There is much to admire about Hillary Clinton and much to admire about Joe Biden. And, my, how we all wish Hillary were president right now. But the woman’s picture of herself blinded her to how her actions would look to others. And she just couldn’t get her head around the rancidness of our current political situation. Joe Biden has some debilitating blind spots as well—not exactly the same as Hillary’s visual deficiencies, but roughly similar in kind.
A couple of weeks ago a columnist named David Von Drehle wrote a column “reasoning” that Democrats were unwise to proceed with impeachment because that would just let Trump tear apart their leading candidate, Joe Biden. You will immediately see that there are lots of flaws in that “reasoning” beginning with this: impeachment or no impeachment, Trump was still gonna go after Joe and his son with a bunch of big lies.
(Parenthetically, one wonders how much Mr. Von Drehle was paid to pen this nonsense. Maybe I should apply for his job.)
Yesterday, in another column, The Hunter Biden story is a troubling tale of privilege, Von Drehle shot his arrow closer to the mark. He wrote,
There’s an old saying about addiction. The man takes a drink (or a sniff), then the drink takes a drink, until the drink takes the man. It will take the bystanders, too, if they let it. Addiction is ravenous. But there was always someone in Joe Biden’s life to help him out with Hunter. It’s heartwarming when family and friends swoop in to care for the boys while Daddy serves the people of Delaware. But little boys have little needs, while big boys have bigger needs.
Soon enough, directionless Hunter has a six-figure job at a bank run by Biden supporters. When Hunter grows bored, there’s another lucrative job under the tutelage of a former Biden staffer. When Hunter wants a house he can’t afford, he receives a loan for 110 percent of the purchase price. And when he goes bust, another friendly banker mops up the damage.
Then his brother Beau contracts fatal brain cancer, and the last wobbly wheels come off Hunter Biden’s fragile self. At this point, the New Yorker piece becomes a gonzo nightmare — much of it narrated by Hunter himself — of hallucinations, a car abandoned in the desert, maxed-out credit cards, a crack pipe, a strip club and a brandished gun.
If, as the [New Yorker] headline put it, Hunter Biden now jeopardizes his father’s campaign, the article makes clear Joe Biden feels a share of the blame. Yet, by the time the senator was vice president, the folks still willing to help Hunter were of a sketchier variety. There was a Chinese businessman who, Hunter said, left him a large diamond as a nice-to-meet-you gift. And a Ukrainian oligarch who hired Hunter at a princely sum to do nothing much. (Neither the firm nor Hunter Biden identified any specific contribution he made). Joe Biden’s response, according to his son, was: “I hope you know what you are doing.”
Hope! What family of an addict hasn’t fallen back to that last trench? Denial, they say, is not just a river in Egypt.
Von Drehle concludes with these thoughts—and here, in my opinion, is where the rubber meets the road:
In sum, the story of the Bidens, father and son, is more pathetic than nefarious. Yet it might do damage anyway. Less privileged Americans can’t be faulted if they wonder why their addicted loved ones are on the streets or in the morgue while the vice president’s son is blessed with diamonds and sinecures. Multitudes locked up for years under Joe Biden’s crime bill might ask why the author’s son traveled the world scot-free. And sober working people making $50,000 a year may be skeptical of a system in which a vice president’s addicted son reportedly collected that sum every month.
What Progressives Need to Do with Joe Biden
Thank him for his service. Hold a big party in his honor. And promise him a nice job in the next administration, but only on condition that Hunter stops trading on his father’s position.
This morning, I see I have some readers in Ukraine. How sweet it is. HELLOOOOO PRESIDENT ZELINSKY!