As the election draws closer and Donald Trump’s re-election chances appear to grow slimmer by the day, the president and his cronies are scraping the bottom of the barrel for anything and everything they can possibly throw at Joe Biden. While we all expected some sort of an “October Surprise” last-ditch effort to tilt the election in Trump’s favor, the laziness and incompetence with which they’ve tried to recycle their 2016 playbook is very amusing to behold.
The New York Post has apparently obtained a hard drive containing emails and messages from Hunter Biden (sound familiar?) that we are supposed to believe came from a liquid-damaged laptop that Hunter, who lives in Los Angeles, allegedly left at a computer repair shop in Delaware.
The shop owner is then supposed to have read the contents of the hard drive, have been “troubled” by the contents of the hard drive, and alerted the FBI in 2019, but not before the owner made a copy of the hard drive, which he recently gave to Trump attack dog Rudy Giuliani because law enforcement wasn’t acting fast enough.
This chain of events is preposterous. Given that the FBI is currently investigating whether or not these emails are related to foreign intelligence operations, it’s far more likely that someone, possibly Russia, hacked Hunter’s iCloud and used Ukrainian intermediaries to get the docs to Giuliani.
But even if all of that is true, the entire “scandal” appears to hinge on repeating “hard drive! emails!” so often that the lingering accusations of corruption against Hillary Clinton magically transfer to the Bidens, seeing as there is almost nothing that could be considered actually damning in the emails themselves.
There is just one email that might be considered problematic, which appears to show Burisima energy board member Vadym Pozharskyi thanking Hunter for “an opportunity to meet your father.” No record of such an official meeting exists, though the Biden campaign has not ruled out that an informal meeting took place. The insinuation is that some sort of improper back-room deal was struck at this meeting, but the Trump team don’t seem to have agreed upon what exactly the payoff of that deal was beyond that it was corrupt and involves “business.”
The right-wing is desperately hoping that the accusations of impropriety will be enough to carry this convoluted web of conspiracy by itself. But unfortunately for Trump and his buddies, what will be far more interesting and understandable to the American people is the messages that Joe Biden sent to his son Hunter, who was in rehab struggling with drug addiction.
“Good morning my beautiful son! I love you!” wrote Biden to Hunter in one message.
In the exchange that followed, Hunter mourned that he would be a liability for his father’s presidential ambitions.
“Well dad, the truth is as you and hallie point out — I am a f***ed up addict that cant [sic] be…Trusted relied upon nor defended,” wrote Hunter to his dad. Instead of being angry or abusive the way Donald Trump certainly would have been if his son had done the same, Biden showed unconditional love and support for his son.
Millions of Americans have struggled with drug addiction or have watched a family member go through the same fight, and it is enormously humanizing to see these intimate exchanges between Biden and his son — especially in contrast with Trump who in four years has never shown that kind of affection for his children, his wife, or anyone at all. It speaks to Biden’s innate goodness and empathy for others, qualities which are entirely absent from the character of a sociopath like Donald Trump.
At a fundamental level, the last-ditch attempt to sell the public on yet another overly complicated low-stakes Hunter Biden scandal illustrates just how deeply the Trump team have fallen victim to their own paranoid obsessions.
The nation is wracked with crisis as the coronavirus rages, the economy tanks, and millions of American families teeter on the precipice of unemployment, poverty, and homelessness. It’s really hard to imagine how any voter who hasn’t already succumbed to the Trump cult brain worms could care at all about this, especially when the big takeaway is that Joe Biden is a father who loves and cares about his children — and after four years of racist FOX News uncle, America could really use some paternal support.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.