Untenable

Chalk up another win for President Monster:

Sir Kim Darroch, the UK ambassador to Washington who has been at the centre of a diplomatic row over leaked cables criticising Donald Trump, has resigned.

The Guardian understands he concluded his position was untenable having watched the Conservative leadership debate on Tuesday, in which the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, stopped short of backing him over the leak.

So President Hulk gets rewarded for yet another bout of trashy vulgar namecalling and the US slides a few miles farther down the slope of degradation.

Asked whether in an episode such as this it would be expected that the entire establishment would support Darrock, [the head of the diplomatic service] said: “Yes”, adding the Foreign Office had noted with gratitude the support given to Darroch by the prime minister and the foreign secretary. He made no mention of Boris Johnson.

It makes zero sense not to support him. Obviously an ambassador has to be able to tell the truth to the government that made the appointment, without worrying about whether it’s flattering to the subject or not. Darroch saw chaos and incompetence in the Trump administration and he reported that fact to his superiors; what else was he supposed to do? It’s grotesque that Johnson is taking the “flatter Trump regardless” line.

The White House did not put out a formal statement on Darroch’s resignation. Marc Short, vice president Mike Pence’s chief of staff, offered only a brief comment to reporters in Washington on Wednesday.

“I think the reality was that in light of the last few days his ability to be effective was probably limited, so it was probably the right course,” Short said.

That is, in light of the fact that Trump chose to take the leak as an invitation to yet another outburst of vulgar childish namecalling, Darroch was in an impossible position. Trump could, if he were not Trump, have chosen to be an adult and say that naturally ambassadors give their honest opinion to their governments and there’s nothing more to be said.

A vindictive part of me would like to see everyone who is asked to be the new ambassador say a resounding “No.”

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