S.E. Cupp: The silver lining in Trump’s homeland security purge | TribLIVE.com
Featured Commentary

S.E. Cupp: The silver lining in Trump’s homeland security purge

1006431_web1_1001818-e4fbd773dcb54e88a5149582cd335539
AP
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen talks outside her home in Alexandria, Va., April 8.

“They are decapitating the entire department,” a Department of Homeland Security official ominously told The Washington Post of last week’s alarming purge that resulted in forcing the resignation of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, pulling the pick to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement and firing the Secret Service director.

President Trump’s ouster of Nielsen was met with glee, at first, as detractors of his inhumane and barbaric family separation policy cheered on her career end with comments on Twitter like “Bye, B*tch” and suggestions that only slightly less-ghoulish characters — Skeletor was common — take her place.

But that schadenfreude quickly turned to dismay when word that Trump’s alt-right whisperer Stephen Miller was pushing for more hardliners to fill the gaps.

Even Republicans were at a loss. “Strikes me as just a frustration of not being able to solve a problem,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. “Honestly, it wasn’t Secretary Nielsen’s fault. It wasn’t for lack of effort on her part. I don’t know if there’s anybody who’s going to be able to do more.”

Of course, the foreboding question on everyone’s mind is, what does “more” look like? How can Trump’s anti-immigrant affront get any “more” than ripping children out of the arms of parents — a policy Trump has repeatedly defended as a deterrent — putting them in cages for weeks, if not months, and acknowledging it could take up to two years to reunite them with their families?

What’s “more” than threatening to close the southern border, eliminate immigration judges and cut off funding to asylum origin countries? What’s “more” than the president, instead of “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,” saying outright, “We’re full”?

It’s troubling times — though we can throw this on top of a very tall pile of teeming trouble.

But there may be a silver lining, and if we’re lucky, maybe we’re even reaching a tipping point.

According to most reporting, Nielsen was forced out because she wouldn’t carry out Trump’s illegal orders. While it’s hard to call someone who carried out his child separation policy while openly lying about what it did “courageous,” it is comforting to know there were lines she was unwilling to cross on his behalf. And she’s not alone. Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, former FBI Director Jim Comey, former U.S. ISIS envoy Brett McGurk and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions all ended their tenures in similar ways.

They understand that the country is being led by a man who is dangerously impetuous and has little, if any, respect for the way our government is supposed to function, not to mention common decency. They’re unwilling to simply carry out his orders.

With too many Trump enablers in the Republican Party to count, it’s easy to lose sight of the conscientious objectors who have, though not always with the speed or alacrity we’d prefer, refused to carry out Trump’s bidding. That’s good news. God only knows what their decisions may have helped prevent or at least slow.

The problem is, of course, there’s a seemingly never-ending clown car of useful idiots willing to step into jobs they are wholly unqualified for, and so long as they’re loyal, Trump’s happy to have them.

However, some jobs, like Cabinet secretaries, require Congressional confirmation, and the GOP is at a turning point. Will Senate Republicans keep rubber-stamping the president’s loyalists just to keep his ego stroked? Or will they finally tire of this disruptive and counterproductive cycle of wash-outs and busts?

S.E. Cupp is the host of “S.E. Cupp Unfiltered” on CNN.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.