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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Twisted Trumps

by digby

If you read nothing else today, take the time to read this piece by McKay Coppins about the "Trump Dynasty."   You'll recall that the other day, the Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale told an audience that he believed this family was immensely talented and predicted that they would carry on in politics for some time to come. It turns out they believe that too. And they are fighting among themselves for who gets the title. 

He starts off by going back to the beginning of this "dynasty" to Trump's grandfather, who made his money as a German immigrant catering to the miners in the Klondike during the gold rush. (Who knew?) Then there was Fred, Trump's daddy, who wa all know was a real piece of work. And then Donald. His kids, like virtually all 3rd generation heirs to fortunes, are pretty much duds, as we can see. But they've each taken very different approaches to the succession.

Interestingly, Eric turns out to be the businessman. He's the one running the Trump Organization (which means people should pay closer attention to what he's doing.) Don Jr and Ivanka are fighting it out over who is going to be the heir to Trump's cult.  And guess what? Trump might favor Ivanka, but the folks love Don Jr.

Here's a taste:
Watching trump’s children appear on Fox News, one gets the sense that they’re still auditioning for their father’s affection. Ivanka speaks in dulcet tones about how proud, so proud, she is of her dad. Don bashes the “fake-news media” with performative force. Eric, the least camera-ready of the three, clings to talking points, lavishing praise on Trump whenever he gets stuck. (In an interview earlier this year, Eric repeated variations of “He’s the greatest guy in the world” in such reverential tones that even Sean Hannity seemed uncomfortable with the obsequiousness.) 
Trump watches these segments from the West Wing and offers a running commentary to whoever is around, according to a former aide. His attitude toward each of his adult children on any given day is shaped by how they are playing on cable news. Ivanka tends to draw rave reviews, while Don’s are more mixed, with the president muttering things like “Why did he say that?” and “He doesn’t know what he’s doing.” Recently, though, his perspective on his two oldest children seems to have shifted. 
In June, Ivanka accompanied her father to Osaka, Japan, for the G20 summit. After the meetings, the French government posted a video clip that showed the president’s daughter standing amid a gaggle of side-eyeing world leaders as she tried awkwardly to force her way into the conversation. The clip went viral, spawning a hashtag—#UnwantedIvanka—and a wave of parody Photoshops inserting her into great moments in history: mugging for the camera at the March on Washington, grinning next to Winston Churchill at Yalta. News outlets around the world covered the snub. Pundits called it a damning indictment of Trump’s nepotism, while foreign-policy experts argued that Ivanka’s lack of credibility could harm U.S. diplomacy. A quote from an anonymous Indian diplomat recirculated in the media: “We regard Ivanka Trump the way we do half-wit Saudi princes.” 
The episode laid bare the depth of Ivanka’s miscalculation. She had thought when her father took office that the surest path to power and status was to plant herself in the West Wing and mingle with the global elite. But after two and a half years of trying to burnish her credentials as a geopolitical player, Ivanka had become an international punch line. There was, it turned out, no market for a genteel brand of Trumpism. 
Don, meanwhile, threw himself into his father’s reelection campaign, while quietly plotting his own future. According to Republicans familiar with the discussions, he considered running for office somewhere in the Mountain West, where his love of guns and hunting could help woo voters. A privately commissioned poll in Montana—passed around enthusiastically among Don’s inner circle—showed that 75 percent of the state’s Republicans viewed him favorably. In April, it was announced that Guilfoyle would join the Trump campaign as a senior adviser. 
While Don mulled his options, some allies talked him up as a potential chairman of the Republican National Committee. Others suggested he launch a right-wing political outfit that would allow him to hold rallies and bestow endorsements. The word kingmaker started getting tossed around.
Read the whole article. It delves deeply into Trump's dysfunctional relationship with the kids and their own twisted ambition. To be honest, Don Jr comes off as the most sympathetic, even though he's a grotesque right wing pig. His is a story of someone who finally found his niche in life after being forced to live in Princess Ivanka's shadow.

She is, apparently, an icy robot who has spent her life currying her creepy father's affection. Of course, who really knows what that's about ...