Oh noez! Jared and Ivanka are not happy.
Seems some gaggle of wealthy, well-connected #NeverTrumpers started a PAC last year called The Lincoln Project. These self-styled “ex-Republicans” just put up two billboards in Times Square:
In case it’s hard to make out in the image, on one billboard Ivanka is smiling blithely while gesturing toward bold block print:
On the other billboard, Jared smiles smugly next to a quote:
“[NEW YORKERS] ARE GOING TO
AND THAT’S THEIR PROBLEM.”
Ivanka’s numbers are low, but that’s understandable considering the pandemic is still spreading unchecked and fatalities are climbing daily. Maybe The Lincoln Project should have sprung for a setup like the national debt clock that keeps a running tally? Otherwise, the messaging is spot on. The Kushners, as everyone knows, are
Senior Advisers soulless incompetents with an outsize influence on the president of the United States of Assholes, and thus they share the blame for the exceptionally high US death toll from COVID-19.
Apparently, the Kushners do not like Times Square billboards reminding everyone that they are, in fact, conservatives with power. Conservatives with power always fuck shit up and make the world waaay worse for everyone (except themselves and a tiny fraction of other humans). I mean, this is just objectively true and I honestly don’t understand how anyone with even a tenuous connection to reality can deny it. Bush-Cheney, anyone? Conservative majorities on the Supreme Court? The conservatives running the Democratic Party? Mitch McConnell?
And yet, instead of claiming their rightful place in the long, proud tradition of conservatives causing needless suffering and senseless death on an epic scale, Ivanka and Jared are threatening to sue The Lincoln Project for libel:
“Those ads show Ms. Trump smiling and gesturing toward a death count of Americans and New Yorkers, and attribute to Mr. Kushner the statement that “[New Yorkers] are going to suffer and that’s their problem.”
“Of course, Mr. Kushner never made any such statement, [and] Ms. Trump never made any such gesture,” [their lawyer Mark] Kasowitz wrote. He called the billboards “outrageous and shameful libel.”
“If these billboards are not immediately removed, we will sue you for what will doubtless be enormous compensatory and punitive damages,” Kasowitz wrote.
This is all amusing. Even I know that 1) political speech is rather well-protected by the First Amendment, 2) public figures face a significantly higher bar for libel claims than ordinary citizens, and 3) truth is a libel defense. Their attorney Mark Kasowitz has a reputation as a shark’s shark, so I think we can say with a high degree of confidence that he knows these things about libel law too. And maybe even more things! Things that also tank this libel case right out of the gate!
But that’s not the best part of this story. The best part is the statement The Lincoln Project put out in response on Twitter. Behold, for every single line is a thing of beauty:
The level of indignant outrage Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump have shown towards The Lincoln Project for exposing their indifference for the more than 223,000 people who have lost their lives due to their reckless mismanagement of COVID-19 is comical. While we truly enjoy living rent free in their heads, their empty threats will not be taken any more seriously than we take Ivanka and Jared.
It is unsurprising than an administration that has never had any regard or understanding of our Constitution would try to trample on our first amendment rights, but we fully intend on making this civics lesson as painful as possible. Jared and Ivanka have always been entitled, out-of-touch bullies who have never given the slightest indication they have any regard for the American people. We plan on showing them the same level of respect.
The billboards will stay up. We consider it important that in Times Square, the crossroads of the world, people are continuously reminded of the cruelty, audacity, and staggering lack of empathy the Trumps and the Kushners have displayed toward the American people.
If I were religious, I’d be on my knees right now praying this goes to court. Shit, if it’s in the Southern District of New York I might even go. In the meantime, I think the least we can do is show Jared and Ivanka the same amount of empathy and compassion they’ve shown us.
Speaking of soulless incompetents, while I was writing this I got an email alert from our good friends at The Washington Post:
Trump privately told donors it would be ‘very tough’ for GOP to hold Senate, saying: ‘I don’t want to help some of them’
“I think the Senate is tough, actually. The Senate is very tough,” President Trump said at a fundraiser Thursday at the Nashville Marriott, according to an attendee who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the event was a closed-door gathering. “There are a couple senators I can’t really get involved in. I just can’t do it. You lose your soul if you do. I can’t help some of them. I don’t want to help some of them.”
Wouldn’t want Trump to lose his soul (!!!) AND the Republican Senate, now would we? This will go over big with the Republican megadonors I AM SURE. Not to worry though, I’m sure they’re buying up Democratic Senatators and candidates as you read this.
Heckuva job, conservatives. We’ve still got ten days to the election, so keep up the good work!