In an absolutely brutal takedown in the conservative Bulwark, a former speechwriter for Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) expressed disgust at the lack of outrage by the media -- and presumably fellow Republicans -- that Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner have been allowed to influence the government response to the coronavirus pandemic from their White House perches despite an absolute dearth of experience in such matters.
According to Amanda Carpenter, who is also a commentator on CNN, it's time to stop giving the couple a pass.
"One of the most confounding predicaments of the Trump era is how everyone is supposed to keep treating fundamentally unserious people seriously. Case in point: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump," she began. "Why, for example, is Jared on the television screen again, this time to brief the nation about the coronavirus? Why do we have to listen to Ivanka laugh along as she accepts false credit from her father for creating 15 million jobs? Of course, these are stupid questions because we all know the answer. Nepotism, duh. And yet, nepotism doesn’t even begin to explain what’s so galling about their presence."
As Carpenter sees it, the press has largely taken a hands-off approach to the president's daughter and son-in-law despite their lack of experience in government affairs and policy, to say nothing of their conflicts of interest when it comes to their personal business affairs and financial dealings.
"Maybe reporters hoped Jared and Ivanka would provide a friendly access point to the White House. Maybe some commentators thought the couple would serve as a moderating force upon the president. Maybe longstanding journalistic norms about presidents’ “children” being off-limits to close media scrutiny are somehow being applied to this 39-year-old man and 38-year-old woman," she wrote. "For whatever reason, Jared and Ivanka still don’t get the full criticism they deserve—a fact they use to full advantage. Their carefully crafted calm and cool public images are cheap plaster over unbridled greed and arrogance that leads them to keep assuming positions they have no business taking."
Singling out Kushner she explained, "In his role as senior advisor to the president, Kushner’s so-called 'portfolio' —which is said to include Iraq, China, bringing peace to the Middle East, building the border wall, veterans affairs, criminal justice reform, opioid addiction, government technology, and “reinventing” the entire federal government to make it more efficient—means he spends his time on whatever President Trump wants him to do. Kushner has no 'lane.' He dabbles in everything while being accountable for nothing at all."
Carpenter then turned her eye on Ivanka, who she claims has "her hand directly in the middle of policymaking, business, and money."
"Then there’s Ivanka, who Axios reports is busy lobbying banks for billions" she wrote. "She is playing 'a key role in negotiating small-business provisions in the new rescue bill being planned by the Hill and the White House.' Last year, President Trump said he thought about appointing her to the United Nations and offered her the top position at the World Bank because she’s 'good with numbers. She declined; why would she leave the White House where she’s at the center of all the action?"
As the conservative activist sees it, lack of scrutiny now may mean the country will be saddled with these two for years to come as part of a "multi-generational grift."
"How did we get here? Well, the only reason Jared and Ivanka are in the White House today is that President Trump’s Office of Legal Counsel reversed opinions it had given previous presidents, declaring that federal anti-nepotism statutes don’t apply to jobs in the White House office. Special exceptions for Jared and Ivanka are so standard that it actually would be more helpful to find out what rules do apply to them rather than not," she wrote. "The defining feature of their joint operation involves putting on a nice face while Dad shoves and smashes all manner of norms. They’re Dr. Jekyll. He’s Mr. Hyde. But they’re all running the same game, and they’re all taking the winnings."
"Really, it’s no wonder why Jared and Ivanka fell in love, given their willingness to accommodate and cash in on so much wrongdoing from their fathers. They’re a match that could only be made in the New York City tabloids. It would be much better if they had stayed there. How they help Dad and how Dad helps them may be their business, but it shouldn’t be the country’s. Not unless, that is, we are willing to accept a government of, by, and for the Trumps" Carpenter wrote before adding a warning.
"Does anyone think Jared and Ivanka are going away once Trump leaves office—whether that’s after 2020 or 2024?"