February 13, 2018

CNN was having a perfectly reasonable discussion about security clearances when Steve Cortes came up with the excuse that the Trump team are outsiders, sort of like the "greasers" in S.E. Hinton's coming-of-age novel, The Outsiders.

Say what? Jim Sciutto started with the report that many White House staffers still don't have full security clearances over a year later, including Jared Kushner, who reads the Presidential Daily Briefing Donald Trump won't give one second's thought to.

After replaying Sarah Huckabee Sanders' miserable attempt to blame the FBI because that is what this group of miscreants at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is best at, Sciutto turned to Joan Walsh.

"They say that a lot. That's their new scapegoat. In a couple of the cases it's the fault of John Kelly for not going and figuring out why can't my Staff Secretary get clearance," she countered. "Why can't Jared Kushner get clearance? He's had time and again to update his disclosure forms. Had to add new financial disclosures as well as foreign entanglement disclosures," she pointed out.

It's for the White House to say what's the holdup or does this person need help because they should have a clearance," Walsh explained.

She added, "Obviously Rob Porter did not deserve a clearance. We know that now. We don't know about the rest of the 30 to 40."

Sebastian Gorka couldn't get a permanent clearance either, and then that mean John Kelly went and revoked his temporary clearance. Was it the firearms charges or the Nazi sympathies?

Turning to Steve Cortes, Sciutto then asked him to comment on how the White House can claim it's the FBI's fault when the ultimate decision to grant or deny clearance rests with the White House.

After admitting he doesn't know how the process works, Cortes turned to the old standby: Outsider resentment, a base play with no meaning.

We have the first citizen President of the United States," he crowed, as if no other president in all of history has come from outside government (cough--FDR, Abraham Lincoln, among others--cough).

Cortes continued, "Somebody who came outside of government. He was neither a politician nor a general when elected. He was an entrepreneur."

Oh HUZZAH. We are supposed to be impressed by this when it comes to the security of this nation? Really, Steve? Apparently, yes. Really.

"My favorite book in grade school was The Outsiders," he said.

Steve explained his thinking this way: "The race in 2016 was largely the Socs - Washington Establishment against the Greasers. We on Team Trump were the Greasers. They're trying to get security clearance. It's difficult. It's a process that the FBI and the establishment are not used to. We will get clearance."

Oh, I see. It's just that the FBI aren't used to having to clear "Greasers." Gotcha, Steve. (WTF?)

Joan Walsh was having none of it, bringing the audience back to reality.

"Are we supposed to lower the bar for security clearance to let in the outsiders or the greasers. Okay. It's a different administration. There's less experience. I will grant you that, but still the jobs are the same. The responsibility of the president is the same. He's supposed to protect us. He's supposed to protect national security so he doesn't get to say I'm a Greaser and my team, my gang, they're just not up to snuff."

While I watched this segment I imagined viewers who weren't political junkies listening to Steve Cortes and thinking yeah, how elitist is it that those insiders have an easy time getting security clearances. Those Socs! They're elitist and insidery and CLEARED. OF COURSE it's hard to get past the FBI and their pesky insistence that national security issues remain secure. Poor Jared. Poor Rob.

I was really glad there was someone there to remind viewers of the gravity of this situation. Toss aside everything else for a second and consider that the ONE JOB that is unequivocally in the hands of every "citizen president" is national security. It is Job One, and this administration is simply unfit for the task.

They won't get clearances because they're not secure. They're not up to the task. They're compromised from the start. THAT, in a nutshell, is what happens when you put a bunch of wife-beaters, Nazis and thugs into positions of high responsibility.

Greasers, indeed.

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