I refuse to waste either my time or energy on the game of false equivalencies, on Republicans’ efforts to play the ‘whaddabout’ game, and thus I have little to say about the handful of documents found by President Biden’s own lawyers that were promptly returned to the National Archives. The fact is that it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to find they were planted there, but I’m not going to dive into the world of conspiracy theories … eventually the truth will out. Meanwhile, this nation has more important things to focus on, such as the ongoing attempts to destroy our democratic foundations, the ever-growing effects of climate change, a looming debt ceiling fight, a recent surge in Covid cases/deaths, voting rights, women’s rights, Putin’s war against the world, and much more. So, I will share Robert Reich’s words about the false equivalencies between the fewer than 20 documents found among the President’s possessions and the truckloads of documents that Trump stole upon leaving office. Beyond this, I can only say that the mainstream media is playing into the hands of the radical right and I shall not write on this topic again unless there is a valid reason to do so.
For years, Trump and his enablers in Congress and on Fox News have accused Hillary Clinton and then Joe Biden of doing exactly what Trump has done, or worse, and the mainstream media has usually played along by making false equivalences. But of course there’s never been any valid comparison. Trump repudiated the Constitution and staged an attempted coup, which he’s still mounting, among other things.
And now we have the specter of Biden being accused of having done exactly what Trump did when Trump brazenly stole top-secret documents from the United States.
But let’s be clear: The Biden documents were discovered by Biden’s own lawyers, who then reported the discovery to the Justice Department. The Trump documents were requested repeatedly by the National Archives. Trump repeatedly refused to produce them. They were then found by the FBI over the objections of Trump and his lawyers.
Democrats have an old-fashioned belief that democracy requires truth, facts, and logic. So when mistakes are made, they usually try to explain them to the public, as the White House is now doing with regard to the documents found in Biden’s possession.
Unfortunately, the White House did not disclose the discovery to the public for two months, apparently waiting until after the November midterm elections before which the disclosure could have been damaging to Democrats.
Yesterday, Attorney General Merrick Garland, citing what he called “extraordinary circumstances,” appointed a special counsel to investigate the handling of the documents — inviting more false equivalence between two investigations: Biden’s unknowing possession of such documents and Trump’s knowing possession.
Republicans have no such qualms about democracy, facts, and logic. A Republican House hellbent on investigating Hunter Biden, the FBI, and anything they can find to embarrass Biden and the Democrats is already making as much political hay as possible out of the discovery of the documents in Biden’s possession, as are their mouthpieces on Fox News.
The task for Biden and the White House will be to keep an even keel by not getting distracted by this commotion, and continuing the important business of governing the nation. Over the long term (meaning during the next two years of run-up to the 2024 election), the contrast between the House Republicans’ zany partisan escapades and Biden’s seriousness of public purpose will offer the most potent means of avoiding all false equivalences.