Joe Biden makes up for lacking the gift of gab in his grift of graft.
He may call a “salon” a “saloon” and describe his wife as the former vice president. But the Joe Biden who fails in letters passes numbers summa cum laude.
“The least wealthy [Obama] administration figure is Vice President Joe Biden,” CBS News reported in 2009, “whose net worth is estimated at just $27,012.” Times change, and so did Middle Class Joe’s net worth, which now hovers around $8 million, according to Forbes.
But Forbes possibly missed some of the president’s fortune.
We know from the emails contained on the computer of Hunter Biden, the Pablo Picasso of the family, that he paid his father’s phone bills and allowed his father access to his Wells Fargo account for over a decade. His business partner bankrolled thousands of dollars in construction at Biden’s Delaware home. This week, we belatedly discover the involvement of Hunter, at the solicitation of Ron Klain who urged him to “keep it low key” to avoid “bad PR,” in a scheme to raise money for his father’s residence as vice president.
This ranks as the small stuff for Biden, Inc.
Biden, Inc., grabbed at least $31 million from the Chinese. The feds arrested one of the shady figures paying seven figures to Hunter Biden, Hong Kong businessman Patrick Ho, for money laundering and bribery in an unrelated case (Ho was convicted and served time). One group with ties to the Chinese Communist Party gave $65,000 a month to the president’s brother, James, atop $100,000 a month and a $500,000 retainer to Hunter. Biden’s son, boasting experience with crack pipes but not oil pipelines, somehow made $1 million a year from Burisma in Ukraine.
“It’s really hard,” Hunter wrote his daughter Naomi about the burdens of him serving as the clan’s breadwinner. “But don’t worry, unlike Pop, I won’t make you give me half your salary.”
Spiro Agnew fell for taking 5 percent. Joe Biden snatching 50 percent, and not from petty government construction projects but allegedly for matters of geopolitical concern in China, Ukraine, and beyond would make Agnew look like a piker.
And for every quid, there comes a quo.
“I said, ‘I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars,’ ” Biden boasted of his threats to Ukraine’s leaders to withhold aid over a prosecutor who, coincidence of coincidences, investigated Burisma. “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in’ — I think it was about six hours — I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch — he got fired.”
One can foresee Joe Biden leaving office the same ignominious way that his next-state neighbor Mr. Agnew did. The greedy corruption stands as the obvious reason for this. The other reason involves Joe Biden, a person whose ascension to the presidency stemmed entirely from political expedience (i.e., the best guy to beat Trump). The moment he looks like a liability — and one assumes it comes this November — marks the moment his removal from office goes from conservative pipe dream to a possibility that even some Democrats consider.
Biden’s fall from the presidency, if it comes, then stems from the same force — political expediency — that brought him there in the first place.
Given that his vice president hails not only from the larger, more liberal wing of the party but boasts the diverse lineage lacking in the president, one could envision some D(EI)s rationalizing the jettisoning of the president as a move in service to their identity-politics ideology.
If Barack Obama or Donald Trump looked guilty as sin of an impeachable offense, then Barack Obama or Donald Trump nevertheless remains in office because of his deep, deep support. Joe Biden does not enjoy such devotion, so the ground underneath his feet likely proves more precarious than it looks. This does not mean he leaves office waving peace signs on the top step heading into a helicopter on the South Lawn. It just means that dismissing such a scenario as the product of a fever dream now seems itself like the product of a fever dream.
Biden’s fall from the presidency, if it comes, then stems from the same force — political expediency — that brought him there in the first place. Certainly the ethics of the matter does not persuade the same unethical people who initially dismissed this corruption scandal as “Russian disinformation” and banned discussion of it on social media. Once Biden starts to imperil their positions, projects, and causes, then one foresees their treatment of the president as a human Chernobyl to run away from as far as possible.
The analysis of this corruption scandal, even from the conservative press, fixates on the halfway clever use of family members to hold the loot as though this technicality makes it merely unethical rather than illegal. As one email infamously put it: “10 held by H for the big guy?” But such dealings — strange how “emoluments clause” disappeared from the political vernacular about as fast as it appeared — do not require a change in law to prosecute.
A bag man, even if a member of your family, is still a bag man.
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