Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Kelly's Descent Into Infamy

We've watched retired Gen. John Kelly's reputation as the "adult in the room" slide in the past 10 months.  First, as neo-fascist Putin puppet Donald "Rump" Trump's Secretary of Homeland Security, where he eagerly supervised a callous and cruel round up of undocumented immigrants. Then, his turn as White (Supremacist) House Chief of Staff, where he not only declined to restrain Rump's sociopathic impulses, but participated in the demeaning of both a U.S. Congresswoman and a Gold Star widow, for which he's shamefully refused to apologize.

Last night, on the execrable Laura "Heil" Ingraham show, Kelly referred to Confederate traitor Robert E. Lee as an "honorable man" whose statues -- and those of other Confederates -- should remain in public places. If that wasn't enough to confirm him as a white supremacist, Kelly stated that the Civil War was caused "by a lack of ability to compromise," where "men an women of good faith on both sides" fought. Unless Kelly slept through American History courses, he should know that the designation of slaves as three-fifths human in the Constitution was a compromise with slave-holding southern states. The Union compromised repeatedly with southern slave states, including the Missouri Compromise allowing slavery south of the 36th parallel and the Compromise of 1850 allowing some western states to vote on whether to allow slavery. Despite those compromises, southern slave states rejected their country.

Kelly should have the basic understanding that the notion of "compromise" with an evil system was inexcusable in the first place: slavery is often called America's "original sin." He seems to suggest that if we'd only struck a bargain on slavery, the Civil War could have been avoided. And then what? An America divided to this day between slave and free? This man is no "adult in the room." His heart and mind are with those tiki torch marchers who brandish the Confederate and Nazi flags, whether he knows it or not.

BONUS: Wendell Pierce has a strong response to Kelly:

BONUS II:  Josh Marshall summarizes what we now can say about Kelly --
I take this performance as showing two things. One is what we saw in Kelly’s attack on Rep. Wilson. Kelly is not an adult in the room. He’s an example of what we might call Total Quality Trumpism, Trumpist ideology in a more disciplined, duty-focused, professional package. The core ideology and beliefs about reclamation and rectitude are the same. It’s not an accident that he ended up in the tightest circle of Trump’s orbit. The other is that, once again, Trump damages everything he touches. 
But there’s something subtly different about Kelly compared to all the others who cozied up to Trump and saw their reputations and dignity destroyed through a deep inner weakness, desperation or lack of character – Christie, Pence, Tillerson, Priebus et al. Kelly’s eyes appear wide open. His tie to Trump seems to be based on a deep commonality of belief and a desire to sand away the rough edges of Trump to ensure the core goals of Trumpism succeed. (our emphasis)

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