The right's shameless Hunter Biden obsession
They won't let a lack of evidence get in the way of trying to minimize Trump's corruption.
Personal note from Aaron: My father’s funeral was Saturday, and I’m taking a step back from work for a couple weeks to grieve and clear my head. (ICYMI, you can read my tribute to my dad here and his obituary here.) I appreciate your support during this difficult time. You’ll be seeing less of my writing in the newsletter through the week of the 4th of July, but thankfully I have lots of good stuff lined up from brilliant contributors like Noah, Lisa Needham, Liz Dye, and Thor Benson.
Last week, Hunter Biden reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors. After a five-year investigation, the president’s son admitted to failing to pay taxes for two years. He also acknowledged that he had lied while purchasing a gun by claiming he was not a drug user when he was. He’s unlikely to serve time behind bars.
The right, as it so often is, was enraged. Hunter Biden has long been at the center of a bewildering array of conspiracy theories. The GOP and right-wing media has argued for years, with little evidence, that Hunter is the linchpin of the “Biden Crime Family.” Supposedly, Joe and Hunter together have been receiving payouts from Ukraine, China, and who knows where else in exchange for policy concessions. Former President Donald Trump was obsessed with these (again, evidence-free) charges. Trump tried via personal pressure and televised appeal to get Ukraine and China to investigate Biden ahead of the 2020 election. That led directly to Trump’s first impeachment for attempting to get foreign powers to interfere in the US electoral process.
To those who spend most of their time outside the right-wing media bubble, the Hunter Biden allegations seem both bewildering and hypocritical, given much clearer evidence that Trump’s daughter and son-in-law used their positions in his administration to enrich themselves. (You might recall that the Trump family operated a corruption center under the guise of a hotel just blocks from the White House.)
In fact, though, the fascination with (invented) Biden corruption is a straightforward expression of core right-wing ideology. The authoritarian right believes that Democrats in power are by their nature a blot on the purity of the nation. Hunter, Joe, and other Democrats embody corruption simply by holding offices to which only the right is entitled. What Joe Biden has done is irrelevant. To them, the existence of a Democratic (and democratic) opposition is itself a stain on the righteousness of politics — a stain that Republicans are eager to wipe out.
Sure, Hunter cashed in on his family name
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