By Tom Prezelski
Reposted from Rum, Romanism and Rebellion
Yesterdays news is that Former Governor Janet Napolitano will be resigning as Secretary of Homeland Security to accept a a position as President of the University of California System.
I had a friendly working relationship with Janet when I was in the
legislature, so it would naturally follow that I have mixed feelings
about her tenure in Homeland Security. On the one hand, she made some important steps
to clean up an unmanageable mess of an organization. On the other, it
does not seem like enough. In her defense, however, the gnashing of
teeth and rending of garments that occurred every time she made a modest move
toward reasonableness was a reminder of what she was up against. Even
her order to the Border Patrol to exercise a modicum of common sense and
discretion by focusing their efforts on nabbing traficantes rather than chasing desperate campesinos met with resistance from rank and file agents and demagogues in Congress, and there was scant little vocal public support for such restraint to balance out the vitriol.
Folks on the left rightfully point out that the Secretary presided
over a continuing, perhaps even accelerated, militarization of the
border, and that an unprecedented number of immigrants have been
deported on her watch. Of course, this tends to point out the futility
of the current emphasis on enforcement, not simply the practical
futility, as no border issue has yet been resolved to anyone’s
satisfaction, but also the political futility. In example, here are the
boilerplate comments about Napolitano’s announcement from Congressman
Paul Gosar (R-Meth Alley):
While Secretary Napolitano may be gone she
will not be forgotten. Her inaction and incompetence on border security
will continue to plague our nation for years to come.
Keep in mind that Gosar is calling a
record number of deportations and uniformed men with guns on the border,
even as illicit traffic is in decline, “inaction.” Clearly, there is no
pleasing this guy. No amount of enforcement will be enough for
immigration opponents, so why even bother indulging them?
But what this really points to is that we
could do much worse, and in fact, there is a good chance that we will.
Inexplicably, some otherwise responsible people are already calling for the President to appoint vaguely fascist New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, whose justifications of racial profiling are reminiscent of comments from Sheriff Arpaio and former State Senator Russell Pearce. None of this bodes well for the admittedly modest progress that we have made toward a sane border policy.
All things being said, Janet did a
credible job in the DHS, and considering the size of the task and the
current political environment, this may be all we could ask for. Running
the UC system could almost be considered a step up, and will
doubtless be a lot more fun for her.
(NB: Someone will probably notice that the photo is of former Concrete
Blonde lead singer Johnette Napolitano, in keeping with a running joke
on Rum Romanism and Rebellion. She will be playing a free show on the patio at the Hotel
Congress in Tucson tonight as a part of Second Saturdays Downtown. You