Hunter Biden’s multifarious personal problems wouldn’t be an issue if the Biden family weren’t in a constant state of PR blitzing to ensure everyone thinks he’s a great guy who made a few mistakes.
In December, shortly after it was revealed that the son of Joe Biden was under investigation for tax fraud, the then-president-elect gave a softball interview with late-night host Stephen Colbert. When asked how he felt about the idea that “people who want to make hay in Washington are going to try to use your adult son as a cudgel against you,” Biden responded with a full-throated defense of his child.
“Well, look, I have, we have great confidence in our son,” he said.
“I am not concerned about any accusations made against him. It’s used to get to me. I think it’s kind of foul play, but look, it is what it is, and he’s a grown man. He is the smartest man I know, I mean, from a pure intellectual capacity. And as long as he’s good, we’re good.”
Now, Biden’s son is in the news for his addition to the addiction-and-loss memoir genre of books, “Beautiful Things.”
If you’re a fan of the James Frey/Cat Marnell school of writing, which wallows in the pornography of personal debasement, you’ll apparently love “Beautiful Things.” From all reports, the book seems to detail Hunter’s toxic relationships with women, pills, powders and drinks in stunningly meretricious fashion.
The book release has also revealed the paradox of the Hunter Biden PR blitz.
The smartest man our president knows seems to have revealed in its pages that he likely lied on a background-check form to obtain a firearm; by his own account, he was deeply in the throes of crack addiction when he said he was not “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.”
In an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning,” Hunter also addressed the issue of his infamous laptop, saying it “could be” out there but that he doesn’t remember dropping it off at a Delaware repair shop (which doesn’t necessarily preclude him from doing that in Hunter-land, mind you) and saying that “it could be that it was Russian intelligence” who hacked the computer.
But, perhaps most tellingly, the smartest man President Biden knows says he probably smoked a lot of parmesan cheese because it resembled crack and he was combing through his rugs looking for crumbs of the drug that he dropped.
“I went one time for 13 days without sleeping, and smoking crack and drinking vodka throughout that entire time,” Biden told “CBS Sunday Morning.”
“I spent more time on my hands and knees picking through rugs, smoking anything that even remotely resembled crack cocaine. I probably smoked more parmesan cheese than anyone, anyone that you know.”
Yes, I get it: It’s kind of sort of a joke. Parmesan cheese looks sort of like crack if you have an untrained eye for these sorts of things.
No matter how low he had gotten, one questions why either one was so freely dropped in Hunter Biden’s domicile that you could find smokable chunks of it in the rugs, but there you go.
Ordinarily, one has genuine sympathy for a high-profile drug addict. If he gets well, that’s wonderful. If he wants to flog a memoir about what drugs he did and how much of it he was doing, that’s tacky and I’m not going to read it — but if he can get someone to publish it and a flock of cultural rubberneckers to buy it, that’s his right. We live in a time and age where getting richer than Croesus from one’s personal failings isn’t just acceptable but encouraged, and far be it from me to say the first son isn’t entitled to join the club.
However, Hunter Biden can’t simultaneously be the smartest man our president knows while having been in this state of paralyzing drug addiction. That’s why “Beautiful Things” brings a lot of questions about the president’s son to the fore again, particularly when it comes to how a man picking through rugs for cheese and/or crack wasn’t hurting for money.
It’s a kindness to say, as Matthew Yglesias did in an article for Vox last summer, that Hunter Biden is a man who “never really seems to have quite launched as an independent entity.”
It’s genuinely astonishing if you look at the allegedly gainful employment he’s held and compare it to where his father had legislative and political clout at the time; there’s scarcely a period in Hunter’s life where the two didn’t collide.
Also consider the fact that, while Hunter Biden was subjecting himself to the personal abasement graphically detailed in “Beautiful Things,” he was on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, which was paying him $50,000 a month for his services despite the fact that he had zero experience in the energy sector or the Eastern European marketplace.
And now we’re expected to believe his intellectual contributions to Burisma were worth that much money even as he was spending 13 days straight without sleep, doing nothing but smoking crack and drinking vodka. He sank so low that he said he would smoke parmesan cheese on the off chance it was actually a Schedule II drug.
In no way is this the picture of a functional addict — but we’re still expected to buy that Hunter Biden is a very smart man who’s just made a lot of mistakes and that his career trajectory wasn’t based solely on trading on his last name and his father’s clout.
Hunter Biden potentially committed a federal firearms offense and is under investigation for tax fraud, to say nothing of his uncomfortable history of making money off of who is father is. A drug addict can be commended for sobriety while still being held accountable for what they did while addicted.
Beyond that, the constant repackaging of the most prodigal of first sons by the Biden family, as aided by the establishment media, should offend the intelligence of any American. So should the idea that this is the smartest man his father knows.
If the president really meant it, of course, we have bigger issues.
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