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Of Course The Biden Family Isn't As Corrupt As The Trump Family But... That Doesn't Make It Clean

Want Honest Politics? Stop Electing Conservatives

Most Americans will soon be reading how, for decades, the Biden family has been making some shady bucks off Joe’s name. It’s a disgusting story of corruption, but neither a new story nor a story that comes close to the disgustingness of the Trump family. But, unless you want to be embarrassed, don’t tell anyone the Biden family isn’t a crime family. For example, Biden's crooked lobbyist brother Jim regularly turned to Status Quo Joe’s political network for the kind of assistance that would have been almost unimaginable for someone with a different last name. Campaign donors helped him face a series of financial problems, including a series of IRS liens totaling more than $1 million that made it harder to get bank financing. There was a well-synchronized tango that the Biden brothers have danced for half a century. They have pursued overlapping careers-- one a presidential aspirant with an expansive network of well-heeled Democratic donors; the other an entrepreneur who helped his brother raise political money and cultivated the same network to help finance his own business deals.

Writing for New York Magazine yesterday, Jonathan Chait, implies the whole impeachment thing is just revenge. It’s certainly part revenge, and party campaign strategy… by the American political system is built on corruption and the corrupt Republicans running the House know that. Right-wing crackpots like Trump, Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Marjorie Traitor Greene (R-GA), weren’t even looking for evidence; they really did just want revenge.

“What has transformed this longstanding desire into an actual impeachment investigation is not any investigative finding,” wrote Chait, “but simply an impatience by Trump and his supporters to get on with it. ‘Either impeach the bum, or fade into oblivion,’ Trump posted. ‘They did it to us!’ Yet the fact that Republicans have been threatening a revenge impeachment against the next Democratic president literally since Trump’s first impeachment has been oddly absent from news coverage. The Associated Press, in an appropriately skeptical explainer, answers the question of why Republicans are doing this: ‘Since gaining the House majority in January, House Republicans have aggressively investigated Biden and his son, claiming without evidence that they engaged in an influence-peddling scheme.’ Well, that’s true, but it’s not why Republicans are impeaching Biden. They are impeaching him specifically to even the score with Trump. That doesn’t mean there is nothing wrong with what Joe Biden did. He let his son sell what Hunter Biden’s business partner described as the illusion of access to his powerful father. Republicans have made unproven claims that Joe Biden actually conducted foreign policy to benefit his son. (The opposite was true: Vice-President Biden helped force Ukraine to fire an ineffectual prosecutor reviled by international good-government types, who had failed to take action against the corrupt energy firm that employed Hunter.) They have also claimed, on the basis of some cryptic lines in Hunter’s email, but without any firm evidence, that Joe Biden made money from Hunter’s dealings. If that was true, it would mean President Biden has filed false tax returns, a serious crime for which there is no evidence.”

The Hunter Biden episode is certainly sleazy. But it does not involve any official action Joe Biden has taken, nor does it concern anything he has done while serving as president. What’s more, it is a pale imitation of the wanton personal corruption undertaken by the Trump family, which smashed all norms by openly running a family business during the Trump presidency. To take just one example, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, collected $2 billion in investment from a Saudi-run firm, even though the firm’s financial experts registered deep concerns over his experience and general ability. The Saudis, of course, enjoyed a close relationship with Trump during his first term and would stand to gain immensely from a second one.
Whataboutism isn’t a good defense of anything, and it wouldn’t justify Hunter Biden’s less flagrant but still gross behavior. But whataboutism is the main point of impeaching Biden. This whole exercise is intended to use Hunter Biden’s ordinary corruption to legitimize Trump’s extraordinary corruption. We don’t need to pretend otherwise when Republicans already told us.

On Tuesday, reporting for the Financial Times, James Politi, Alex Rogers and Lauren Fedor, wrote that McCarthy has been well-aware that impeaching Biden “would be a risky political gamble as well as a direct legal challenge to the sitting US president.” He hesitated but, for many reasons— not the least of which being his own desire to stay Speaker— he pulled the trigger on Tuesday, despite not having enough votes to do it legally. “Most Democrats and even some Republicans,” they wrote, “say the case for opening an impeachment inquiry may be among the weakest ever against a sitting president. While federal prosecutors believe they have found enough to indict Hunter Biden in a tax and firearms case this month, no evidence has yet been presented to show wrongdoing by the president in any of his son’s other business affairs… [T]he investigation will still thrust the nature of the president’s relationship with his son more firmly into the 2024 election campaign— leading to hearings, depositions, witness testimony and, potentially, a vote that could shape the political landscape for weeks and months, casting a cloud over the president.”

“There is no evidence of anything connected to the president and his abusing power,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor of political history at Princeton University. “[But] it can damage him and that is the point: the hearings can help shape public opinion, energise the GOP and create concern in the electorate. You don’t need a smoking gun to create political smoke, and the GOP is well aware of this.”
McCarthy’s case for a probe is based on claims that the president used his office while he was vice-president to help Hunter Biden secure lucrative business deals and corporate positions, including a board seat at Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company.
McCarthy said Biden had “joined on multiple phone calls, and had multiple interactions” for his son’s financial benefit, claiming millions of dollars had flowed to the president’s family and his associates through shell companies.
But prosecutors looking into the allegations have struggled to find any direct link. The president has repeatedly denied that he was involved in Hunter Biden’s business, and the White House has blasted the impeachment move as “extreme politics at its worst.” Abbe Lowell, an attorney for Hunter Biden, said on Tuesday the Republican accusations were “repackaged, inaccurate conspiracies.”
Many rank-and-file Republicans in Congress on Tuesday supported McCarthy’s move. “We need to get to the full truth, and an impeachment inquiry is the right way to do that,” said Mike Braun, a senator from Indiana.
But others are uncomfortable. Asa Hutchinson, the former Arkansas governor running for president in 2024 who managed Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings in 1998, said that despite a “lot of smoke” the impeachment inquiry “seems premature.” “We really haven’t got a handle on the facts yet,” he told the Financial Times.
Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor also running in the Republican primary, said he did not “see evidence yet that would support impeaching Joe Biden”. He added: “I think we’re cheapening impeachment by doing that kind of thing.”
Democrats will hope that McCarthy’s impeachment probe runs aground rapidly. The Speaker had initially vowed to put the opening of the investigation up for a vote in the House, but instead took the step unilaterally amid concerns that he lacked the votes given the very slim Republican majority.
Brendan Buck, a former Republican congressional aide and now a strategist at Seven Letter, a consultancy, said the impeachment process could give Democrats a way to attack Republicans as overreaching and extreme.
“Certainly it will rile up the base, but absent some bombshell . . . this is something of a gift to the president politically,” Buck said.
Some Democrats mocked the inquiry. John Fetterman, a senator from Pennsylvania, last week dared Republicans to try to impeach Biden, labelling the effort “a big circlejerk on the fringe right.”
On Tuesday, Fetterman reacted to news of the inquiry’s launch with laughter. “Oh, it’s devastating,” he added, with a heavy dose of sarcasm.
Newt Gingrich, the former Republican House Speaker who launched Clinton’s impeachment 25 years ago, told the FT that if Republicans “go too fast, it could backfire.”
Rather than being damaged by the impeachment proceedings against him in late 1998, Clinton is widely seen to have benefited politically, including with a better than expected performance in that year’s midterm election.
But if Republicans proceeded slowly they might have more success, Gingrich said. “If the American people reach the conclusion that having a crook in the White House, who was actively taking money from foreign governments that are enemies of ours, is a bad idea, then they can move forward.”

Traitor Greene told the NY Times that she confided in Trump this past weekend that she wanted the inquiry to be “long and excruciatingly painful for Joe Biden.” I suspect she isn’t thinking about how it will be for the American people. But in her backward Georgia district she doesn’t have to. In a couple dozen swing districts scattered around the country— and especially in New York, California, but even in places like Iowa, GOP incumbents do have to think about that very carefully and seriously.


In 2004, Dems nominated Kerry, a decorated Vietnam combat vet. GOP nominated George W Bush, who had strings pulled so he could get into the TX Air National Guard and who may not have fulfilled some of his service requirements. In an impressive feat of political jujitsu using the "Swiftboats" cable TV ads, Rove was able to throw enough mud at Kerry's record and to create enough of a smokescreen around W's record so as to make those 2 records roughly equivalent in the public mind.

The GOP seeks an encore with Hunter Biden now. Trump's crimes are so manifest and, in the case of 1/6, so dangerous as to make it all but impossible to put him on th…

Sep 15, 2023
Replying to

You're partly correct.

W is still, technically, AWOL. He should have been prosecuted. But, again, pussy democraps...

Kerry didn't do himself any favors running as the better, more efficient warmaker to try to contrast with the military quagmire(s) of W/cheney's mideast wars for oil.

The goal of the nazis, from atwater on including rove, was not to narrow any gaps in the eyes of sentient people. Their goal was to enrage and engorge the nazis; fill them with hate and make THEM believe that their guy was NOT a total piece of shit. They did so simply by making the other guy seem like shit. Didn't matter that it was mostly lies.

The contrast between the trumps and bidens is…

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