Ivanka Trump: ‘The Tail That Wags The Dog’
Power struggle brewing in the White House. Fate of Trump presidency may rest on family ties vs. the ideological pull of Stephen K. Bannon.
Before readers criticize the title of this piece as being a subliminal, sexual reference to Ivanka Trump as a “piece of tail” — I would remind them that Donald Trump has set himself up for such observations, with his numerous, creepy statements (and suggestive photos) highlighting the sexual allure of his own daughter; even going so far as agreeing with radio Shock Jock, Howard Stern that: It’s okay to call my daughter a ‘piece of ass,’ in a 2004 interview (audio).
That being said; now — 13-years later — America is witnessing something never before seen in a presidential administration; the outsized influence of a president’s child (and her young, politically inexperienced husband) on government policy, both foreign and domestic. In various interviews, Ivanka Kushner, 35, had first decried any direct involvement in government or the Trump Administration, claiming she merely wanted to be “a daughter” — then accepting a dual role as de facto First Lady (whenever a media-shy Melania Trump is unavailable), and as an unpaid “adviser” to the President. First on women and women’s health issues,…and now apparently, even with regard to critical foreign policy issues like the recent chemical attack on civilians in Syria’s six-year civil war.
Nepotism (in government) is illegal, but President Trump has decided it doesn’t apply to the White House:
“By all accounts, she was a capable lieutenant to her father at the Trump Organization, where she oversaw global expansion and the development of the president’s hotel in Washington, DC’s Old Post Office building. Still, this is not the type of résumé most White House jobs are built on. She’ll have access to well-guarded information about national security, and, according to Politico, her portfolio of issues won’t be confined to the family policy she spent most of her campaign trail time discussing.
Ivanka Trump’s role, her lawyer told Politico, is to be her father’s “eyes and ears” in the White House. In an administration that spent its first two months riven by very public leaks and infighting, Trump has apparently decided, as he did in his business career, that his own children are the only people he can really trust.” (Vox)
As has been reported by numerous media sources, there is now an ongoing power struggle brewing within the Trump Administration over which camp will prevail in influencing the direction, extent, and tone taken by a new, inexperienced president who seemingly has no real ideological compass of his own. Most recently demonstrated by the 180-degree reversal of his strong, oft-repeated position urging NO American military involvement in Syria; then ordering a cruise missile strike — perhaps at the urging of his daughter — over the objection of forces led by Stephen Bannon, now engaged in various policy squabbles with Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, who has quickly emerged as Trump’s closest confidant and ‘go to’ trouble-shooting fixer without any (formal) diplomatic portfolio or experience.
I have written previously about the curious (i.e., politically convenient) reversal vis-à-vis President Trump’s sudden, quite dramatic shift in national policy and priorities with respect to our military posture in the Middle East; namely our response, a retaliatory strike against the Syrian Air Force, for the recent chemical attack on civilians. But now,…we have a new and a rather troubling family dynamic injected into the debate. And that is the inordinate emotional influence — of a favored daughter on a president who seems to fall easy prey to the whims and predilections of members of his own family,…even above the sage advice of his far more experienced diplomats, our intelligence community, and the military brass.
I find it almost as troubling as the nativist “deconstruct government” influence of one Stephen K. Bannon, and the stark dichotomy in policy positions between Bannon and First Son-in-Law, Jared Kushner,…added to the general incompetence (and incoherence) of President Donald J. Trump.