There are times during this presidential election circus that I ooze hot steam out of my ears and nostrils and eye cavities, wondering if I’m the only one who has yet to become normalized to Donald Trump’s utter punking of the American political system. Why have 13 million people already voted for this clown, this xenophobic, women-bashing, bomb-everything, fear-mongering galumph? I wonder. Am I on acid?

Which is why I feel an added respect for Dana Schwartz’s open letter to Jared Kushner, in which she evenhandedly asked her employer: What’s up with your father-in-law’s use of anti-Semitic symbolism in that anti-Hillary tweet that has (again) been utilized by KKK ringleader David Duke to embolden his masses? And what do you have to say about it yourself, as a Jew?

[Trump] and his campaign deny that the image—which had been found, previous to Trump’s tweet, on a white supremacist internet forum—has any Jewish implications at all. Instead of acknowledging the obvious, he and his campaign used it as an opportunity to undermine the free media in the style of the most dangerous regimes in history, and mock those like me, who had been getting strangers on the Internet telling her to put her head in the oven for the past day and a half.

Schwartz then lists the excuses (read: not apologies) she’s heard, tears them all apart, then lands on one final piece of argumentation that falls squarely on Kushner’s shoulders:

Trump has a Jewish son-in-law, and granddaughter: he can’t be anti-Semitic.

So she challenges Kushner, her Harvard-educated boss and publisher of The Observer, even admitting she doesn’t believe Trump to be an anti-Semite: “What are you going to do about this?” she asks him.

Read about the origins of that image and see the type of people it attracted like a flies to human waste and tell me this whole story is just the work of the “dishonest media.” Look at that image and tell me, honestly, that you just saw a “Sheriff’s Star.” I didn’t see a sheriff star, Mr. Kushner, and I’m a smart person. After all, I work for your paper.

Well Kushner chimed in (and later apparently tried to rescind the following comment), and, like a good boy, he eschewed any personal responsibility to the situation at hand. Instead, he made it about his father-in-law, as likely instructed by a lawyer in a deep blue suit:

My father-in-law is an incredibly loving and tolerant person who has embraced my family and our Judaism since I began dating my wife. I know that Donald does not at all subscribe to any racist or anti-semitic (sic) thinking. I have personally seen him embrace people of all racial and religious backgrounds. The suggestion that he may be intolerant is not reflective of the Donald Trump I know.

Right, OK, great, thanks Jared. Appreciate the reminder about the tolerant, embrace-giving patriarch in your life. But Schwartz asked about you, about the actions you’re going to take, the lowest denominator of which, I assume, would be to admit that, yeah, Dad’s running a crooked Twitter campaign. Kushner’s eschewing is the stuff of big-top politics, I guess. Or maybe this is some really dirty acid I took that’s painting the world a scary dirty blonde. But I don’t do drugs.

Related: Trump Watch [Tablet series]





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