Biden: The Democrats’ Flavor of the Week

I think there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 Democrats who have thrown their hats into the ring so far. Frankly, I’ve lost count. Each week, as a new hat comes flying, the contender is the recipient of free, often favorable, press doting, only to be followed within hours by attacks on his or her personality, policies and history.

This week’s person-who's-definitely-going-to beat-the President is Obama’s former vice president, Joe Biden.

He postponed the big announcement several times, and finally, the big day arrived this week.

His party’s theme for some time now has been straight white men bad, and it’s difficult to see how he’ll garner the nomination. But shrewd Joe has a plan: He hired Symone Sanders as his campaign manager just weeks after she’d contributed to another wannabe contender, Pete Buttigieg, the gay mayor of a failing Indiana city.  Previously, she was the spokesperson for Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign. After leaving that position, she announced on CNN "We Don't Need White People Leading The Democratic Party Right Now." 

That was then. Apparently, we need them now, in campaign official-speak. 

You can see why viewing the crazy train of Democrat contenders, party people who want to wrest the White House back, have hitched their star to someone who might appeal to straight white men, a still not insignificant voting tranche to political observers outside newsrooms.

It doesn’t seem likely to meet their expectations. In the first place, Biden is still not very fast on his feet. Watch him stumble through even this cloud-soft interview on “The View,” the idiotic show I imagine is watched largely by shut-ins too weak to change the channel on their remotes.

And if you want to know what ill-informed millennial youngsters think, there’s no better source than Vox, which I think may still be hoping for a totally inexperienced person of the right sexual orientation and ethnicity to grab the Golden Apple: 

Mainstream Democrats like other mainstream Democrats. But what it means to be a mainstream Democrat has changed significantly since Biden entered the Senate 46 years ago. As Democrats gear up to take on Trump, the party’s best shot is to do anything possible to avoid repeating the 2016 experience of defending decades’ worth of twists and turns on various issues from the Iraq War to LGBTQ rights to banking deregulation.

Vox noted his then-mainstream positions which are out of synch with progressives in today’s party: He was an Iraq war proponent. He was too tied to the banking industry, He voted for the “discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act” and was a “tough on crime’ drug warrior.” He “mishandled” the Clarence Thomas hearings. (This was before (a) all women must be believed; and (b) before Bill Clinton when some women must not be believed; and (c) Kavanaugh hearings where once again all women must be believed or something.)

Much is made of his habitual groping of women and young girls.

Far more serious handicaps in my opinion, are his apparent corrupt acts to benefit his son, Hunter. He steered $1.8 billion dollars to the then-Russian-linked government of the Ukraine and in return his son Hunter received millions of dollars from a Ukrainian energy company, Burisma. 

He pulled a similar stunt with China.

Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute and author of the new book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, joined SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight on Monday to detail the involvement of Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden’s second son, in a China-backed private equity firm’s investment in a Chinese atomic energy company indicted for “nuclear power conspiracy against the United States.”

In an interview with Breitbart News Senior Editors-at-Large Rebecca Mansour and Joel Pollak, Schweizer highlighted the financial relationship between Hunter Biden and the Chinese state -- including a $1.5 billion deal establishing a private equity firm -- as an illustration of what he dubbed “the new corruption.” He further explained how foreign governments purchase political influence through “sweetheart deals” with the children of politicians. 

I think after the Clintons, the voters are fed up with such corrupt self-dealings.

While his name has not yet appeared to my knowledge in the now rapidly unraveling coup attempt against President Trump, Biden was vice president during all this, and not coincidentally, the prior Ukraine government plays a prominent role in the scandal. He may still find himself enmeshed in it as a new Ukrainian prosecutor, who replaced the one Biden forced out, reopens the case. 

Some hard questions should be answered by Biden as he prepares, potentially, to run for president in 2020: Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden’s firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?

The coordination between Obama officials and the Ukrainians began in January 2016:

Donald Trump began his meteoric rise to the presidency, the Obama White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington to coordinate ongoing anti-corruption efforts inside Russia’s most critical neighbor.

The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine’s top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama’s National Security Council (NSC), the FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).

The agenda suggested the purpose was training and coordination. But Ukrainian participants said it didn’t take long -- during the meetings and afterward -- to realize the Americans’ objectives included two politically hot investigations: one that touched Vice President Joe Biden’s family and one that involved a lobbying firm linked closely to then-candidate Trump. 

The end result was to scotch the claims about Biden and tar Trump with Manafort.

More than the seemingly corrupt payoff to the Biden family is involved. The President made this clear a few days ago. 

Ukrainian officials said this month they have gathered a heap of evidence of collusion with Democrats and they are trying to share the information with the US Justice Department.

A court in Ukraine ruled recently that the Manafort leak amounted to illegal interference in the 2016 election.  

Back in 2017, a report by Politico found that Ukrainian officials had sought to undermine the Trump campaign by questioning his fitness for office.

They were also said to have worked to secure Clinton's victory by conducting research on her behalf and going after Manafort for his ties to Russia.

And then there are the lying, divisive comments he made when he announced his candidacy, which has enraged even the very moderate former law professor, Ann Althouse:

How dare Biden rest his campaign on a blatant lie -- a lie that has been used to stir up fear and racial discord?! The hypocrisy of offering to bring us together and embrace lofty values when he is either repulsively ignorant or just plain lying!

I could not finish watching that video. I tried, but I couldn't force myself. It's utterly toxic bilge.

If Biden does not come forward and retract this video and apologize and commit himself to making amends, I consider him disqualified. He does not have the character or brain power to be President.

She was referring to the false claim that Trump endorsed the neo-Nazis In Charlottesville. He did not. His reference to “good people on both sides” as the transcript shows was to those who demonstrating for and against the removal of historic Confederate statues. He specifically condemned the violent protestors.

Indeed, while repeating this slander, Biden endorsed Antifa, the fascist thugs who revel in beating up anyone who opposes their views. 

Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Antifa in a video announcing his presidential bid Thursday, characterizing the group as “courageous” and saying it’s wrong to draw a moral equivalence between white nationalist groups and those opposing them

The violent methods of Antifa are well documented. The nebulous group often uses these violent means against peaceful conservative speakers, benign free speech advocates, and even journalists.

In a retelling of the events at a 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., Biden describes the white nationalists as having “crazed faces, illuminated by torches, veins bulging and baring the fangs of racism,” but describes the Antifa members who engaged violently with them as “a courageous group of Americans.”

Capri Cafaro, a Biden fan, notes how unlikely it is that Biden’s announcement will win over the support he needs: 

The insinuation was that another four years of Donald Trump would do irreparable damage to our nation’s core values.  The latent message seemed to suggest that if Trump stays in the White House, we are doomed to be a nation that accepts racism and bigotry, doubts our institutions of government and the press, rebukes our historic global allies and attempts to ignore the rule of law if it is politically expedient or personally beneficial. While Biden did not explicitly say these all of these things in his video, the message seemed to permeate the underlying premise.

Herein lies the problem with this bold strategy.  This message, by deduction, basically says to Trump supporters, “Hey, since you support Trump you are on the side of evil.  You are embracing these bigoted policies.  You are just as bad as I am saying Trump is.” Again, Biden did not explicitly say this in the same kind of way Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables.”  But, the offensive insinuation is there, leaving me to wonder how Joe Biden in 2020 can win over Americans who voted for Trump in 2016.

The Democrats’ great white (straight male) hope could well prove this year’s hill for them to die on.