The Trump administration is stumbling in an unprecedented way. In fact, most of the federal government's second and third tier positions are still open and are being manned by temps. Trump has yet to appoint civil servants for such posts. What Trump never misses are meetings with foreign leaders at his Florida resort. To make matters worse, a few of the "grown-ups" that are actually under Trump's administration are being locked out.
One of the "grown-ups" that we are talking about is James Mattis, the Secretary of Defense. On at least two separate occasions, Mattis aggressively opposed the move to re-open CIA's "black" detention sites. He also opposed the idea of re-opening the debate about torture. The end results? Mattis got completely shut out.
Mattis is also doing all he can to help Trump’s administration move forward. As a matter of fact, he even helped with the appointment of nominees to various open positions. What did he get in return for his efforts? His picks were constantly blocked by Mira Ricardel, Trump's Defense Adviser. Mattis was forced to give the White House an ultimatum. Either Ricardel goes or Mattis will resign. For now, Ricardel was moved to another position.
McMaster is another "grown-up" within Trump's administration who’s constantly being blocked. McMaster is one of the most insistent and smartest officers in the U.S. Army. As of the moment, McMaster is appointed as the National Security Adviser to Trump. Furthermore, McMaster is an active-duty 3-star General. This actually puts him in an awkward spot.
Since McMaster is still on active duty, he must view Trump as the "commander-in-chief." Therefore, his options are limited when it comes to voicing out against Trump. While McMaster made attempts to "clean-up the house," it seems that his efforts are going nowhere as he is also constantly being blocked.
It's not hard to imagine how "trapped" both McMaster and Mattis would feel. In one hand, the chaos within Trump's administration is a good reason for resigning. However, the sense of patriotism may force them to stay. These "grown-ups" know that in times of true crisis, you can do more by helping if you are in a position that is close to the head of power.
McMaster and Mattis are both smart and skilled, but they haven't held a powerful job in Washington before. This means that they have little know-how when it comes to Washington-level bureaucratic politics. These men excel in the Middle East, but they still need experience with foreign policy and global politics. They also need dependable staff and deputies to help them do their job and protect the homefront at the same time. As of the moment, it seems that these "grown-ups" aren't getting any, and it's all because of Trump's deliberate manipulation or just plain old negligence.
It would be a waste if these men would resign to their positions, especially considering how chaotic Trump's administration is becoming. Although if they resign, can you blame them?