Accusations are flying in Washington over who might be the culprit in Ukraine. Did Biden or Trump abuse their power? Does it matter? The outcome may be that both men are so tarnished by the fight that the winner is Liz Warren. Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. outlines this scenario at The Wall Street Journal:
Here’s a case of political spin that could only have been delivered tongue in cheek: “Reputable news organizations have concluded there’s nothing here,” a Joe Biden aide explained to Politico amid this week’s bizarre Ukraine eruption.
Except it was two news organizations liberals revere, the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine, that did the most to expose the Biden-Ukraine imbroglio that Tuesday set off a new and apparently more serious Trump impeachment drama. Joe Biden was an Obama point man on Ukraine and may have had perfectly legitimate reasons for demanding Kiev sack an allegedly corrupt prosecutor who was threatening to investigate an allegedly corrupt Ukrainian gas company. But the fact that his son Hunter Biden, with no visible qualification, was quickly hired to sit on the company’s board was obviously a straight-up cronyist play to encourage the desired outcome.
Nobody on either side of the aisle seriously claims otherwise now. “There is little question that Hunter’s proximity to power shaped the arc of his career,” reported the New Yorker in its 5,000-word piece this summer.
Was there anything illegal here? Probably not. Is such trading on political celebrity a common shortcut to riches for people with otherwise little to offer? Yes.
But here’s where it gets interesting. The aesthetic that animated the Trump 2016 campaign now is the aesthetic of the Elizabeth Warren campaign: The game is rigged for the connected, for insiders.
Read more here.