Thursday, October 17, 2019

Our Hereditary Political Aristocracy

The least you can say is that Hunter Biden was profiting from his father’s position. Was it corrupt? Of course, it was. Would you have gotten the same deal from a Ukrainian gas company? It may or may not have been illegal, but building a career and collecting massive fees for nothing but your father’s position is so obviously corrupt that only the most partisan politician or commentator could even pretend to excuse it.

The fact that many Americans, from Anderson Cooper on down, are willing to excuse the Hunter Biden corruption is a very bad sign. It is of a piece with the simple fact, observable to anyone who has eyes and ears, that Joe Biden, bless him, is mentally deficient. Perhaps he is suffering from dementia, but the man is constantly incoherent, barely capable of formulating a correct English sentence. The world is rushing to forgive Biden his gaffes, but still, if Donald Trump had ever made such a series of gaffes, and had consequently avoided all sit down interviews, the psycho world would rise up and call for treatment… or at least disqualification.

That people drone on about Joe Biden’s gaffes, ignoring the true story of his mental deficiency, reflects ill on the state of the national mind.

Anyway, a few Democratic voices are crying out in the wilderness… to coin a phrase. Among them, one Hamilton Nolan, writing in the Guardian. Why, pray tell, do we need to turn to a British leftist newspaper to read some sensible leftist commentary about Hunter Biden? The American media has descended into propaganda… that’s why.

Anyway, corruption is not always corruption. And yet, the way that the sons and daughters of politicians are treated should be a major scandal. So says Nolan, and he is correct. It has nothing to do with meritocracy, a dim memory mostly done in by diversity quotas. 

It more closely resembles a hereditary aristocracy. But, weren’t America’s founders congenitally opposed to hereditary aristocracy… and in favor of meritocracy? One might suggest that the distance between diversity quotas, quotas that favor people for reasons that have little to do with merit, are kissing cousins with hereditary aristocracy, advantages that accrue according to blood. With diversity quotas you gain advantages by being a member of an oppressed group… not for anything you have done.

Anyway, Nolan opines:

The son of a longtime US senator gets his start as a lawyer with one of the biggest corporate donors to his dad’s campaigns; a friend of his dad’s gets him a job in the Clinton administration, and then as a lobbyist; later, while his father is vice president, he is given a $50,000 per month seat on the board of a Ukrainian energy firm, despite lacking any clear energy expertise. How does this all happen? It happened the same way that Chelsea Clinton became a “special correspondent” for NBC News, and Jenna Bush got a job as a Today show host, and the Trump children got jobs overseeing a real estate empire. It happened the same way, for that matter, that George W Bush – objectively, a flailing dumbass – became the governor of Texas and then the president of the United States.

Merit be damned, earning your way, being qualified for a position, contributing to the general good… these fall into insignificance if you belong to a dynastic political family:

When you are the son of a famous and powerful politician, you are showered with opportunity, whether you deserve it or not. This is nepotism, but it is also, if we are being direct, a form of corruption. Moral corruption. Not only because these prestigious positions are not earned, and because these celebukids are taking something that rightly should have gone to someone more deserving; but also because, even though there is rarely anything so crude as a direct quid pro quo, this undeserved largesse is always motivated to some extent by a desire by some powerful interest to take advantage of the halo of influence cast by the parents. That influence should properly accrue to the public, who their parents work for. The lavish lives afforded to famous kids are, in effect, stolen from the American people. Each coveted job handed to a president’s kid represents a small quantity of subversion of the spirit of the democratic process.

So, Nolan, evidently a man of the left, calls out Democrats. You know, the party that worships anyone with the name Kennedy. Nolan wants Democrats to speak out loudly and clearly, against Hunter and Joe Biden… and at least to call them on their obvious lies about whether or not they ever discussed business:

I don’t want to hear Democrats – members of the party that ostensibly stands for more equality and purer democracy – pretending that the fact that the VP’s son got a do-nothing $600k per year corporate handout is unremarkable. I want Democrats to demonstrate that we live our values. I want Democrats to send their kids to public school, unionize their workplaces and give money to the poor.

It’s a good thought. Republicans should do the same. Fat chance it’s going to happen.


whitney said...

So it's pretty clear that Hollywood is nothing but a bunch of degenerate sex perverts and pedophiles and I think our Elite Class is the same. The worldwide child sex trafficking starts with them. The lower-level people just have pictures on the computers but the high-level people have the actual children. That's why Epstein was not that big a deal to these people because that was post-adolescent women which would be considered vanilla by these people. This also explains why they hate Trump so viscerally. He's not into it. He's a horny guy but he likes women, maybe younger women but adult women. It's also the reason for four years they've been researching them and they can't bring him down because he's not corrupt in the same way they are corrupt and they don't understand.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...


Do you mean like this?

Yes — THAT Alan Dershowitz.

I’m sure everyone will admire his principles. Especially when he has a principled tryst with an underage prostitute his friend Epstein arranged for him.


UbuMaccabee said...

C’mon, man...what about the Medici, they put all their kids on the board, and so did the that Albizzi bunch and the Sforzas.

And if you thought Ukraine was bad (and the story is not Hunter Biden, the story is Alexandra Chalupa, her sisters, the DNC, the server, Crowdstrike, and the various shells and front groups created by the Democratic Party to use the money pouring into a corrupt Ukraine to put a hit of Trump via Manafort) wait until the links to China with our rotten, ruling oligarchy begin to trickle in.

And no, I’m not sending my kids to public school or giving money to the poor, either. I’m going to get my own seat on the board of a ChiCom company and build a drone army around my estate.

Derek Ramsey said...

"I want Democrats to demonstrate that we live our values. I want Democrats to send their kids to public school, unionize their workplaces and give money to the poor. [..] Republicans should do the same. Fat chance it’s going to happen."

It is fair and consistent to criticize both—or neither—Biden and Trump types for corruption, but not just one or the other. American politics is rife with hereditary aristocracy and hypocrisy. If both parties lived by their stated values, certainly we would be a lot better for it.

However, Republicans who push private school vouchers and fight against forced participation in unions would be horribly inconsistent if they sent their kids to public school or unionized their workplaces. As per "How Political Ideology Influences Charitable Giving" in the NYT, the data also shows that Republicans do more charitable giving than Democrats. Not enough, perhaps, but still more.

Sam L. said...

Media = Leftist. Leftist = Media.

Mr. Nolan? There's a dumptruck, well, a convoy of dumptrucks, now arriving at your house and property. It ain't pretty!

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Derek, what would you like us to take from your comment?

What’s “enough” charitable giving?

How many Republicans do you know?

Derek Ramsey said...


"what would you like us to take from your comment?"

That it is strange to wish Republicans were more like Democrats. They don't share the same values. Now maybe the "good thought" mentioned in the OP is that Republicans should live their values. If so, then I agree: fat chance of that happening. But even if they did, it wouldn't look the same as the Democrats living their own values.

I suspect many Democrats would strongly dislike it if Republicans lived out their values more strongly (and vice versa). For example, imagine how Democrats would have reacted if Republicans had been serious about their stated values regarding immigration/border policies when they fully controlled the executive and legislative branches.

This pertains to the OP directly: consistently living out their values is a threat to hereditary political aristocracy.

"What’s “enough” charitable giving?"

How should I know? Ask Stuart. While discussing Republicans and Democrats "living their values", when the rubber meets the road, we know that Republicans (sometimes) value charitable giving more than Democrats. The OP states that giving money to the poor is a good thought, but "fat chance it’s going to happen." The only way this makes sense if neither group does enough. So what is enough?

"How many Republicans do you know?"

What kind of irrelevant question is that? Half the people I know are Democrats and the other half are Republicans. I myself am neither.