Trumps gutting of clean power scheme should throw the in Ivanka we trust narrative to couch once and for all
No sooner had Donald Trump been elected president than talk of his daughter Ivanka as the great liberal hope began. In recent months this kind of thinly veiled desperation, has spanned any number of areas, from womens health and homosexual rights, to climate change. With Ivanka formally joining the White House as an official government employee, its time we find the Ivanka-as-mitigator narrative for what it is: a fiction.
The move, first reported by the New York Times, is broadly seen as an effort to quell criticism that Ivankas informal advisory role set her odds with federal ethics standards. But in the following statement to the Times, a Trump spokeswoman underlined something else specifically that Ivankas new post affords her increased opportunities to lead initiatives driving real policy advantages for the American public that would not have been available to her previously.
Trump has long sought to cast his daughter as the better angel of his nature, using her smooth, more moderate image to reaching beyond his base. Her official role with the White House will give new credence to this narrative. Dont be fooled this time. Theres far too much evidence to the contrary.
During the campaign Ivanka used soft-focus feminism to cover for her fathers boorish mistreatment of women, even referring to him as a feminist at one point. She also touted a parental leave policy that, while arguably forward-looking when juxtaposed with her fathers overt sexism, didnt actually offer benefits to parents simply mothers.( In Ivankas peculiar brand of feminism, raising children is exclusively womens job .)
And with every happen period it seems the notion of Ivanka as Trumps triangulator get more absurd.
Speaking the day after Trumps decision to tear up Obamas clean power scheme, Jennifer Granholm, who built renewable energy a top priority during her tenure as the first female governor of Michigan, mentioned: If she was going to be helpful, yesterday would have been the instance of how helpful she was going to be She did nothing, obviously.
Ivanka was reportedly looking to carve out one of her signature issues as an informal consultant and surrogate to her father-god. Now months later, we have even less reason to believe it.
Since Trump was elected, Ivanka has done very little to justify her moderate image on climate or anywhere else, even as shes been showered with praise. When reports surfaced back in February that she and her husband helped kill a proposed draft executive ordering to scurry Obama-era LGBT protections, for example, the Times ran the tale with a glamorous photo of the couple dancing away inauguration night. But its unclear how close Trump ever genuinely came to signing an ordering that in 2017 is very likely to carry very unfavorable political repercussions.
What is clear is that crediting Ivanka for nebulous progressive wins like allegedly stopping homophobic legislation that might have existed allows Trump to hurl red meat to his base while preserving the mythic appeal of Ivanka for the disenchanted. This isnt triangulation as Trump would have us believe it isnt even moderation. Its simply obfuscation.
And weve learnt it elsewhere too. Back in December, Ivanka met with Al Gore in Trump Tower, and in the months that followed rumors swirled that she and her husband Jared Kushner could be a moderating influence on Trumps climate change policy. But like everything else she was purportedly going to attain Trump more moderate on, her much-hyped influence is nowhere to be seen.
That Trump built no mention of the US formally withdrawing from the Paris agreement( the 2015 agreement between approximately 200 countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions) in his regressive climate executive action is already being cast yet again as an example of the moderating force of Ivanka.
It shouldnt be. Trump has already signaled hell do everything he can to hamstring Americas ability to follow through on its commitment to the global community of cutting emissions 26% to 28% by 2025. And if Trumps not formally exiting Paris, its probably because he gets that it would destroy US credibility abroad and he would do it, essentially, for nothing a bad deal, in Trumps terms.
Jamie Henn, a spokesman for environmental group 350. org, indicated on Wednesday that if Ivanka has something to say about Trumps record she should do so in public , not tiptoe around behind the scenes. Until she speaks out against her fathers unconscionable attacks on our air, water and climate she doesnt deserve any clapping from the press or public, he mentioned. Hes right.
If this is what it looks like for Trump to act with the moderating force of Ivanka in his ear, shes no moderating force at all.
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