…of the kind of person who epitomizes the DJT — and now GOP — approach to government, short-lister-for-getting-cast-as Nosferatu-if-there’s-ever-a-remake and until recently Washington’s least eligible bachelor, Stephen Miller
One afternoon in November, a half-dozen government officials sat at a conference table in the White House, waiting for the arrival of Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to Donald Trump. Miller had summoned officials from the Departments of Homeland Security, State, and Justice to discuss a new Administration policy initiative: a series of agreements with the governments of Central America that would force asylum seekers to apply for protection in that region instead of in the United States. Miller, who had helped make the deals, wanted to know when their provisions could go into effect…Miller has a habit of berating officials, especially lower-ranking ones, for an agency’s perceived failures. Chad Wolf, now the acting head of D.H.S., used to advise colleagues to placate Miller by picking one item from his long list of demands, and vowing to execute it. “It’s a war of attrition,” Wolf told them. “Maybe he forgets the rest for a while, and you buy yourself some time.”
One participant in the November meeting pointed out that El Salvador didn’t have a functioning asylum system. “They don’t need a system,” Miller interrupted. He began speaking over people, asking questions, then cutting off the answers.
As the meeting ended, Miller held up his hand to make a final comment. “I didn’t mean to come across as harsh,” he said. His voice dropped. “It’s just that this is all I care about. I don’t have a family. I don’t have anything else. This is my life.”
Miller, who was a speechwriter during the campaign, is now Trump’s longest-serving senior aide. He is also an Internet meme, a public scourge, and a catch-all symbol of the racism and malice of the current government. In a cast of exceptionally polarizing officials, he has embraced the role of archvillain. Miller can be found shouting over interviewers on the weekend news shows or berating reporters in the White House briefing room; he has also vowed to quell a “deep state” conspiracy against Trump. When he’s not accusing journalists of harboring a “cosmopolitan bias” or denying that the Statue of Liberty symbolizes America’s identity as a nation of immigrants, he is shaping policy and provoking the President’s most combative impulses.
Of thirty current and former officials I interviewed, not one could recall a White House adviser as relentless as Miller, or as successful in imposing his will across agencies. These officials resented him as an upstart and mocked his affectations—his “arrogant monotonal voice” and tin-eared bombast—but few were comfortable going on the record, even after leaving the government. Miller is famously vindictive, and, as Trump runs for a second term, he is sure to grow only more powerful. “Miller doesn’t have to get Trump to believe everything he does,” one of the officials told me. “He just has to get Trump to say it all.”
When Miller and I spoke by phone, it was off the record. Without an audience, he gave the same message at half the volume—a litany of talking points about all the ways in which the President had delivered on his campaign promises. Afterward, the White House sent me a quote for attribution: “It is the single greatest honor of my life to work for President Trump and to support his incredible agenda.”
Imagine Stephen Miller in a second Trump term.
There’s nothing wrong with a serious discussion/debate, or whatever you want to call it, to consider and select the best candidate to take on, um, not to mince words, the nascent fascism of Trump. But whether the winning candidate is my personal preference (her last name rhymes with Soren) or whether I once again grimly exercise my civic duty by opting for the lesser of evils, Trump will forever remain the greater of evils, in no small part because of people like Stephen Miller.
Oh, and that certain idiot Dems (e.g., Chris Matthews) and ostensibly Never Trumpers (Bill Kristol) think Bernie Sanders is too much…goddamn.
It was bad enough that Democrats abandoned George McGovern in 1972 for Nixon…but Donald Trump is no Dick Nixion. He’s much worse.