Rex Tillerson. What to say about Mr. Exxon Mobil? Let me start with this, I gave him a few more points than say, Ms. Betsy “watch out for the grizzlies” Devos, or Dr. Ben Carson who recently taught the world that slavery is just another form of immigration – albeit a little harder. Yes, I gave him more credit than those two cabinet picks. Did I think he would be the next Thomas Jefferson at State, absolutely not, but thought he would do a little better than this.
What’s with this silent movie routine during his press conferences? One of the things that makes our democracy different than say some sort of authoritarian regime is that the leaders pretend to act like the press is important and sometimes put on their big girl panties and answer questions.
The questions shouted at him don’t seem all that difficult, but there he stands awkwardly in silence. I am keeping waiting for him to pull an Ashlee Simpson and do a jig off the stage once he realizes that the music has stopped and he can’t lip-synch or mime his way out of this particular pickle. As an aside, if you have not seen or don’t remember that little gem of Ms. Simpson on Saturday Night Live, please go YouTube it.
But really, we need a Secretary of State that speaks! We also need one that does not reportedly need naps and extra rest so early on in his tenure, but I am going to be kind today and keep quiet about that.
More upsetting than his silence may be his complicity with the planned gutting of the State Department. In what job, and on what planet, does anyone ever agree to having massive cuts to the departments that they run? Trump plans to slash millions from the Department of State and his chosen Secretary of State seems to see no harm or any potential repercussions from this action. I am paraphrasing, but he seems to believe that because of increased military spending – there will be less wars and thereby American diplomacy will not be needed as much around the world. Huh? Come again. If he is going to espouse opinions like that, maybe he should keep his Charlie Chaplin routine going.
I don’t expect Tillerson to let out a tirade against what Trump plans to do (Trump is his boss after all), but some gentle push back would be nice. Some convictions about the importance of American diplomacy and “soft power” would be welcome, but he probably doesn’t know or believe in any of that – he is an oil man with no government experience. Also, I am aware that their is an anti-government fervor that has swept across the country. We don’t need to fund things like the National Endowment for the Arts or programs for the poor, but State? As a reminder for all those anti-government folks, State is one of those pesky departments that go back to the country’s founding – so it was deemed important in 1789 and certainly has not lost it’s importance in 2017.
So I am disappointed in this road we are heading down with Tillerson, but I suppose I should not be surprised at this point. Let me put him the unqualified boat with DeVos and Carson and so many others.