be said at once: Trump’s victory is primarily due to the explosion in economic and geographic inequality in the United States over several decades and the inability of successive governments to deal with this.” (Thomas Piketty)

    • JR

      There’s only so many “Never Trump” articles one can produce before people start tuning you out. Such is life.

      • Anthony

        I’m not sure to whom you refer but frankly it really is not important in a country with independent sources (Eliot Cohen has an American History).

        • JR

          I was referring to Eliot Cohen, the subject of this post. Seems pretty obvious to me.

          • Anthony

            OK, got it! Thanks.

      • f1b0nacc1

        I remember hearing this same whine when Reagan came into office in the 80s. While i don’t believe that Trump (who I still don’t care for, though in the words of David Chappelle “I am going to give him a chance”…grin) is nearly the man that Reagan was, i would love to be proven wrong….

  • Maynerd

    Dear WRM,
    Has Eliot Cohen apologized for advocating the Iraq War? He along with many others owns the Middle East meltdown and destablization of Europe by mass Muslim migration. They have the blood of thousands on their hands.

    • CosmotKat

      I would not blame any American for the Muslim mess in Europe. They own that all by themselves.

  • WigWag

    Thank goodness Jeffrey Cohen and his band of brain-dead brigands won’t be serving in the Trump Administration. It’s a sign of what an egotistical maniac that Cohen is that he would think that any Commander-in-Chief with an ounce of insight would want him or the likes of him to serve in his Administration. Does Cohen think that the State Department and the National Security Staff during the Bush Administration was anything other than a unmitigated disaster?

    Here’s a hint for you Jeffrey, the foreign policy apparatus during the Bush Administration was every bit as incompetent as the fools who served in the same positions during the Obama Administration. We’ve had two failed presidencies in a row in terms of foreign policy and you served in the first of these failed presidencies. America does not need you and your miserable ilk back calling the shots. You failed when you had the chance; the suggestion that you should be rehabilitated by Trump is absurd.

    When that friend, or presumably now ex-friend, laughed in your face he was expressing how a significant majority of the American people, both Democrats and Republicans feel about the uniparty’s foreign policy. You’ve made America weaker not stronger, you’ve made us less secure not more secure, you’ve made America less respected not more respected and you’ve placed the future of our children and grandchildren at risk through your stupidity and incompetence.

    It’s not your friend on the Trump transition team who’s the arrogant jackass here; it’s you, your fellow GOP bitter-enders and the rest of the miserable foreign policy elites who think that after leading America from failure to failure that they’re entitled to a future role charting America’s course.

    You’re toast, Jeffrey. Those dreams of getting back into government have been dashed. It’s time to plan for a new career, hopefully one where you can’t do much damage. I hear that their looking for baristas at Starbuck.

    You should apply for that job.

  • Jim__L

    I wonder what his friend would say in response to this article?

    Seems like that kind of balance would be useful.

  • Frank Natoli

    You didn’t want Trump as President. You were convinced that Clinton was best for all Americans. Now you’re going to “help” Trump? By sending him people who think like Clinton? And you’re astonished that your “help” is being rejected out of hand? Trump would have to be a complete ignoramus to want your “help”, and that he most certainly is not.

    • CosmotKat

      Frank, well said. I find it amusing how so many of the neo-cons are acting just like their far left loony brothers and sisters.

  • miketompkins52

    i feel you dog i really do , i didn’t give gina jacuzzi the satisfaction of turning me down for senior prom by never asking her!………now who’s laughing!

    solidarity brother!

  • FriendlyGoat

    It’s worth reading the whole linked Cohen piece in the Post.

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