Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Rex Tillerson Then And Now

The leftist internet is full of interesting articles suddenly about Rex Tillerson. I thought it might be fun to do a then and now sort of thing. "Then" is when Rex was appointed to lead the State Department and shortly after he took over. "Now" is starting within hours after he was fired. Each of the following is based on articles I saw then and articles I saw the last few days. I'm not making any of this up.

THEN: Rex Tillerson is an evil oil baron who wants to blanket the world in pollution. He's a biased dupe of Russia who does not care about humanity at all.

NOW: Rex Tillerson is a saint! I sat on a jury with him and he was dignified to the point of being Christlike. He took a divided jury and brought us together to hang the child molesting bastard on trial and save the life of a poor molested, abused little girl. He was so humble, he didn't even want to tell us what he did for a living. I was so ashamed to fret about my own minor problems having seen this giant of a man read a newspaper during our breaks. And when the trial was over, I asked St. Tillerson if he would donate money to the organization that helped protect the girl, and he did. The man is infallible. LINK

THEN: Rex Tillerson is a lying oil man who only wants to lead the State Department to enrich his corporate cronies.

NOW: Oh don't worry about cronyism or bias with Tillerson, this honest man signed an agreement worth a $187 million penalty to keep him honest and keep him from ever working for the oil industry again.

THEN: Rex Tillerson's appointment has the State Department in an uproar. This guy is an arrogant, biased, pro-Russian moron and every career deputy is retiring in protest. The Ambassadors openly call him a joke. He's mishandled everything. Everyone hates him. Even the secretaries hate him. If he's allowed to remain, the State Department will literally fall in upon itself from all the anguish.

NOW: The State Department is in an uproar over Trump's decision to fire the beloved and ultra-competent Rex Tillerson.

THEN: The hiring of Rex Tillerson tells the world that Russia owns the State Department now.

NOW: The firing of Rex Tillerson tells the world that Russia owns the State Department now.

This must tell us something about the left, but I just can't quite put my finger on what it could be. Something just seems wrong. Hmm. Thoughts?


Anthony said...

You must be kidding. Tillerson continues to get ripped by the left (seriously, find me a positive article about Tillerson in the mainstream media even post-firing) but many think its messed up he was fired vi tweet while abroad.

During Tillerson’s time in office, 60 percent of the State Departments’ top-ranking career diplomats left the agency, and new applications to join the foreign service fell by half, according to data from the American Foreign Service Association. Tillerson also leaves office as the U.S. prepares for historic talks between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, an effort Tillerson said in departing remarks that he had helped lead.
Tillerson didn’t have “any chance of succeeding despite all of his deficits and liabilities,” said Aaron David Miller, a vice president at the Wilson Center and a former State Department adviser to both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state. Miller said that Tillerson was doomed to fail because he was never empowered by Trump. “And not only did Trump not empower him, he disempowered him,” Miller added. “He disempowered him by allowing a thousand flowers to bloom: Jared Kushner became the point person on the Arab-Israeli issue. Gary Cohn got what remained of climate change. Jim Mattis … is running three wars. Nikki Haley was basically talking about everything that a secretary of state would have talked about.”

A real trend is that people who were enthused about Trump and who he was enthused about quickly become people he doesn't trust or respect once they join his administration.

Here is the top headline at Fox News.

President Trump could be making more changes to his Cabinet this week in the wake of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's firing, multiple sources told Fox News on Wednesday evening.
The potential changes -- described by sources as a "bloodbath" -- include the departure of National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and his replacement by John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.


Anthony said...

However, Jeff Sessions (the first sitting senator to endorse Trump, a man Trump now clearly hates) is a good example of the left and the portion of the right sworn to Trump more or less flipping their opinion about someone due to time spent in the Trump administration.

AndrewPrice said...

That's right, Anthony. I'm kidding. I didn't read the articles I read. I just thought I did. Nice catch!

Anthony said...

Your ‘the left turned Tillerson into a saint post-firing’ argument is linked to an article written a year and a half ago (just after Tillerson was appointed).


Editor's note, March 13, 2018: This column originally published Dec. 23, 2016, shortly after it was announced that Rex Tillerson would serve as secretary of state under President Donald Trump. The president fired Tillerson this morning and named CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.

AndrewPrice said...

Wow, Anthony, I hadn't noticed... oh wait, I had. In fact, I thought it was interesting that I'd never seen this article mentioned on the left before BUT SUDDENLY it's appearing all over the place on the left.

Anthony said...

Interesting. The line I’ve seen is ‘Official Friend of Russia fired for being insufficiently friendly to Russia’.

AndrewPrice said...

Yahoo/Huffpo headline: "Tillerson firing tells U.S. Allies Russia Comes First." The article then covers the idea that the State Department's spirit of open debate is being shut down and the reason is that Trump won't tolerate anything Russia doesn't like.

The article makes no mention of the prior smear about Tillerson being pro-Russian. And even if it did, that just proves what I wrote -- that they've tried to make his hiring and his firing into pro-Russian statements.

Anthony said...

I saw that Huffpo opinion piece. Right now an opinion piece high up on the (Trump favored) Fox’s website says something very similar.

But no area of disagreement was more profound than their dispute over how to handle Russia.

While Tillerson – ExxonMobil’s former CEO – came to office a little over a year ago eager to work with his old negotiating partner, Russian President Vladimir Putin, he gradually became convinced that Putin had little interest in working with America.

tryanmax said...

I'd like to remind everyone of something and leave it at that.

Trump did 14 seasons of reality TV prior to running for president. Reality shows are all about staged drama. No one disputes this. The the image of Trump as a capricious mogul who fires people on a whim was a persona crafted for a reality TV show. No one associated Trump with "You're fired!" prior to The Apprentice, so much so that it wasn't even considered for a catchphrase. [SOURCE]

Or was it?

Anthony said...

Trump's pre-politics public persona was 'ostentatious Democrat billionaire real estate playboy'. I never heard anything about him firing anyone.

I based my judgement on his treatment of people on his campaign. The revolving door of staff entrances and exits spun as quickly during Trump's campaign as it is now.

*Shrugs* Of course, I never lived in NY or paid any attention to real estate, so perhaps his rep was different in those circles.

tryanmax said...

You make it really hard to leave it at that, Anthony.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think this is where politics and the business world don't mix. In politics, you don't fire people, and when you do, it's an admission of failure. In the business world, you fire people when they don't fit what you are looking for from an employee.

Tillerson was constantly coming up in rumors as insulting Trump or refusing to implement his policies. Reagan ran into the same thing with his first cabinet -- many of whom were corporate executives. They didn't believe his ideology so they decided to ignore it. He (and all other Presidents) got rid of the people who stood in their way. Trump is no different... unless you want him to be. He's just more public about it -- as his television persona dictates.

Koshcat said...

I think Brit Hume put it best, "You cannot disagree with the president on major foreign policies - to wit, the Iran deal - and last forever."

I'm surprised he lasted as long as he did. You can disagree with the president during staff meeting and argue with others at the table, but, once the president makes a decision, that is the policy. This is no different than in the business world. He kept under-mining the president. He gave Trump really no choice.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, I think that's right, and it seemed that every time I read about Tillerson, he was being identified as saying something nasty about Trump or he was out saying something in direct contradiction to Trump's policies. You don't last long in any job that way.

BevfromNYC said...

Boys, boys, boys...

They very public way that Trump "fires" people is in obvious contrast to the ways of yore where the "fired" were told to
or "allowed" to resign quietly "to spend more time with my family". It was common practice to save face.

Seriously, do you think Bush DIDN'T fire Colin Powell?? One does not leave a post like that unless they are no longer needed...or running for something like Hillary Clinton (well in her case probably both reasons.

Anthony said...

Trump’s firings/departures are happening for the same reasons such things always do, a person being out of step with the boss or screwing up.

With Trump it seems like the problem is not bothering to make sure his choices are both in sync with his agenda and down with his intervention heavy management style.

Anthony said...

By choices I mean nominees.

tryanmax said...

Tragic news: pedestrian bridge collapse in Miami. Just installed Saturday and was supposed to withstand a Cat 5 hurricane. Cars were crushed and lives lost. Developing.

tryanmax said...

Just found out the bridge was undergoing a stress test at the time of collapse. The bridge was closed to pedestrian traffic. Why the road underneath was not closed also is a mystery. This looks like it was a very preventable tragedy.

Anthony said...

That is crazy.

AndrewPrice said...

I just read that the company that built that bridge also built a walkway that collapsed at Fort Lauderale airport. And one of their partners build a rail bridge that collapsed. Wow.

Kit said...

Tillerson firing has been a long time coming, the guy was a disaster at the State Department and I hope Pompeo can improve things. Though I think his firing coming the morning after he condemned the Nerve Agent attack in the U.K. was maybe not the best optics.

That being said, Trump has hired an anti-Russia hawk Pompeo to replace him and said in a meeting with the Irish ambassador that he thinks the Russians did it (Salisbury).

Still, many of my concerns about Trump remain but I am getting cautiously optimistic.

Speaking of which, between the said nerve agent attack on the Russian ex-spy that has put the ex-spy, his daughter, and a police officer in the hospital, And turned Salisbury into something like a ghost town (per the Independent) and the details coming to light about the attack on US forces in Syria by Russian mercenaries (said Mercs were cut to pieces by our brave soldiers), I think America and the West is finally —FINALLY— having a come-to-Jesus moment on Russia.

Or so I hope.

Patriot said...

I think Tillerson left because he had gone a long way in “transforming” the State Department. I’ve read he reduced staff by 30%. I think this is going on all across the Federal Government. If you look at the memo the transition team at the Energy Department sent out in late 2016, even before Trump was sworn in, it asked for justification for each senior level position, laboratories, Under-Secretaries, etc.
Trump and his team are serious about reducing the scale Nd scope of the government, all Departments, and Tillerson did what he was asked to do....make the State Department more efficient and leave the foreign policy to Trump and others.
Just my take on it.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I also think his firing has been a long time coming.

In terms of the come to Jesus moment, the problem is that I don't think they have any idea how to punish Putin.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, I know there are a lot of reorganizations going on in various agencies.

Anthony said...

McCabe getting fired by Sessions for leaking and lying about it reminds me a bit of that time OJ Simpson went to prison. They couldn't get him for what they really disliked him for, so they got him for something else. If you make powerful enemies you better keep your nose damn clean. Sessions is still going to be Trump's favorite punching bag.

It will be interesting to see if Ben Carson joins the departed sometime soon. By punishing an aide who refused to buy a 31 thousand dollar dining room set without the usual Congressional authorization and lying about it (lies which were easily disproven via e-mail, which shows that brain surgeons don't have to be smart) Carson might have earned himself a 'bye'.

As I have said before, I got nothing in particular for or against gun activists on either side, but that Hogg guy comes across as the kind of a jerk only his side could love. Lot of those running around nowadays.

Anthony said...

Ben Carson is blaming his wife for the dining room set. What a guy.

After staffers gave Carson a few options for tables, the secretary said he “left it with [his] wife” and asked her to “help choose something.”

“The next thing that I, quite frankly, heard about it was that this $31,000 table had been bought,” he told a House Appropriations subcommittee. “I said, ‘What the heck is that all about?’ I investigated, I immediately had it canceled. Not that we don’t need the furniture, but I thought that that was excessive.”

Additionally, when The New York Times first reported on the extravagant purchase, HUD spokesman Raffi Williams told the paper that Carson did not think the purchase was over-the-top and did not intend to return the furniture set.

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