As Donald Trump flails about angrily in response to the impeachment inquiry currently underway, we learn that the person he has assigned to oversee the defense is his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Kushner is yet another example of someone who has got where he is because of his immense privilege. He is the son of a wealthy father who got into Harvard university under highly dubious circumstances, as reported by Daniel Golden.
My book exposed a grubby secret of American higher education: that the rich buy their under-achieving children’s way into elite universities with massive, tax-deductible donations. It reported that New Jersey real estate developer Charles Kushner had pledged $2.5 million to Harvard University in 1998, not long before his son Jared was admitted to the prestigious Ivy League school. At the time, Harvard accepted about one of every nine applicants. (Nowadays, it only takes one out of twenty.)
I also quoted administrators at Jared’s high school, who described him as a less than stellar student and expressed dismay at Harvard’s decision.
“There was no way anybody in the administrative office of the school thought he would on the merits get into Harvard,” a former official at The Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey, toldme. “His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it. We thought for sure, there was no way this was going to happen. Then, lo and behold, Jared was accepted. It was a little bit disappointing because there were at the time other kids we thought should really get in on the merits, and they did not.”
Kushner then went into his father’s real estate business where he used all the tactics of a slumlord in trying to get tenants evicted.
His biggest success in failing upwards was marrying the daughter of a lying, deadbeat, real estate developer named Donald Trump. Trump, despite his “great and unmatched wisdom”, seems undeterred by the fact that Kushner has failed in every task that he had assigned to him.
The presidential son-in-law has so far failed in high-profile assignments to bring peace to the Middle East, come up with a grand compromise on immigration and get America to kick its opioid habit.
He also famously advised Trump to fire FBI Director James Comey, leading to the Russia collusion investigation that crippled most of the president’s first three years in office.
What could possibly go wrong? As Republican operative Rick Wilson turned Trump critic says, ““I mean, since he solved the Middle East Peace question and the opioid crisis, Jared’s been a little under-occupied.”
Kushner may be very loyal to Trump but he has yet to show any sign of competence other than in grifting. While that means he is a perfect fit in the Trump family, that may not be what trump should be looking for in his lead impeachment defender.
The trailer for the film 1979 Being There captures the amazement of the Peter Sellers character Chance the gardener’s childhood caretaker who, seeing him all over the TV, cannot believe that the utterly inept and ignorant child she brought up has so many people convinced that he is some kind of genius. Her final comment at the 2:15 mark is priceless and captures why people like Kushner can keep failing up.