This changes everything

Writing under the handle “Bronxiniowa,” Ira Lacher, who actually hails from the Bronx, New York, is a longtime journalism, marketing, and public relations professional.

With the indictment of Hunter Biden on nine charges of tax evasion, there can be no question now what will be Donald J. Trump’s central message to the American people in the 2024 presidential race:

“Look, I have some of the most beautiful children in the world, just beautiful. He’s a feeble old man whose son is an admitted alcoholic, crack addict, and shady foreign investor who doesn’t pay his taxes.”

Can’t you hear him repeating that, in so many words, in sound bite after sound bite, on commercial after commercial, at rally after rally?

He’d be stupid not to. Because he’s built a brand over slobbering his adversaries with catchy sobriquets that have the effect of sinking in, even just a little: “Crooked Hillary.” “Ron DeSanctimonious.” Now, he can add to that something like “Deadbeat Dad.” And that may hurt Biden more than anything else.

Argue all you want about Biden’t pet policies, with their nuances and complexities—Bidenomics, aid to Ukraine and Israel, standoff with China and Korea, climate change, even border security—and you won’t have a more hurtful selling point about his ability to serve effectively in a second term than his family issues.

Yeah, that stinks, utterly. America isn’t voting for Father of the Year. But perceptions are what they are.

If nothing changes, the 2024 election is going to be a horse race—to the trials of Donald John Trump and Robert Hunter Biden, and, by proxy, Joseph Robinette Biden Junior. And let’s not kid ourselves. While the former president is facing charges of business fraud on a grand scale, seeking to overturn the 2020 election results and even fomenting violent insurrection, it’s easier for most Americans to understand tax evasion.

So Joe Biden needs to emulate Lyndon B. Johnson and announce he won’t seek a second term. Now, before any state votes in 2024.

The forthcoming presidential election is no longer a referendum on whether the sitting Democratic president, who is tanking in poll after poll, can rally his party faithful and independents to support him over a documented racist and dictator wannabe, who, among other things during his presidency, undermined world confidence in America and was blamed by scientific authorities for being directly responsible for 150,000 COVID deaths. It is now a question of who America chooses: such a troll, or a man perceived as being too old and feeble for the job and on top of that, a negligent father.

Most of us agree that elections shouldn’t be about that sort of stuff. And once upon a time, when our perceptions were molded by reasonable presidential debates, thoughtful and in-depth reporting in many newspapers and on radio and television, and civility among friends, family and neighbors, they weren’t.

But we no longer live in a world where opposing candidates can discuss the issues and try to convince voters which of them better fit their politics. In our world, nothing matters but nyah-nyah-nyah pseudo debates, repeated photoshopped images and edited sound bites, all of which are burned into millions of brain pans whose Teflon coatings, such as they were, eroded long ago.

Complexities about the efficacy of forgiving student loans? B-O-O-R-ING. What’s up with the president’s son, a confessed crack addict, shady foreign investor and now indicted tax cheat? You make the call as to which perception will resonate more lastingly and with more voters in our TikTok culture.

President Biden has always considered himself a statesman, and perhaps he is the last of such a breed. Now, the best statesmanlike quality he can demonstrate is to bow out in 2024. And give the Democratic Party a reasonable opportunity to keep an American national nightmare from recurring.

Top photo illustrating the concept of economic crimes and tax evasion is by Vitalii Vodolazskyi and available via Shutterstock.

About the Author(s)


  • Then Who and What's Next?

    There have been several Bleeding Heartland commentators who have suggested Joe Biden step aside for another Democratic candidate.

    I respect their opinions and basis for sharing them.

    Yet, each time, no “better” alternative is offered . . . nor a rationale of how such a candidacy could be successful.

    Alternative candidates can be tempting as new shiny objects. Perhaps Gavin Newsome or Gretchen Whitmer? Wonderful Democrats both.

    But neither governor has been vetted under the white-hot scrutiny of a national campaign.

    Remember Michael Dukakis and the Massachusetts Miracle? Or Navy hero John Kerry reporting for duty?

    That ruthless vetting process can be overcome, of course, as demonstrated by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But there are no guarantees. All candidates will be shown to have real or manufactured “warts,” including Joe Biden.

    Biden has been a good president. GDP is growing; unemployment is low; job creation is high; pandemic related inflation is falling; we’re investing in infrastructure again; there’s improved access to healthcare; NATO is growing and stronger; and Biden will protect a woman’s right to choose.

    Many of our friends are skimming articles about polling trends – 11 months out from the election – and fear the sky is falling. First, many of those polls are of poor quality. Second, Americans aren’t even paying attention yet.

    From a political perspective, November 5 is a lifetime away.

    Supporting an incumbent president with a solid record is the Democrats’ best chance to hold the White House.

    Democrats have been winning competitive elections and outperforming historical partisan voting patterns since 2018. You can look it up. Remember the warnings of the “red wave” in the 2022 midterms?

    Democracy and good government will win again in 2024 with Joe leading the ticket . . . if we stay together, get out the vote and keep the faith.

  • what possible basis?

    first the idea that this latest aspect of the Biden is a crooked bum campaign is significantly new or damaging is absurd, but more importantly to think that there is a viable (as in actually on the table) alternative to Biden for the Democratic Party would take ignoring all of the news around this election cycle (not to mention the political-science of US life since WW2), I guess that’s an accomplishment of will of some kind…
    The only relevant related question I can see is if Biden can’t physically make it, gets too sick/injured or dies, does the Party support the VP as his heir?

  • if folks would like some analysis that actually tracks our current situation

    I would suggest giving Michael Podhorzer a read

  • The Facts are Clear

    I encourage folks to take a look at the Michael Podhorzer article that Dirk recommended.

    Another site to consider is by Simon Rosenberg.

    From a couple different angles the FACTS are clear . . .

    If you seek a better life for those you care about, vote Democratic.

    2024 is not the year for divisive intra-party pushing and shoving or third party fantasies.

    There’s simply too much at stake.

  • I’m 80

    So, have an idea of what the top of life’s hill looks like, and I can see where the road starts its decline. I suppose Joe feels about like that. What I also know is that I’m still learning and feel my judgment is better than 20 years ago. If Joe has the vitality, I’d not discount his ability to lead another 4 years. People argue that the last 4 years have not been 100%, grenades are going off all around him. If there were no Ukraine and no Humas, and all on his plate was the wind down of Covid and balancing the border issues with the nation’s otherwise laws and traditions regarding refugees, everyone would be a lot happier. My #1 and #2 goal is to defeat Trump and preferably put him behind bars.