Two years ago, an article emerged that shocked the nation. The item, posted on one of the country’s most important online platforms, was revealing, mystifying, enervating. It raised far more questions than it answered, and some wondered why it was produced at all. I’m talking, of course, about the “SEXY OP-ED ANONYMOUS COSTUME” from Yandy.com — our nation’s foremost purveyor of sexy, topical costumes — that was inspired by the New York Times’ infamous, anonymous op-ed. Titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” it was written by a “senior official” who claimed to be part of a group within the administration that was working to “preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”
I was reminded of this important moment in American sartorial history on Wednesday, when a man named Miles Taylor, the former chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, revealed in an essay on his Medium blog that he was the anonymous “senior official” all along.
“Donald Trump is a man without character,” Taylor wrote in a tweet linking to his post. “It’s why I wrote ‘A Warning’ … and it’s why me & my colleagues have spoken out against him (in our own names) for months. It’s time for everyone to step out of the shadows.”
If Taylor — who now works as the head of national security relations for Google — expected praise for “stepping out of the shadows,” he didn’t get it. The response online to his piece was a resounding “… Who?” Many questioned the Times’ choice to characterize Taylor as a “senior official” in the first place:
Additionally, for all his self-serving talk of trying to “frustrate” Trump’s harmful agenda, Taylor himself was a clearly a willing accomplice. As BuzzFeed News reported last year, Taylor was instrumental in shaping the DHS’s talking points about the department’s horrific family-separation policy that ripped hundreds of immigrant children away from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Taylor, it seems, was more concerned with Trump’s “impulses” than with the administration’s specific policies, which he helped execute. That would make all of his hollow moral grandstanding seem pretty pointless, except that there does seem to be a point to it: Taylor used his revelation as an opportunity to once again plug his book, A Warning, which he published anonymously in 2019.
In the end, it looks like Yandy took the essay as seriously as it deserved: turning it into a novelty bandage dress with a big, red question mark on it, meant to be worn with Groucho Marx glasses.