The basic question: • While plenty might equivocate about "both sides" of a political dispute, what consideration are people giving the many sides of what they say, and the implications, thereof? A complicated version: Does it feel good to trap a political opponent with words? Okay, but what has one really done? As easy as it might seem to point to an ostensible purpose, there are many circumstances by which one defeats or harms that purpose in hopes of gaining, what, satisfaction? from pretending they have just mortally zinged someone else's discourse. An example would actually be the Trump administration's pursuit of the Biden family. † Part of the explanation for President Trump's behavior involves projecting and comprehending an apparent, albeit unknown, belief that he can get away with everything. To wit, if it seems like he wants to be impeached and convicted, it might be that part of him thinks he just goes back to his life as a wealthy, privileged celebrity; remember, he thinks others get away with all sorts of bizarre crimes, including a fifty-year conspiracy to plant a Muslim-Jewish Nazi-Communist black man in the White House. This potential becomes a variable factor in assessing what goes on, but it also reflects a long, dynamic conservative sympton of ego defense by which one comes to sincerely believe their own make-believe. This line of thinking works, within approximate limits, as a partial inoculation against the most obvious objection to any of Trump's strange behavior, which is that explanations just don't make sense without considering extraordinary circumstance. Compared to being bought off or blackmailed, a sincerely held belief that one can get away with anything because everyone else gets away with it all the time might seem an overly complex proposition, but, even more than coercion and corruption, appeals to make-believe have driven the conservative political behaviors that elected Trump, and, moreover, while desperate conservatism has resorted to a proposal of disqualifying stupidity, at least this doesn't accuse outright criminality. † The Biden question is an example of a weird problem Americans force themselves to endure, and quite frequently, for the sake of not condemning whatever passes for mainstream, traditional, American conservatism. Think, for a moment, of the Communist Manifesto: The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle. Americans generally don't tolerate communism, no matter how much they might otherwise seem to like it; what they truly disdain is the label of communism, so much so that many American Christians reject the Apostles of Christ. While Americans might not like the messengers, such as communists, they do tend to accept, in manners as diverse as each American, some aspect of the proposition that class warfare exists and goes on. Traditionalist opposition to Affirmative Action in American universities, for instance, generally protects legacy considerations; the underlying hook, that focusing on racial and ethnic injustice in order to correct historical imbalances is itself, by definition, racist, defeats itself by preserving imbalance. Or sexism. When this came to a head the Roberts Court carved out ostensibly nonprecedental exceptions that had specific effect of preserving apparent imbalance. In Ricci, one result was the preservation of legacy considerations affecting hiring to the public trust. In the end, it was just about legitimizing racism: No, no, reparative adjustment is unfair, but not quite arbitrary adjustment intended to constrict privilege according to aesthetics that just happens to coincide with furthering the damage the reparative adjustment would repair is not only fair but the only fair thing in the world. In Safford, the intended effect was to put women back in their place: Certes, the law is the law, and it was promulgated appropriately, and ignorance is not bliss, but school officials who molested a thirteen year-old girl want to claim ignorance, and, y'know, like the one old man on the Court said, it's not that big a deal, and, besides some boys would have gotten a thrill out of it, so we're going to let them claim ignorance, that they didn't know it was wrong, and this isn't going to set any precedent, or anything. The Court did not come out and make the sexist to call it sexism argument, but inasmuch as we might be reminded from time to time that men are the real victims of sexism, we might remind that part of the Court's mitigating rationale included an old man thinking about what it would be like if a school nurse prodded his nude body when he was thirteen. Underneath all that, though, these can be described as questions of classism. From legacy admissions to the current universities scandal seeing wealthy people face minor punishment for conspiring and committing fraud, we see a classism problem that affects everyone. This extends into the professional world; there are sectors in which it's not what as much as who you know. Family legacy, Greek System, secret societies, professional community associations, and, sure, upholding the family reputation is sometimes a burden, but it beats being the more qualified candidate who didn't get the job because her father sold shoes in the mall instead of playing squash with one of the board members. And, certes, Americans complain about it all the time, but they haven't stopped society over this. Imagine an American general strike demanding an end to legacy admissions at universities, and strong regulation of favors for fellow board members, &c. † We might consider a suggestion that the Obama administration probably could have at least cleared its throat and raised an eyebrow, but did not really have a route to outright instruct Hunter Biden to not take a job with Burisma. It is an interesting hair to split, and for particular reasons. Some also recall the Rodham brothers, Neil Bush, and Billy Carter. The fact of political family seeking benefit for reputation is perpetual. Comparatively, we might recall the justification that some were just so frustrated by the political outlook they voted for Donald Trump in order to send some sort of message, because the hitch is that we are describing people becoming so distressed by circustance that the only thing they can do is make things that much worse. So it really is worth considering what Donald Trump thinks other people got away with, because, well, it really is hard to get into one sentence, but includes two "But her email!" jokes alongside the fact of new, obviously-timed investigation, as well as ensnares Depts. State, Energy, Justice, Defense, and Commerce, as well as CIA, NSC, and DNI, and, of course, the Vice President, and all this in addition to a private-sector wing including two Soviet-born businessmen from Florida with troubled business exposure including natural gas, but who are strong Republican donors, as well as a Republican fundraiser and oilman who has a history of being overpaid by the Pentagon, is a frat brother of Charlie Crist, and was among those John McCain considered for a running mate before selecting Sarah Palin. All of that for Hunter Biden, whose place in the infamy of American classism includes the credit of having been given a job in the George W. Bush administration. † If someone recently suggested that every accusation the Trump administration makes is a sublimated confession, the point of contention we might pick has to do with how we regard sublimation. To the other, if the occasion stands out, it is not simply that people at particular valences of repute are saying such things so openly and directly, nor any sentiment that it is about time people picked up on this facet of Trump's monsters' ball. The administration is not bothering with masquerade at this point; the idea of sublimation can seem difficult compared to the blatancy. Then again, even before its actual improper relationship with a Ukranian natural gas company—leaning on the Naftogaz supervisory board—emerged, there was still a growing sense of wonder that Team Trump would attempt to sacrifice itself as well as the American aristocracy by raising nepotism in private- and public-sector privilege as fever-pitch scarecrow. As watch-the-birdie goes, the question of how the children of politicians might benefit from their parents' office is a problem, but Trump also seems to be sacrificing his own children and son-in-law. Not just for yet another Ivanka-Jared email account conducting ostensible state business, but, well, there are questions of profiting from family political influence. Seriously, file under, Duh. † Such self-infliction is hardly new among conservatives; normally, though, they find some means of presuming themselves safe from their own effects. This is easier to see in issues of Christians discriminating against homosexuals; or the expectation of white segregationists that they will do okay, or even prosper, in a hierarchical society. If Donald Trump was sufficient to break the aristocracy for soft nepotism, then history would record the tragic error of bourgeois expectation that the narcissistic will cooperate sufficiently for a constricted pretense of altruism to bear its selfish fruit. To the other, 'tis true enough not even the Trump Family Scam is sufficient to properly break a shameless aristocracy. † We can always expect that some simply will not surrender such privilege; the petit-bouregois wants that power for itself, and hereditary benefit is part of our traditional American canon. Certes, there are questions to be asked and boundaries identified, but still: Who thought through the implications? Even more: Why trust such arguments?