Despite every piece of evidence heavily signaling that the environment is about to be irrevocably fucked by the Trump administration, the president’s daughter and son-in-law continued to show that they are becoming frighteningly adept at normalizing this presidency by nudging Trump away from exiting the Paris climate accord despite Scott Pruitt’s insistence to do just that or else he’ll revert back to his natural state as the smog monster from Fern Gully.
It’s another chapter in the new Kinder, Gentler Trump Saga (Now With 40% Less Steve Bannon!) where his savvy children have learned that they merely need to give off the - probably true - impression that Trump isn’t doing a goddamn thing except getting mad at the TV 140 characters at a time and occasionally being allowed to look like he’s playing the most pants-shittingly terrifying version of Battleship ever created. Have you heard of the Axis of Adults yet? You're supposed to so you can sleep at night knowing that an impulsive, sentient kumquat isn’t making any real decisions, and not worry if he spends every morning trying to dismantle the entire American mainstream media. He’ll get bored after he has his oatmeal.
But as Jack Holmes points out over at Esquire, while America is staying in the Paris accord — and more importantly, making those sweet, “more restrained Trump” headlines — Jared Kushner paved the way for Rex Tillerson and others to replace every Obama climate change initiative with weaker, “industry-friendly” alternatives, yet without going out of bounds of the accord. So on the surface, it seems like America is witnessing a softer, more moderate Trump, but behind the scenes, we’re being knifed in the ass by die-hard right wingers who know how to play the Game of Thrones from the shadows instead of bleating to the world about it on goddamn Twitter.
Except here’s the depressing part: These types of moves aren’t meant to sway Republican voters because there’s no need to. The Washington Post recently dropped a cold, hard dose of reality on liberals like myself who just assumed Trump is losing momentum and has to be a universal joke by now. He’s not. He’s not at all. Republicans still love him, and the few that are tired of his antics barely constitute a movement. Five Thirty Eight all-but-seconded those findings today with its own research. And, honestly, none of this should come as a surprise because it’s not like vast swaths of America suddenly got smarter since November.
So if Jared and Ivanka’s PR game doesn’t need to win over Republicans, then what the hell they are doing? My guess: manufacturing apathy. Which isn’t going to be hard to do because Yonatan Zunger called it in his absolutely brilliant, must-read essay “Trial Balloon for a Coup?” We’re witnessing “resistance fatigue.” With a willing press who can’t wait to play the Both Sides game, or chase the pivot narrative at the drop of a hat, the Left is only going to look more and more unhinged if Trump’s children continue to give off the facade of a more stable White House that’s willing to compromise. Which glosses over the terrifying fact that Trump’s children are running the goddamn government. That’s called Sultanism, which is ironic because it’s being swallowed by xenophobic hoopleheads who want to send every Muslim back to the Middle East and nuke it from orbit. On top of that, for a guy who campaigned on “China raping our country,” Ivanka doesn’t seem to mind securing Chinese trademarks after Daddy met with them. But like I said, it’s not like America’s gotten smarter.
So what can the Left — and honestly anyone who cares about democracy — do while these clowns manipulate the press into normalizing a blatant kleptocracy stuffed to the gills with grift and a newfound lust for death from above?
Keep doing exactly what you’re doing.
Expose these assholes. Don’t stop digging because there is a shitpile waiting to be unearthed. And especially do things like calling for Jared Kushner’s security clearance to be revoked for “conveniently” forgetting to list all the Russian bankers/spies he’s had meetings with presumably to hide said shitpile. I mean, Jesus Christ, he actually thought he’d get away with that. And so far has! Which should piss you off.
Hold onto that.