Friday, March 02, 2018


A New York Times story titled "Trump’s Chaos Theory for the Oval Office Is Taking Its Toll" tells us the following about the president's relationship with his son-in-law and favorite daughter:
... Mr. Trump is also frustrated with Mr. Kushner, whom he now views as a liability because of his legal entanglements, the investigations of the Kushner family’s real estate company and the publicity over having his security clearance downgraded, according to two people familiar with his views. In private conversations, the president vacillates between sounding regretful that Mr. Kushner is taking arrows and annoyed that he is another problem to deal with.

Privately, some aides have expressed frustration that Mr. Kushner and his wife, the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, have remained at the White House, despite Mr. Trump at times saying they never should have come to the White House and should leave. Yet aides also noted that Mr. Trump has told the couple that they should keep serving in their roles, even as he has privately asked Mr. Kelly for his help in moving them out.
I've come to accept what once seemed a preposterous notion: that a man whose best-known public act prior to running for president was saying "You're fired" on reality television, and whose supporters voted for him precisely because they regard him as a swaggering tough guy who can whip America and the world into shape, is literally too terrified to fire subordinates he's hired. I didn't believe it at first, but now I do.

However, Ivanka isn't, first and foremost, Trump's subordinate -- she's his favorite daughter. He can't get her to leave? And her husband? I don't mean he should fire them. I mean he should call them into his office and say regretfully, "Kids, I love you, but I don't think this is working out for any of us. You two are terrific, but I need to go in a different direction. How long do you think you'll need to wind down what you're doing here?" (Whatever that is.)

I'm writing as if this is a normal situation and these are normal people. Obviously, it's an extraordinarily abnormal situation. But Trump has a relationship with his daughter that (for all its weirdness) seems more or less human. So why can't he do this?

He's not a big, decisive tough guy. He's afraid of his own child and her husband. Or maybe he's a spoiled child who's gone years without having to do anything unpleasant that he didn't want to do, and he just can't bring himself to act now.

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