Joe Biden recently told a group of children that he has “six grandchildren. And I’m crazy about them. And I speak to them every single day. Not a joke.”
People who read and watch Republican-leaning news outlets have long known that the president has a seventh grandchild, the product of Hunter Biden and his former girlfriend, Lunden Roberts. Hunter, who lives at the White House with his dad, has abandoned his four-year-old daughter Navy Roberts. He has refused to have anything to do with her. Joe, her grandfather, also pretends his granddaughter doesn’t exist, as though he were Grover Cleveland in the 19th century. (Even old Grover didn’t get away with unpersoning his illegitimate baby.)
Last week, the New York Times broke the liberal media’s silence on the story, shocking Democrats. Among the yucky details: Hunter went to court to block the little girl from using her father’s surname, Biden. This is serious stuff: parental abandonment increases the odds that Navy will suffer from health problems, addiction and suicidal ideation as an adult.
Democratic operatives quickly went into damage-control mode, dissembling and making excuses for a politician who has branded himself as our national grandpa—kind, decent, inclusive and loyal to his family to a fault.
It’s a “private family matter,” Democrats say. But there’s nothing private about any First Family—especially not this one. A White House that releases photos of the six grandkids’ Christmas stockings hanging from the fireplace can’t demand privacy when people ask WTF.
What about Donald Trump? He’s no paragon of virtue, liberals deflect. But Trump’s flaws don’t include hypocrisy; he never claimed to be a big family man. Biden does.
Another Democratic talking point: Lunden is a Trumpie. She hobnobs with right-wingers! How can Joe associate with Navy? There’s an easy retort to that one: Hunter ghosted her. You can’t be picky when you’re low on friends.
Because it undermines the president’s political brand, the Navy Biden Roberts issue won’t go away. Voters are finally beginning to ask whether Biden’s carefully crafted Irish-American just-a-boy-from-Scranton charm was malarkey all along.
Of course it was.
Behind Biden’s carefully-cultivated nice-old-man persona is a vicious SOB who screams and curses at his aides. He’s a sadist who enjoys humiliating people in front of their colleagues. He’s a colossally abusive boss; the difference between him and Amy Klobuchar is that the press covers up for him. “God dammit, how the f**k don’t you know this?!,” Biden screams at White House staffers. “Don’t f**king bullsh*t me!” and “Get the f**k out of here!” are other standard Bidenisms.
The fact that Joe is a mean old man shouldn’t come as this much of a shock. After all, this is a man who fist-bumped Mohammed bin Salman shortly after the Saudi dictator lured a Washington Post columnist to his consulate so he could torture him to death, chop his body into pieces, dissolve the chunks and dump the acidic gristle into the Istanbul sewer system. That gesture required a barrel of cynicism and one hell of a cast-iron stomach, not to mention a total lack of ethics. Biden chuckled when a reporter asked him whether MBS might commit another murder like the one of Jamal Khashoggi. “God love you,” Biden laughed. “What a silly question. How can I possibly be sure of any of that?”
“The president’s cold shoulder—and heart—is counter to every message he has sent for decades, and it’s out of sync with the America he wants to continue to lead,” Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote. And she doesn’t shock easily.
The truth is, Biden has always been a cruel person. Democrats don’t want to see it and, if they do, they won’t admit it, so they’re no different or better than the Republicans who stand behind Trump no matter what. Team Politics demands that fans of a party pay fealty in the coin of denial, policies and principles be damned.
As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee presiding over Clarence Thomas’ 1991 confirmation hearings to the Supreme Court, Biden repeatedly failed to protect his witness Anita Hill, who credibly accused Thomas of sexual harassment, from his Republican colleagues’ smear campaign. As if throwing Hill—an intensely private, shy person terrified of becoming the center of a political firestorm—under the bus wasn’t bad enough, he brought key corroborating witness Angela Wright to Washington yet never called her, leaving her to watch the hearings at her lawyer’s office. Hill was scarred, Thomas corrupted the court, and Biden moved on.
As chairman, Biden’s duty was to his witnesses, whom he abandoned. As a Democrat, his duty was to try to prevent Thomas from joining the court. Instead Biden sided with Thomas and his fellow senators.
Biden stands accused of staggeringly scurrilous misdeeds, including accepting millions of dollars in bribes in exchange for changing U.S. policy. But no single event showcases his willingness to screw over an innocent person to gain political advantage like his slanderous account of the circumstances of the deaths of his first wife and daughter in a car crash in 1972.
“A tractor-trailer, a guy who allegedly—and I never pursued it—drank his lunch instead of eating his lunch, broadsided my family and killed my wife instantly and killed my daughter instantly and hospitalized my two sons,” Biden told an audience in 2007.
In 2001 he falsely blamed an “errant driver who stopped to drink instead of drive” and “hit my children and my wife and killed them.”
He told this phony story over and over.
Curtis Dunn, who was driving the truck that struck Neilia Biden’s stationwagon, died in 1999. He had not been drinking. The accident was her fault; she blew through a stop sign; Dunn’s truck had none. Dunn stopped immediately and raced to help Biden and her children.
What kind of man would make up a story like that? Who would smear an innocent man just for fun? The same kind of man who would unperson his own granddaughter.
(Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, co-hosts the left-vs-right DMZ America podcast with fellow cartoonist Scott Stantis. You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)