I begin with charity.
The most charitable thing I can say upfront about Democratic presidential candidate Joseph Biden and his son Hunter is that if they haven't been up to no good, they've done a marvelously convincing job of pretending to be. If actually innocent, we must say these simulators of guilt would put to shame an All-Star Team of Thespians made up of Laurence Olivier, Richard Burbage, Lionel Barrymore, Lillian Gish, and Michael Caine, prepped by the Strasbergs, approved by Stanislavski, and directed by Ingmar Bergman. If innocent, these guys are way above Oscar level.
But what if the Bidens haven't been acting at all? What if they've actually been up to no good? And what if the "no good" was not just no good, but illegal behavior? How would we know? And would you care?
Last question first: You would care, yes, because you're someone who reads articles on SteynOnline, and that means the odds are fantastic you care about things like the rule of law.
But if you were one of tens of millions of registered Democrats, you wouldn't care at all. In fact, if you found out that through a series of unethical or illegal acts, Joe and/or Hunter had scored millions, you'd be impressed. Hell yeah, you'd be thinking. Dudes are badasses. They got while the gettin' was good, just like anyone would, and they're going to skate. Good for them. And you'd be even more eager to vote for Joe eight days from now, not only because of your enhanced admiration for Joe, but because f--- you, Orange Hitler!
You also, I presume, wouldn't care if you were a top dog over at the Department of Justice or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That's clear from their actions. Cult Democrats and passive, pencil-pushing, status-quo-worshipping, RINO desk jockeys transformed those agencies some years ago into politicized, increasingly lawless and autonomous militarized bureaucracies which play a double game of publicly invoking the authority of the Constitution for their legitimacy, even while privately flouting that very authority by manipulating evidence, lying to FISA courts, illegally spying on American citizens, hiding exculpatory evidence, hiring and retaining corrupt agents, framing the innocent, defying the orders of a sitting president, and even refusing to arrest preferred politicians no matter how brazen their crimes.
Let me be more specific. Former attorney general Jeff Sessions: Nice guy—did nothing. Rosenstein ran rings around him. Current Attorney General Bill Barr: Specializes in fancy speechifyin' about the rule of law, but so far, from what anyone can see, has also done nothing. The guy's been attorney general for two years, and—aside from FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who pled guilty to changing an email—hasn't nailed a single participant in the failed coup attempt of 2016. He hasn't indicted John Brennan for perjuring himself in front of Congress, or Brennan's sidekick, Peter Strzok, for his own participation. He hasn't indicted Hillary Clinton for violating the US Espionage Act, for destroying subpoenaed evidence, or for apparently accepting what amounted to bribes in the Uranium One deal. He hasn't indicted the FBI goons who framed General Flynn. He also gave Comey and McCabe a pass on their leaks, and rather than go on for another five pages, let's just say so far, he's provided no reason for anyone to believe he'll ever indict Joseph or Hunter Biden—no matter how obviously guilty they are—for anything.
That might change tomorrow, but as of right now, no one should expect anything from Bill Barr except more of his phlegmatic disquisitions on why the laws he refuses to enforce should be enforced. And if history is any guide, most conservatives will continue cheering on these now-insulting Barr speeches while he and FBI Director Christopher Wray continue to stonewall cases into effective obsolescence.
Speaking of Wray, he's been dreadful. The latest manifestation of this is that he's had Hunter Biden's laptop—the one in which Hunter indicates his vice-president dad was taking cuts from his lucrative foreign sinecures and from other family members, and acknowledges unregistered lobbying and money laundering—for a year. So far, despite all that, no arrests, no nothing.
But Wray's been a joke from Day One. After months of frustration, Judicial Watch's Tom Fitton finally resorted this past summer to suing the FBI (along with the DOJ and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence) to finally release records Wray had been sitting on (hiding) for three and a half years regarding the Obama administration's illegal spying of 2016.
Just to put this years-long FBI foot-dragging on an attempted presidential coup into perspective, on June 22—the very next day after NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace's team reported the presence of a "noose" hanging in his just-assigned Talladega garage—Christopher Wray sent fifteen FBI agents to scour the racing grounds for white supremacists, dust the "noose" and car and garage door and tool boxes for white supremacist fingerprints, search for white supremacist literature, and interrogate track employees to find out if they were white supremacists. One can only imagine Wray's disappointment when his squad of G-Men failed to find the hordes of cross-burning Klansmen he no doubt dreamed of rounding up in a blaze of triumphal televisual glory, and instead, found only a garage door pull-rope with a loop for ease of handling. It had been there for nearly a year.
And by the way, while Wray's fifteen agents were wasting their time wandering around Talladega desperately trying to find a Nazi rally (like Spanish conquistadors wandering through the Amazon for months trying to find El Dorado), Soros-funded Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots were already in progress. They would continue for weeks afterward, and result in millions of dollars worth of damage, untold misery to law-abiding citizens, and innumerable beatings, maimings, and even murders. And that's important here because—just as a friendly reminder—violent anarchist groups like Antifa are what Christopher Wray's FBI is supposed to infiltrate and stop. Yet Antifa—which had already been in operation for at least half a decade—was just what the FBI had not infiltrated or stopped. Why hadn't they?
Well, among other reasons, in Wray's words, Antifa was more of an "ideology"—you know, more just a bunch of free-floating abstractions, benign in themselves, like Hegelianism or idealism—than, say, a functional brand name under which flesh-and-blood human beings had been planning insurrectionist destruction, including bloodshed, for years. In other words, Antifa, implied Wray, wasn't really the sort of thing you could infiltrate.
Which is weird, because an ordinary guy named James O'Keefe did infiltrate Antifa. O'Keefe, head of Project Veritas, actually hooked an ally up with a video camera and got footage of an Antifa training session in weapons usage, "destroying your enemy", eye-gouging, etc. My point is: Even if we grant that Antifa is mostly a series of discrete, largely autonomous pods (which I would guess is not quite true, for what it's worth), it's easy to wonder how much more infiltration into Antifa the amply-resourced FBI could have made if they hadn't been busy with unethical, illegal activities the previous few years. O'Keefe got the goods with a single confederate and a twenty dollar pen camera.
But back to the Bidens. I asked above how we might know if the Bidens had been up to no good, presuming they had been. The obvious answer is: We'd learn all about the evidence of guilt from our news agencies.
Except we wouldn't, unless we happened to see Fox News, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, and just one or two other media organs. Rather, sticking with mainstream legacy and social media (which is what millions of voters do simply because they don't know any better), we'd either never know about it at all, or would only hear the message that there was another "right wing fake news" story out there which we should instantly ignore, on grounds "it's been discredited", the end.
And that in fact is where a large percentage of American voters are right now: they've either never heard that credible evidence has recently surfaced implicating both Joe and Hunter in, at best, sleazy, but possibly illegal, behavior, or have heard it's just another right-wing con job they should instantly dismiss.
Even worse is that Worst Human on Earth Adam Schiff and his pals have used these recent revelations as evidence not of Biden wrongdoing, but rather, as "proof" of "yet another disinformation campaign from the Kremlin". This claim doesn't even rise to the level of absurd, and yet, millions of voters will have believed it.
So, just to recap so far:
Even if Joe Biden were guilty of unethical or illegal conduct while in office; or were now in a position where he could be blackmailed as a president either because of his own misdeeds or Hunter's...
...millions of Democrat voters would either not know because of DNC-driven media blackouts on the story; or if they did find out, would either not mind, and even kind of admire Biden for his chicanery, or else instantly dismiss the story as "right wing propaganda"—meaning that between the transformation of media outlets into propaganda organs for the Democratic Party, voter indifference/amorality, and voter gullibility, it would be as if those misdeeds had never happened.
In addition, the likely refusal of the FBI and Department of Justice to go after the Bidens—just as they have refused to go after the Clintons and a host of other clearly guilty malfeasants—would also help render the misdeeds effectively non-existent, even if they constituted the rankest bribery and a clear violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution.
And what this all amounts to is just one more indication, among many others too numerous to mention in this article, that the world's greatest democracy is in far deeper trouble than even most conservatives recognize; that's true even if Trump wins. If your press is so outrageously partisan and screwed up, that even your publicly-funded national broadcaster, NPR, can refuse with impunity to report on what must be one of the biggest political stories of the year, if not the decade, and almost all other outlets join in the obfuscation and distortion, then you don't have anything better than Brezhnev-era Pravda. You don't have "reporting". You have propaganda—mythmaking—lying—in service to a partisan quest for power. And by the way...how long until Fox falls? It could be next week, next month, any time. And when it does fall...then what?
The point is: You can't have a functioning democracy unless the citizens first care about facts, and then, have access to those facts. Even then, democracy is fragile. Even in the best circumstances, where everyone's conscientious and the facts are known, people come to different conclusions, or get things wrong.
But where "news" becomes no more than an endless parade of cunning fabrications, which is to say manipulations, meaningful democracy ceases to exist: completely manipulated "choices" aren't choices at all. All you would have is the illusion of democracy, controlled by a very few master manipulators. And what are the odds of such master manipulators ever ruling wisely and humanely, for the benefit of all? Zero. And half your population not knowing about, or caring about, facts, makes it all the worse.
So...are the Bidens corrupt?
My First Answer: I'm going to go with yes, yes, and yes. I don't think they're All-Star Thespians. Hunter's been running around for years selling lobbying access to his father, who has at times changed American foreign policy in response, and who has repeatedly enabled and covered for his son's shenanigans, if he has not profited from those deals himself in the end. If that's not corruption, nothing is.
My Deeper Answer: Yes, the bad news is they're corrupt, but the worse news is, it doesn't really matter anymore. Half the country either doesn't know about the corruption, doesn't mind, or wouldn't mind even if they did know; a mendacious, unaccountable media is covering for the Bidens; and federal law enforcement can't be trusted to hold the Bidens accountable anymore.
And that's a story about the country more than about Joe Biden. He's corrupt, but the country itself is breaking, and breaking ever more deeply. That's the real story here, and I hope it has a happy ending.
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