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.

Confirmed Cases: 93087

Reported Deaths: 2809
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6956155
DeSoto539355
Harrison372772
Jackson337867
Madison320086
Rankin318875
Lee258567
Jones239978
Forrest238270
Washington217471
Lafayette207239
Lauderdale1994124
Bolivar179065
Oktibbeha174750
Lamar162134
Neshoba1534103
Panola144027
Sunflower141144
Lowndes139857
Warren138050
Leflore136280
Pontotoc122516
Pike120948
Monroe118365
Scott116125
Copiah115933
Coahoma112327
Holmes109158
Marshall107515
Lincoln106253
Grenada105335
Yazoo103629
Simpson101243
Union97824
Tate95137
Leake93937
Adams91736
Wayne87421
Pearl River86250
Marion84133
Prentiss80817
Covington80622
Alcorn76811
Newton75623
Itawamba75221
Tallahatchie74918
George74413
Winston72319
Tishomingo65737
Chickasaw65224
Tippah64216
Attala64125
Walthall59325
Clay57117
Hancock56121
Jasper54915
Noxubee54315
Clarke53539
Smith52114
Calhoun50612
Tunica47913
Montgomery45420
Claiborne45116
Lawrence42512
Yalobusha41614
Perry40617
Humphreys37315
Quitman3735
Stone35011
Greene34317
Webster33113
Jefferson Davis32511
Amite31210
Carroll31212
Wilkinson30217
Kemper28615
Sharkey26312
Jefferson2399
Benton2181
Franklin1893
Choctaw1785
Issaquena1033
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18911337
Mobile13039289
Montgomery8628173
Madison750775
Tuscaloosa7180114
Lee570559
Shelby564550
Baldwin504749
Marshall382143
Etowah333447
Calhoun332039
Morgan318126
Houston269922
Elmore251947
DeKalb234619
St. Clair221335
Walker220780
Talladega205026
Limestone197319
Cullman183017
Franklin174128
Dallas173626
Russell17112
Autauga167324
Lauderdale164133
Colbert159326
Escambia155725
Blount154214
Jackson149411
Chilton147127
Dale132743
Covington130227
Coffee12708
Pike11519
Tallapoosa113183
Chambers112342
Clarke104917
Marion93728
Butler90838
Barbour8307
Marengo69919
Winston69912
Lowndes64527
Pickens63114
Bibb62810
Hale61228
Randolph60712
Bullock58514
Lawrence58220
Monroe5758
Geneva5634
Cherokee55516
Washington54413
Perry5376
Clay5367
Wilcox53011
Conecuh52311
Crenshaw52231
Macon47620
Henry4674
Fayette4189
Sumter41819
Lamar3452
Choctaw34412
Cleburne3206
Greene30015
Coosa1613
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