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Nobody in the White House is Part of ‘The Resistance’


Nobody in the White House is Part of ‘The Resistance’

Peter Certo

This week, the White House continues its furious hunt for the anonymous official who proclaimed themselves part of “The Resistance” in a New York Times


Like so many have pointed out time and again, Trump is not the problem.
He is merely a symptom of an all encompassing problem brought to us by 40 plus years of a complicit duopoly.


The name ‘McCain’ and the word ‘honorable’ do not ever belong any where near each other unless between them is the word ‘not.’


When and how did “Resistance” go from being a left wing motto to one that is attributed to the right wing?


True. One difference between the parties is that since the 1990s, Democrats have implemented more of the hard right agenda than Republicans would have dared to try. In the process, they split apart not only the Dem voting base, mainly by class, but those masses who are not on the right wing.


The “leak” allegedly from a member of “the resistance” is totally contrived by Trump per Goebbels’ playbook to add to an ever growing list of contrived enemies allegedly trying to undermine him.

The “resistance” is indeed part of Trump’s smoke and mirrors.


Political language has been twisted and spun so many ways that it’s becoming difficult to use.

The anonymous NYT author claimed to be resisting, whether that is true or invented. But to Certo that is not adequate to be part of “the Resistance.” One is tempted to imagine that Certo would like that to describe only persons of some certain ideology, and perhaps also limit the term to those who also do resist in some way, or perhaps only to persons who do resist the current president in some way.

A difficulty here is that it is not clear just what ideology Certo might require, and the movement itself has been more than vague. Certo regards McCain as “honorable” and appears to criticize Trump both from the left (race and immigration problems) and from the right (it is supposed to be a problem that Trump speaks to Korea and Russia, rather than just rattling sabers). So apparently Certo’s so-called “resistance” does not resist war or militarism.

Whatever it is, Certo calls it the real resistance. I wish that I could double-emphasize that “the”: it implies that no other resistance is possible, that none disagree with it. Does he refer to right wing Democrats who have co-opted the term since '16, to some collection of Sanders and post-Sanders allies, to leftists (however defined), or to some coalition? By what principle are these people to be included and others excluded?

I suppose the woods are deep and dark, and that not all of this is altogether Certo’s fault. Perhaps with some group of people somewhere he shares a common language, and it is only when he addresses people from other walks of life that the problems in all this become obvious.


i agree. he will blame those closest to him for the democrats winning at midterms and if he fails as president.


hi bardamu, i’m the author of this piece. thank you for your close read.

nice points about the vagueness of “the resistance.” here i meant only that whatever you define resistance as, i don’t think it can include people trying to implement the GOP agenda from inside the white house. you could probably also include the really mediocre strains of the democratic party, but it’s true i don’t go into that here.

i did want to clarify a few points… i absolutely think it’s necessary to resist war and militarism. and even though i’m critical of trump’s personal admiration for leaders in NK and russia and elsewhere, i support his attempts at diplomacy with each (though i expect little of them). what i meant in the piece is that the author defines “fixing” trump’s worst instincts as preventing that diplomacy, which is part of the reason i think he’s full of it.

re: mccain being “honorable,” i meant only more so than trump, which is a low bar. i wrote an earlier piece called “The Iraq War Should Be a Much Bigger Part of McCain’s Legacy Than His ‘Civility’” explaining my views much more thoroughly, on both mccain and militarism. (CD won’t let me link it 'cause i’m new, but google it if you’re interested.)

thank you!


Well hello Peter Certop, and thank you very much for your reply and clarification. I am used to having to live with my own interpretations of public documents. I appreciate your help.

I am glad to hear that we are in agreement as to militarism and Trump’s diplomacy, such as it may be. I cannot get used to the wave of pundits that criticize even this president from a warlike perspective, With the additional reference to the ever-bloody John McCain, I took a pattern to be evident that was not intended.

I agree that the NYT’s anonymous author appears to be against a diplomatic foreign policy. I do not see that this appears to be a Republican | Democrat sort of divide, however. The war and various sorts of aggression and sabre rattling seems very much a continuation of what Obama had done and what Bush had done and what Clinton had done and what elder Bush had done before that–and an extension of the Monroe Doctrine, were one to insist. And it seems reasonable to assume that the five middle eastern governments that contributed to the Clinton '16 campaign did so with the idea that the US wars in the Middle East would thereby be pursued vigorously. Clinton would surely have done so, and some related cabal appears to still mostly determine official Democratic policy.

So I wonder about which aspects of policy can be called Republican in this case, since we are probably thereby distinguishing these from those of Democrats.

I had read your other piece about McCain, and enjoyed it. Maybe the ever-vigilant software will let me reproduce a link: (https://otherwords.org/we-talk-about-john-mccain-and-most-politicians-all-wrong/).

I am myself at a loss to deal with McCain and honor. We had better ask what the word means. As nearly as I can tell, John McCain did conform well to some set of ideas and some set of loyalties that he probably in some sense sincerely held.

Perhaps this is honor. I wonder, though. And I do not like it. What can we say about the honor of a psychopath? Is this different than the honor of a mobster, or perhaps better said, a different mobster? I cannot tell to what Trump might be loyal–which, I admit, is likely part of your point. Does this make him less honorable, or might his motives just be harder to classify? And really, what does the exercise of wondering get us?

I wonder whether honor does not require a more universal morality or ethics. I see that there is some open-mindedness in according honor to people with whom we do not agree about ethics and morals; surely this includes McCain. But I wonder where that might stop and why. If warriors who kill for mistaken notions may be included, why not grifters who may steal and mislead by notions about equally foolish or self-serving?

The word honor has served us well in some contexts, perhaps contexts more limited than I had realized. I am not sure that I can get it to survive John McCain. It seems like in any event, it ought to be explained.


Diplomacy. Please.

As for the “adults”, hasn’t the anonymous author now admitted to an ongoing coup? Isn’t that treason?


It freakin’ NEVER was left wing since it’s introduction by Clintonistas after they lost the election in 2016.

It always has been a Militant Centrist movement that is all about shouting and yelling and lying (yes they lie often) and whipping up fear but devoid of any real substance in opposing Trump’s typical GOP agenda.

Think about it. The first real ‘action’ of this phony resistance was pure Identity Politics of the Women’s March and pussy hats. (Notice it was Identity but of wealthy, elitist, powerful women, not of marginalized, poor, people of color.) …And what were they really freakin’ upset about? That entitled to win without winning the voters Hillary Rodham Clinton was deprived of her rightful win.

HRC has NEVER been left wing. She is the Militant Centrist par excellence. What is the Militant Center? It’s being a right wing Neo-Liberal and Neo-Con but being sure to spout, once in a while, some pro-choice or anti-racist rhetoric (and after it’s a done deal, some pro-LGBT rhetoric too.)

I will never stand for or accept my left wing position being conflated with a disgusting Imperialist Predatory Capitalist like Hillary Rodham Clinton or Cory Booker of Kamala Harris or any of those other sickening Centrists.


appreciate these comments, bardamu. “honor” can mean a handful of nice things on an interpersonal level (none of which i’m rigorous enough to define meaningfully), but i agree it’s a problematic label when it comes to covering for foreign policy.

i’ve slowly been slogging my way through ken burns’ “vietnam” series, and something one of the vets said really struck me – something to the effect of, “maybe if we didn’t think we were the good guys all the time, we wouldn’t have so many wars.” the heart of mccain’s “honor” is that (i think) he genuinely believed america was a force for good in the world and thought himself responsible for upholding that. problem is, it seemed to blind him to some really evil stuff.