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 12:02 PM
Updated: May 12, 2018 12:02 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320174

Reported Deaths: 7390
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22294271
Hinds20755424
Harrison18450317
Rankin13923282
Jackson13733249
Madison10273225
Lee10063176
Jones8473167
Forrest7837153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6523150
Lamar636288
Lafayette6314121
Washington5427138
Bolivar4841133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4606148
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425973
Monroe4162136
Union415877
Neshoba4065180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387687
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3373111
Alcorn327474
Scott320374
Yazoo314571
Adams308486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma299084
Simpson298689
Tippah292268
Prentiss284261
Leake272374
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252451
Newton249064
Tishomingo232369
Winston230282
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210659
Holmes190574
Stone188733
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167940
Smith164134
Walthall135447
Greene131834
Lawrence131224
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108334
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549013

Reported Deaths: 11311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810461571
Mobile42145831
Madison35718525
Tuscaloosa26179458
Shelby25626254
Montgomery25089614
Baldwin21901314
Lee16287176
Calhoun14724327
Morgan14639285
Etowah14183364
Marshall12454230
Houston10791287
Elmore10301214
Limestone10188157
St. Clair10161251
Cullman9958201
Lauderdale9612250
DeKalb8977190
Talladega8462184
Walker7341280
Autauga7242113
Jackson6953113
Blount6950139
Colbert6415140
Coffee5638127
Dale4930116
Russell454941
Chilton4478116
Franklin431782
Covington4279122
Tallapoosa4144155
Escambia401880
Chambers3728124
Dallas3610158
Clarke353161
Marion3245107
Pike314578
Lawrence3134100
Winston283572
Bibb268564
Geneva258481
Marengo250665
Pickens237062
Barbour234559
Hale227178
Butler224671
Fayette218962
Henry194443
Randolph187644
Cherokee187345
Monroe180641
Washington170739
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156357
Cleburne153644
Lamar146937
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124542
Conecuh113630
Coosa111629
Perry108626
Sumter105832
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 84°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 85°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 82°
Starkville
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 81°
High pressure still tries to hang on to our area on Thursday, however a weak warm front will change the dominance of high pressure. This weak cold front will give us a chance for some isolated showers and thunderstorms at times.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather