The Corner

Fire Napolitano Cont’d

I’m getting deluged with mostly idiotic and asinine e-mail of the “you f**ing scumbag” variety because of my position that Napolitano should go. Here’s one that has a glimmer of substance to it and without any f-bombs:

Wonder if you would have called for a Republican appointed head of the Department of Homeland Security to be fired under the same set of events. My guess is no, and my guess also is that you are a hypocrite.

Well, if memory serves, I’ve never been much of a Tom Ridge supporter. And this magazine was awfully tough on him and DHS in general.

But the question — aside from grotesquely confusing the concept of hypocrisy — misses the point entirely. I would very much like to think that if Tom Ridge had come out and said “the system worked” after a terrorist attack I would go after him hammer and tongs. Indeed, I am sure that if any Bush appointee had the same views and record as Napolitano I would be in favor of firing him or her too under similar circumstances. Like most of us around here, I opposed Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court because she was a bad pick for the job. Fortunately she didn’t get a chance to prove it. I was among the first conservatives to call for ousting Trent Lott for his idiocy. I fail to see why Napolitano deserves more deference.

Napolitano is in charge of protecting our borders, but doesn’t think crossing the border illegally is a crime. She uses the word terrorist freely to describe American citizens, but hates to use it against actual terrorists.

This isn’t about teams. It’s about policy. Napolitano’s views are perfectly within the bounds of democratic discourse, but they are horribly ill-suited to the job she’s been given. And her initial reaction to this attack is just the latest evidence of that.

And, by the way, shrieking about hypocrisy and other name-calling doesn’t rebut the argument I’ve offered against Napolitano. Indeed, none of these hysterical e-mailers have offered any defense of Napolitano. All they’ve done is claim that my opinion doesn’t matter. Fine. But if you want to persuade me — or anyone else — that I’m wrong, make a case in defense of Napolitano, not against me.

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