President Trump’s exuberant humiliation of Rex Tillerson

It’s difficult to imagine how Rex Tillerson might have survived any longer as President Trump’s secretary of state.

Tillerson’s doom was written in his acceptance. The former president of the Boy Scouts of America, himself a former Eagle Scout, a member of his high-school marching band, an earnest Congregationalist, a proponent of free trade and Common Core, a supporter of Mitt Romney in 2012 and Jeb Bush during the last election, Tillerson was the least representative of all Trump’s major cabinet nominees. Perhaps the only thing, aside from his proven ability to make money on behalf of his employers, that might have endeared the former CEO of Exxon to the president is his longstanding use of a bizarre alias — “Wayne Tracker” — to conduct business correspondence.

A better man than Tillerson would not have lasted longer. It’s impossible to serve this administration in any role of significance without surrendering one’s dignity. The meanest panderer might, by affecting zeal for the fluctuating enthusiasms of the quasi-imperial personage in the White House, secure for himself a temporary respite from the whispers of other toadies and the unpredictable wrath of Trump himself. Meanwhile the gravest personalities, decorated veterans of the Armed Forces and supposed luminaries of the business world, have succumbed to whatever private madness seems to have infected the White House.

It’s a mistake to assume that Tillerson’s firing was largely a question of policy. Presidents and their chief diplomats frequently disagree about courses of action, but these disputes are conducted under the dignified mantle of official discretion. The secretary of state cannot speak against his president in a public forum, but the president should not announce sweeping changes without consulting the former. From the first, both men disregarded these established norms of conduct in favor of an endless exchange of …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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