The President Who Cried Corruption

Donald Trump wants to share a Perry Mason Moment with us.

The news cycle is ablaze with accusations of social media bias. The New York Post released an unverified email purporting to show that Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, engaged in corrupt activities. The conservative right-wing of America is really, really upset that Facebook and Twitter have limited the sharing of that article.

I have to wonder what the Trump campaign is thinking. So after 8 months of a very poorly handled pandemic, the Trump campaign would like to change my mind about Joe Biden with some unverified evidence? Can anyone verify that the laptop they claim to have belonged to Hunter Biden really prove that it was his? Fingerprints? Chain of custody? Surely there is a set of log files that would show where the laptop was the whole time. A good team of forensic scientists would be able to piece it all together.

But by stealing a laptop they broke the chain of custody. Giuliani would know this. Had they gone to court to get a subpoena and conducted a raid on Hunter Biden’s home, possessions, etc, they might have a story. A stolen laptop casts serious doubt as to the validity of their claims.

Even if Trump supporters get by all that, which they didn’t, then we’re not talking about public policy outcomes, are we? This election is about public policy outcomes. There is nothing else here to talk about. Do Trump supporters want to talk about corruption? Where was this NY Post article last year? Was this article released a few weeks before the election for a Perry Mason moment? That’s what it looks like to me.

Perry Mason? I know. That might be before your time for a lot of young people reading this. Perry Mason was a television series about a lawyer who fought criminal cases that were won with some last-minute reveal of evidence as a surprise. This kind of thing isn’t really allowed in real court cases, but it makes for great drama.

But let's say that there might be a hint of truth to all of this, which I doubt, but let’s just say that there is. By his proxies, Trump is asking us to believe a story about the son of a presidential candidate, a story of corruption and vice. Where were they when we played the Trump tapes where he talks about grabbing women by the crotch? Where were those Trump supporters when we heard Trump bragging about impulsively kissing women on the lips? Where were they when we wanted to see Trump’s tax returns? $750 for a billionaire? Where were they when it was revealed that Trump lied about the value of his properties for tax purposes?

Look, I’m not a fan of Joe Biden. I don’t like him. But I like Trump even less than Joe Biden. This hunt for dirt on the Bidens has been going on for a long, long time. No indictments, no court subpoenas no evidence. Trump has installed more than 200 federal judges, so he doesn’t have to shop for a forum. If there was enough evidence, Trump could bring Biden to justice if he wanted to, but I don’t see it happening.

If Biden’s corruption were really a problem, he could have nailed Hunter very early on in his presidency. He has Bill Barr at his side, right? But he let it slide, planning for the Perry Mason moment he wanted to share with us now. “He’s the strongest candidate. We’ll do everything we can to make sure he’ll win the primary. Then we’ll release evidence about his son just 3 weeks before the election. It’ll be perfect! We can’t lose!” Mini-me sighs.

Trump and his buddies have known about Hunter Biden and Burisma since at least 2014, but now it’s important, right? Now Trump wants voters to cast aside EVERYTHING just to hear your purported evidence and to vote for him after a very poor performance in a pandemic?

I will admit that both parties have a problem with corruption. This is a feature of our two-party system. We will just have to deal with that corruption until we can change the system in a way that introduces real competition to keep all parties honest. This farce of a story on Hunter Biden is at the very least unconvincing. The timing, the lack of evidence, the broken chain of custody, all of it smacks of corruption, too.

So yeah, it really sucks to have to choose between two chinchillas running for president. One with bright orange hair and the other with grey hair and great teeth. But I’ve been watching how the Trump team is losing on the policy front. The neoliberal conservative agenda that says “we’re all free agents in a bag of skin just looking out for ourselves”, that agenda is a complete and total failure. The pandemic proves that we’re not isolated agents who can profit at the expense of others, while in isolation. This is the lie of the Republican agenda, campaign, and philosophy.

If there is one thing that Joe Biden does get right, it’s that we’re in this together. I hate to say it, but he’s right on that point. He is bi-partisan. He does reach out across the aisle to reach a compromise. It may not be the compromise I want or like, but he does try to do that. I don’t see any of that with Trump’s campaign or politics.

With Trump, it’s “my way or the highway”, “we’re going to fill this seat”, and “We’re going to toss as many ballots as we can to win this election.” He was probably fine with that strategy until the pandemic came along to crush his beautiful economy. You know, the one that has pumped billionaire wealth by 27% during a recession caused by a president who spent six weeks in January feeling uncertain about what to do. Yeah, that one. My vote on this election is about that.

I don’t care about the Perry Mason moment the GOP wants to share with us or their October Surprise. I really only care about policy, policy, policy. I care about outcomes and anyone who gets hurt by them. I don’t see this as a zero-sum game as Trump does. I see us all affected by the choices we make. That’s why I’m a liberal. That’s my central disagreement with Trump and his friends. And that’s a hint as to how I’ll be voting this year when I put my ballot in the drop box at city hall. You know, the box that has a camera trained on it.

Write on.

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