Klepto Joe

Klepto Joe, by the Z-Man.

One of the more famous political dirty tricks is attributed to Lyndon Johnson, who allegedly spread false rumors about an opponent’s life-long habit of enjoying sexual relations with his barnyard animals. When told by one of his campaign aides that no one would believe such a crazy rumor, Johnson allegedly said, “I know, but let’s make the sonofabitch deny it.” That’s the key to a good political trick. It forces the other guy to select between two bad options.

That comes to mind with the Biden scandal. Joe Biden is famously on tape bragging about how he bullied the government of Ukraine.

He threatened to withhold a billion in aid money unless they fired a prosecutor Biden did not like. It was the classic bullshitter moment, in which the story is supposed to make the person telling it look like a tough guy who really knows how to handle his business. The audience was supposed to come away thinking that Biden was a man of action that other men feared.

The problem at the time was that there was never any context to the story … Now we get the leaks from Hunter Biden’s laptop. …

That prosecutor was investigating Biden’s son, who was in a no-show job paying fifty grand a month. Suddenly, that video of Biden bragging about his prowess takes on a new meaning. He’s not Rambo Joe, righting wrongs around the globe, but Klepto Joe, shaking down foreign governments.

October surprise!

That’s what makes this October Surprise so good. Like the LBJ opponent forced to talk about bestiality rumors, there is no way for the Biden campaign to engage this story that does not look bad. …

There is another angle to it that shows real skill. The story was teased with the salacious images of Hunter Biden high on drugs. People love seeing famous people in a bad way, so it was sure to get a lot of attention. Then you get the details about the Ukrainian shake-down scheme and the juxtaposition of the guy we see in the media and the guy getting the $50,000 per month contract becomes stark. Joe Biden’s motives suddenly become obvious to everyone.

The organized effort to bury the story by social media made it something more than just the typical political scandal. People naturally assume the effort to cover it up is proof that there is some truth to it. …

The FBI has had this material for months. They were asked by the House and Senate about it and stonewalled them. In other words, the reason it is coming out now and through the tabloids is the best people tried to hide it, rather than do their job. It reinforces the underlying narrative of this election. It is us against them and they are not good people.

Perhaps the best part of this caper is that Bannon had this material for a long time, but held onto it for just the right moment. The best dirty tricks are done when people are ready to pay attention. Before a big debate or in the final days of the campaign is when it is best to do it. Not only are people paying attention, the other side does not have to time to create an alternate reality. Unleashing this stuff now means the story the rest of the way is about the air of scandal around the Biden family. …

Dems bungle:

That’s another indication that the Inner Party is short of talent. They had the Trump tax returns, which had some salacious stuff in them. Nothing really all that bad, but they required a response. They also had the Melania recordings. Instead of dumping this stuff in the summer when no one cares, it should be coming out now. They could have exaggerated the contents and forced Trump to shift gears to address it. Instead, it has all been forgotten as old news.