Streetwise Professor

September 15, 2023

Gaslighting About Joe’s Innocence Is Just One Front in the Gaslighting War

Filed under: Economics,Politics — cpirrong @ 11:47 am

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has announced the initiation of an impeachment “inquiry” against Joe Biden.

On the substance, I’m ambivalent. Many crosscurrents here. Perhaps the most intriguing is that this might be turnabout: just as the indictments against Trump are plausibly a strategy to boost his popularity among the Republican base to ensure his nomination (in the belief he can’t win the general–though maybe they should ask Hillary about that), the House impeachment move is plausibly an effort to force the Democrats to stick with Biden (in the belief he can’t win the general–though maybe they should ask Trump about that).

The Democrats’ reaction is quite amusing, and telling in many ways. It also suggests that if this is a turnabout play, it’s working.

The main response is that this inquiry is totally unjustified, because there is no evidence that Biden is corrupt. For one thing, McCarthy announced an inquiry–which is a process to develop evidence. Justification of an inquiry faces a (much) lower hurdle than an actual impeachment, or a conviction and removal from office. Moreover, there is far, far more evidence in plain sight here than the predicates for the first Trump impeachment or the Mueller investigation. The former was based on allegations regarding a phone call between Trump and Zelensky which turned out not to be an accurate representation of the actual content of the call. The latter was based on the Steele Dossier and some extremely dubious hearsay (e.g., the alleged Papadopolous revelation). The Dossier was facially absurd–as I wrote immediately upon its release: the Putin gifted Trump 10 percent of Rosneft via Carter Page was obviously complete and utter bullshit.

With Biden there is: Hunter’s laptop; information from a trusted FBI source; undisputed and indisputable business dealings between Biden’s son and brother and corrupt companies (CEFC and Burisma) and oligarchs around the world; documented large flows of money through a labyrinth of shell companies; well over 100 suspicious activity reports related to Biden family members filed by US banks; testimony of Biden associates (Archer and Bobulinski in particular); contemporaneous US and European documents regarding the Ukrainian prosecutor Shokin whom Biden bragged about getting fired; Shokin’s statements; Biden’s bragging; and the now indisputable fact that Biden lied repeatedly about the absolute wall between him and Hunter’s business dealings; the fact that Hunter and Jim had nothing–zero, zip, nada–to offer Burisma or CEFC or corrupt Kazakh or Romanian oligarchs other than access to Joe Biden. And that’s just what pops immediately to mind. More than enough smoke to justify looking for a fire.

But but but . . . there’s no proof that Joe benefited personally from Hunter and brother Jim’s foreign dealings!!! the Democrats squeal. In unison.

Er, that’s the point of an inquiry, isn’t it? To determine whether Joe indeed realized a benefit. There is certainly more than enough evidence to create a reasonable suspicion of such a quid pro quo.

And ironically, one of Biden’s–and the Democrats’–primary justifications proves the existence of such a benefit. JOE LOVED HUNTER! Biden did what he did not out of greed for personal pecuniary gain, but because of his deep, abiding love for his troubled son. (Why is Hunter troubled if he had such a loving father? you might ask. And if Joe’s love is unconditional and without any strings or expectation of payback, why did Hunter sometimes express bitterness at what he had to give his father, e.g., half of his income?)

Well, let’s taken the deep, undying, unconditional love as given. That would imply that Joe benefited any time his son profited. Even if a single dime that rained on Hunter never touched Joe’s hands, all those dimes (100s of millions of them) would have given Joe immense pleasure.

Bribery involves performing an act in an official capacity in return for consideration. The showering of blessings on a son upon whom the sun supposedly rose and set in Joe’s world certainly counts as consideration for Joe.

Consider an analogy. Any corporate CEO that arranged or facilitated deals that benefited a family member would be fired, and perhaps prosecuted. Further, many government corruption allegations (I’m from Chicago, so I know!) involve actions by a government official that benefit a family member or members, without the necessity of showing that the official received any direct compensation.

Meaning that the no-direct-personal-benefit-and-he-did-it-all-for-love defense does not cut it. Even if it is true. Which is highly dubious (as the above litany of the supposedly non-existent evidence demonstrates), and which regardless is a fair subject of inquiry.

There is obviously some serious cognitive dissonance at work here. On the one hand, publicly Democrats are circling the wagons around Joe. On the other, there are clear signs of concern, and perhaps panic, in the Government Party about Biden’s electability, especially in light of his undeniable cognitive decline–from a not-too-high-to-start-with level.

As evidence of the latter, CIA sockpuppet moonlighting as WaPo columnist David Ignatius called upon Biden not to run in 2024. I also believe that the White House’s rather remarkable issuing of marching orders to the mainstream media to “ramp up scrutiny” of the House Republicans’ investigations reveals fear of an internal push–or putsch. It hardly screams confidence. Indeed, it betrays concern that the media may turn on Joe.

So we can expect more gaslighting on this. Because that is what the Government Party does best. We are gaslighted 24/7 on just about everything–not just Biden’s dealings. For example, we are told that the economy is just GREAT. Bidenomics is the BOMB, man!

But the attitude of most Americans about the economy is decidedly sour even though the data is allegedly “surreally good.” What a strange disconnect, eh, Paul Krugman?

Who you gonna believe, Paul Krugman or your lying bank account? Median household income has fallen three straight years. Note: the decline has continued the last two years, after the COVID shock. This is mainly due to the “transitory” inflation that we were told we shouldn’t worry our little heads about.

Perhaps household income figures aren’t included in the data that Paul scrutinizes. If he did pay attention to it, or did and actually told the truth, he would realize that there is no “profound and peculiar disconnect.” Household income is what people care about, and what drives their evaluation of their economic circumstances. The connect is very, very clear.

I mean, duh.

But the whole-of-government (and government pilot fish e.g., Krugman and media) propaganda/gaslighting effort never stops. You are just too stupid to know whether you are living better this year, right? Pay attention to your betters, prole! They’ll tell you how you’re doing!

Thus, the “no evidence” gaslighting on Joe’s guilt is just a piece with a broader, and indeed ubiquitous, phenomenon. We are lied to 24/7. They have to know we know they are lying. But they continue to lie. And that is the essence of gaslighting. And there are many, many fronts in the gaslighting war, of which the Joe is the personification of innocence is just one.

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  1. Beyond a certain age and wealth level, income for purposes of personal consumption has little value; you already have more than you could consume in your remaining years. At that point, one’s interest turns to finding ways to leave wealth efficiently to offspring and grandchildren. I don’t know the specifics on gift and inheritance taxation, but one could imagine that diverting payments to family members, as has reportedly occurred in Biden’s affairs, could be a way of passing along wealth while avoiding inheritance/gift tax consequences.

    Comment by econotribolgist — September 16, 2023 @ 10:39 am

  2. Somewhere a Dem apparatchik is trying to work out a way to assassinate Geriatric Joe and blame it on Trump.

    And on that subject I do hope that Mr Kennedy is well protected.

    Comment by dearieme — September 16, 2023 @ 2:51 pm

  3. They cannot lose the narrative. They will pound the narrative harder than an Iraqi war spokesperson. Just look at the Chicago Sun Times this morning talking about Mexican Independence Day in Chicago. It was not a pageant. It was a mini-Riot.

    Comment by Jeff Carter (@pointsnfigures1) — September 17, 2023 @ 7:43 am

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