As the president steers through treacherous waters, he finds himself treading a narrow path between two potential disasters. Each of these hazards poses a significant threat to his tenure, and should they converge, his chances of survival appear slim. Regrettably, the convergence seems almost inevitable, as the existing facts overwhelmingly work against him, and more damaging information looms on the horizon.
One aspect of his predicament stems from the public’s widespread discontent with his performance. Recent polls, averaged by RealClearPolitics, indicate an approval rating of a lackluster 42%, with an even lower figure in the mid-30s for his handling of the economy. Interestingly, despite these numbers, he has taken to promoting his policies as “Bidenomics,” a move that seems peculiar considering public sentiment regarding the outcomes.
Voters consistently express the belief that the nation is on the wrong track by substantial margins, with an astonishing 71% of respondents, including half of Democrats, stating in a recent survey that the 80-year-old Biden is too old to seek a second term. The perception of his frail nature and frequent mental lapses further strengthens the notion that he is past his prime.
The other facet of the president’s predicament relates to the growing storm surrounding his son. The fact that Hunter Biden has received preferential treatment from the Department of Justice under his father’s administration has pierced through the media’s defenses, leaving a distasteful odor in the public’s perception. Although Hunter has agreed to plead guilty to two tax violations and a gun charge after a supposed five-year investigation, it is likely that he will evade imprisonment.
While a favorable deal for a notorious family member would pose political trouble for any president, the Biden family scandal has now mushroomed due to the sensational testimony of IRS whistleblowers. These individuals allege that Justice officials obstructed efforts to pursue more serious charges against Hunter, alerted his lawyers to searches and interviews, and prevented investigations into whether Joe Biden played a role in the family’s multimillion-dollar schemes. Gary Shapley, a supervisory special agent in the Criminal Investigation unit, stated that the criminal tax investigation of Hunter Biden has been handled differently from any other investigation he has been involved in during his 14 years of IRS service, with decisions at every stage seemingly benefiting the subject.
The sworn testimony, along with the release of a WhatsApp message where Hunter implies that his father is present as he demands millions from a Chinese businessman, strengthens the growing body of evidence indicating Joe’s complicity in the scheme. This message, obtained through an IRS subpoena, was sent in late July 2017. Recall that Tony Bobulinski, the CEO of a joint venture involving Hunter and Jim Biden with a Chinese energy conglomerate, claimed to have met with Joe about the family business in May 2017. Although Joe was a private citizen at the time, Hunter alleged that the Chinese partners owed his family $20 million for work conducted in 2015 and 2016, during Joe’s vice presidency. Emails reveal that the “big guy” was secretly slated to receive 10% of the money. The final piece of the puzzle would connect the dots if it can be proven that Joe received funds from any of Hunter’s deals.
The emerging picture is already apparent to a large portion of the public. With the whistleblowers’ claims forcing Democratic-leaning media outlets to cover the story, and with Big Tech no longer censoring anti-Biden narratives as it did in 2020, an increasing number of Americans recognize the pattern and believe Joe Biden is corrupt. In one survey, two-thirds of voters believe that Hunter received a favorable deal due to his father’s influence, and in another survey, less than one-third of respondents believe that the president is innocent of allegations regarding foreign payments, which they perceive as attempts to influence American policy decisions. In plain language, a significant majority already considers the president compromised.
As congressional Republicans ramp up their efforts to uncover further facts, more revelations, combined with Biden’s age and poor job performance, are making his campaign for four more years appear like a distant dream. This leads us to the central question: How will Biden’s tenure come to an end?
To answer this question, I turn to the dialogue on bankruptcy from Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises.” One character asks another how he went broke, and the famous response is, “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” We have witnessed the gradual phase of Biden’s decline for some time now, and the sudden phase is fast approaching.
The evidence of Joe’s involvement is likely to expand with the testimony of Devon Archer, a former partner of Hunter’s in numerous deals, including the one with Burisma, the corrupt Ukrainian energy company. Archer and Hunter were appointed to the company’s board while Joe was vice president, and Archer, facing federal prison time in a separate case, has no incentive to protect the family. If the president had a role or benefited from the Burisma deal or others, Archer is most likely privy to that information.
Although Joe could potentially offer a pardon to ensure Archer’s silence, such a move would be seen as highly outrageous and would instantly convict the president himself of corruption in the eyes of most Americans. Consequently, I suspect that testimony from Archer and other witnesses will create a public storm, leaving Joe with little defense and minimal room for maneuvering.
At that point, he would likely begin to explore opportunities for negotiations to salvage himself. Faced with almost certain impeachment and potential conviction and removal from office, he may privately offer to withdraw his plans for re-election. While this may not appear as a significant concession, it could be sufficient to secure his remaining time in office, as neither party desires a President Kamala Harris.
However, it is important to note that Joe would still be susceptible to potential charges from the Justice Department after leaving office. If Donald Trump were to regain the presidency, he would undoubtedly seek revenge for Biden’s prosecution, thus completing the cycle of tit-for-tat.
In the meantime, the Democrats could witness an open primary, with figures such as California Governor Gavin Newsom, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Senators Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, and other aspiring candidates resuming their campaigns from where they left off in 2020. Even Senator Bernie Sanders would likely attempt another run, and perhaps Hillary Clinton as well.
While all of this may sound far-fetched, envisioning a Trump-Biden rematch, with Biden burdened by a turbulent first term and both candidates facing accusations of wrongdoing, brings this scenario into focus. If Democrats were to stand by Biden under such circumstances, they would invite the resurgence of Trump.