So Trump has picked ex-Exxon chief Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State (all but certain). Ergo, he did not pick Mitt Romney, who had previously been floated along with the rest of the parade of possibles, whether to really hear them all out or just to signal boost their status and throw a bone to different party factions. Perhaps the parade was just to keep the public in suspense and Trump in the news cycle, and the pundits guessing, wrongly (to keep the tradition going).
Tillerson has come under fire for receiving some award from Putin’s government that had nothing to do with politics. You can practically hear the salivating tongues of the war pigs and piglets dry up and their molars begin to grind at the uncertainty of future wars and weapon sales.
Romney, you’ll recall from 2012, said that Russia was our greatest foreign policy adversary, for which he was roundly reproved at the time by the Democrats, citing his Cold War mentality.
Wherever Romney was coming from, the fact is that he was shopping worn out, second hand foreign policy ideas that have been stale since Nixon, when a hegemonic Soviet Internationale was hell bent on communist expansionism and was the key threat to stability in the world.
Since Trump, the Democrats have become the most ridiculous, paranoid, hysterical, bloodlusting, war loving, Russian-hating, red-baiting group of neo-McCarthyist jingoists possible for comedy, finding reds and Hitlers under all their beds. This, now that Russia leans nationalist rather than dreaming of world communism and operating forced labor camps and mass land ownership collectivization schemes that leave millions dead.
The Trump-Putin axis, nationalists in the east and the west, like some late Roman imperial division – here we have a world order truly new. One that holds out hope for Europe, now that no world force will be expending lavish amounts of money to push her toward globalism and into a monolithic, multi-ethnic common market / cheap labor colony for the continent’s bankers, vulnerable to all the tricks of political divide et impera and identity politics. (An Iceland with 20% Libyans and Syrians is alas not an Iceland that tells its bankers to go to hell.)
The pick of Tillerson reflects a fundamental shift of realities. This is not 1970, when our big worry was losing China to Soviet influence. Today, the opposite should concern us: Losing Russia to China. And we have driven Russia, against its natural interests, into the arms of China.
Trump, with natural commonsense, can see that Russia is a natural ally in a world of Islamic expansion and growing Chinese power, and that we should have Russia, if not on our side, at least not against us.
While Russia is not exactly like us, we should not expect them to be. They’re a deeply different culture, as theorists of history and geopolitics from Spengler to Samuel Huntington have recognized. Russia is its own world, apart from the West, its churches and vestiges of Petrinism notwithstanding—all western plaster molding around a different inner essence.
American propaganda will no longer be effective in Russia after the failure of communism (a western import), and the Russians prefer their popular autocrats to our political cant and electoral auctions. Such difference, however, does not mean we can’t team up with Russia in opposing even more alien worlds, like a nascent Islamic caliphate with 21st century weapons, or in checking China’s expansion.
If Tillerson is his pick, Trump again surprises and impresses, and hopefully we won’t be hearing much more about Romney in the future, or even Rudy for that matter. Remember, those who endorsed Trump were looking out for their own political future, which is what politicians do, but it does not mean he owes them anything. They saw the tidal wave of popularity raising up Trump, and wanted to ride the little wavelets round about. Trump doesn’t owe them cabinet leadership positions for that.
There have also been concerns expressed that some of the lower level Trump appointees have espoused positions in the past that are not in conformity with Trump’s campaign positions. Well, there are only so many people in Washington that have the requisite skills and experience to be effective bureaucratic functionaries. This professional class have shopped their talents to past presidents and acted in conformity with the policies and programs of those presidents, and will do the same with Trump, accommodating themselves to his policies, not vice versa.
On Russia and the DNC: As bad as the GOP was during its period of neocon captivity, and the intense, passionate Stalinist purges of its best minds, they never used their belligerence and chicken-hawkishness for menially partisan purposes. They didn’t try to escalate tensions with world superpowers just in order to influence elections or to pout about their results after the fact. The DNC, after being reduced to rubble by Trump, have now been reduced to trading our national security interests for mere partisan points, recklessly heightening tensions with Russia just to try to hurt Trump. Such a disgraceful move is one more nail in the coffin of a dead party, without ideas or scruples.