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Bad Will Hunting

No one really cares about Hunter. They care about his dad.

World Food Program USA's 2016 McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony
(Kris Connor/WireImage)

The antics almost beggar belief. Which is good for the Democrats, I suppose; the luridness makes their job easier. First there was Hunter Biden’s laptop, and all the dreary decadence it contained. Now there’s apparently Hunter Biden’s cell phone cloud storage

The guy seems to really like recording himself. Exhibits: Hunter appears to be naked with a gun. Hunter appears to be naked with a prostitute. Hunter appears to be naked with multiple prostitutes. Hunter appears to be naked with crack cocaine. Hunter appears to be naked with crack cocaine and prostitutes. Hunter is naked a lot, apparently. And not every pixelation job is created equal, unfortunately. That’s the flashy stuff. But there is more of what seems to be financial impropriety and unsettling family dynamics, too. Hunter allegedly getting money from the Ukrainians. Hunter allegedly getting money from the Chinese. Hunter allegedly giving money to his dad? It is hard to keep track of it all. 

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Of course, no one really cares about Hunter, which might be Hunter’s problem. They care about his dad. And it seems like the Democrats are ready to engineer an exit for Joe Biden and, a scapegoat, let him carry the blame for their failed policies off into the wilderness. 

Last time the world got an inside glimpse into Hunter Biden’s personal and professional life in the now-infamous laptop (salute to the New York Post), it was all hands on deck for Democrats, from Twitter to elected officials, in a bid to shut the story down and control the narrative. It basically worked. Sure, the line has generally gone, Hunter is a troubled guy, but none of this has anything to do with his father, and is distracting from the real problem, which is that Orange Man Bad. You wouldn’t want to help spread disinformation would you? It might even be from Russia. 

Now with inflation numbers high and approval numbers low, further evidence for Biden decadence of various sorts is trickling forth largely without objection. Mostly ignored by the prestige media? Sure. But there is none of the full-court press to counter it, or to kick people and publications off social platforms. There was an election to win then; there is a different one to win now. Different situations, different tactics. So someone as soporific as Michelle Goldberg can write “Joe Biden is Too Old to be President Again” for the New York Times. After all, as a New York Times/Siena College poll just released found, 64 percent of Democrats want someone else for 2024. The safe move—Democrat policies may be making you and your family less safe by the day, but the party always does the safe thing—is to gently encourage a very tired Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. not to seek reelection. He served his purpose. 

And having served his purpose, Joe appears set to be left to fend for himself. Whatever continues to be revealed about the Biden family going forward will be dismissed as distinctive to them, just like the Kennedys, just like the Clintons. It’ll be a Delaware problem, not a Democrat problem. And that’s where the sheer scale of it, the strangeness of Hunter’s apparent compulsion to make a record of his misdeeds, comes in handy for liberals. It’s all so sad and weird and big, it distracts from the fact that it is only anomalous in quantity. At the end of the day, the decadence of Hunter Biden is just more of the same decadence that has long characterized the American establishment. None of Jeffrey Epstein’s passengers have gone to jail. 

Hunter has only sinned in boldness and in getting caught. Hard drugs are mundane. We expect the rich and famous, like the down and out, to blunt or sharpen the edges of life with illegal assistants. Shady nepotistic money deals are par for the course, too; you didn’t think all those mortgages in Loudoun County paid for themselves with productivity, did you? Contractors, consultants, congratulations—taxpayer dollars, when you pass this hat around you get to take some out.

But the hookers, you say, isn’t that shocking? No. It’s the world’s oldest profession. The shocking thing about Hunter Biden is not what he’s gotten away with, with his money and his connections. It’s how little he seems to have tried. Smoking crack in a sensory-deprivation tank, transporting prostitutes across state lines; in that there is a total absence of imagination. The son of a U.S. president truly off the leash should be running his own cartel, carving out a petty kingdom in some jungle, building giant robots or cloning ancient birds. 

The Democrats are not terribly imaginative either, but, of course, lately neither are the American people. So when Biden announces that he is too old to seek a second term, and the prestige press tells us that all the problems of his administration will disappear with him, there is a chance it will work. But it shouldn’t, on the face of it. Joe Biden has been a deteriorated skinsuit the whole time, worn by factions that will not go away just because he is no longer the leather of choice. His failures are his, but they are also theirs, and admitting three years too late he’s too old for the job won’t change a thing that matters. 

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