Mike Pompeo is a bad secretary of state and in my opinion should resign. Of course, my opinion does not count for one whole heck of a lot, so Pompeo is still at his job. The past few weeks, however, have made it increasingly clear that he is secretary of state in name only.

For one thing, despite Pompeo’s firm declaration that State Department officials would not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, subpoenaed diplomats keep cooperating with the inquiry. They are required to by law, of course, but the problem is what they are saying. As Politico’s Nahal Toosi noted last week, “In their testimonies, the diplomats have described being sidelined on Ukraine policy as Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and political appointees — apparently at the president’s direction — pursued a ‘shadow’ foreign policy that included withholding some $400 million in military aid to Kyiv.”

The testimony from the former ambassador to Ukraine, Maria Yovanovich, was blistering, as was that of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent. More damaging to Pompeo, however, was Michael McKinley, Pompeo’s senior adviser. According to my Post colleagues Carol Morello and John Hudson, “McKinley … told House impeachment investigators Wednesday that he quit his job last week out of concern about the mistreatment of career U.S. diplomats and the alarming allegations related to efforts to pressure Ukraine’s president into investigating President Trump’s political rivals.” McKinley criticized Pompeo for not defending Yovanovich from Trump’s political partisans.

William Burns is one of the most respected diplomats in the modern era. The situation at the State Department is so bad he wrote in Foreign Affairs, “In my three and a half decades as a U.S. Foreign Service officer, proudly serving five presidents and ten secretaries of state from both parties, I’ve never seen an attack on diplomacy as damaging, to both the State Department as an institution and our international influence, as the one now underway.” He described Pompeo as being “derelict in his duty.”

Pompeo’s failure to stop Rudy Giuliani from running Ukraine policy, his limited ability to remove misbehaving political appointees and his powerlessness in preventing State Department employees from testifying appears to be getting to the secretary of state. His handling of the media has never been great, but it’s been getting worse. There was this interview with a local Tennessee reporter that went sideways fast:

Pompeo’s interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos did not go much better:

As the Washington Examiner’s Tom Rogan noted, “Pompeo increasingly embraces ridiculousness in response to tough questions. … When Pompeo is asked a question to which the honest answer would be negative for President Trump, he obfuscates. If pushed, Pompeo either accuses the questioner of being disingenuous or of being a Democratic Party stooge.”

I’m not seeing a lot of swagger here. Neither is CNN’s Kylie Atwood and Zachary Cohen, who last Friday reported on how Pompeo views his predicament:

One of the sources tell CNN that Pompeo was alerted to internal and external concerns about Giuliani’s effort to push out Yovanovitch, but Pompeo failed to act — he was wary of getting too deeply involved over fears of derailing US-Ukraine policy and potentially sharing the fate of his former colleague John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser who was fired for not being aligned with the President.
In a letter sent in the spring, which has not been previously reported, a handful of former US ambassadors to Ukraine urged top State Department officials to take action and defend Yovanovitch. They got a response from one of Pompeo's closest senior officials, Counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl, saying the message had been received and would be considered.
Yet Pompeo did nothing and less than two months later, Yovanovitch was recalled from her post at the behest of Trump....
Mounting criticism about his handling of the matter has left the Secretary of State feeling victimized, according to those familiar with his thinking.

This fits entirely with Pompeo’s past behavior.

All of this was before Tuesday’s explosive testimony from William Taylor, the current charges d’affaires for Ukraine and Yovanovich’s successor. Taylor confirmed the quid pro quo between U.S. military aid and Ukrainian cooperation with investigating Trump’s political opponents.

Taylor’s opening statement, however, was damning for Pompeo. He testified, “I made clear to [Pompeo] and the others present that if U.S. policy toward Ukraine changed, he would not want me posted there and I could not stay. He assured me that the policy of strong support for Ukraine would continue and that he would support me in defending that policy.” Pompeo’s defense was so weak, however, that Taylor was preparing to resign in late August. John Bolton had to urge Taylor to send a diplomatic cable to Pompeo alerting him to the situation.

After Taylor’s testimony, the White House released a statement describing Taylor — still the chief diplomat for Ukraine — as a “radical unelected bureaucrat.” In response, leading lights in the foreign policy community urged Pompeo to defend his diplomat:

They are likely to be disappointed. Pompeo has made one thing very clear over the past month: He is willing to burn his standing with the diplomatic corps, the media, and the foreign policy community, so long as he stays in Trump’s good graces. Whatever swagger Pompeo possessed is gone.