Goodbye, A-Hole (Acting) Navy Sec Thomas Modly, Goodbye!

Hey everybody, (acting) Navy Secretary asshole Thomas Modly resigned! And why? Because he sucks and because shame works.

Also military people were so pissed at him for firing beloved Captain Brett Crozier, and then flying all the way to Guam to call Crozier stupid in a speech broadcast to the sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, that there was pretty much no way he could credibly lead the Navy at this point. After all, Captain Crozier was the only person who actually seemed to give a shit whether the 4,000 sailors on the Roosevelt lived or died of coronavirus, and if the letter Crozier wrote made the Trump administration look bad, oh well, fuck 'em.


In his final memo to the Navy, Modly said he "lost situational awareness" when he walked on the Theodore Roosevelt and spoke to the crew members "as if I was their commander, or their shipmate, rather than their secretary."

"The crew deserved a lot more empathy and a lot less lecturing—I lost sight of that at the time and I am deeply sorry for some of the words and for how they were spread across the media landscape like a wildfire," Modly added. "I had hoped to transmit a message of love, and duty, and mission, and courage in the face of adversity. Those words are in there, but they are now lost, because of me, and I will regret that for the rest of my life."

LOL whatever.

NBC News reports that, after offering his resignation to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, which Esper accepted, Modly is now in isolation, after his infamous Go Fuck Yourself speech to the sailors of the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier, which happened on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier. Know who we bet could have told Modly that maybe he shouldn't go on the ship right now? Captain Crozier, who has tested positive for coronavirus, and was fired because he tried to scream too loud at the Trump regime about coronavirus, in an effort to protect his 4,000 sailors' lives. (As of Tuesday, "at least" 230 sailors on the Roosevelt have tested positive, according to CNN.)

Modly's Go Fuck Yourself speech leaked within minutes of his giving it in Guam, and later that afternoon, he dug his heels in and said he stood by everything he said, even the cusses, which was obviously the thing that offended a carrier full of sailors, who are known for saying "fudge!" instead of "fuck!" and "poopwhiskers!" instead of "GODDAMNSHITMOTHERFUCKER!" Later that night, Modly released a backhanded apology, saying fine, Crozier is not stupid, he is just a very bad man. That went over awesome.

The Washington Post reports that it wasn't just every Democrat with military service in Congress and one million veterans on Twitter calling for Modly's sniveling little head, but also people within the Defense Department. Meanwhile, NBC News quotes Republican Rep. Mac Thornberry, the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, who isn't exactly crying about Modly's departure:

"The change in the office of the Secretary of the Navy should allow the country to put this episode behind us and allow Sailors to focus on the very important missions at hand," Thornberry said.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, is being kind of an Eeyore about the whole thing, because of his well-known penchant for just hating it when bad things happen to bad people:

"The whole thing was very unfortunate," Trump said at a press conference Tuesday night.

"The captain should not have written a letter, he didn't have to be Ernest Hemingway. He made a mistake but he had a bad day," Trump said.

He added on Modly's resignation: "I had heard he did because he didn't want to cause any disturbance for our country… because he wouldn't have had to resign, I would not have asked him. I don't know him. I didn't speak to him, but he did that I think just to end that problem. And I think in really many ways that was a very unselfish thing for him to do."

"I hate seeing bad things happen," Trump also said, with a straight face. Captain Crozier was just a common Ernest Hemingway having a bad day, after all, and Modly, well, he did what he had to do. But it's no fun for Trump when people like Modly, who sniff his ass in exchange for a paycheck, have to quit. He likes it when good and qualified and patriotic public servants have to quit.

The new (acting) secretary of the Navy will be James McPherson, who until now was undersecretary of the Army. (And when we say "until now," we mean McPherson was confirmed as Army undersecretary, um ... 16 days ago.) Trump does have a nominee for the Senate-confirmed Navy secretary position, named Kenneth Braithwaite, who is currently ambassador to Norway. McPherson will be the third person to lead the Navy in the last five minutes or so, as Modly was only in his position because former Navy secretary Richard Spencer was forced to resign for refusing to obey an illegal order from Trump. (See what we just said about Trump liking it when good, qualified and patriotic public servants have to quit.)

And that is your staffing update for the Trump administration as things stand right at this second. Everything will change by lunch.

[Washington Post / New York Post / NBC News]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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