• The Case For Cynicism

    June 14, 2024
    Screenshot, NY Post

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    The New York Post front page on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, following Hunter Biden’s conviction by a Delaware jury on charges that The First Son had falsely claimed he was not an addict when he purchased a gun, makes reference to the “First Felon,” and some grocery shoppers who caught sight of the headline could not restrain a snicker on their way to purchase overpriced eggs and other commodities. The price bumps are the result in large part of an inflation spiral caused, some think, by Biden’s reckless getting and spending policies.

    A friendly cynic who has what he likes to call his master’s degree in common sense believes the entire President Joe Biden administration must in the near future collapse into a soul-purifying, loud and sustained horse laugh.

    Accused of cynicism, my friend will remind the accuser that the Greek cynics were pre-Socratic philosophers. Even Socrates was tainted with a healthy dose of cynicism, and Antisthenes, the founder of the Greek Cynic School was a student of Socrates who once accused Aristotle of being in the pay of the lordly Alexander the Great. Aristotle was Alexander’s tutor.

    The Biden-obliging New York Times ran a photo showing Biden the Elder compassionately embracing his son, as fathers are expected to do when their wayward sons inadvertently burn down the house.

    Following Hunter’s guilty verdict, likely Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged, sort of, that he would consider pardoning Biden the Younger if elected president in 2024, because the verdict, he believed, violates the imprescriptible Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Trump offered no comment on the upcoming prosecution of Biden the Younger on more serious tax fraud charges.

    Rummaging for a catchy phrase, Hunter Biden prosecutor David Weiss said of Biden the Younger, “No man is above the law.”

    Weiss earlier was the architect of a sweetheart deal in which Hunter would escape serious punishment on both gun and tax charges. However, the deal fell apart when Delaware federal district court judge Maryellen Noreika questioned a tentative agreement in which a felony gun charge would be dismissed should Hunter plead guilty to two counts of evading taxes accompanied by a diversion agreement requiring him to remain drug-free and crime-free.

    "I have concerns about the agreement," Noreika said. "I can't let him plea to something if he thinks he has protection from something and he doesn't." Noreika’s legitimate concerns flummoxed the lawyers who had concocted the sweetheart deal, and Hunter was forced to enter a not guilty plea.

    Following the collapse of the sweetheart deal and subsequent trial in Delaware, President Joe Biden’s home turf during his 54 year run in politics, the “First Felon,” is now facing a prison term of 25 years. Dispassionate lawyers believe he may not end up breaking rocks in prison, and his “above the law” status is now in flux.

    Before the verdict was rendered, Biden very clearly said he would not pardon his son. Following the verdict, reporters for The Hill asked whether the president might commute his son’s pending sentence, at which point the runaround began.

    Keeper of White House secrets press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the Hill notes, “dodged the question and leaned on Biden’s response to ABC last week that he won’t pardon his son.

     “’I haven’t spoken to the president about this since the verdict came out and as we all know, the sentencing hasn’t even been scheduled yet,’ she said about a commutation.

    “’He was asked about a pardon, he was asked about the trial specifically and he answered it very clearly, very forthright. As we know, the sentencing hasn’t even been scheduled yet. I don’t have anything beyond what the president said. He’s been very clear about this,’ she added.”

    This is high hilarity. Biden has been “very clear” about pardoning his son to spare him a lengthy prison sentence. He has vowed not to do it. But a commutation of sentence that also may spare his son time in the clinker is the same horse of a different color. And Biden has been less than forthright in allowing the keeper of the White House secrets from being forthright concerning commutation.

    Most recently, President Biden was asked during a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the G-7 summit in Italy “if a commutation was on the table,” according to NBC News. Biden said “No.”

    Of course, no commutation could be “on the table’” because the First Felon has yet to be sentenced.

    Only people newly exposed to politics -- all-important youth voters --believe Hunter will serve 25 years behind bars. Even reporters favorably disposed to Biden’s candidacy are now cautiously skeptical when “the truth” tumbles incoherently from the president’s mumbling mouth. The Hill recently printed a piece showing that Biden won his first term as president by solemnly promising that, as a “transition candidate,” he would not run for a second term, a small campaign white lie that has now grown up into a second term in office.

    Biden of course is running for a second term. But should Biden be running for a second term as president?

    On this question, some important Democrats are cynics. But few are so cynical as to suppose that delegates to the Democrat National Convention meeting in Chicago from this August 19–22 will boot Biden off the ticket and choose someone younger, more articulate and less prone to reinventing his personal history.

    “Here is a question to be posed to the candidates seeking the presidency,” The Hill notes, “in particular, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Why does it seem impossible to resolve the most important challenges facing the nation?”

    That question was answered years ago by, I think, Chancellor of Germany Otto von Bismarck, who said that America never solves its most pressing problems. Instead, it “amicably bids them goodbye.” Some prominent Democrats would like to bid the Bidens goodbye – amicably of course. But as the 2024 election approaches, that course of action recedes further and further into the background, quite like the disappearing southern border of the United States.

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    Don Pesci

    Don Pesci is a political columnist of long standing, about 40 years, who has written for various state newspapers, among them The Journal Inquirer, the Waterbury Republican American, the New London Day, the Litchfield County Times, the Torrington Register Citizen and other Register Citizen papers. He maintains a blog, among the oldest of its kind in Connecticut, which serves as a repository and archive, for his columns; there are approximately 3,000 entrees in Connecticut Commentary: Red Notes From A Blue State, virtually all of them political columns stretching back to 2004. He also appears once a week Wednesdays on 1080 WTIC Newstalk radio with Will Marotti.

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