What do members of the president's cabinet do when they've behaved badly?
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In previous presidencies—and I’m talking about all 44 of them—insults, open contraction, argument and plain ignorant behavior on the part of presidential cabinet secretaries was, to say the least, exceedingly rare, and even more rarely, tolerated by the president.
But President Donald Trump seems to be saying to wayward secretaries that he is strong enough to put up with such insubordination from well, his subordinates.
Rex Tillerson today tried to tamp down reports of a rift with Mr. Trump; his secretary of state called the media together to deny reports that he was on the verge of resigning back in July. Tillerson wasn't convincing.
He did even worse when asked whether he had indeed called the president a "moron." Petty or not, it's the creation, apparently, of Tillerson himself.
And the president just days ago had to rein in Tillerson for trying to negotiate with North Korea, tweeting that Tillerson is "wasting his time."
Defense Secretary [James] Mattis who was once a star in the Trump lineup not only contradicts the president, but strays from his lane as he does so.
Mattis just yesterday exceeded himself telling the Senate the Iran nuclear deal is in our national interest however, the president hasn't made a final determination on that issue.
And as for the recently-ousted Tom Price, House Speaker Paul Ryan, who's spent more time working against than for the president, tried to persuade the administration to keep Price despite his ethical issues and failures on health care.
We have a president to be proud of and the problem is some of his cabinet members are not acting, secretarial.
It's time for them to accord the president the respect he and the nation deserve. And the magic word isn't please—it's now.