“Lodestar” is going to go down in history alongside “Rosebud” as the clue that all the pundits and journalists went wild to track down the meaning of. If you’re just tuning in, the New York Times took the admittedly “rare step of publishing an anonymous op-ed essay,” from someone described as a senior administration official, who claims to be part of the “resistance” against Trump’s “two track presidency.” Because of the use of the word “lodestar” Mike Pence is the front runner for credit as the anonymous writer. New York Times:
We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue. Mr. Trump may fear such honorable men, but we should revere them.
That got the ball rolling.
My guess on the anonymous source…
I looked for any language that stood out. One word did.
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) September 5, 2018
That isn’t the only time Pence used lodestar in a sentence and you can check Twitter for all the references. The archaic definition of “lodestar” is “a star that leads or guides.” Polestar would actually be a more accurate word to use in the context he’s using it, but then again, we’re dealing with Mike Pence, who unquestionably got the word from some ancient Catholic treatise back before he was “born again” as an evangelical wingnut. Granted, lodestar is a term few people use, so it was probably Pence, but there are other tells that this is him writing as well.
The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.
“We as a nation” have allowed nothing. The GOP tribe who enabled this travesty, and who hold a majority in both chambers of Congress are who “have allowed him to do to us.” The rest of us are fighting like hell to get the reins back in our hands before the stagecoach goes off the mountain.
But the moralistic preaching while deflecting from the real issue at hand, GOP corruption and complicity, is vintage Pence. Witness the way he handled the issue with Mike Flynn getting fired, wrapping it all up by saying that “it’s the first I’ve heard of it,” which Rachel Maddow called ‘pure bunk’ since Pence was head of the transition team and had to have known all the details of Flynn’s being a foreign agent first hand. Simply, Pence picked a portion of the issue, (when the Flynn news broke,) to expand and make it sound like he was addressing the entire issue. He was not. He never does. He tangentially addresses an issue and then goes off on talking points about something entirely different.
Meanwhile, back at the White House, Trump has blown a gasket as you would expect.
Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2018
And there’s a call for “Anonymous” to resign, by Sarah Huckabee Sanders:
“The individual behind this piece has chosen to deceive, rather than support, the duly elected president of the United States. He’s not putting the country first, putting himself and his ego ahead of the will of the American people. This coward should do the right thing and resign.”
Pence isn’t going to resign and his identity must likely won’t be revealed anyway. This is just the wind up to the pitch. When the Democrats take back the House in November, and the Mueller investigation runs it’s inevitable course, which cannot end well for Trump, Pence will most likely be called upon to finish Trump’s term. He wants to make sure that he’s positioning himself ahead of time as the Stable Republican, the second coming of Ronald Reagan, if possible, so that he can get elected on his own in 2020 and not just be a placeholder. He has no chance of being president in his own right unless he cuts the umbilical cord from Trump. That metallic snap you just heard is the guillotine coming down on it.
Of course, a Pence speechwriter may have written the piece and accidentally included “lodestar” which led back to Pence, and Pence may be fuming as well. But even if that’s the case, and it likely is, Pence presumably read the piece before it went to press. Or, a third alternative, this senior official is somebody entirely different, and set Pence up by inserting lodestar, knowing that the savvy would find the clue.
Whichever, or none of the above, not only is there a “two track” presidency in Washington, now there’s a shadow presidency as well.