Friday, April 03, 2020


Michelle Goldberg is right.
Jared Kushner Is Going to Get Us All Killed

Reporting on the White House’s herky-jerky coronavirus response, Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman has a quotation from Jared Kushner that should make all Americans, and particularly all New Yorkers, dizzy with terror.

According to Sherman, when New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, said that the state would need 30,000 ventilators at the apex of the coronavirus outbreak, Kushner decided that Cuomo was being alarmist. “I have all this data about I.C.U. capacity,” Kushner reportedly said. “I’m doing my own projections, and I’ve gotten a lot smarter about this. New York doesn’t need all the ventilators.” (Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top expert on infectious diseases, has said he trusts Cuomo’s estimate.)

Even now, it’s hard to believe that someone with as little expertise as Kushner could be so arrogant, but he said something similar on Thursday, when he made his debut at the White House’s daily coronavirus briefing: “People who have requests for different products and supplies, a lot of them are doing it based on projections which are not the realistic projections.”
And then there's this:

What does that even mean? Apart from residents of D.C. and various territories, all Americans live in states. So who is the stockpiled equipment for?

We know that even now, facing a six-figure and possibly seven-figure death toll, the president cares about how he looks, not how good a job he's doing. Which is why I'm puzzled that he's turned this over to Jared.

Americans don't like Jared. That was obvious as far back as 2017.
The husband of Ivanka Trump is viewed favorably by just 22 percent of American voters, with 36 percent having an unfavorable opinion, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll....
By 2018, his numbers in an Economist/YouGov poll were even worse.
... Kushner had a favorability rating of 25 percent in January 2017, compared with 29 percent who looked at him in a negative light. Since then, not only has the percentage of those viewing him favorably seen a modest drop, to 22 percent, but his unfavorability percentage now stands at a massive 42 percent.
By March 2019, his favorable rating had risen to 27% in a YouGov poll, but his unfavorable rating was up to 45%, including 32% "very unfavorable," which exceeded his "very favorable" (12%) and "somewhat favorable" (15%) numbers combined.

And then there was Kushner's "E-Score" from a firm called E-Poll Market Research. A 2019 report said it wasn't good.
... Mr. Kushner['s] overall strong positive appeal was 6 percent and ... overall strong negative appeal was 36 percent....

Mr. Kushner scored highest for the attributes of “insincere” (29 percent), “creepy” (27 percent) and “overexposed” (22 percent). He was lowest in terms of “exciting,” “glamorous” and “emotional,” rating 1 percent in those categories.
So why does Trump put Jared in charge of, well, practically everything? I can only guess that it's because Jared is a stupid person's idea of a smart person, the stupid person being the president. Unlike Trump, who doesn't read and therefore doesn't know anything (but who seems to pride himself on "street smarts," or something like that), Jared looks and talks like a well-read Ivy League preppy. He clearly believes he's capable of mastering any subject. To Trump, he must seem like the Professor on Gilligan's Island -- an expert on everything.

I also suspect -- I have to tread carefully here -- that Trump believes Jared is smart because Jared is Jewish. I'm basing this on a years of exposure to white bigots from the urban Northeast -- among their prejudices, as a rule, is a belief that all Jews are smart. Recall what John O'Donnell, who used to run a Trump casino, told us Trump said about African-Americans who worked for the Trump Organization as accountants:
And isn’t it funny, I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else.
Jared is tall, but I don't think height is the key factor.

Trump's M.O. is to delegate all the hard stuff to uncharismatic people who don't seem to mind sweating details. In Jared, he seems to have someone who's eager to sweat details -- of everything. But Trump can't judge competence, especially in running the country, which he knows even less about than he knows about business. So we're stuck with Jared, and we're all gonna die.

Until we do, though, Democrats should focus America's attention on Jared. I know that many voters tie themselves in knots trying to persuade themselves that the thrice-married, porn-star-shtupping, pussy-grabbing president is a great Christian, that his billionaire status doesn't prevent him from being the salt of the earth, that he's a good ol' boy even though he was until recently a lifelong New Yorker. But Jared? The right hates "elitists" -- can even conservative voters find a way to tell themselves that Jared is down to earth and one of them? Trump at least talks like Archie Bunker -- I'm convinced that he'd never have won GOP voters' favor without that Queens accent, which always reads as non-posh. Jared doesn't have that. Jared doesn't come off in any way as ordinary. While we're still (barely) breathing, can't we make him a liability for Trump?

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