If General Kelly was stunned about the call to la David Johnson’s family, then his offense seems self-serving and arrogant. The very things that he decried he accommodates and facilitates on a daily basis in Donald Trump. He shares some of Trump’s behaviors, such as petty name calling (empty barrel locker room talk). For all real purposes the congress woman was family and shouldn’t be asked to give up her seat on the bus for hyper-patriots Trump, Kelly or anyone else.
Kelly seems to promote this hyper-patriot narcissistic attitude that places military people as superior to civilians, people who he readily dismisses as empty barrels. I suspect that he even resents the notion that the commander in chief is not required to come from the military ranks.
We should all be stunned that Trump had to seek Kelly’s advice in the first place in order to come up with a simple, humane statement to the family. Isn’t common sense and decency adequate for this task? A minimum bar for the person we call President? But then, Trump lacks both. An earlier try with a soldier’s family who died in Afghanistan ended up offering the father some cash—the only currency Trump can relate to—seeming to cement the 'deal' in the only way he understands..
For those who took comfort in Kelly’s presence in the Oval Office, its time to do a reset. He has a streak of petulance, apparent by his annoyance at suggestions that he was a day care worker in the White House. He obviously is tone deaf to Trump’s history with women, or he wouldn’t have made a reference to revering women. By invoking the notion that religion is being disrespected, he continued to inject divisive politics into the conversation. If he would have stopped with his personal account of his son’s death that would have been admirable and a class act. But, no, he had to mimic Trump’s demeaning style by trying to slam dunk the congress woman with derisive and belittling remarks.
Kelly seems to share some of Trump’s old fashioned and off-base authoritarian notions. Not very comforting when we hoped all along that he would throw a rope on the Scapegoater in Chief when needed. Now we can’t be hopeful of that. He has come right out and told us that this is not in his job description as chief of staff.