Five people are dead, an unknown number were assaulted, hundreds if not thousands spent hours hiding in terror, Congress was delayed in its duty to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, and the U.S. Capitol was badly vandalized. But can we talk about how this is going to effect the careers of the loyal White House staff who have served the instigator of the terrorist attack?
Some of these charmers talked to Politico’s Daniel Lippman, and it is as nauseating a parade of self-pity and self-justification as you could imagine.
You have the “lower-level Trump administration official” who whined, “The people who this is hardest on, aside from obviously the people in the Capitol and the police and the people who were hurt, are the people who have staked their reputations and their political, financial and career fortunes on defending the president and he’s just made it harder on us.”
But this official is hoping to eventually make lemonade out of terrorist lemons. “If anything, I hope to pitch [Wednesday] one day as ‘look if you want to talk about an employee who can continue to produce and continue to have a good attitude in the toughest, highest stakes and highest pressure situations, [that’s me],” he said.
Then you have this senior administration official: “I personally think Charlottesville was worse than what happened yesterday and if you didn’t resign after that, it’s kind of a chickenshit move to do it 14 days before the transfer of power,” this person said. “It shows a lot of selfishness. ‘Let’s make it about me. I’m resigning because I don’t like what happened.’”
True, no one gets credit for resigning from working for Trump at this late date, but it’s outstandingly obnoxious to have that position coming from someone who can see that Charlottesville was wrong and yet is still sticking around to belligerently mock people for resigning. (Plus, Charlottesville was extremely bad, but worse than the storming of the Capitol to prevent the peaceful transfer of power? Nah.)
Others had a very simple, uncomplicated worry about Wednesday’s terrorist attack: “This will hurt us in trying to get jobs.” Wouldn’t that be a damned shame, if being complicit in a coup attempt cut you off from some sweet lobbyist cash?
These people are disgusting and beneath contempt, but they do have a point, all of them: Wednesday should make it more difficult for them to get jobs. People who are resigning now, with two weeks to go, should be scorned. But so should those who stayed. Anyone who worked for Trump at all, let alone for longer than about 10 minutes, let alone after he put kids in cages or tried to extort a foreign government into helping him win an election, every single one of them—the cynical careerists and true believers alike—should be cast out. They should have ample opportunities to reassess their positions on the generosity of unemployment benefits and also the appropriate level of the minimum wage. They have participated in the determined breakdown of U.S. democracy and government, and they should pay in kind.