Foreign Policy Trump Regime

Things Can Always Get Dumber

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson because they disagree with each other at all too much, right?

Maybe not.

Sources who spoke to Reuters say the final reason Trump decided to ditch Tillerson is because Tillerson... agreed with him.

Tillerson had been an early advocate of talks with North Korea to the annoyance of Trump, who wanted to keep applying maximum pressure on Pyongyang before responding to an invitation to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the sources said.

That had led to fear that Tillerson might be too willing to make concessions to North Korea, the sources said.

My interpretation of this is that Trump was upset because talking to North Korea was Tillerson's idea before it was Trump's idea. That's all this is; petty narcissism.

The idea that Tillerson might be "too willing to make concessions" is also absurd given that Trump agreed to meet Kim Jong Un with virtually no preconditions. The White House didn't even directly communicate with the North before announcing a meeting. Trump announced the meeting after hearing that Kim Jon Un's sister conferred a vague desire to meet Trump during a meeting at the Winter Olympics with South Korea's chief national security adviser.

You could choose not to believe this report and accept that Tillerson and Trump simply disagreed each other one too many times, but Trump's petty narcissism is the only universal explanation for his actions.

For example, there are widespread rumors that Trump wants to replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with John Bolton, but Bolton would much rather bomb than talk to North Korea. Trump has also replaced chief economic adviser Gary Cohn with Larry Kudlow even though both men disagree with his positions on tariffs.

There's virtually no coherence between Trump's positions, the positions of his advisers, who he hires to be advisers, or which advisers he listens to depending on the hour of the day or the day of the week. None of it makes sense.

Rex Tillerson was not a good secretary of state, but I would posit that we will never see a functional secretary of state under Trump. Mike Pompeo may be confirmed to succeed Tillerson, but he'll also find himself in disfavor with Trump by the end of the year even if he agrees with most of what Trump says.

  • Aaron M. Litz

    A true hallmark of working under a tyrant. Don’t amass more fame than the tyrant. Don’t become more popular than the tyrant. And as Tillerson has learned, for God’s sake don’t be seen to come up with ideas the tyrant likes before the tyrant does. One must suck up and agree with everything the tyrant says, but be psychic enough to not step on the tyrant’s toes Because tyrants are petty babies who are so insecure they have to be pretend they are the sole source of all power and every idea.

    The only way to survive working for a tyrant is by keeping your head down and not showing any signs of competency that might draw attention to yourself and threaten the tyrant, while also somehow not looking incompetent enough to draw attention to yourself and embarrass the tyrant. You have to maintain a level of invisibility and incompetency so that you just won’t get noticed and can slide through.

    This is all so unbelievably familiar to anyone who knows history. This is straight Stalin behavior (how do I measure up, Vlad?!) They’re just lucky that Trump can’t get away with having them “retired” with a bullet to the back of the head. Yet./

    • waspuppet

      That’s right. It’s not just Secretary of State; there will be no competent staff members in this White House for more than maybe a year. Trump won’t deal with someone who isn’t afraid to be fired. He thinks that “other person crouching in fear” is the default for all conversations and negotiations.

  • muselet

    Government by pique.

    Oy.

    –alopecia

  • Aynwrong
    • ninjaf

      Pretty much sums it up.