Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 31, 2017--Jack: Be Careful What You Wish For

"Sneaking around again?"

It was Jack who spotted us in Hanniford's parking lot.

"What? We're just here to pick up a few groceries."

"And, I see, a newspaper. I assume your New York Times."

I had it under my arm and pressed it closer to me as if to protect it from him. "Let me have a look. What's this morning's headline, as if I didn't know?" He reached for it and I reflexively backed away. But he managed to grab hold of the paper and extracted it from where I had been attempting to hide it.

He read, "'Inquiries Turn to Why Kushner Met a Putin Ally.' So predictable."

"So true," I said, feeling pounced upon, "I mean about Kushner. What was he . . ."

Jack cut me off, "That's this week's drumbeat--the mainstream media's push to get rid of the son-in-law. To get him to resign and go back in disgrace to New York."

"I don't know about . . ."

"That's what's going on. Haven't you been listening to Morning Joe and all the other MSNBC harpies? And CNN? And then of course the Washington Post? It's all Jared-all-the-time."

"OK, so tell me what he was doing talking to that Russian banker? He's an intimate of Putin's and is on our sanctions list. And this meeting or conversation was before Trump was inaugurated. You think that's not a problem?"

"Maybe not. You think it's a bad idea for us to have a private channel for conversations with the Russians, and especially Putin?"

"Again, you're missing the point. We have one government at a time and this was going on while Obama was still the president. Then there is the issue of Trump and Kushner doing business with this banker, Sergey Gorkov. You're OK with them wheeling and dealing with each other?"

"First of all, this is speculation. No one knows if there were business dealings. And if there were, so what? What would be wrong with that? It was before Trump was sworn in."

"Because, as I said, Gorkov's on the sanctions list which means he's dirty. You want our president and his senior advisor son-in-law doing business with someone like that? With him maybe having something on them that can be used for blackmail?"

"It sounds to me like you've been listening again to your late night talk radio. The programs that are devoted to conspiracy theories."

I said nothing to that but I had been, though all the conspiracies being discussed were right wing ones. "Maybe we'll find out they lied. Trump and Kushner."

"So," Jack said, "how about waiting until then to condemn them and drag them through the mud?"

"The whole business with Russia, and I mean more than business, stinks to the high heavens. There are too many Russian connections between Trump's people and Putin and his henchmen."

"I get it. You want to bring Trump down and think the best way to do that is by demolishing all the people close to him."

Involuntarily, I nodded, "This is the way Nixon was exposed and had to resign."

"So, that's your plan--to get Trump to resign by trashing the reputations of his closest advisors?"

That was essentially true but I did not want to acknowledge that to Jack.

"As the saying goes, 'Be careful what you wish for.' Sometimes it works out that you get what you want and that in turn presents an even bigger problem."

"Go on."

"OK. Like with Nixon, to get Trump you start out be squeezing underlings. For Nixon it was Ehrlichman and Halderman; for Trump Flynn and Manafort. Then you get Kushner in the net and after that Trump himself." He looked at me for further confirmation. "To you and your friends that sound good, right?" I stopped nodding. "So, let me ask you this." He didn't wait for a response, "Kushner and, and this is big, Ivanka both resign and move back to New York. That's the hope?"

"That wouldn't be the worst thing. This business of the two of them right next to the Oval Office gives me the creeps."

"And tell me what the Trump presidency would look like with the two of them run out of town."

I hadn't thought much about that.

"You want him there all alone without his wife--who I predict will say in New York and only show up for glitzy foreign trips and state dinners--and without the two people in the world closest to him and who are the only ones who have a chance of keeping him from doing crazy things? Because, left to his own devices, even I, who still supports him, think he has the capacity to do crazy, even dangerous things."

"This sounds worrisome. That it's only Jared and Ivanka who are keeping him from blowing up the world?"

After a moment, Jack, leaned closer to us and softly said, "That's what I think."

"Then we're cooked," I sighed. This was not what I was wanting to talk about in Hanniford's parking lot on a beautiful Tuesday morning.

"Nepotism is not my favorite thing," Jack said, "But in this case maybe . . ."

A car backing out almost ran into us.

"Enough," I said. "I think I won't read today's paper. Maybe just the sports."

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