(Late) Monday Smackdown: Tom Friedman Really Should Have Retired 20 Years Ago Edition

(Late) Monday Smackdown: Observing Jared Kushner Beat Sweeteners Edition

Jared Kushner beat sweetener by Glenn Thrush, Maggie Haberman and Sharon LaFraniere—all the news that flatters our sources, because we think being a trustworthy information intermediary is for real losers:

Scott Lemieux: Hey, Harvard Doesn't Sell Its Degrees to Just Anyone!: "Truly, the reincarnation of Machiavelli walks among us... http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/05/hey-harvard-doesnt-just-sell-degrees-anyone

...“My job is to put him in a good place,” Mr. Kushner told another person he spoke to before embarking on the Middle East leg of Mr. Trump’s trip, which he planned.

...Often, that entails soothing Mr. Trump. Other times, he serves as a goad, as he did in urging Mr. Comey’s ouster and assuring Mr. Trump that it would be a political “win” that would neutralize protesting Democrats because they had called for Mr. Comey’s ouster over his handling of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, according to six West Wing aides.

And if only everybody in the Democratic Party was Michael Kinsley, it would have worked!

Still, he’s totally a SUPERGENIUS — just ask him!

He is intensely proud of his accomplishments in the private sector and has repeatedly suggested his tenure in Washington will hurt, not help, his brand and bottom line.

That unfailing self-regard has not endeared him to the rest of the staff. Resentful Trump staff members have long talked about “Jared Island” to describe the special status occupied by Mr. Kushner, who, in their view, is given license to exercise power and take on a vague portfolio — “Middle East peace” and “innovation” are its central components — without suffering the consequences of failure visited by the president on mere hirelings.

Well, if you work in the White House you’ve already agreed to work for an idiot heir who is convinced he’s brilliant, so what’s another one?...

With bonus Michael Kinsley still has no friends to help him:

Scott Lemieux: Time For Some Game Theory Smarmy Apologism For Donald Trump [3/150]: "The New York Times op-ed page came up with a particularly inane concept... http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2017/05/time-game-theory-smarmy-apologism-donald-trump-3150

...have readers try to identify nice things to say about the unfathomably corrupt man-child currently embarked on a crusade to strip insurance from 24 million people. Astonishingly, the execution is even worse than the very-definition-of-smarmy concept...

For honest liberals, there is a hypocrisy trap here...

No there isn’t.... This argument hasn’t gotten any less transparently stupid than when every fourth-rate Republican hack trotted it out last week. Indeed, it’s exactly the kind of intelligence-insulting illogic that the 1986 version of Kinsley would have mercilessly decimated. “Comey’s election tampering was a firable offense but firing Comey to obstruct justice is extremely bad” is an entirely coherent position — there’s nothing contradictory or hypocritical about it, at all.

I will say that we were less fans of the 1986 version than Scott. Our view then of the 1986 New Republic was that people who had decided it was worth selling their souls to get a platform by catering to the bigotries and idiocies of Marty Peretz might be clever but were not wise. I think that history has confirmed our view.