Sally Yates has been fired. It shouldn't have been a surprise to her, and I don't think it was. She was a short-timer... someone from the Obama administration who was merely a placeholder, while Trump's appointee is confirmed (or not). Even had she kept her mouth shut, and even if Sessions is not confirmed, no person in their right mind would expect her to retain her position once someone new is confirmed. This is nothing new or unusual. It is common for a new President to clean house. Ms. Yates took the opportunity to go out with some fanfare, rather than quietly step down. And there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, there's nothing new about an attorney general refusing to support certain action. The ban on gay marriage is an instance that immediately comes to mind, but it's far from the only example. As an attorney, I'm not required to follow my client's instructions if I feel they are unethical... and that rule goes all the way up to the top.
But there's a problem with how the firing was done. Let's ignore the timing, let's ignore the jokes about 'You're Fired', let's ignore some of the angry and inaccurate comments that people are making about Ms. Yates.
Instead, let's look at the official White House Statement:
Had I been consulted, I would have suggested something like.. "The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has been relieved of her duties. Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia has been named to serve as acting Attorney General to serve in her place." That statement would have been accurate, and professional.. and would have given Trump critics very little to criticize. When Ms. Yates announced her position on the immigration Executive Order, she had to have known that she would be removed; it would be foolish for anyone to expect anything different.
But instead of something clean and professional, we have this childish, tantrum-sounding, name-calling statement.
Betrayed? Gee, Trump administration... don't you think that's just a teeny tiny bit overreaching?
Weak on borders and illegal immigration? Yeah, right... as if that's why you removed her.. and where's your foundation for that statement? Sounds like slander, to me.
Wrongfully held up confirmation? For strictly political reasons? Oh come on, quit being a baby. Where were you for the past 8 years? Or for that matter, where have you been on numerous occasions when there's been a change in the President, and Congress hasn't been onboard?
And, I'm sorry, Mr. Boente, but somehow your kowtowing statement doesn't make me feel protected.. it looks to me like the main thing being protected is your job.
And then it hit me. THIS is the problem...Trump, the experienced businessman, is taking all of this PERSONALLY.
I can disagree with my mother (sorry mom!) and argue with my siblings, and when I'm in court I take a position contrary to that taken by the other side's attorney.. but at the end of the day, I love mom, I love my siblings, and I share pleasantries.. and even lunch.. with opposing counsel when court is over.
We're getting knee-jerk reactions (and tweets, of course) from President Trump.. because we're hurting his feelings.
President Trump -- debate, and discussion and opposing views... this is all a part of how this country is run. We are not your employees. We are allowed to disagree with you. And if you would quit taking things personally... if you would quit reacting because somebody hurt your feelings... who knows -- maybe you could be a decent President.
No, I didn't vote for you. But there have been many elected officials over the years who did not get my vote. I can move on. And you need to, as well.
And hey.... have a cup of tea.. it might make you feel better.