How much longer can Joe Biden refuse to answer questions?

"The dog that didn't bark" was a clue in one of Sherlock Holmes' mysteries. It suggested that sometimes the absence of a response may reveal as much as a response would.

Joe Biden hasn't barked quite a bit lately.

For example, he has repeatedly refused to state his position on court-packing for the absurd reason that he doesn't want the headlines.  But if Biden were to say, "Hell no.  I won't pack the court," public reaction would favor him by thirteen percent.  It's completely out of character for any politician to avoid headlines on a subject that would accrue to his benefit. 

During the town hall with George Stephanopoulos, Biden refined his answer by insinuating he might reveal his position on court-packing before the election, subject to the Barrett nomination.  "It depends on how this turns out," he said.  There are pretty strong indications that Barrett is going to be confirmed, so what could Biden have meant?  Stephanopoulos did not press him.

Biden's refusal to give a direct answer likely means that his answer would be unpopular with the wider public.  In other words: "Hell, yes.  I'll pack the court."

Biden also refuses to comment on the trove of emails reportedly extracted from his son's computer, which detail corrupt negotiations between Hunter Biden and entities in Ukraine and China.  Surely Joe knows whether or not the matters described in the emails reflect real events.  For if they are utterly foreign to him, or if they describe matters that Hunter could not possibly have been involved in, wouldn't Joe issue an immediate and outraged denial?  The town hall provided him a perfect opportunity to do so.  Stephanopoulos did not raise the subject, but he could have volunteered his denial.

If we accept the unlikely possibility that Joe isn't quite sure whether those emails came from his son's computer (and hasn't asked his son), he is still incriminated for it, because that would imply that Joe acknowledges the fundamental accuracy of those emails and the corruption described therein. 

Certainly Hunter Biden knows the truth of the matter.  If he were innocent, he could remove the shadow over his father instantly, simply by saying: "That computer wasn't mine.  Those emails aren't mine.  I've never referred to my dad as 'The Big Guy.'  Never wrote that note to my daughter.  I'm an open book.  Check me out."

It shouldn't be difficult to check out Hunter.  All that's needed, really, is to match some of those emails to recipients on other computers.  Then the dominoes would quickly start to fall.

Until then, our best evidence of the former vice president's repeated influence-peddling to foreign corruptocrats, to the distinct detriment of the interests of the United States, is his refusal to directly address the accusations against him.

The dog may not bark, but it speaks nonetheless.

Image: Marc Nozell via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.

"The dog that didn't bark" was a clue in one of Sherlock Holmes' mysteries. It suggested that sometimes the absence of a response may reveal as much as a response would.

Joe Biden hasn't barked quite a bit lately.

For example, he has repeatedly refused to state his position on court-packing for the absurd reason that he doesn't want the headlines.  But if Biden were to say, "Hell no.  I won't pack the court," public reaction would favor him by thirteen percent.  It's completely out of character for any politician to avoid headlines on a subject that would accrue to his benefit. 

During the town hall with George Stephanopoulos, Biden refined his answer by insinuating he might reveal his position on court-packing before the election, subject to the Barrett nomination.  "It depends on how this turns out," he said.  There are pretty strong indications that Barrett is going to be confirmed, so what could Biden have meant?  Stephanopoulos did not press him.

Biden's refusal to give a direct answer likely means that his answer would be unpopular with the wider public.  In other words: "Hell, yes.  I'll pack the court."

Biden also refuses to comment on the trove of emails reportedly extracted from his son's computer, which detail corrupt negotiations between Hunter Biden and entities in Ukraine and China.  Surely Joe knows whether or not the matters described in the emails reflect real events.  For if they are utterly foreign to him, or if they describe matters that Hunter could not possibly have been involved in, wouldn't Joe issue an immediate and outraged denial?  The town hall provided him a perfect opportunity to do so.  Stephanopoulos did not raise the subject, but he could have volunteered his denial.

If we accept the unlikely possibility that Joe isn't quite sure whether those emails came from his son's computer (and hasn't asked his son), he is still incriminated for it, because that would imply that Joe acknowledges the fundamental accuracy of those emails and the corruption described therein. 

Certainly Hunter Biden knows the truth of the matter.  If he were innocent, he could remove the shadow over his father instantly, simply by saying: "That computer wasn't mine.  Those emails aren't mine.  I've never referred to my dad as 'The Big Guy.'  Never wrote that note to my daughter.  I'm an open book.  Check me out."

It shouldn't be difficult to check out Hunter.  All that's needed, really, is to match some of those emails to recipients on other computers.  Then the dominoes would quickly start to fall.

Until then, our best evidence of the former vice president's repeated influence-peddling to foreign corruptocrats, to the distinct detriment of the interests of the United States, is his refusal to directly address the accusations against him.

The dog may not bark, but it speaks nonetheless.

Image: Marc Nozell via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.