Don Junior released his e-mail thread in which he arranges a Trump campaign meeting with a foreign agent.
This is fully admitted and fully illegal.
Lefty observers are, by turns, delighted with this turn of events and astonished by the stupidity of it. The NY Post, which is usually reliable only for its sports scores, nailed the moment. "Don Jr. is an idiot."
But looking past this we can see a general, almost law-conformable, pattern.
No one believes Don Junior or Ivanka would have been famous, let alone powerful, absent their pop. They are, both of them, generic (that is from the heart of the bell-curve) and would have been generic citizens absent the accident of their birth.
And, in fact, their father, Donald, got his start from his KKK and brilliant investor dad, Fred. Had Don not sold any of the properties he inherited from Fred, and just played golf and banged hookers, he'd be worth multiples of what he is worth today. He's not a chip off the ol' block. He's a petulant rich kid who turned an enormous real estate inheritance into much smaller real estate and branding company.
Fred to Don to Ivanka and Don Jr: a picture of decadence and, soon, utter collapse and ignominy.
Jared is the scion of a very rich NY-NJ real estate family. He's not a self-made real estate scumbag like Harry Macklow or Joe Moinian. He's just scumbag progeny of a self-made (and jailed) scumbag.
Prescott Bush, a senator and Wall Street potentate, was very smart and only partially scum.
His lineage, to wit, GHWB, GWB, Jeb, George P. Bush... represents a decline into sleaze.
But, more subtly, absent Prescott--a man who forged his own way--the entire Bush clan of politicos would never have happened.
GHWB would have been a successful business man. GWB would have been a truck driver. Jeb would have taught 4th grade. All would have been generic nobodies.
Bill Clinton, a brilliant and driven redneck Rhodes Scholar (a vanishingly rare breed) got into Yale law school and became president. Bubba made Bubba.
His wife Hillary, smart and hard working as she is, would have never been a senator or SoS absent her marriage. She would have been a successful white shoe attorney in NYC or Chicago or Executive Director of an NGO. She doesn't--by her own admission--have natural political gifts. Like the extended progeny of Prescott, Hillary got her start by family connection. She was not, obviously, self-made.
I really hope Obama's wife and children--all of whom I find smart and charming--don't run for public office.
The very notion of dynasty and, more generally, social place determined by birth, is an old world concept. It's antithetical to the fundamental enterprise of our republic.
So, to my mind, it is never surprising when someone who inherits their place--no matter their sincerity or hard work--flames out.
The Bushes flamed out. It took 3 generations, but they flamed-out. The end of GWB's administration was painful to behold. His brother's 2016 run for POTUS was an unmitigated bust.
The Clinton family, the robust hopes of its supporters notwithstanding, has flamed-out.
We are witnessing the flame-out of the Trumps.
There is a pattern here for those dispassionate enough to look.
Out of nowhere guys like Obama, Bubba, Elizabeth Warren, Mitch McConnell (no matter that he's scum) Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner (also scum) get power and hold it until they wish to let it go.
Their mates and progeny? Not so much, although the dynamics of success and failure play-out over long periods with the result that the general trend can be obscured.