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Conservative media pundits like Tucker Carlson are all over it and pushing for it. Investigating Hunter Biden would be reciprocal to the treatment the GOP has received under a Democratic majority, who have spent years working to impeach Donald Trump.
But the GOP should “take the high road” and leave Hunter Biden alone.
That our country’s primary legislative body would use its time and resources to investigate the minutiae of the president’s son’s business dealings and drug habits should offend Americans as tangential and wasteful.
Shouldn’t Congress’s top priorities be something like ending the war in Ukraine, or getting the average American affordable (free) healthcare?
I don’t know about you, but Hunter Biden’s laptop doesn’t affect my quality of life or my income or my environment in any way.
Accordingly, I don’t want my elected officials committing time and resources to Hunter Biden.
It doesn’t start with Hunter Biden
Republicans will appeal to ethics or national security or something trite to justify their nakedly political investigation of Hunter Biden.
And in doing so, Republicans will be upholding a noxious tradition of partisan probing.
To be fair, the tradition starts with Republicans, specifically, Newt Gingrich who went after Bill Clinton with unprecedented zeal. The culmination of the Gingrich-led prosecution of Clinton was the Monica Lewinsky impeachment – which stemmed from Clinton lying under oath (about having sexual contact with an intern) while being investigated for a real estate controversy.
Clinton didn’t do himself any favors when he lied under oath (or when he conducted an elaborate affair with a twenty-something year old) but Republican’s persistent investigations of Clinton kind of manifested what the investigations were looking for in the first place, like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Democrats carried the trend forward with Trump
More recently, Democrats have invested immense effort into investigating Donald Trump. Of course, Democrats can appeal to hifalutin values to rationalize their efforts like preserving national security (Russiagate) or preserving democracy itself (January 6). But at the heart of Democratic efforts is just the same nitpicky, partisan agenda that motivated Gingrich to chase Clinton.
Democrats perhaps took things to a new level; they impeached Trump for contact with a foreign government in the months before taking office, which is just standard procedure for an incoming presidential administration. Then, Democrats impeached Trump again, for his involvement in January 6th.
At the time, Democrats were unable to demonstrate that Trump’s involvement had been illegal in any way. So, Democrats launched an eighteen-month investigation that ultimately determined that Trump’s involvement in January 6th was illegal.
My outsider, speculative impression is that Trump has conducted himself, in business and in governance, in ways unbecoming of a public official.
But I’m fairly positive Democrats have focused and pursued Trump for political purposes rather than moral purposes.
Republicans will likely pursue Hunter Biden
Now, Republicans are set to continue the trend, pursuing Hunter Biden as if they were a T-800. Democrats deserve some reciprocation, I suppose, although that is a petulant way of looking at things. Republicans have an opportunity to reset the way partisan politics are conducted, an opportunity to reintroduce chivalry and reprioritize issues that actually impact the lives of constituents.
But that’s probably part of the whole point, isn’t it?
If Democrats hadn’t been so consumed with chasing Donald Trump for seven years, they may have been forced to answer for why Americans don’t have sufficient health care or infrastructure or fair wages.
If Republicans don’t make the next two years about Hunter Biden, they might have to answer questions about public transportation and war spending. Better to spin the attention of the American people onto something all-consuming (yet ephemeral and inconsequential).
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison lives in Oregon and listens to Dokken.