Kamala Harris Goes On Teevee To Piss On Kirstjen Nielsen's (Professional) Grave
Last year, Kamala Harris was the first senator to ask for ex-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's resignation. We're not sure what was holding up the other senators. Maybe they hadn't yet had horror movie nightmares about Nielsen's cold, empty eyes. Harris thought Nielsen should go because she had a "record of misleading statements" regarding Trump's policy of separating migrant children at the border. She also repeatedly lied to Harris's face and you just don't do that to a black woman.
Chris Hayes had the California senator on his show last night to tap dance on Nielsen's professional grave. Harris made clear, though, that while Nielsen ain't shit, Donald Trump and his stooges are shittier.
HARRIS: It's important to understand that this is a policy of the administration's that [Nielsen] implemented. And she was clearly prepared to do so. But it's the administration's policy. And it's not one person to blame or demand accountability. It's the entire administration and all the people that are complicit in its policies.
Harris said the administration perpetuates "lies, frankly" about what's actually happening at the border. Trump incites fear for his own twisted ends. We can also safely assume that the next secretary of Homeland Security will be even more ghoulish than Nielsen, sort of like when there's a villain upgrade during the middle of a "Supergirl" season.
The working theory, at least from the media, is that Trump fired Nielsen because she pushed back mildly on straight up breaking the law. Hayes asked Harris what she thinks should happen, as a law-talking person, if Trump and the next top child torturer at DHS enact policies that are obviously illegal. Harris mentioned the courts, where there's been some pushback against Trump's more odious acts, but not nearly enough to get excited about. Then Harris tried to lighten the mood with some humor.
HARRIS: I am truly hoping that my Republican colleagues will agree that we can't continue to have policies coming through that department that are really violating people's human rights.
Bwah-ha-ha! No, wait, she was probably serious. We get that she has to still believe in our government, because she's currently running for head of it. However, when it comes to the Republican capacity to oppose Trump or stand up for what's right (basically the same thing), she should probably leave all hope at the Barack Obama Presidential Library.
Harris stressed that people seeking asylum in the US are often fleeing the "murder capitals of the world" (no, not Chicago, Laura Ingraham). Trump wants us to turn our backs on them, which is repugnant. She also called out Trump's recent trip to Calexico (rhymes with "Mexico"!) on the California border, where he's building a "fence that he's calling a wall, which is just a vanity project." She said when she was there she saw tunnels, which are wall-avoidant by design.
TRUMP: I say, and this is our new statement, the system is full. We can't take you anymore. Whether it is asylum or anything you want, illegal immigration, we can't take you anymore. Our country is full. Our area is full. The sector is full. We can't take you anymore. Sorry, can't happen. So turn around, that's the way it is.
The president's words are so inspiring someone should tattoo them on Lady Liberty's thigh.
Harris contends that pretty much everything Trump has said and done about immigration is a "distraction" from what should be a "productive approach." It seems like Trump's only real policy is short-sighted cruelty. How else do you explain his plan to cut off aid to Central American nations? If we want to reduce the desperate circumstances that motivate illegal immigration, humanitarian aid is the most effective means. But that would require an administration staffed by humans and not Stephen Millers.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.