Conscience. On Wednesday, I spoke by phone with Cy Vance’s son, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., about his father’s decision to resign. “If he could not in good conscience support the president’s views publicly, he felt he had a duty to the president and the country to step away,” Vance recalls. “He went out in a very painful personal way, but faithful to his views.”
Vance adds that one of his takeaways from his father’s experience is “how important it is, if you’re going into government, to be a decision-maker for your own policies.” No adviser to a president is going to get his way all of the time, but at a minimum that adviser should be able to defend the tilt of an administration’s policy as if it were his own. If not, he should make room for those who can.
Right now, Bolton and Pompeo are parties to a Russia policy they would never otherwise advocate and cannot possibly defend in light of their public views. This means that they are either violating their principles, or had none to begin with.