Worst Americans: Jared Kushner

Q: What do you get when you mix Christopher Robin, Patrick Bateman, and a historic nepotism scandal into a martini shaker with six olives?

A: The Worst Billy Joel song ever: “Just the Way You Are, Unelected And With Zero Political Legitimacy.”

Currently under investigation, or at least lawyered up (with no legal restrictions and continued full access to classified briefings), Jared Kushner may be the least interesting Person of Interest in the annals of governmental corruption. How does it come to pass in a modern democracy that a man whose presence tends to evoke words like novice, fey, neophyte, and tyro can acquire enormous power by marrying into the most successful grifter family in human history, and while totally unqualified and with zero vetting, is allowed to make policy recommendations that affect the lives of millions of Americans? Just as under the yoke of the late Reagan years, when Ron was sinking into an Alzheimic state and Nancy was making most of the decisions with the help of her astrologer Jeanne Smart, the free world is at this very moment being shaped by an inexperienced pischer for whom not a single vote was cast.

Q: What is Kompromat?

A: Jared Kushner’s new cut-rate dry cleaning chain.

Kushner failed to disclose meetings and phone calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak on his SF-86 form. “Knowingly falsifying or concealing information” on the SF-86, the standard security clearance form signed by senior White House personnel, carries a felony charge. Also, during the presidential transition, Kushner met with the head of a Russian bank under U.S. sanctions, which he also failed to disclose on his form. His explanation for the purpose of the meetings, as well as topics discussed, conflict with what both Russia and the White House say. But even if it were a matter of “doing business” as he claims, despite the fact that Donald Trump has repeatedly said his has “No business deals. None” with Russia, it would still be illegal to make deals with a bank currently under U.S. sanctions.

If Steve Bannon is Rasputin, a man fully capable of surviving being poisoned, lit on fire, and then thrown into the frozen Volga, Kushner is Alex Keaton from Family Ties, except without the intellect, stature, or acting chops. In fact, Kushner’s one verifiable talent may be to remain a cipher within the most chaotic, dysfunctional administration in history. He’s a man with 48k Twitter followers, but hasn’t posted a single time. And why should he, when his father-in-law drives 62% of all traffic with one ludicrous and demonstrably false statement after another? Not since Lewis “Scooter” Libby has one man combined so much power with so little persona, and also a voice that registers high enough in the soprano range that it must be muted while outdoors to keep every dog within a six mile radius from howling in pain.

Q: If Wes Anderson wrote a quirky, off-beat movie about what it’s like having even less gravitas than Wes Anderson, would Jared Kushner be a lock for the role?

A: Some have speculated that Kushner’s much-publicized Afghanistan “fact-finding mission” was actually an excuse to do advance location scouting for The Life Aquatic With Mullah Omar.

In a December meeting with Kislyak, Kushner reportedly discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their discussions from monitoring. Kushner has claimed these actions were a matter of “naivete”, although ex-DIA head Michael Flynn was present. If Christopher Robin thought that using Russian spy equipment to create a secret back-channel to Russian bankers, or even Putin, while subverting American Intelligence agencies was fine because Mike Flynn said so (or at least failed to object to in fluent Russian) he’s even more of terrifyingly credulous than his own estimation of himself.

Q: I heard Jared Kushner has a new rom-com political thriller on F/X.

A: Yup, it’s called I Was A Teenaged Russian Mole Married To A Woman Named Ivanka And No One Noticed!

There is a cool, airless world in which Kushner’s idea of Kushner exists, where poor people drown in Randian dictums and really hard-working prep sch0ol boyz pull themselves up by their Ivanka bootstraps in order to prove their superior DNA by making real estate moves that are forward-thinking and even audacious. With someone else’s money.

If George Bush was born on third and thought he hit a triple, and Donald Trump was born on W. 53rd and thought he groped a stripper, Kushner married his way onto third base and started evicting people from distressed properties bought for pennies on the Kruggerand. In Kushner’s spare time he’s been tasked with solving the Israel/Palestine crisis, the opioid epidemic, and handling relations with both China and Mexico. While this would seem an unrealistic diplomatic and policy caseload for every fictional “senior advisor” in movie and television history combined, it’s apparently not too hubristic for The Kush to strap on a flak jacket and dig into. Hell, it’s only been half a year and he’s already managed treason, perjury, and a full FBI investigation, so why not be ambitious?

Q: Say String Theory is true. In an alternate universe where this country wasn’t such a divided mess, and our political system hopelessly fractured, what would Jared Kushner be doing?

A: Ten years hard labor as a cabana boy at the Fiji Sandals. Either that, or everyone’s favorite tier puppy in Leavenworth.

 

Sean Beaudoin

About Sean Beaudoin

Sean Beaudoin (@seanbeaudoin) is the author of five novels, including The Infects and Wise Young Fool. His new short story collection, Welcome Thieves, is just out with Algonquin Books.
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4 Responses to Worst Americans: Jared Kushner

  1. Sneed Urn says:

    As a more radically thinking progressive I have to say this sort of ad hominem attack only makes things worse. It is a distraction from what needs to be done.
    (And it is not even a well done attack.)
    This makes the author look bad along with the subject.
    Please keep your eye on the ball.
    The Ball is ending systemic corruption. First in the democratic party and when those waters are actually clean and attractive to swim in…reclaiming our government from control by the financial .01% elite. ONLY when that is accomplished, will anything else progressive be accomplished in a real and lasting way. And there is so much injustice to make right. Until that is done all the other issues are just throwing away resources. Keep your eye on the ball.

    • Don and Jenny Armbruster Seanbeaudoin says:

      The ball is probably not capitalizing “The Ball.” The term “systemic corruption” implies that corruption can never be extricated from the system. The author is okay looking bad along with the subject as it is more a humor piece than a progressive’s action plan. If you think the government can ever be reclaimed from the financial elite, you’ve been reading too much Ayn Rand and not enough Herodotus. Keep your eye on your level of self-importance.

      • sneed urn, not Sneed Urn. Sorry. says:

        Doubling down! I admire your commitment. Still more ad hominem and even less The Ball. Or “the ball” if “The Ball” is too loud for your delicate ears. Easy to accommodate that.
        You infer corruption can’t be extricated if it is systemic. That is not inherent in the words nor the idea. A person might recover from a systemic disease if the right medical treatment is applied, if that analogy helps you at all.
        Ayn Rand and objectivism and subsequent libertarianism all count as loathsome negative inspiration to me. Not sure why you would take her as a my guiding light. Nonetheless, yes, I admit to an optimistic streak for the success of democracy, despite the “lessons” of nearly all of history and the current grip of the financial elite on politics and media.
        Finally, I will be sure to double my self-flagellation at your suggestion of self importance. Sorry.

      • Flyingklutz says:

        Well said!

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