Kushner 'Democrats' rising, Bannon 'nationalists' falling in Trump White House
Steve Bannon is said to be in the ideological fight of his life with President Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and not winning at the moment.
Thick with tension, the conversation this week between Stephen K. Bannon, the chief White House strategist, and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, had deteriorated to the point of breakdown.
Finally, Mr. Bannon identified why they could not compromise, according to someone with knowledge of the conversation. "Here's the reason there's no middle ground," Mr. Bannon growled. "You're a Democrat."
While alliances have been fluid in this White House, Mr. Kushner is joined by more centrist-minded advisers including not only his wife, Ivanka Trump, who now has her own West Wing office, but also Gary Cohn, the president's national economics adviser, and Dina Powell, a deputy national security adviser, both veterans of Goldman Sachs.
It's unfortunate that President Trump has filled his administration with Goldman Sachs liberals like Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. And when the NYT calls someone a "centrist," you know what that really means.
Mr. Kushner and the others are said to be especially concerned about the geyser of bad headlines that have marked the president's first two and a half months in office. They have resisted many of the more polarizing policy initiatives favored by Mr. Bannon's side, including the travel ban and rollbacks of environmental regulation and of protections for transgender students, arguing that they undercut Mr. Trump's election night pledge to be a president for all Americans.
"This isn't about palace intrigue," Laura Ingraham, the conservative radio host and author who was one of Mr. Trump's earliest backers, said in an interview. "This is about a full-scale assault against the Trump agenda from within. If the president allows this to continue and drifts away from his key pledges, he risks losing his core constituency and any hope of a second term."
It's sad that President Trump has chosen to allocate authority based on nepotism, especially when the end result is a very liberal adviser with the president's ear in the White House. One wonders how things could have been different if Ivanka had been attracted to a conservative man, or if Eric, Donald Jr., or Tiffany was a conservative free-market enthusiast. In that case, the president's inclinations to award family members important government posts might have rebounded to the nation's benefit.
Kushner's ascent might explain why President Trump supports keeping much of Obamacare in place, or why he is letting more Syrian refugees in while he promised on the campaign to send the ones already here home.
What do you think? If President Trump had more conservative children and sons-in-law, do you think he would have tried to repeal Obamacare in its entirety?
Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.