With all the money being spent these days on brain science, you’d think it might have occurred to some to look into whether there’s a link between attention deficit disorder and being a Republican. There might not be much you can do about it, but understanding goes a long way.
Analyzing the right-wing commentariat in the hours and days after Attorney General Merrick Garland declared the need for a special prosecutor to oversee the Hunter Biden case is a perfect example of its distractibility. The old saying “keep the first thing the first thing” doesn’t seem to be something this admittedly bright group understands. Instead, they dive cheerfully into the weeds at every opportunity.
No need to name names – these people know who they are. Watching and reading their comments regarding the appointment of special prosecutors and whether Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss is legally eligible to hold the position he has just been named to is enormously frustrating as it takes their eyes off the ball. (RELATED: DEROY MURDOCK: Timeline Of Ukrainian Pay-To-Play Scheme Confirms Bidens’ Corruption)
The correct response to Weiss being named special prosecutor, regardless of Weiss’ eligibility, is that it is a welcome development. To have the attorney general finally recognize what the rest of us have known for a long time – that the various allegations made about Hunter Biden and the possibility the man who is now president of the United States may have played a role in those activities must be fully and thoroughly investigated– is a long overdue development.
Whether the federal code allows Weiss, a current federal employee, to become a special prosecutor is unimportant. It’s not a matter for prolonged discussion since a) other federal employees have previously served in the position and b) the time available to force the younger Biden to answer for his alleged misdeeds may be coming to a close.
We’ve been here before. During the Clinton years, for example, the Republicans breathlessly chased after each unfolding allegation involving potential corruption, sexual misconduct, or perjury like they were chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Any pretense of message discipline, a term widely understood by professional communicators, went out the window as GOP pundits allowed the producers at CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC to determine the nightly discussion points.
For those who don’t know, there’s a reason politicians and advocacy campaigns keep repeating the same points over and over. It takes a while for them to penetrate. Saying something once and moving along is almost as bad as not saying it at all. (RELATED: PETER ROFF: Why Are Republicans Holding This Tax Bill Hostage)
The only point in talking about whether David Weiss can be the special prosecutor or should be (because his investigation so far has been inconclusive) is to connect it back to the first thing: whether Hunter Biden is a criminal and whether his presidential father was part of it (if there was anything to be part of) and whether members of his father’s administration are using the powers of their office to cover it up. All else is commentary.
The inability to focus for long on anything is a problem for the GOP that’s about more than Hunter Biden. It infects the party by taking communications cues from cable television channels rather than the tried-and-true practices that have helped win campaigns and elections. Until that changes — until Biden’s critics learn how to keep the first thing the first thing — the people who can stay on message (some people call them Democrats) will win the big arguments over and over again.
A former UPI senior political writer and U.S. News and World Report columnist, Peter Roff is a senior fellow at the Trans-Atlantic Leadership Network and several other public policy organizations., Contact him at RoffColumns AT gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter and TruthSocial @TheRoffDraft.
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