In a blistering editorial today, The Boston Globe called for the resignation of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after the abuse scandal involving his top aide Rob Porter, the former White House Staff Secretary,
The editorial begins with the primary reason The Globe feels he should leave the White House staff.
“John Kelly has violated the cardinal rule of being White House chief of staff: Advance the president’s agenda and don’t become the news. It’s past time for him to go.”
It continues with a description of how Kelly has “squandered his credibility” in his move from his military career to his current political role, a move The Globe characterizes as “disastrous.”
It goes on to imagine what Kelly could have done, given his background in a “nonpartisan, multicultural military” that encompasses thousands of immigrants amongst its ranks, to help convince legislators from both parties to cobble together a mutually acceptable deal on immigration.
Then it laments what actually happened instead:
“He derailed deals on the undocumented residents brought to this country when they were children and suggested “Dreamers” were “too lazy to get off their asses” to apply for protections.”
The editorial then launches into a list of failures from the man in “the most influential unelected position in politics,” citing Kelly having:
“misled and insulted America; failed to redirect Trump from campaigning to governing; entrusted responsibility to dozens of aides without security clearances; denigrated a black congresswoman and refused to apologize despite video proving his accusations false; defended Civil War secessionists; and ignored FBI statistics to exaggerate threats from Latin American and Muslim nations.”
The Globe quotes Chris Whipple, author of “The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, as saying “Kelly has failed in almost every way you can fail as White House chief of staff. Even by his own narrow definition — he was not going to manage the president, just run the West Wing — that train is off the rails,”
With the scandal over Porter and the misogyny inherent in Kelly’s initial defense of his ex-aide added to the other failures, the editorial’s conclusion that “in any other White House, Kelly would already be fired for gross incompetence, failed crisis management, misrepresenting reality, even insubordination” is hard to disagree with.
Rather than the previously popular image of Kelly as the grown-up in the White House bringing order to chaos, The Boston Globe nominates him as the worst Chief-of-Staff since the Reagan era. In the end, however, they admit that “given the nature of the president he was about to serve… This was mission impossible.”
The truth is that as appropriate as Kelly’s resignation would be the editorial that The Boston Globe should be writing is the one calling for President Trump’s resignation, or if he refuses, his impeachment.
Kelly’s faults are many, but in totality, Trump’s misdeeds far outweigh anything his Chief-of-Staff has said or done.