The Politics of Inertia

Has something finally intervened to change the 2024 calculus?

“Inertia” is an interesting word. It comes from the Latin iners, which means, first of all, “without skill,” “incompetent” (in, not + ars, art, skill). But it also means “sluggish,” “weak,” “inactive,” “motionless.” In common speech, “inertia” generally suggests something torpid, sleepy, without spunk or initiative. “Joe wanted to go to the race but was overcome by inertia and stayed home.” 

But there is another, more potent sense of “inertia” in common usage. It is implicit in the definition Newton gives in his first law of motion. Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare. “Every body preserves its state of rest or uniform movement in a straight line unless forced to change that state by forces impressed upon it.” 

Newton was thinking of the physical world. But we can observe something similar in the social world and the world of politics. Once a trend or tendency has been achieved, it continues on course until something intervenes to stop or alter its direction. 

Consider the Biden Administration. Once achieved, it lumbered on. Joe Biden’s incontinent glossolalia didn’t matter, nor did his signal failure at the southern border, with energy policy, or with the economy. The communicable mind-virus of wokeness may have reached epidemic proportions in the corporate world, in government agencies, even in the U.S. military, but the blind trajectory set by Biden’s autopilot just barreled on through, unhindered. 

Has something finally intervened to change things? Maybe. In substance, it is just the same thing we’ve seen many times before: allegations about Joe Biden’s involvement with his son Hunter’s shady business dealing. Tucker Carlson, among others, detailed these allegations in technicolor. Back in October 2020—note the date—Carlson interviewed Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski. It was an extraordinary, and extraordinarily damaging, interview. 

Or so one would have thought. As I noted at the time, Bobulinski “laid out the entire bizarre story of his association with the Bidens, including two face-to-face meetings with Joe Biden in the company of his brother and son.”

Remember, Joe Biden has repeatedly denied ever talking to his son about his business dealings. He knew nothing about it, he said. That seemed highly improbable on its face. Bobulinski shows that it was an outright lie. Two communications stand out. In one, the equity stakes in the new company are broken out. The last item indicates that 10 percent will be held by ‘H’—that’s ‘H’ for Hunter—for ‘the big guy,’ which, along with ‘my Chairman,’ is Hunterese for Joe Biden.

The outcome or upshot? The press seized on the revelations and overnight it became the media sensation of the election season. 

Just kidding! Some commentators attacked Bobulinski as a Russian agent. Mostly, however, the story was studiously ignored where it was not actively buried. A day or two after Tucker Carlson’s blockbuster interview, a search for “Bobulinski” on the CNN site produced a search-not-found result. It still does. How odd.

Nothing Tucker Carlson could do was potent enough to intrude upon the inertia of the Biden Express. 

But that was two and a half years ago, before the election that just had to go Biden’s way. 

Now we’ve had a couple of years of the Big Guy’s stunning incompetence. The Left is still on high alert and will do everything they can—which is a lot—to snatch the election for their candidates. That’s life in the oligarchy today. 

The Democrat will be up against literally Adolf Hitler, whether his given name is Don or Ron, so you can expect the ballot manufacturing turbines to be grinding away on overdrive in their underground bunkers. 

But it is suddenly unclear for whom they will be manufacturing votes. The political weathermen all say “Joe Biden.” But there are many indications that the force field of Biden’s forward-moving inertia has been compromised. Damaging stories are accumulating, and not only in the right-wing press. 

Remember that letter from 51 former intelligence officials insisting that news about Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” was really just Russian disinformation? Their letter provoked Twitter to suspend the account of the New York Post, which broke the story. But it turns out that the letter was agitprop orchestrated by Antony Blinken, then a senior member of Joe Biden’s campaign, now, God help us, secretary of state. 

But now we have the New York Times and even CBS rooting about in the Biden midden. Just a few days ago, CBS interviewed Gary Shapley, a veteran IRS investigator, who detailed how the Justice Department intervened to “slow walk” and otherwise obstruct the agency’s investigation into Hunter Biden’s alleged tax fraud. Other outlets are casting a gimlet eye on reports that the Bidens, while Big Guy Joe was vice president, hoovered up more than $10 million from the companies of various foreign nationals. 

Recalling the effect of Walter Cronkite’s critical report on the course of the Vietnam War in 1968—it was widely credited with forcing Lyndon Johnson out of the race for president—one commentator wonders whether the CBS report might have a similar effect on Joe Biden, forcing him from the 2024 race. “Now,” the report speculates, “the country could be witnessing a similar watershed moment as CBS signals its willingness to treat the Biden family’s corruption with the scrutiny it deserves.”

It is still too soon to say for sure, but I do sense a distinct change in the inertial forces that propel our political narrative forward. Perhaps, as that report goes on to suggest, “CBS’s coverage of the story signals the liberal media’s willful ignorance of the president’s corruption scandals could be coming to an end.” If so, “that’s bad news for Biden, who has relied on the silence of the media to hide the growing mound of evidence pointing to his involvement in Hunter’s schemes.”

None of that, I think, will help the Republican, whether his name starts with an “R” or a “D,” but it might well alter the fortunes of the senescent man in the White House today. 

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