Quid pro “oh no!”
Donald Trump Junior, of all people, is very concerned about the allegations of nepotism benefiting Hunter Biden, and Donald Trump Senior has been retweeting Junior a lot, in an apparent show of solidarity.
Junior has taken to Twitter and Instagram to express his displeasure, using the hashtag #quidprojoe (get it?) to just ask: “You think there a chance in hell that if I did this the media would give me a pass like they’re doing to Hunter Biden and #QuidProJoe???” Junior even shared the Nickelback's "Photograph" video redone to feature a photo of Hunter and Joe golfing with a Ukrainian gas executive after Twitter took down his dad’s post about it for the copyright violation.
Now I’m not going to litigate the insanity that is “Ukrainium one,” except to say that for now at least there is no evidence that Hunter Biden broke the law—but that’s never stopped Trumpworld from cooking up a faux controversy like Hillary’s emails or Robert Mueller having employed "18 angry Democrats."
I’m just going to say that, no puppet, we’re all marinating now in the irony that is the Trump family’s relationship with projection.
As someone who has benefited from the hideous two-headed mistress that is nepotism, I can understand why sons and daughters of fortune have complicated relationships with their parental lineage, but Junior is in no position to throw stones here.
Eric (who’s said “nepotism is kind of a factor of life”) and Junior are running the president’s real estate businesses, which has profited—though without his tax returns we still don’t know just how nicely—from the largesse of various foreign governments (“Lobbyists representing the Saudi government reserved blocks of rooms at President Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel within a month of Trump’s election in 2016—paying for an estimated 500 nights at the luxury hotel in just three months”) that have also been supported by American taxpayer dollars (“The U.S. military has spent more than $184,000 at President Trump’s golf resort in Scotland since he took office”). Ivanka, a senior White House adviser, made $4 million off the Trump D.C. hotel last year—you know, the one that members of the administration stay at to curry the president’s favor? Yes, if there ever were a family that should sit out conversations about nepotism, it’s this one.
Is it possible that Junior is so obsessed with Hunter Biden because he’s a lot like him? Both men have had problems with the institution of marriage. When Vanessa was pregnant with the couple’s third child, the New York Post reported that Junior had an affair with Celebrity Apprentice contestant Aubrey O’Day. That was a few months after Kathleen Biden accused Hunter “of blowing money on drugs and strip clubs.” Both men have moved on from their long-term marriages with record speed—with Hunter already remarried in a surprise wedding and Junior dating Fox News’ Kimberly Guilfoyle.
But that’s not where the similarities end. Hunter struggled with alcohol, and, as detailed in Emily Jane Fox’s Born Trump, “Diaper Don would wake up in some stranger’s dorm room or off-campus apartment or bedroom in his frat house, covered in piss, walk back to his own room, and get blitzed that evening or the next anew.” In a parallel universe, these two sons of fortune could have been best friends and not worst internet enemies.
In this universe, however, Junior is turning to the go-to Trumpian tool of projection. Often, it works, as journalists feel an obligation to follow the story, and people assume that if there is some there there. The American people, and its press, aren’t used to a president who projects with this kind of zeal. We are in uncharted territory.
But the fundamental truth remains: If the Trumps are accusing someone of doing something, they are likely doing it themselves. There is a weird horrible Trumpy brilliance in using such a primitive method of obfuscation. While pundits look for three-dimensional chess, the president and his son will be sitting there eating the plastic checkers.