If Kirstjen Nielsen Is on Her Way out at DHS, Let Us Fervently Hope Rudy Giuliani Is Not on His Way In

[Content Note: Nativism; police violence. Please read the previous piece, "WE MUST RESIST: Undocumented Immigrants Are the Canaries in Trump's Despotic Coal Mine," for important background to this one.]

So, in addtion to his usefulness in gaslighting the country as part of a sophisticated messaging strategy to shift the discourse in a way that makes room for authoritarianism, one of the reasons I believe that Rudy Giuliani is back on the scene is that Donald Trump (still) wants him in his cabinet.

Just earlier this week, I wrote: "Kirstjen Nielsen is a Trumpian placeholder if ever I saw one. He wants Rudy Giuliani in there, running a national militarized law enforcement arm of the executive branch, so bad even I can taste it."

This morning, I read this at the Washington Post Josh Dawsey and Nick Miroff:
[Donald] Trump began berating Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in the Oval Office earlier this spring, according to administration officials, griping about her performance and blaming her for a surge in illegal border crossings.

...The president has chastised her on several occasions this spring, including a much-publicized meeting earlier this month when he attacked her in front of the entire Cabinet. He has grown furious because his administration has made little progress building the border wall, and his most ardent supporters have blamed Nielsen for not doing more to halt the caravan of Central American migrants whose advance Trump saw as a personal challenge.

...It remains unclear, according to several people familiar with the situation, how much longer the relationship can last, but the strains illustrate the difficulty faced by Trump subordinates who are tasked with delivering policy solutions to match his most soaring promises.
"Soaring promises." In case you weren't sure if this is a piece of administration propaganda.

There is, naturally, much more at the link, but the long and short of it is that Trump is unhappy with Nielsen, because she can't get the job done. "The job" being fully ignoring the law, decency, and reality in pursuit of the president's vile nativist agenda.

Now, maybe it's just a coincidence that Giuliani is back in the mix at the same time that this garbage balloon about Nielsen was published in the WaPo. Maybe Giuliani really is just going to be part of Trump's legal team and nothing more. Maybe he really is just being sent out on the cable news circuit as Trump's attorney and not to reassert his profile just ahead of Trump rearranging his cabinet yet again to include another authoritarian loyalist.

Or maybe we have something about which to be very, very alarmed.

I am certainly alarmed by the fact that Giuliani is back in the mix at all, no less in combination with a story that signals DHS is about to get a vacancy.

Giuliani is the king of crackdowns. He loves domestic crackdowns like John Bolton loves war.

The political press has largely greeted Giuliani's return by treating him like a clown. The lack of scrutiny is not dissimilar from that which he enjoyed while serving as "America's Mayor" in the '90s, despite the fact that he was overseeing one of the most vicious eras of racist policing in NYC history, which is really saying something.

Lumumba Bandele, a lifelong New Yorker and police reform advocate, described Giuliani's law enforcement policies as creating "an environment of terror for communities of color." He oversaw the institution of NYC's "stop and frisk" policy, later deemed unconstitutional, which Trump has nonetheless said he wants to see instituted nationwide.

And Giuliani's hostility to undocumented immigrants and refugees dates back the Reagan administration, during which time he was the third-ranking official of the Justice Department, arguing that Haitian asylum-seekers should be turned away by the United States, during testimony in a lawsuit where DHS' precedessor, the INS, was accused of illegally detaining undocumented Haitians and denying them access to lawyers.

That Trump, whose personal relationship with Giuliani is very close and goes back decades, has Giuliani anywhere near his administration is very troubling. That he has expressed a desire to replicate nationally how Giuliani "cleaned up" New York is chilling. That Giuliani is making moves in Trumpworld as stories are placed suggesting there will soon be a vacancy at the top of DHS should concern us all.

The last fucking thing we need is Rudy Giuliani overseeing Donald Trump's nativist gestapo.

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