close
close

Advice | How much should Hunter Biden’s conviction matter?

You are reading the Prompt 2024 newsletter. Sign up to receive it in your inbox.

Hunter Biden was found guilty of three gun crimes in federal court on Tuesday, stealing the legal spotlight from former President Donald Trump. That’s why I asked my Post Opinions colleagues David Von Drehle and Charles Lane: How much should Hunter Biden’s conviction affect his father’s reelection prospects?

Alexi McCammond: Hey guys! If both Presidents Biden and Trump are linked to legal issues and salacious family drama, would that make any difference to voters this fall? Republicans will field Hunter in Joe’s place and try to convince voters that the Biden family is just as corrupt as what voters have heard about Trump.

David von Drehle: It seems clear that the behavior of a president is more relevant than the behavior of a family member. However, in our unhealthy “what about” discourse, the effect of Hunter Biden’s belief will tend to confuse the issues in some minds.

Chuck Lane: Trump will play that game in the first debate. You can be sure. He will try to lure Biden and play on his emotions.

David: The two-cushion shot is this: The more we learn about Hunter Biden’s life in the train wreck, the more pointedly one asks, “Why did Chinese and Ukrainian companies pay him millions of dollars?”

Alexi: To me, the trial could also be a moment for Democrats (or Republicans) to talk about federal gun policy. Just say it!

Chuck: Absolutely. Except the Republican Party should be on Hunter Biden’s side because that’s her position weapons for everyone.

Alexi: In some ways, the Hunter trial provides an opening for President Biden to talk about his compassion and empathy for his son — something voters in 2020 liked about him, especially compared to Trump, who of course is not known to be like that .

David: Compassionate or facilitating?

Alexi: Maybe you are right. Say more about that.

David: As a person with some experience in the addiction field, I have had to learn that paving the way for an addict does not help. It seems like the Biden family has been putting Hunter through a lot of bad behavior for years and even now they seem committed to trying to prevent him from suffering the consequences of his actions.

Alexi: Thanks for sharing that, DVD. I’m sorry you have experience with that. As someone who has too, the hardest thing to be tough on someone you love is when that person is actively fighting for their life.

David: Yes, Alexi, it is. Parenting can be very, very hard work. Even if Hunter has a technical excuse for his misleading gun purchase form, there is no doubt that he has been repeatedly committing state and federal crimes for years, not to mention his boorish behavior. He is a grown man and must face the consequences.

Alexi: Unlike Trump’s trial in Manhattan, many of Hunter’s relatives showed up for him in Wilmington during this trial.

Chuck: I wasn’t 100 percent okay with Jill Biden’s presence in the courtroom, which seemed like a way to lean on the jury.

Alexi: Hmm. I think it’s okay for a stepmom to show up for her stepson! Now that Hunter has been convicted, I wonder if President Biden has a better argument against the Republican Party’s accusation that he weaponized the Justice Department against Trump?

David: This will undoubtedly contradict the armament argument. We shall see.

Chuck: Yes and no. To begin with, the arguments are not made in good faith.

David: I couldn’t agree more, Chuck. On the plus side, Trump would be aware of the rule of law for the first time in his long life. So maybe that’s a good thing.

Alexi: Hopefully people will find some compassion for addicts along the way. And who knows, we might get a crazy challenge to federal gun policy!

🙅🏽‍♀️ 🙅🏽‍♀️ 🙅🏽‍♀️

Now that Hunter Biden’s sentence has been handed down, President Biden’s response will be subject to intense scrutiny. Consider what Aron Solomon wrote in an op-ed for The Hill:

The psychological impact of Biden the elder knowing that his son sits in a Delaware court every day with the distinct possibility of prison time is more than enough to shift the pardon paradigm. Now that Hunter Biden has witnessed everything he has been through and endured, the shock of a legal conviction could erode President Biden’s moral convictions. Any parent would understand.

Given that Republicans have long sought to use Hunter Biden’s legal troubles and business dealings to politically undermine his father, these proceedings not only promise to shed light on deeply personal and tumultuous moments in the Biden family’s history, but also to determine the political fate of the family. History will have to decide whether political opportunism or paternal instinct will win.

Mark McKinnon, a Republican strategist, argues in a piece for Vanity Fair that turning the election into a referendum on family matters and character could be a winning strategy for Biden. He is writing:

The pain Joe Biden feels is palpable. It is clear that he knows that if he were not president and not running for re-election, his son would almost certainly not be prosecuted for the crimes he is accused of. … Republicans like to talk about family values. But if the outcome of the upcoming election focused on which candidate truly values ​​family, the verdict would be unanimous.

Four years ago this week

Four years ago this week, amid nationwide protests over police brutality, Amazon decided to ban police from using the company’s facial recognition technology — but only for a year. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.) Also, the once-popular reality TV show “Cops,” which debuted in 1989, was ultimately canceled after criminal justice advocates raised eyebrows over the way the show normalized bad behavior by police officers.

  • Did you see this? A scientific controversy is shaking the Supreme Court’s mifepristone case, reports Substack author and epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina. Read her op-ed.
  • What do you say? Ginny Hogan argues that Trump is the ideal feminist for a misogynist. Read the Daily Beast op-ed.
  • Is nationalism a choice? Hamilton Nolan says so and explores why that is dangerous in his Substack newsletter. Read it here.
Back To Top