Impeachment, hypocrisy and the Democratic primary

by | Feb 10, 2020 | 2020 election, Editor's Blog, Politics | 4 comments

In the wake of the Bill Clinton impeachment, the perceived hypocrisy of the Republican Party led to the resignation of Speaker Newt Gingrich and his heir-apparent Bob Livingston because of their own extra-marital affairs. They had to settle on a pedophile. Back then I joked that the president got a blow job in the oval office and the whole Republican leadership had to resign. 

Now, it appears that Democrats impeached the president for unduly influencing foreign leaders to meddle in our elections and the entire Democratic presidential primary is now in disarray. Again, the specter of hypocrisy may be the undoing of Joe Biden. Until the Iowa caucuses, he seemed a fairly solid frontrunner. Now, articles abound about his collapse and we haven’t even had a primary yet. What’s more, Bernie Sanders seems to be the chief beneficiary of the shift. 

Sitting at a bar on Saturday night, I ran into two friends. Both are Democratic-leaning middle class white guys who live in the real world instead of political social media. They started grousing about the impeachment hearing. One said, “The biggest thing we learned is how sleazy Hunter Biden is.” The other quickly agreed, and said that Joe Biden should have recused himself for dealing with the Ukraine. 

While people like me were listening to the damning evidence against the president and hearing Adam Schiff’s powerful arguments, people like my friends were just catching bits and pieces. That Trump is corrupt is not news to them. That Biden appeared to be engaged in similar behavior is. Among people who weren’t paying that much attention, Trump and the Republicans successfully muddied the water and did exactly the type of damage to Biden that Trump intended to do when he asked the Ukrainians to investigate the former vice-president.  

Back when the Ukrainian scandal first broke, I wrote that Biden might be collateral damage. I didn’t really anticipate Trump coming out of the scandal even more powerful and I completely underestimated the subservience of the Senate Republicans to Trump. However, the relationships of people like Hunter Biden gave us Trump in the first place. While Democrats talk about various forms of inequality, a lot of voters pay more attention to the unfair advantage people in power have over those who work hard, play by the rules and still can’t get ahead.  

It’s why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016. People didn’t trust her because they believed she and her friends benefitted unfairly from their connections and, now, people like my friends in the bar don’t trust Joe Biden, either. In the fall, they’ll probably vote for any Democrat over Donald Trump, but in the primary, they’ll look for someone who is not entangled in Washington intrigue and corruption. I suspect they aren’t alone. 

Reports of Biden’s death may be premature. He’s still got time to recover. If he does, his resilience will prove that he should be the Democratic nominee.  If he doesn’t, there’s a mad dash among centrists and moderates to figure out who will replace him as frontrunner. Like Trump in 2016, Bernie Sanders stands to benefit as the most anti-establishment politician in the field because of his relatively small but incredibly loyal base.  


  1. Robert Sharer

    Whhaaaatttt? They didn’t like Hillary because they thought ” she and her friends benefitted unfairly from their connections.” Did they see any of the press about trump over the 10 to 20 years before 2016? What hypocrisy.

  2. Stephen Advokat

    transparency alert: Bloomberg is not my favored candidate) comments–perhaps quibble–with the comment of Edwin Finch. In his list of disqualifying factors, he says Mike Bloomberg is a rich New Yorker, like Trump. True enough. But why is that a disqualifier? Although some carp that Bloomberg is “buying his candidacy,” others suggest his ability to fully fund his own campaign with no allegiance to lobbyists nor PACs is an asset. Anyway, being a rich New Yorker didn’t disqualify Trump from attaining the White House, did it.

  3. Edwin Finch

    Trump was impeached, but Biden took the fall.

    Republicans in “Trump Culture” from Barr to Burr, seem incapable of seeing the “forest” of corruption, bullying, and intimidation of “Trump Culture” because of that enormous “tree” of falsehoods, Donald John Trump.

    ——- Democrats must Rally around Klobuchar.——–

    Here is the problems of the other candidates: they have some aspects of Trump. Amy has none. She is as far from Trump as you can get.

    Mayor Pete: no national political experience,and got to where he is by his “talk”. —— just like Trump.
    Bernie Sanders: populist with hard core base, almost cult followers — just like Trump (just to the left instead of right)
    Joe Biden: accused of wrongdoing in Ukraine —– just like Trump (even though not true in Biden’s case)
    Bloomberg: Rich New Yorker —– just like Trump (but actually true in case of Bloomberg, an illusion with the Don)

  4. Rick Gunter

    Sometimes I think democracy is to fragile to be put in the hands of men who frequent bars. Citizenship is a hard business, and most Americans not only lack the time to fully engage in it, but the knowledge to do so. For crying out loud! Joe Biden has done nothing wrong regarding Ukraine. His son should have avoided the golden gravy train. i admit that if Hunter’s last name wee Smith, he would not have made the ride. But to blame his dad is simply silly.
    Joe Biden may or may not be The One. But if my party, the Democratic Party, the party of my family, nominates Bernie Sanders or Mayor Pete, then we are finished. I would take my chances with Old Joe. And the lesser angels in my soul would love to see Liz Warren take down Trump. That would serve him right. He has mocked her, belittled her, and totally made a fool of himself. She could undo him in a debate in a New York minute. But I bet he would not debate her.

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