United States history is chock full of military leaders and heroes who have gone on to contribute positively to politics, and those who have found that their skill set just isn’t compatible. It’s becoming more clear by the day that retired General John Kelly should’t be anywhere near politics. He’s used his position as Donald Trump’s White House Chief of Staff to push an increasingly racist agenda, while going to stunning lengths to cover for an aide accused of domestic abuse. Now we’re getting reports that Kelly is cracking up under the pressure.
John Kelly had been the head of Homeland Security before Trump tapped him to become Chief of Staff. Months later, Kelly had Trump appoint his own longtime deputy, Kirstjen Nielsen, as the new Homeland Security chief. That’s working out rather poorly for everyone involved. Nielsen lied to Congress during public hearings to try to cover for Trump’s “shithole countries” scandal. Kelly has fared even worse without his former traffic cop.
Here’s how the New York Times is now putting it: “Ms. Nielsen frequently blocked and tackled for the chief of staff, making herself the main line of approach to him. Without her, officials often approach Mr. Kelly freely now, and he sometimes does not remember what he has said to different people, two officials said.” (link). That paints him as somewhere between professionally incompetent and mentally incompetent. Unless he just happens to be coincidentally going senile, he’s cracking under the pressure.
The bigger question may be why Donald Trump’s own White House would leak something so embarrassing about John Kelly. Is this Kelly’s way of trying to get himself off the hook for the truly evil role he played in the domestic abuse coverup? Is this Trump’s way of publicly humiliating Kelly, in the hope of pushing him out the door? Trump and Kelly are both worthless as politicians, and they both deserve each other. THey’re also both cracking up under the pressure.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report