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Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat from Illinois, isn’t backing down in his criticism of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly — in fact, he’s doubling down.

Last week, the Democrat called Kelly a “disgrace to the uniform.” On Tuesday, he claimed that Kelly is just a “politician” and “not a general.”

“I don't see [him wearing] a uniform,” Gutierrez said, according to The Washington Post. “He's a politician who works for Donald Trump.”

Gutierrez went on to blast Kelly’s support of President Donald Trump rescinding the protections for illegal immigrants under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

“What could be more mean and more vicious than to say 'you've got six months to pack up...and leave the United States'?” the Democrat added, The Washington Post reported.

While political disagreement is perfectly reasonable and an important part of the free speech that is protected by the U.S. Constitution, Gutierrez’s insistence on attacking Kelly’s military service is an insult to all who have ever worn the uniform.

A military veteran’s service does not simply become obsolete or less deserving of gratitude once he or she retires and takes off the uniform. Further, when Gutierrez calls Kelly a “disgrace to the uniform” because he happens to disagree with him on immigration policy, is he saying the same of veterans and service members who also agree with Kelly?

Guillermo Legaria/AFP/Getty Images

Gutierrez, who has never served in the military in any capacity, should leave Kelly’s service to his country out of his political attacks. He should go after his policies based on the substance, not attempt to tarnish something he doesn't know anything about.

Kelly may no longer be in uniform, but he is still very much a (retired) general. And the country still owes him a debt for his years of service.

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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