The ConstitutionThe PresidencyAmerican Government

An Anonymous Op-Ed

Posted on in The Constitution · The Presidency · American Government

On September 5, the New York Times ran an unusual opinion piece. Signed by Anonymous, the piece is said to be written by a senior official in the White House. It describes a chaotic Oval Office, Cabinet members discussing the 25th Amendment, and presidential instability.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for An Anonymous Op-Ed

Links

“7 Terms you need to know to understand the anonymous NYT op-ed”
https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/06/politics/lodestar-constitutional-treason-glossary-trnd/index.html

“Trump has a very suspect plan to smoke out the Times’ op-ed writer”
http://theweek.com/speedreads/795824/trump-suspect-plan-smoke-times-oped-writer

“The story behind the New York Times anonymous op-ed blasting Trump”
https://money.cnn.com/2018/09/05/media/new-york-times-resistance-oped-jim-dao/index.html

“The Anonymous Op-Ed Writer Fears Creating a Constitutional Crisis. We’re Already in One.”
https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a23006748/new-york-times-anonymous-op-ed-trump-official/

“This Is a Constitutional Crisis”
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/this-is-a-constitutional-crisis/569443/

“5 reasons the anonymous New York Times op-ed drives Donald Trump so crazy”
https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/06/politics/op-ed-new-york-times-trump/index.html

“Who is the senior Trump official who wrote the New York Times op-ed?”
https://www.vox.com/2018/9/6/17826830/new-york-times-trump-official-anonymous-oped

Assessment

  • Writing: What does the anonymous author claim about President Trump’s leadership?
  • Debate: The anonymous op-ed author should have revealed his or her identity.
  • Poll: The New York Times was right to publish the anonymous op-ed.
  • Short Answer: What is the significance of the 25th Amendment?

Current events quiz:

1) Many voices are now arguing that we have already entered a “constitutional crisis” because

a. an op-ed was written against the President of the United States
b. Senior Officials discussed invoking the 15th Amendment of the Constitution
c. We have an “absentee” President who does not fulfill the duties of the office, allowing unelected officials to make policy without any accountability
d. Jared Kushner, a relative of the President, has been accused of writing the op-ed

2) The 25th Amendment ______.

a. would make the Vice President the President, should the sitting President be removed from office
b. cam be invoked to begin the process of impeaching a President
c. allows for citizens to hold a special election to replace the President of the United States
d. is used only for reasons of treason

3) This politician was refer to as a “lodestar” in the New York Times anonymous op-ed.

a. Jared Kushner
b. John McCain
c. Mike Pence
d. Donald Trump

4) Trump made a statement that he will fire anyone in the White House who is accused of writing the op-ed. (T/F)

5) Jared Kushner, John Kelly, Mike Pence, and Jeff Flake are among those accused of writing the anonymous op-ed. (T/F)

6) Trump has promised to shame and pressure the writer of the op-ed until they reveal their identity.  (T/F)

Answers:

1) C

2) A

3) B

4) F

5) F

6) T

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