April 18, 2017

Donald Trump's fondness for military generals of old like General George Patton has led to him populate his cabinet positions with (too many) military generals.

During a speech at George Washington University, former General John Kelly, the new head of DHS for Trump told politicians to either change the laws they don't like or "shut up and support the men and women on the front lines."

Spoken like a true military man.

As the Washington Post wrote, "No doubt these men bring tremendous experience. But we should be wary about an over-reliance on military figures. Great generals don’t always make great Cabinet officials. And if appointed in significant numbers, they could undermine another strong American tradition: civilian control of an apolitical military."

The NY Times writes: "Appointing too many generals would throw off the balance of a system that for good reason favors civilian leadership. The concern is not so much that military leaders might drag the country into more wars. It is that the Pentagon, with its nearly $600 billion budget, already exercises vast sway in national security policymaking and dwarfs the State Department in resources."

Unfortunately for Kelly, government doesn't work that way. It's their job to debate, disagree and try and get legislation passed they believe in, not to keep their pie holes shut.

Kelly's remarks were aimed at what he says is "employee morale," and he told the audience, "For too long, the men and women of my department have been political pawns, they have been asked to do more with less and less and less."

Kelly should look to the conservatives in Congress controlling the purse strings. How inconvenient for him.

He continued, "They are often ridiculed and insulted by public officials and frequently convicted in the court of public opinion on unfounded allegations testified to by street lawyers and street spokespersons."

Is he really bashing cable TV news and viral videos?

"If lawmakers do not like the laws that we enforce — that we are charged to enforce, that we are sworn to enforce — then they should have the courage and the skill to change those laws, otherwise, they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines."

If only he felt that way about IRS employees. Apparently they're special.

And as usual, Americans who don't blindly support every action law enforcement makes, "have no idea what it means to serve."

Kelly made the case that only "his professionals" were capable of telling the real story of any event, controversial or not.

This is a prime example why too many generals ruin the stew.

He seems to feel that his employees are different than the rest of the working class in America and should not ever be judged by those unqualified to judge them.

Without proper civilian leadership at the top, can military men be up to the task of strictly reviewing, enforcing and disciplining the people who work for them?

Imagine if any official had said this during Obama's administration? Can you imagine the furor that would have stirred up?

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