The Aspen Institute / YouTube Securing The Homeland Kirstjen Nielsen at...
The Aspen Institute / YouTube

They are monsters, all of them. They tried to defend the indefensible. We all bared witness to the sheer horror of seeing families at the border ripped apart, and parent-less children sleeping en masse on cold jail floors. Trump’s advocates argued these innocent children were an “infestation” and treated them as such. They literally argued they weren’t entitled to having anything in jail, including soap or toothbrushes.

More than half of the taken children under the age of five still haven’t been reunited with their parents, and probably won’t be. The conditions at the detention facilities are so poor that elected officials were kept out, multiple children have been sexually assaulted, and six died in custody in just the past year. Trump is still trying to end limits on how long children can be detained.

This imposed terror on migrant children was the sadistic brainchild of Nazi apologist and senior Trump white supremacist Stephen Miller, who is still on the payroll. Although Trump and Miller share the majority of the blame, it couldn’t have happened if Trump’s cabinet stood up to him.  They didn’t.

Oh, they are all singing a different tune now that they are out of power. Once they were forced out, they have been shunned by Trump’s people, while everyone else sees them as pariahs. Now that the walls are crumbling down around Trump, they are eager to speak out against him.  Thanks, very brave of you.

The New York Times extolled John Kelly for opposing Trump policies–after he left his post. Kelly is on a bit of a rehabilitation tour. At Duke University, he said Trump’s family-separation policy “came as a surprise”.  He was shocked. He was horrified. Except for the fact that before it happened, he did this:

John Kelly is again making headlines, saying he told the president not to hire a “yes” man to replace him. For once, I agree with Trump that he lied. I base that on the fact that he has never even hinted at standing up to him.

As for the child-caging? Kelly did way worse than just justify it, which he did by saying that the children “will be put in foster care, or whatever.” He actually praised the detention centers, and now, he now profits from them

Kelly did not mention that he is now on the board of Caliburn International, which runs the largest of the facilities that he praised. 

That Kelly now stands to profit from the continued effects of a disastrous policy that he advocated for while he was DHS Secretary and White House chief of staff demonstrates how the revolving door spins between government and industry.

Unlike Kelly, Kirstjen Nielsen didn’t actively promote it—but she sure as hell signed off on it. She signed the policy to “permissibly direct” her own gestapo to detain minors and parents separately while the parents were criminally charged, even if it meant being held indefinitely.  Nielsen  lied to Congress afterwards claiming that that there was no such policy. Senator Jeff Merkley asked that the FBI investigate for perjury.

Nielsen relished her director role, even it meant terrorizing families and traumatizing children. She thought forced adoption was a dandy idea, and it was Nielsen who forced children as young as three to do this:

Of course, Nielsen was wildly incompetent, and Trump thought she made him look bad.  He told her to resign, but now, she suddenly claims she left out of principle. For her rehabilitation tour, she had the temerity to actually say that during her tenure she “spoke truth to power.”  This is from the same person who capitulated to everything Trump told her to do, gushed over him at cabinet meetings, and allowed herself to constantly be berated by Trump in front of everyone.

Yet someone at Fortune thought this would make her a perfect headliner for their “Most Powerful Women” forum.  She used the opportunity to excuse her crimes, and suggest we all need to “come together” on immigration.

Kelly and Nielsen are the worst, but it’s not just them.  It’s everyone.

James Mattis is now going on a stand-up comedy tour trashing the president, but never stood up to him as Secretary of Defense. “Fixer” Michael Cohen admitted to Congress that the Trump organization is essentially a criminal outfit, but he happily carried out Trump’s orders for years to sue or threaten to sue anyone who criticized Trump or tried to collect a payment from him. Omarosa couldn’t write a book fast enough, but she would still be the White House if she wasn’t thrown out.

The “Mooch” is trying to redeem himself by claiming he is currently assembling a team of former Trump cabinet members to speak out against him. Great—just a little late.  None of them did anything when they were in a position to actually stop Trump’s crimes.

And then there’s whatever the fresh hell this is from Trump’s former propaganda minster:

Thank God this show didn’t exist 75 years ago. I can only imagine ABC asking Goebbels to do the Merengue.

It’s a satanic cycle: disgraced public figures need the media to help rehabilitate themselves, and the media loves having the access, the “inside scoop”, and frankly, the controversy.  But there’s also us. The American people have a remarkable ability, especially those who share our ideology, to forgive and see the good in people. It’s why some of my favorite people, like Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres, are now okay palling around with an affable war criminal.

I get that it’s in our nature, and makes for a compelling narrative of redemption. But it’s wrong. Some of these people may have turned on Trump more than others, but not one of them has ever admitted any wrong-doing. They still defend their actions.  They entitled to nothing but our contempt.

Trump is a moron, and he was able to cause lasting permanent damage. If we dare give them a pass now, I shudder to think what the next generation of flunkies will do for a future sadistic leader who is actually somewhat competent.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


  1. The next generation of flunkies is already here, but they’re still fixated on tRump as their messiah. At present, there seem to be no evident replacements in the Repuglican lineup. However, there is no shortage of David Koresh wannabes out there. tRump’s flunkies know from history that if the GOP could rehabilitate Nixon, there is a bottomless well of gullibility awaiting their self serving whines.

  2. I’ve never missed a season of Dancing With The Stars, until now. I haven’t seen any of them this year. I refused to look at Sean Spicer. He received taxpayer $$ to lie to my face. I never forgive people that lie to me. Ever & I don’t want to look at them. These people should have stood up, slammed their fists down onto the table, looked the impostor president in the eye & screamed “I will never do that & if you want kids separated go pull them out of their parents arms yourself” & walked out of the room. Preferably in front of media reporters. During war crime trials at the Hague criminals said they were just following orders. Didn’t work for them then & it doesn’t work now either. Being a good Nazi doesn’t absolve you from what you’ve done. Spicer, Neilson, Huckaby, deserve to be shunned & shamed every time they show their vile faces in public. I am not advocating for physical violence upon them, just social justice from people that are sickened by their actions.

  3. Of all the Trumpers,( squashed ),under the tires of the Trump Bus-lines , she may be the worst .
    Is she a mother , if so , ask her kids .
    ..,If she’s not good enough for Trump ,
    who’s she good enough for ?
    Maybe the dustbin of Fox ?


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