This Is How Washington Works Now I Guess

Illustration for article titled This Is How Washington Works Now I Guess
Photo: Win McNamee (Getty)

Here’s a fun little story to illustrate the inverted hell-world in which America’s elected officials operate.


The United States is currently without a permanent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) chief, following the departure earlier this year of Thomas Homan, an extremely bad man who seemed to revel in the extremely bad work his agency did. In August, President Donald Trump officially named former Border Patrol head and acting ICE director Ronald D. Vitiello as Homan’s replacement.

But all is not well in ICE-land, where Vitiello’s nomination was met with a resounding “ugh” from many among the ICE rank and file, who objected—among other things—to a since-deleted tweet shared by Vitiello, in which Trump is compared to Dennis the Menace. You know—that extremely culturally relevant character of the 2010s!

Illustration for article titled This Is How Washington Works Now I Guess
Screenshot: Twitter

In a letter to the Senate Homeland Security Committee, 14 local chapter leaders from the National ICE Council union complained that:

Had any rank and file employee in the field at ICE committed a similar act, that employee would be subject to discipline or removal under the ICE Employee Code of Conduct.

They also said that Vitiello wasn’t the right man to “shake up” the agency’s “corrupt ‘good old boy’ network,” which I guess means they think ICE could be even more effective at terrorizing immigrant communities if only they had the right guy at the helm.

Which brings us to today, and committee chairman Sen. Ron Johnson’s announcement that he would delay a vote on the nomination until he could do “due diligence” on the concerns raised about Vitiello—which, again, includes the fact that he once tweeted an extremely lukewarm shitpost about the president.


So now we have a Republican senator delaying a vote on a Republican president’s pick to run an agency whose union endorsed the Republican president, because that same union is mad that the Republican president’s pick was once mean to the Republican president. Meanwhile, everyone continues to be totally fine with ICE’s rampant violations of human rights. Great stuff.

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.

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