How MAGA Republicans’ Hunter Biden obsession underscores a 'deep psychological need': ex-Reagan speechwriter
During the 2022 midterms, countless pundits predicted that if Republicans flipped the U.S. House of Representatives, investigating President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, would be high on their list of priorities. Republicans did flip the House, where they will have a small majority of around six seats in 2023. And sure enough, Rep. James Comer of Kentucky (the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee) is promising in-depth investigations of the president’s son.
Veteran columnist/author and Never Trump conservative Mona Charen examines MAGA Republicans’ obsession with Hunter Biden in an article published by The Bulwark on December 6. The 65-year-old Charen, who worked in the Reagan White House during the 1980s and was a speechwriter for First Lady Nancy Reagan, is not a Hunter Biden fan. But she is much more critical of former President Donald Trump and his many allies in the GOP, and she finds MAGA Republicans’ obsession with Hunter Biden laughable in light of the many lines the former president has crossed.
“Hunter Biden seems to be corrupt,” Charen writes. “He traded on his father’s name. He has abused drugs and engaged in other unsavory practices. He’s a mess. But there is nothing relevant to public policy or civic virtue here. President Biden is hardly the first president to have troubled family members. But Joe Biden didn’t hire Hunter at the White House, and if there is any evidence of the president using official influence on Hunter’s behalf, we haven’t seen it. The Department of Justice under President Trump opened an investigation into Hunter Biden. President Biden has left it alone. It’s ongoing.”
Trump’s Republican supporters, Charen argues, have “a deep psychological need for the Hunter Biden story,” which is a distraction from the many lines the former president has crossed.
“For seven years, the right has been explaining, excusing, avoiding, and eventually cheering the most morally depraved figure in American politics,” Charen emphasizes. “That takes a toll on the psyche. You can tell yourself that the other side is worse. Or you can tell yourself that the critics are unhinged, suffering from ‘Trump derangement syndrome,’ whereas you are a man of the world who knows nobody’s perfect. But then Trump will do what he always does — he’ll make a fool of you.”
Charen continues, “You denied that Trump purposely broke the law when he took highly classified documents to Mar-a-Lago and obstructed every effort to retrieve them. And then, what does Trump do? He admits taking them! You scoff at the critics who’ve compared Trump with Nazis. And then, what does he do? He has dinner with Nazis! And fails to condemn them even after the fact. You despised people who claimed Trump was a threat to the Constitution, and then, Trump explicitly calls for ‘terminating’ the Constitution in order to put himself back in the Oval Office.”
Republicans who are obsessed with Hunter Biden, Charen writes, have “provided succor and support” to a former president “who has encouraged political violence since his early rallies in 2015, has stoked hatred of minorities through lies, has used his office for personal gain in the most flagrant fashion, has surrounded himself with criminals and con men, has committed human rights violations against would-be immigrants by separating children from their parents, has pardoned war criminals, has cost the lives of tens of thousands of COVID patients by discounting the virus and peddling quack cures, has revived racism in public discourse, and attempted a violent coup d’état.”
“They know it,” Charen writes. “It gnaws at them. That’s why the Hunter Biden story is their heart’s desire. But here’s something else they need to meditate on: Even if everything they’re alleging about Joe Biden were true — even if he did pull strings to help his son and even profited unjustly thereby — it still wouldn’t amount to a fraction of what Trump did.”
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