Don't weep for cabinet official Trump berated

If ever the sardonic term "cry me a river" was appropriate, it would fit this week's story about Secretary of Homelan...

Posted: May 12, 2018 1:02 PM
Updated: May 12, 2018 1:02 PM

If ever the sardonic term "cry me a river" was appropriate, it would fit this week's story about Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. As widely reported, Nielsen was berated by President Donald Trump during a cabinet meeting over his perception that she was not doing enough to secure the border.

Nielsen defended the agency's actions but was so affected by the public dressing down that she reportedly told two people, according to the New York Times, that she drafted a resignation letter, but has not sent it. Described by one source as "miserable in her job," Nielsen could well be the next cabinet official to vacate the administration. (A DHS spokesman flatly denied that Nielsen had threatened to resign.)

What are we supposed to make of this newest pseudo drama?

Nielsen came into the job knowing the kind of leader Trump is -- not loyal, prone to rants and public humiliations, not focused on the details, and keen on satisfying campaign promises regardless of the law, budget or practicality. She also came into the job, immediately after her mentor John Kelly became White House chief of staff, knowing Trump's views on immigration.

She was, of course, a surprise pick, never having run a major institution, but was quickly confirmed because of (at least then) the strength of Kelly's power and influence.

Regardless of Trump's ranting at the cabinet meeting Wednesday night, she has seemed downright eager to effectuate much more aggressive immigration enforcement tactics. DHS has taken the lead on the wall, deporting unlawful immigrants who have family here, ending the Dreamer program, as well as Temporary Protective Services protections for groups of immigrants that have been in the nation for decades.

The stories of ICE agents taking away fathers, who had committed no serious crimes outside immigration violations, in front of their kids tell of a harsh new reality that bears little relation to the nation we once knew. Nielsen hasn't been a reluctant warrior in these efforts; she has been the willing general.

It's just hard to muster much sympathy for her at this stage. She knew what she was getting into.

At the same time, other aspects of our homeland security have withered. Puerto Rico recovery? Cyber protections? Pandemic preparedness? Almost none of it matters -- not because Nielsen or the department don't have the legal obligation to address America's vulnerabilities, but because the President only views security through the lens of immigration.

The President still wants the wall, despite Mexico not paying and despite Republicans on the hill not giving him the money for it. His priority is even harsher enforcement efforts, even separating parents from children as a deterrent to unlawful border crossings, as Kelly explained to NPR Friday. None of this is new.

Maybe, just maybe, Nielsen came into the job trying to temper some of Trump's efforts. If that is true, she has indeed failed miserably. That she now potentially wants to quit because she got yelled at and undermined has nothing to do with her commitment to a just or more humane society, and everything to do with her emotions.

Maybe this is a story line she wants out in the public space now, to gather some empathy for her eventual exit from the Trump cabinet. All we know now is that people close to Nielsen say she "almost" quit. Makes you feel sorry for her. Almost.

West Lafayette
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 60°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 62°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 64°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 60°
Williamsport
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Crawfordsville
Clear
63° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
Frankfort
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: °
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 61°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 61°
Comfortable weekend with a few spotty showers & t'showers...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 771299

Reported Deaths: 14005
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1059471808
Lake570611031
Allen43193700
Hamilton37458426
St. Joseph37420568
Elkhart29819471
Tippecanoe23584231
Vanderburgh23431405
Porter19616327
Johnson18899394
Hendricks18168323
Clark13623199
Madison13604348
Vigo12908256
Monroe12626178
LaPorte12594225
Delaware11183198
Howard10747237
Kosciusko9810124
Hancock8799150
Bartholomew8296157
Warrick8150157
Floyd8072183
Grant7397181
Wayne7254201
Boone7236105
Morgan6948143
Marshall6358117
Dubois6301118
Cass6110112
Dearborn604078
Noble603590
Henry5971111
Jackson518677
Shelby512898
Lawrence4961127
Gibson467296
Montgomery461392
Clinton458455
DeKalb458485
Harrison456977
Huntington421382
Whitley418645
Steuben412861
Miami407273
Jasper402556
Knox393191
Putnam386862
Wabash371684
Adams355356
Ripley352771
Jefferson347187
White340954
Daviess3098100
Wells304881
Greene295985
Decatur293493
Fayette287464
Posey285435
Scott283458
LaGrange278472
Clay276049
Washington255637
Randolph248283
Jennings240449
Spencer239731
Fountain237250
Starke230859
Owen224759
Sullivan222943
Fulton209545
Jay203432
Carroll198822
Orange192756
Perry191939
Vermillion181944
Rush178627
Tipton173848
Franklin173035
Parke156816
Pike143434
Blackford138232
Pulaski124048
Newton123736
Benton110515
Brown106443
Crawford106316
Martin92715
Warren88015
Switzerland8488
Union73710
Ohio58411
Unassigned0429

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events