By Fraser Perkins —
Donald and the Nothingburger
This poses a problem for Republicans. Defending Trump is counterproductive as it keeps the sun shining on his misdeeds, invites comparison with Joe Biden, and distracts from Democratic vulnerabilities. The best Republican strategy is to ask, “what about Hunter Biden” and then quickly pivot to more fertile Republican ground. Not so fast. Trump’s misdeeds are a major campaign issue; they should be carefully dissected and serve as an object lesson of what not to do as president. In dealing with my Republican friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, I find it helpful to remind them of a few facts; perhaps you will too.
Uncomfortable Republican Fact 1
President Trump was…president and Hunter Biden was not president. Trump took an oath of office, Hunter Biden did not. Donald Trump was an elected official and Hunter Biden was not. Hunter Biden, as an adult relative of a vice president, had far more leeway than Donald Trump as the president. While one may question the behavior of Hunter Biden and disagree with the choices he made, he was not the president, the vice president, or any elected officeholder. Equating the misdeeds of private citizen Hunter Biden to President Donald Trump is nonsense.
Uncomfortable Republican Fact 2
President Biden removed himself from the investigation of Hunter Biden. Link. He didn’t interfere with the DOJ investigation of allegations of wrong-doing and allowed Attorney General Merrick Garland to act on his best judgment without interference. The AG in turn referred the matter to a special investigation headed by a Trump appointee. This contrasts to how Trump weaponized the DOJ to go after rivals. Link. And now he has threatened to use the AG and the full power of the DOJ to go after political opponents in a second presidential term.
Uncomfortable Republican Fact 3
There is no evidence that President Joe Biden personally benefited from the business dealings of his son. Much to the embarrassment of Republicans, their star witnesses said as much in open testimony. Link. Link. To paraphrase and modify Ezekiel 18:19-20, the sins of the adult son are not visited upon the father.
Uncomfortable Republican Fact 4
Hunter Biden is not Joe Biden. Once again, as a private citizen Hunter Biden can do things his father, an elected official, cannot do. He accepted a lucrative position on the board of a foreign corporation for which he was unqualified. This is suspect, but not illegal. The folks who hired Hunter Biden undoubtedly hoped this would help them in dealing with the United States, but there is no evidence to suggest any illegal activity by Vice President Biden. Republicans have diligently turned voluminous testimony inside out and have failed to uncover any criminality.
Did President Joe Biden want to help his son? Of course. Consider the arc of Joe Biden’s life. He suffered a searing personal tragedy at a young age with the loss of both his daughter and spouse. Link. Decades later his older, stand-out son succumbed to cancer, plunging the family into another heart-rending tragedy. His remaining son failed to thrive. Any parent in this circumstance would turn themselves inside out to help a failing and flailing adult child. I would and maybe you would, too.
One final consideration. Adult children don’t always consult their parents about major decisions they face. Even if they do, they may not follow the measured advice of the older (sometimes wiser?) generation. This may be shocking news to some, but it comes as no surprise to those of us with adult children. Here’s what Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group, says about parents of adult children: Link.
Joe Biden is not responsible for Hunter Biden’s decisions. Hunter Biden will be held responsible for his actions, and Trump must be held to account for his alleged misdeeds. As Democrats we should insist on this. When dealing with Republicans on a personal level, the best tactic may be to let them raise the issue of Hunter Biden, then parry with the facts about Donald Trump.
Trump’s vision is upside down and simply wrong.
The Nothingburger is the Biden family.
The Triple Cheeseburger is Trump’s dereliction of duty in a “bully/whine” bun with a side of sleaze, porn stars, inherited wealth, and self-piety/self-pity.
Wish we could all inherit $413 million bucks from our dads! Link
As always, please do two things.
- Vote for Democrats.
- Pass this along to friends who have the misfortune to be surrounded by MAGA folks.
We deserve better.
I invite you to do something else. I have included a tracing of this month’s tile. Print it, break out your colored pencils, and fill it out. Or simply print out the tile. Tape it not to your fridge, but to a less traveled area of your home. You want an occasional reminder of Trump’s misdeeds, not a continual upwelling of outrage every time you reach for midnight ice cream – it would disrupt restorative sleep – and we need all Democrats to be fully rested and committed to electing Democrats in 2024. But, when you do see the “Triple Cheeseburger”, you will be motivated to work even harder to keep our democracy safe from Trump, his wanna-be autocrats, his passive acolytes, and his genuine crazies.