It was a perfectly nice idea when Marie Wilson, Daren Ball and Gloria Steinem at the Ms. Foundation for Women dreamed it up in 1992.
Take Our Daughters to Work Day, the concept was called. Sons were added in 2003. And every year, on the fourth Thursday in April, a few million moms and dads took their daughters and sons to the office, the store, the factory, the bowling alley or the construction site. The kids got an up-close glimpse of how their parents made a living. The co-workers got to “ooh” and “aah” over the cuteness of each other’s offspring. And on Friday, all the little kiddies went back to school.
Donald Trump got all of it except the back-to-school part. Inside Trump’s White House, every day is Take Your Kids to Work Day.
Daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner have official positions. Jared runs about half the government. Some people call him the real Secretary of State. The president’s two oldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, theoretically tend to the family real-estate business in New York. But given their father’s famous disdain for line drawing, ethical and otherwise, both young men are constantly dipping in and out of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The truth is, such arrangements are always problematic, whether the family runs a dry cleaner, a Chinese restaurant or the government of the United States. You’re too easy – or too hard – on the blood-and-marriage employees. The other employees naturally resent them. And firing a son or a daughter makes next Thanksgiving dinner so uncomfortable.
So now look.
Donald Jr. is at the center of the Russian-hacking probe. He’s dragged his brother-in-law in. Neither one has the background or experience to run a local Motor Vehicles substation. But how can they and the others be bum-rushed from the West Wing?
Democrats aren’t the only ones demanding Trump fire the children.
“I’m going out on a limb here,” said Bill Flores, a Republican congressman from Texas, “but it would be in the president's best interest if he removed all of his children from the White House. Not only Donald Trump [Jr.], but Ivanka and Jared Kushner.”
Get back to class, all of you!
Metro columnist Ellis Henican is a veteran journalist, best-selling author and frequent commentator on CNN and other TV networks. Follow him on Twitter @henican.