Sure, Cockburn has had his share of late evenings. Cockburn has stayed out later than he should have. He’s had one too many quarts of bourbon, pinched the odd smoke or 10 here and there. He’s even, and it gives him no pleasure to report this, vomited — quite disgustingly — in the men’s room of the P.F. Chang’s on Interstate 77, just outside of Charlotte. (Cockburn would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the staff of that fine institution, and to the good citizenry of North Carolina more widely for his behavior that night.) What a mess that was…
There’s always someone staying out later though. This week, across the free and unfree world, the dissolute and the rakish, the impulsive and the idiotic, the booze-addled, the rehab skippers, are shakily raising a glass and lighting a fat one for their patron saint, their leading man, their king over the water — the ultimate FailSon — Mr Hunter Biden. Cockburn salutes you sir.
Consider, as painful as it is to do so, the messaging and optics of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. All tilts at the throne must construct a plausible answer to the question: who is that guy, and why does he secretly want his face on my hard-earned dollars? So, who is Joe Biden?
He’s just a decent man.
Let’s repeat that in case those trolls at the back didn’t hear: Joe Biden is a decent man. He took a train every day to work, like decent people do. Who is Joe Biden? A normal, ordinary, and above all, decent guy — and that’s all you need to know, OK? ‘I want Joe Biden to be America’s next president,’ wrote some columnist last month, ‘because of his downright old-school decency.’ How did Joe Biden triumph in the Democratic primaries? Well, here was one headline: ‘It’s the decency, stupid’. Duh. Biden’s decency has been tearfully praised by the Financial Times, the Washington Post and HuffPost. According to the candidate himself, on the ballot in November — you guessed it! — is ‘character and decency’.
Joe Biden is honorable, clean-living, courteous and respectable. He’s the conscience of the Republic. He is a lonely Cincinnatus, holding back the Trumpian hordes. He is Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. He’s Jiminy Cricket.
Decency is, of course, a praiseworthy characteristic in any person. In Cockburn’s opinion the world can never have too much of it. Although when it’s trumpeted this loudly, and held to be the exclusive quality of one man, it starts to become a little intolerable, a little claustrophobic, and, dare I say it, rather boring.
Thankfully the Fates have provided a corrective to Joe Biden’s decency. In their wisdom they have decreed that Biden should have produced Hunter Biden, who is completely, absurdly, hilariously indecent.
Like a one-man wrecking ball, this week’s New York Post revelations about Hunter have obliterated all the moral cant that his father’s campaign is built from. Boom! There’s a photo of Hunter with a crack pipe in his mouth. Smash! Hunter’s been doing dodgy deals with Ukrainian and Chinese firms.
Cockburn has watched the scenery collapse with a deepening sense of wonder and respect. Wow! Go on Hunter, my boy, you frat star, you baller. Send a candid 12-minute video of yourself, mainlining crack while getting blown, straight into the fellas’ groupchat? Why not! Parley your father’s influence in Washington into multi-billion dollar business deals with your comically suspect foreign mates? Hell yeah!
There’s an intellectual honesty, an integrity too, in the fact that Hunter smokes crack rather than snorting lines. It’s egalitarian. Unlike those who prosecute the war on drugs, Hunter acknowledges that the two substances are the same.
Hunter may be one of the Republic’s most ingenious sons. Say he was parachuted onto an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Far from civilization, with only the clothes on his back, a few sea birds, and a miserable coconut tree for company. Does anybody doubt that within six minutes of washing ashore Hunter would manage to transport a platoon of strippers and a quarter ton of Colombia’s finest to his location? Of course not.
But the real mark of a legend is to get away with it all, over, and over, and over again. Hunter barely even needs his Dad to protect him. Facebook and Twitter will censor negative press about Hunter, and they’ll do it for free. God bless you Hunter, and God bless the United States of America.