On the Media's Outrageous Insistence That Ivanka Is a "Moderating Influence" on Her Father

There is another big profile of Ivanka Trump in the New York Times today, "Ivanka Trump's West Wing Agenda." I'm not going to link to it; it's easy enough to find if you're so inclined.

I want to highlight this passage, because it so perfectly and terribly illustrates what despicable foolery it is to imagine that Ivanka is a "moderating" influence, or knowledgeable about the "women's issues" on which she's the Trump administration's expert, or any more decent or humble a human being than her odious father.

[NB: Not only cis women need access to abortion.]
During the campaign, Ms. Trump successfully pushed her father to praise Planned Parenthood from a Republican debate stage, a moment that created a stir at the time because of the party's broad opposition to the organization's abortion services. But more recently, with congressional Republicans threatening to cut all funding to Planned Parenthood (even though the women's health organization says it receives no federal funding for abortions), Ms. Trump approached its president, Cecile Richards, to start a broader dialogue. She also had a proposal: Planned Parenthood should split in two, Ms. Trump suggested, with a smaller arm to provide abortions and a larger one devoted to women's health services.

White House officials said Ms. Trump was trying to find a common-sense solution amid the roar of abortion politics. But Planned Parenthood officials said they thought Ms. Trump's advice was naïve, failing to understand how central reproductive choice was to the group's mission. Ms. Richards sharply criticized Ms. Trump for not publicly objecting to the Republican health care bill that failed in March, and Ms. Trump felt stung.

Speaking generally, Ms. Trump complained in the interview that many advocacy groups were "so wedded to the headline of the issue that sometimes differing perspectives and new information, when brought to the table, are viewed as an inconvenience because it undermines the thesis."
First, a quick aside about the language published by the Times here: That parenthetical—"even though the women's health organization says it receives no federal funding for abortions"—is doing a lot of work, suggesting, right in line with anti-choice rhetoric, that Planned Parenthood merely claims a firewall on federal funding, but does not actually impose one. There is no reason, aside from a gross agenda, not to cite that the Hyde Amendment stipulates federal funding cannot be used for abortion (with very limited exceptions). This is bad reporting, which does not inform a reader of the law, and it is sinister garbage.

Getting back to Ivanka, it is deeply troubling that she sets abortion outside of healthcare, as if they are mutually exclusive things. They are not. Abortion is healthcare.

That principle is such a fundamental piece of robust pro-choice advocacy that it is absurd to imagine that Ivanka Trump could be a "moderating" force on reproductive rights in the Trump White House.

She imagines that wrenching apart "abortion" and "women's health services" is a "common-sense solution" for Planned Parenthood, which is utterly contemptible, both in its symbolic commentary on abortion and its aggressive superciliousness.

She further imagines that Cecile Richards—CECILE RICHARDS!—has something to learn from her "differing perspectives and new information." NEW INFORMATION! Ivanka Trump thinks she's bringing CECILE RICHARDS NEW INFORMATION on abortion!

*insert here all the mirthless laughter in the entire multiverse*

This is exactly the same ignorance, arrogance, certitude, and indignance at the lack of appreciation for ill-informed ideas that is demonstrated by Donald Trump. No one who exhibits precisely the same conceit can serve as a "moderating influence."

That large parts of the political media insist on pretending otherwise is tremendously foolish. And it is dangerous to indulge this pretense that Ivanka is, or ever could be, "moderating." To the absolute contrary, she is valuable to her father specifically because she replicates his behavior and reflects back to him his own worst traits, thus validating them.

Enough of this. Enough.

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