Many families have immediate family members who go astray. They might commit a crime and go to jail or they might become addicted or they might be estranged for unknown reasons. It happens.
Hunter Biden, President Biden’s surviving son, falls into the “black sheep” category. In his new book, “Beautiful Things,” Hunter details his life on skid row in Los Angeles as an alcoholic doing all kinds of drugs and hanging out with prostitutes, pimps and crack dealers. It’s a story familiar to those who’ve painfully and helplessly watched a loved one go down the tubes.
Hunter’s downfall is particularly breathtaking and heartbreaking. When he was two, just before Christmas, his mother and baby sister were killed in a tragic car wreck that he survived.
Later, a Yale law graduate, Hunter rose rapidly through the corporate ranks. Did his last name help? Of course, which makes him no different from the children of many other politicians and famous people who leverage their names to get ahead.
Now sober and happily married, Hunter decided to tell his lurid story as a kind of confession and love letter to his father and his brother, the late Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015.
While an attorney working for a prestigious Washington law firm, Hunter made the mistake of joining the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company, where he was supposed to advise on corporate governance best practices. This led to baseless election-year allegations of corruption committed by Hunter and his father, who was serving as vice president at the time.
Rather than asking Ukraine’s top prosecutor to call off an investigation into Burisma, as his political enemies charged, Joe Biden, along with Western European leaders and the International Monetary Fund, wanted the prosecutor fired because he wasn’t investigating corruption at Burisma or at any other connected Ukrainian company.
None of that mattered during the 2020 presidential campaign. Ex-President Trump and allies like Rudy Giuliani, with the help of conservative media, dishonestly seized on Burisma, putting a target on Hunter’s back and, by extension, on Joe’s back, with a relentless disinformation campaign.
The real corruption took place when Trump demanded the newly elected Ukrainian president manufacture Burisma dirt he could use to smear Joe Biden or risk losing the U.S. military aid already been approved by Congress, which led to Trump’s first impeachment for abuse of power.
There’s no question Hunter has been his own worst enemy. Like many harboring self-destructive impulses, he has made very poor decisions and behaved in ways shameful to him, as he now admits, and shameful to his family. Nevertheless, the right continues targeting Hunter to attack Joe.
But if conservatives really want to talk about poor life choices made by the president’s son, who is not an elected official, we need to include in that conversation Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who is an elected official. The congressman and rabid Trump supporter is currently under investigation by the FBI for alleged sex trafficking and other related allegations, which Gaetz has denied.
According to published reports, Gaetz has bragged about his sexual conquests in the halls of congress and shared with his colleagues lewd photos of women he’s dated. Now that he’s under investigation, those same colleagues have reportedly shunned Gaetz while his role model Donald Trump refuses to meet with him.
“I may be a canceled man in some corners. I may even be a wanted man by the Deep State,” Gaetz whined in a tweet “I draw confidence knowing that the silent majority is growing louder every day.”
Gaetz also told a crowd of GOP donors in Palm Beach last week, “They’re not coming for me. They’re coming for you.” His lawyer should tell the self-pitying, self-aggrandizing, Trump-wannabe to button it because he’s digging himself in deeper every time he tweets or talks.
The All-Star Game saga continued last week when Gov. Brian Kemp showed up in Marietta to blame Democrats for Major League Baseball’s decision to move the game to Denver after Georgia Republicans passed their so-called election integrity law, which actually aims to suppress minority voting in Georgia.
Fox News and other right wing media falsely claimed voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams pressured MLB to move the game. She doesn’t have that kind of clout for one thing. The truth is, Abrams urged MLB to keep the game in Cobb County in a March 31 USA Today opinion piece. Cobb County Commission Chairwoman Lisa Cupid, a Democrat, likewise called on MLB to hold the game at Truist Park.
MLB had no choice if it was to demonstrate its commitment to diversity and inclusion at its premier summer showcase. Kemp should have known the likely consequences for the state and county when he signed the legislation into law.
Gov. Kemp and GOP legislators can run but they can’t hide. They own the lost All-Star Game.