Time for a New Secretary?

From reports this morning, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano looks to have put her foot in it again.  In fairness, the quote that is being latched onto is relatively benign.

“It’s a big border,” she said. “It’s 1,960 miles across that Southwest
border. It’s some of the roughest, toughest geographical terrain in the
world across that border. And so, the notion that you’re going to seal
that border somehow is something that anybody who’s been involved in the
actual doing of law enforcement–the front office work or the front
line work of the law enforcement–would say, ‘You’re never going to
totally seal that border.’”

Taken as a whole that is a true, and relatively benign comment.  But, here is where I have an issue: the comment reflects a greater malaise that I find too prevalent in government and higher education.  It is the excuse, of “I can’t…”.  It is leadership that is unwilling to tackle a problem because they are afraid of criticism, or afraid of failure.  A word of advice to our Executive Branch and Congress, put on your big boy and big girl pants folks and be leaders.

Leadership 101, tackle the issue.  As long as you tackle it with gusto and not do just make a token effort you will be perceived to be doing something.  If you doubt your ability, or the ability of your troops to complete the mission NEVER, EVER SAY IT OUT LOUD OR LET IT SHOW IN YOUR ACTIONS, EFFORT, OR ENTHUSIASM FOR THE JOB.

Secretary Napolitano, there is an acknowledged and documented problem on the southern border of the United States.  No one is expecting you to “seal” the border.  As you indicated, it is a geographically diverse and often inhospitable area of this country.  As rugged as some of the terrain is, there are large areas that are flat desert.  I know, I have been there.  You should know this too as much of this area is in Arizona, the state that you were Governor of.  Your job as HHS is to police the borders of this country, north, south, east and west.  You have multiple departments, and thousands of personnel at your disposal.  If you are unable to create and execute a plan that will reduce the human, drug, and terrorist trafficking across our southern border by 60-80% within 12 months of execution, then please resign your post and let someone more qualified take the helm.

If you would like a plan to be developed, that has a reasonable probability of success please give me a call.  I would be happy to consult, as I am sure would several hundred thousand other folks that have this nation’s best interests at heart.

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