Last week, one of the most despicable men in Congress (and that’s saying something) decided to attack a decorated veteran with 40+ years of service as a “disgrace to the uniform.”
That Congressman is Luis Gutierrez (D) and the veteran he attacked is General John Kelly, the current White House Chief of Staff. Gutierrez has a long history of thumbing his nose at America’s immigration laws so it was no surprise when he lost his mind over the rescinding of DACA and lashed out.
“General Kelly is a hypocrite who is a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear. He has no honor and should be drummed out of the White House along with the white supremacists and those enabling the President’s actions by ‘just following orders,’” Gutierrez said in a statement issued hours after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that DACA will be phased out.
I don’t think many people expected Gen. Kelly to respond, but boy did he respond via this Fox News interview:
In an email to Fox News late Sunday, Kelly responded by saying Congress did “nothing” to help so-called Dreamers when they had the chance.
“As far as the congressman and other irresponsible members of congress are concerned, they have the luxury of saying what they want as they do nothing and have almost no responsibility,” Kelly said. “They can call people liars but it would be inappropriate for me to say the same thing back at them. As my blessed mother used to say ‘empty barrels make the most noise.’”
He concluded, “The congressman has a right to his opinion.”
He nails Gutierrez here (and Congress as a whole), not just for the disgusting criticism of him, but also their rank hypocrisy on the issue. Congress has had a chance to pass the Dream Act multiple times. Furthermore, even with the rescinding of DACA (an executive order that was already on very unconstitutional footing), Congress still has six months to come to what should be an easy compromise.
That likely won’t happen because Democrats like Gutierrez do not want a compromise. They’d rather this issue remain a political football to gin up outrage. There’s a reason the Democratic Congress did nothing with immigration reform when they had total control and a 60 vote majority early in Obama’s Presidency. When given the choice between passing the Dream Act, along with some border security provisions as a compromise, or continuing to demagogue, they’ll pick demagoguery every single time.
It’s also hard not to take Kelly’s line about having “no responsibility” as a swipe at Gutierrez for never having served, yet thinking he has moral ground to call someone a “disgrace to the uniform.”
He wasn’t done yet, though, as Kelly hit Congress again:
“Every DOJ and DHS lawyer says DACA is unconstitutional. Every other legal scholar – right and left – says the same thing. Trump didn’t end DACA, the law did. That said, I worked and succeeded to give the congress another six months to do something. I am not confident,” he said.
Kelly previously served as secretary of Homeland Security, before taking the reins at the Trump White House. In his response to Gutierrez, he noted how he tried to get Congress to focus on DACA since the beginning of the Trump administration.
“During my time at DHS – from 20 Jan until this moment – I have met with hundreds of members on both sides of the hill … My [message] always was ‘I have bought you time to do something on DACA.’ I begged and pleaded with them. They did exactly nothing.”
That’s really what this comes down to. DACA was illegal. Period. Keeping an illegal order in place is not an option and Kelly recognized that. Wasting millions of dollars in taxpayer funding to fight a losing battle is dumb and irresponsible. To Congress, such common sense may not be readily apparent, but to a no-nonsense guy like the General, he’s not going to chase a ghost on emotional grounds.
In the end, the responsibility is on Congress to act if they truly believe the “Dreamers” should be granted legal status. That’s the constitutional order of legislation. If they don’t act, they (along with Mr. Gutierrez himself) bear all the blame on this and no amount of hot air inducing rants will change that.