Mitch McConnell, CPAC, National Harbor, MD
Mitch McConnell speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, MD. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

How do you separate fact from fiction and figure out whether any of the “bombshell” developments regarding Hunter Biden really matter? For that, you have to pay attention to a different set of Republicans. 

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Hardly a day goes by without House Republicans unveiling (usually on a right-wing media channel) some new “bombshell development” in their investigation of private citizen Hunter Biden. This is always followed by speculation on how this latest revelation will certainly doom his father and expose the “Biden crime family.” So far, of course, the reality rarely meets the rhetoric. But how do you separate fact from fiction and figure out whether any of this matters? For that, you have to pay attention to a different set of Republicans. 

This is going to take a bit of explaining, so bear with us. 

Here is the thing about the entire Hunter Biden mess: It is pretty easy to see that this man has some problems. There are his substance abuse issues and a distinct moral flexibility when it comes to trying to make a buck. In other words, he is a grifter, and there is very little doubt that he would (and did) use his family name to enrich himself. 

That’s not great, of course, but it should hardly be a matter of concern to the rest of the country. Unless, of course, his dad, President Joe Biden, was illegally involved in any of these money-making schemes or directed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take it easy on his screwed-up son. 

While House Republicans and right-wing pundits will have you believe that this is certainly the case, they haven’t produced any actual evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Joe Biden, and certainly not of anything criminal (or even remotely comparable to the kind of stuff his predecessor Donald Trump did to enrich himself and his family while in the White House). 

But it all sounds really bad when House Republicans tell the story on Fox News, which is the entire point.

Yesterday, for example, the revelation du jour concerned Hunter Biden’s former business associate Devon Archer, who apparently testified that Hunter put his dad on speakerphone when meeting with business partners. 

That would be pretty bad if this happened while the elder Biden was (vice) president and if he had promised those business partners that he would do a certain thing if only they give his son a million dollars. 

Once again, there is no evidence that this occurred, but you wouldn’t know it from watching Fox News. 

Now, to put all of this in perspective, it is important to keep in mind that these House Republicans are a bunch of clowns who are performing a role in an alternate reality they have created for themselves and their voters. 

They are like children playing make-believe. For example, a four-year-old sitting in a sandbox might tell you that they baked you a delicious cake but that doesn’t mean you should eat it since this cake consists of sand and twigs. 

It’s like that here, with the difference being that the sand cake a child has “baked” always looks like sand, while the narrative that these House Republicans have concocted sometimes sounds almost like the real thing.

And that (finally) brings us to how you can figure out whether it is or not. 

For that, you have to look to a different set of GOP lawmakers: Those in the Senate, a.k.a. “the adults.” 

Not all of them, of course. You can forget about the likes of Ted Cruz (TX) or Josh Hawley (MO). We are talking about Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) or his deputy John Thune (SD). 

Those guys are the ultimate political opportunists. They don’t care about the cameras or Fox News appearances. All they want is to win the Senate majority next year, and if something were to help them achieve that goal, they would take full advantage of it. 

The mere fact that they are not constantly (or at all) talking about the “Biden crime family” tells you all you need to know about where things stand. 

Right now, there is a good chance that they even view the House GOP’s obsession with a private person as a net negative. If you asked McConnell, he’d probably prefer it if his colleagues on the other side of the Capitol did some actual legislating that would force Democrats into taking tough votes. 

So, until you read a headline that says “McConnell Calls for Urgent Criminal Probe of Joe Biden,” it stands to reason that House Republicans are still baking with sand.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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