Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times had an interview with outgoing Chief of Staff John Kelly where he said, among other things, that he should be judged "on what Trump didn't do while I was chief of staff."
Well...for starters, no. He doesn't get to set the terms on which he's judged. If you rob a bank and shoot several bystanders, you don't get to tell the court -- as well as the court of public opinion -- "Don't judge me for what I did, judge me for all the bad things that didn't happen when I was in the bank." Sorry, life doesn't work that way.
I mean, seriously -- here's a former general, and he's asking not to be judged by his actions???!!! Nope, we will all happily (and alas, unhappily) judge him on everything. What he did, and what he didn't do.
But still, it's the beginning of a year, with a new year of sunshine and a Democratic House ahead. So, let's be totally fair and at least in part give John Kelly what he wants. Judge him on what Trump didn't do while Kelly was chief of staff.
Trump didn't denounce white supremacists.
Trump didn't stop trying to build a wall to block Mexicans.
Trump didn't stay in the Paris Accord.
Trump didn't support a free press.
Trump didn't support the judicial system when it ruled against him.
Trump didn't support the U.S. intelligence services over the Russian dictator.
Trump didn't sign the budget bill he had agreed to, so the government shut down.
Trump didn't tell the military the truth in Iraq about pay raises.
Trump didn't sit down with the Special Counsel and testify under oath, like he said he would.
Trump didn't release his tax returns, like he said he would.
Trump didn't create a better, cheaper health care replacement, like he said he would.
Trump didn't stop childishly calling people utterly infantile names in public.
Trump didn't get Mexico to pay for his wall.
Trump didn't support U.S. intelligence services over a Saudi prince who had an American resident killed
Trump didn't criticize Russia or Putin.
Trump didn't replace the nuclear treaty with Iran he ended.
Trump didn't get North Korea to give up anything after he himself gave in on concessions.
Trump didn't visit the WWI cemetery in France.
Trump didn't visit Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day.
Trump didn't reaffirm strong alliances with our allies.
Trump didn't reprimand, let alone fire John Kelly for lying about Rep. Fredericka Wilson and never apologizing.
Trump didn't [Fill in the blank...]
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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