Stein’s Law holds that “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”
The late Herbert Stein made the observation about economic trends, but his axiom perfectly describes Joe Biden’s shaky dance with political death.
The president is trying to navigate a narrow path between two potential disasters.
Each one could prove fatal to his tenure, but if the twain shall meet, he doesn’t have a prayer.
And it’s a near certainty they will meet because the facts we already know are overwhelmingly stacked against him and more damaging information is coming soon.
One track of his predicament stems from general public unhappiness with his performance.
Averages of recent polls compiled by RealClearPolitics show him with an approval rating of a saggy 42%, and the number sinks to the mid-30s on his handling of the economy.
He’s taken to boasting of his policies as “Bidenomics,” which is an odd move given public sentiment about the results.
By consistent margins of at least 3-1, voters say the nation is on the wrong track and an astonishing 71% of respondents, including half of Democrats, said in a recent survey the 80-year-old-Biden is too old to seek a second term.
His doddering nature and frequent brain freezes compound the view he’s way over the hill.
The other track of the president’s predicament is the gathering storm related to his son.
The obvious fact that Hunter Biden is getting favored treatment from the father’s Department of Justice has broken through the media’s Praetorian Guard and the public doesn’t like the smell of it.
Although Hunter has agreed to plead guilty to two tax violations and a gun charge later this month after a supposedly five-year investigation, he’ll likely avoid spending a day in prison.
A sweetheart deal for a notorious family member would be political trouble for any president, but the Bidens’ scandal is mushrooming now because of the sensational testimony of IRS whistleblowers.
They allege Justice officials obstructed efforts to seek more serious charges against Hunter, tipped off his lawyers to searches and interviews and refused to let them probe whether Joe played a role in the family’s multimillion-dollar schemes.
“The criminal tax investigation of Hunter Biden has been handled differently than any investigation I’ve ever been a part of for the past 14 years of my IRS service,” said Gary Shapley, a supervisory special agent in the Criminal Investigation unit.
He added that decisions at every stage were “benefiting the subject.”
Complicity with Hunter
The sworn testimony, including release of a WhatsApp message where Hunter says his father is sitting beside him as he demands millions from a Chinese businessman and threatens consequences if it isn’t delivered, adds to the growing pile of evidence that Joe was in on the scheme from the get-go.
The message, the fruit of an IRS subpoena, was sent in late July of 2017.
Recall that Tony Bobulinski, the CEO of a joint venture involving Hunter and Jim Biden with a Chinese energy conglomerate, has said he met with Joe about the family business in May of 2017.
Although Joe was a private citizen then, Hunter, according to Bobulinski, claimed the Chinese partners owed his family $20 million for work done in 2015 and 2016 — while Joe was vice president.
Emails show the “big guy” was secretly slated to get 10% of the money.
If he did, or if probers can show he got money from any of Hunter’s deals, the final dot would be connected.
Already, much of the public gets the emerging picture.
With the whistleblowers’ claims forcing Dems’ media outlets to cover the story, and with Big Tech no longer censoring anti-Biden stories as it did in 2020, more and more Americans see the pattern and most believe Joe Biden is corrupt.
Two-thirds of voters in one survey say Hunter got a sweetheart deal because of his father, and less than one-third of respondents in another survey said they believe the president is innocent of allegations regarding the foreign payments, which they believed were aimed at influencing American policy decisions.
In plain English, a big majority is already convinced the president is a compromised commander-in-chief.
With congressional Republicans just hitting their stride in uncovering the facts, more revelations, combined with Biden’s age and poor job performance, increasingly make his campaign for four more years look like a pipe dream.
Which raises the central question: How does Biden’s tenure end?
My answer echoes the dialogue over bankruptcy in Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises.”
How, one character asks another, did you go broke, and the famous response is, “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”
We have been in the gradual phase of Biden’s downfall for some time, and now the sudden phase is approaching.
Evidence of Joe’s involvement is almost certain to expand with the testimony of Devon Archer, a former partner of Hunter’s in many deals, including the one with Burisma, the corrupt Ukrainian energy company. Archer and Hunter were appointed to the company’s board when Joe was vice president, and Archer, headed to federal prison in a separate case, has no incentive to protect the family.
$iphoning Burisma tap
If the president played a role or profited from the Burisma deal or others, Archer would most likely know.
Although Joe could dangle a pardon to keep him silent, the move would be seen as so outrageous that it would, in the eyes of most Americans, instantly convict the president himself of corruption.
My hunch, then, is that testimony from Archer and other witnesses will create such a public storm that Joe will have no real defense and very little wiggle room.
At that point, he likely would begin to test the waters for horse-trading to save himself.
Faced with certain impeachment and possibly conviction and removal, he could privately offer to drop his re-election plans.
That doesn’t sound like much of a concession, but it might be enough to keep him in office for the remainder of his term because nobody in either party wants a President Kamala Harris.
Of course, Joe would still be subject to possible charges from the Justice Department after he leaves office.
And if Donald Trump becomes president again, he would get his revenge for Biden prosecuting him and the tit-for-tat would be complete.
Meanwhile, Dems could have an open primary, with Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Sens. Amy Klobachur, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, and Pete Buttigieg and other dreamers free to pick up where they left off in 2020.
Even Sen. Bernie Sanders would probably try again and why not Hillary, too?
It all sounds far-fetched — until you imagine a Trump-Biden rematch, with Biden hobbled by a terrible first term and both candidates accused of crimes.
If Democrats stick with Biden under those circumstances, they’ll be inviting the second coming of Trump.
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