I just realized that I haven’t milked my Tea for the Tillerson pun for quite some time. There’s no time like the present, especially when Rexit may be imminent. It could even be instant Rexit given the whimsical and capricious nature of the president* he serves. Ooh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world.
You’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard of Moronogate and the fall-out from it. It’s been cuckoo for cocoa puffs even for Team Trump. Tillerson has refused to deny saying it and President* I Have A Very Good Brain challenged him to an IQ test smackdown. I’m reasonably certain no previous Oval One has challenged anyone to what amounts to an intellectual dick measuring contest; not even Harding who knew he was a dumbass in over his head. That makes him brighter than Trumpy.
President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.
Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve.
According to the officials present, Trump’s advisers, among them the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were surprised. Officials briefly explained the legal and practical impediments to a nuclear buildup and how the current military posture is stronger than it was at the height of the buildup. In interviews, they told NBC News that no such expansion is planned.
The July 20 meeting was described as a lengthy and sometimes tense review of worldwide U.S. forces and operations. It was soon after the meeting broke up that officials who remained behind heard Tillerson say that Trump is a “moron.”
We don’t need any Rexplaining to know that the Man from Big Oil was spot on. Trump talks out of his ass every day so we, of course, believe that he’s capable of starting a unilateral arms race as crazy as that sounds. Crazy is the new norm in Washington City, which is terrifying given that a lunatic is in possession of the nuclear codes. The next thing you know he’ll fire the officer who carries the “football” for taking a knee…
One thing that fascinates me about the Trump-Tillerson death dance is how unusual it is. Don’t get me wrong: previous presidents and their secretaries of state weren’t always bosom buddies. Harry Truman was treated like a junior senator by Jimmy Brynes who was resentful that he wasn’t FDR’s running mate in 1944. (The big cigars of labor vetoed the South Carolinian for his anti-union and hardcore segregationist views.) But Byrnes or his people didn’t leak disparaging information about HST even when he was fired from Foggy Bottom. Richard Nixon and his henchman Henry Kissinger treated Bill Rogers with disdain but even Kissinger didn’t call him a moron. I believe dull and stodgy were the words Kissinger used to describe his rival. I wonder if Kissinger will back stab Trump after their recent meeting. He’s neither dull nor stodgy, alas.
More recently, Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright had their moments as did W and Colin Powell but they kept their tea and shade behind closed doors. It’s what diplomats do.
I find myself in the odd position of pulling for Tillerson in his dispute with the orange dipshit. I think Tillerson has been a terrible secretary of state BUT he has orthodox/sane views on issues such as nuking North Korea. It’s a low bar but Rex clears it.
One of the odder sub-plots of Moronogate is the fact that Trump hired Tillerson because he looked like a secretary of state. Apparently, Bob Corker was bypassed because he’s 5’7″. James Madison was 5’4″ thereby making an excellent case for short diplomats. I’ll take short and clever over tall and clueless any day.
The Trump-Tillerson smackdown would be more entertaining if the stakes weren’t so high. There’s always a lot of tea and shade in Washington but it doesn’t typically involve two of the highest officials in the government. It’s what happens when we have an angry lunatic in the Oval Office and an arrogant engineer at Foggy Bottom. In fact, one could say this is the foggiest it’s ever been at Foggy Bottom.
Let’s hope the Tillerson-McMaster-Kelly-Mattis cabal can prevent a nuclear exchange with a third-rate Communist dictatorship led by an equally deranged leader. Ooh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world.
The last word goes to (who else?) my many named countryman, Cat Stevens with an aspirational track that requires no Rexplanation: