Why do some Republicans think they can hold that possibility over the heads of Democrats (and even other Republicans) like the Sword of Damocles? And what’s the Sword of Damocles anyway…?
We all already know Joe Biden’s son got himself a cushy gig in Ukraine with questionable characters at a gas company there. And even if Hunter Biden did nothing wrong, (and before you start emailing us, our point today is not to prove whether he did or didn’t), putting himself in a position where there was pretty much 100% chance of an appearance of impropriety–that he’d almost certainly be perceived as throwing in with a shady bunch–is a sin unto itself. Even if he really needed the money. Also, is he likely to be a good witness for himself and for his dad? Probably not.
Testifying about that as part of Trump’s trial in the Senate isn’t going to change or edify that.
It’s also not going to change anything Trump did in terms of withholding already-granted U.S. aid to Ukraine’s new President until he got an announcement he wanted about a political enemy. Also known as abuse of power, which is Article 1 of Trump’s impeachment, and what he’ll soon be tried for in the Senate. Article II is “obstruction of Congress”, that is, ignoring subpoenas in defiance of the Constitution; blocking the House from accessing witnesses and documents. Whether his conspiracy theory about Biden and his son is right or wrong, it doesn’t make what Trump did any more right, or any less wrong.
And Hunter Biden’s testimony might not even be that much of a threat to support of Joe Biden either. At first we thought that whole Ukraine entanglement definitely would batter the Democratic candidate. But now we’re not so sure. Mainly because it hasn’t so far. Although it hasn’t really been a spotlight issue yet. Still, we’ve started to remember many times when Americans gave a lot of leeway to relatives of Presidents who did wacky or inappropriate or even borderline illicit things. Why? Because everybody’s got one of those kinds of folks in their family.
Actually, if we were Joe Biden, what’d scare us a lot more is this headline in Politico that appeared over the weekend: “Democrats stop betting on a Biden implosion”. Because if a leading political publication told us that, we’d take is as almost a sure sign a precipitous fall is imminent. (Because political writers are always wrong about everything. Not fake. Just wrong).
So bring Hunter Biden on, Rand Paul’s of the world!
Sen. Paul, Republican of Kentucky, is threatening any Republican Senator who might be intent on hearing witnesses as part of Trump’s trial by putting Hunter Biden on the list too. His thesis being if they vote against hearing from Hunter Biden, their reelection chances will go up in smoke. And Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas wants to tee Joe Biden up as some kind of tit-for-tat should Democrats get to call one of “their” witnesses, one of “their” witnesses of course almost certainly being a Republican previously or currently in the employ of Trump.
And for that matter, we say bring on Joe Biden too! If he can survive that gauntlet, it’ll give him some immunity to nonstop attacks by Trump on the subject of his son, which are sure to happen should Biden be the Democrat’s nominee. So Biden’s going to have to spend a lot of time explaining his and his son’s actions whether he wants to or not (and regardless of whether allegations of impropriety are valid or not). Heck, if Biden comports himself well, and has the fortitude and political skill to come out of a Senate “showdown” with his respectability relatively intact, then by all means nominate him! And get it out of the way now instead of letting Trump draw it out, as he does.
And BTW, the Sword of Damocles refers to an obsequious fellow in the court of a very ancient Sicilian king. After spending a lot of time flattering the king and telling him how great it must be to be him, the king offered to swap places for a day. But there was a catch: when Damocles stepped up to the throne, the king had rigged a giant sword over his head, held in place by a single horse hair. Boy, did the toady Damocles learn his lesson! Soon, he was crying and begging like a dog!