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The ‘Loving Father’ Excuse For Joe Biden’s Role In Pay-For-Play Biz Is Gross

Joe Biden smiling on the phone
Image CreditWhite House / Flickr

Some father-son duos bond over fishing and golf — others seek solace in some good old-fashioned influence-peddling, apparently.


Evidence is dropping by the week pointing to Joe Biden’s involvement in a pay-for-play scheme trading political favors for foreign bribe money, with his bumbling son Hunter playing shady international go-between. But we can’t fault selective family man Joe for his poor judgment — he really just loves his son Hunter very much, and the two were working through their shared grief about the death of Biden’s elder son, Beau. Some father-son duos bond over fishing and golf — who are we to judge if the Biden men sought solace in some good old-fashioned influence-peddling and an obsessive meteorology hobby?

That’s the memo of choice for the corporate media, apparently. On Tuesday, Jonathan Lemire of MSNBC and Politico defended revelations that then-Vice President Joe Biden spoke to Hunter’s foreign business associates on the phone dozens of times, after Biden spent years denying that he ever discussed business with Hunter “or anyone else.”

“We should put this in context; this is the time when Beau Biden, the president’s other son, was ill and then dying and then passed away. So perhaps he was not as attentive to what he should have been,” Lemire said.

“We know how important family is to the president,” Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson agreed. “Do you hang up on your son?”

Unsurprisingly, the media talking points mirrored those of congressional Democrats. “Let’s put this in context,” Rep. Dan Goldman urged on the same network. “Beau Biden got very sick in early 2015. He died in the spring of 2015, which was right in the middle when Devon Archer had his business dealings with Hunter Biden. At that point, Joe Biden and Hunter Biden began to speak every day because they were both devastated by Beau’s death.”

Not to be outdone by cable news, on Tuesday, The Washington Post printed an opinion piece that admitted, albeit gently, the problems with the president’s “rampaging compassion for a troubled child” — under the headline “How Joe Biden’s compassion for his son blew up in his face.” See guys? Biden’s only problem is that he’s just too loving a father!

For its part, The New York Times has been preaching about how Biden “Anguishes Over ‘My Only Surviving Son’” since before Joe Biden became president. In June, the Times recounted a time when Joe “chased” an angry and struggling Hunter “down the driveway, grabbed him and cried.” Even if the Biden family business might have been unseemly, the White House takes “solace in the belief that many Americans understand a father’s love for his son,” the Times explained a week later.

The excuse is obviously irrelevant. Loving your family members doesn’t give you a pass to help them commit murder, nor does working through grief mean you can freely steal all the tubs of Blue Bell from your local grocer. It’s a gross insult to Americans’ sensibilities, asking them to wave away serious allegations of compromising criminal behavior with the conclusion that Biden’s only crime was being too compassionate.

But the excuse also fundamentally misunderstands what real familial love looks like. The most loving way to treat a wayward family member isn’t to take advantage of his vulnerability by exploiting his dirty work for your own financial benefit. (Recall the text found on Hunter’s laptop suggesting “Pop” made Hunter “give [him] half [Hunter’s] salary.”) That would be like encouraging your drug dealer son in his life of crime so you could take a cut of his profits, then defending your behavior as an act of love and concern for his wellbeing. You don’t have to be Father of the Year to understand that enabling your son’s crippling lifestyle for your own enrichment isn’t the same thing as compassion.

Normal people — whom the Bidens are not, for all the condescending schticks of Scranton Joe — also don’t deal with grief by selling out their country. Where I come from, we bring casseroles and swap nostalgic stories and rejoice in the hope of Heaven. But I guess someone had better tell all those schmucks who’ve been arrested for selling secrets to our global enemies the news: “Not guilty by reason of bereavement” is our legal system’s hottest new plea!

This ridiculous excuse-making for the Bidens is all the more brazen, of course, when you remember that it’s running concurrently with a news cycle about how Joe and Hunter, along with the rest of the family, spent four years denying the existence of Hunter’s young daughter Navy, whom he conceived with Lunden Roberts in 2018. Joe Biden is such a loving and compassionate family guy that he iced out his innocent 4-year-old granddaughter until the bad press outweighed the nuisance of having to acknowledge her.

Its implications for the country aside, a father-son influence-peddling scheme is about as unhealthy a way to cope with tragedy as you can get. The only thing that might be more toxic would be if Hunter dealt with his brother’s untimely death by sleeping with his widow.

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