No, this is NOT a headline from “The Onion” although it certainly sounds like one. In the unfolding drama surrounding the fired-by-Twitter controversy surrounding the departure of Rex Tillerson from the State Department, covered in an earlier article published by EatPrayVote RIP Rex Tillerson’s Soul comes an even more bizarre twist to the story.
Jake Tapper of CNN News sent out the following message from Steve Goldstein a State Department Undersecretary of State
Remarkable statement from State Department spokesman on Tillerson firing: pic.twitter.com/iBpLaK1tXw
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 13, 2018
The White House had been trying to sell the story that Tillerson was informed of Trump’s decision last week and did not learn of his being fired from reading the following tweet sent out by Trump earlier today.
Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 13, 2018
But just hours after Goldstein issued the statement from the State Department, he was also summarily fired.
NEW: White House fires State Department Under Secretary Steve Goldstein just hours after his boss, now-former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, was let go https://t.co/8r0ucJP42C pic.twitter.com/oPFxXH1b71
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 13, 2018
As George Orwell stated so well
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
This country is now facing a time never before seen. We have a President for whom the only thing that is anathema is truth. His facile lying has become accepted by the public in a way we have never before seen. His refusal to stand up to Vladimir Putin and his despicable acts, even when they attack one of our staunchest allies, is something we have never before seen. His refusal to enforce the Russia Sanctions Act is a defiance of Constitutional separation of powers and his oath of office is something we have never seen before.
No one disputes the right of the President to fire one of his Cabinet members. What is revolting to so many is the way that Trump did it. And it reinforces the perception, now around the world, that this five-time draft dodger is, indeed, a coward. As columnist Mike Bates said regarding Trump’s firing of Tillerson “he gives sissies a bad name.”
The same man who claimed after the Parkland shooting that he would rush unarmed into a school during a shooting to save the students doesn’t have the guts to tell a man to his face that he is being replaced. We saw this when he fired James Comey. We saw this when he used his Chief of Staff to fire West Wing staffers. Trump’s signature phrase of “you’re fired” on his reality TV show was just an act.
This is also the flip side of Trump’s bullying anyone who dares disagree with him, and even those who don’t. His treatment of Attorney General Jeff Sessions stands out. A lesson that many children learn on the playground is that bullies are also cowards. If you stand up to them, unless they are surrounded by slavish followers, they will back down.
What message does this send to our allies and our enemies around the world? If Trump does indeed meet with Kim Jung Un, the leader of North Korea knows he will be facing a man who is not only a bully but a coward. Can South Korea rely on Trump standing up for them against another bully? Or will Trump sell them down the river because he lacks both the intelligence and the guts to stand up for what is right.
Will Donald Trump stand by one of our oldest and greatest allies Great Britain if there is verifiable proof that Russia (i.e. Putin) unleased a nerve gas attack on the public there? Where would he stand if Theresa May invokes Article 5 of the NATO agreement? Nothing would make Putin happier than for Trump to refuse to honor our NATO commitments which could well destroy one of the biggest defenses against Russian aggression on the European continent.
Despite repeated denials, the White House is an organization in chaos and devolving into self-destruction. Their playbook in the past has been to swamp the media and the American people with so many narratives, often conflicting, that while we are trying to figure out what will happen next, they slip something that one it’s own would be so outrageous no one would tolerate it. This may be what we see happening over the next few days.
The main problem we face is that no one knows what Trump will do next. Not even Trump. A chaos presidency opens up America to our worst fears and biggest nightmares. With a complicit Congress, our only hope lies in surviving long enough to stop Trump’s most egregious moves by electing at least a Democrat House, if not a Democrat Senate.