President Trump with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) at the White House on Wednesday. (Evan Vucci/AP)
Opinion writer

A rough week, I suppose. “‘It’s open season on the president’: Op-ed unleashes West Wing meltdown.'”

Roughly my take, as well: “If you truly believe what you say about the president’s purportedly erratic, unstable, and anti-democratic behavior, your obligation is not to stand by and do the dirty bureaucratic work behind the scenes. Your obligation to the country, and to the Constitution, is to come forward, publicly, and inform both the Congress and the American public of exactly what you have seen.”

If you thought you had a rough week, at least you don’t work at the White House. “The surreal struggle between Mr. Trump and at least some members of his own team has characterized his tenure from the beginning, but it spilled into public view this week in a way that raised questions about the president’s capacity to govern and the responsibilities and duties of the people who work for him.”

Virginia is looking rougher for Republicans. “On Wednesday, a Richmond circuit judge kicked Independent candidate Shaun Brown off the congressional ballot, dealing a setback to Virginia Beach GOP Rep. Scott Taylor. Taylor’s campaign had ham-handedly collected signatures to boost Brown, an African-American who was the Democratic nominee against Taylor in 2016, to split his opposition. But the judge ruled that the petitions contained numerous forgeries and involved ‘out and out fraud.’ Taylor’s race against former Naval Surface Warfare officer Elaine Luria was already highly competitive, considering Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam carried the 2nd CD by four points last November. But without Brown, it moves from Lean Republican to the Toss Up column.”

It’s rough being a Silicon Valley billionaire. “There’s a reason the sector’s five biggest companies — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft — spent nearly $50 million lobbying the federal government in 2017, with even more dough likely headed to Washington this year. They know the days are long past when politicians would only cite Silicon Valley as a shining example of America’s technological superiority and fundamental economic strength. These days, the titans of tech are being politically pressured from the left and the right, with both sides continually upping the ante.”

Rough op-ed’s don’t move people; electoral wipeout does. “Yet despite all of this, Republicans such Lindsey Graham have tightened their embrace of Trump and his media partners have moved from being mere cheerleaders to a chorus of Baghdad Bobs. And this single, anonymous op-ed in the New York Times is unlikely to bend that arc of sycophancy.”

Rough (but fair assessment) on the anonymous op-ed writer. “For all that, you’re not getting any awards. You know what you’re doing in service to Trump is morally indefensible, but you’re trying to ‘But Gorsuch!’ yourself out of the ethical sewer. That’s so Swamp. . . . At best, you’re describing your role in an opportunistic soft coup. At worst, you’re putting trivial ideological wins before the security of the nation.”