Joe Biden as a Dad

BidenHere in Delaware, we all know Joe Biden. The population of all of Delaware is less than one million people, about that of San Jose, California. He is  like an eccentric uncle who often embarrasses us, but we’re used to him and can’t help loving the old guy.  And there he is, one of our own, vice president of the whole dang United States, a heart-beat away from being the man in charge.  When Obama comes to Delaware, Joe treats him to a hamburger at the Charcoal Pit on Route 202, a popular place right around the corner where I go myself.

So, it was big news here when his son, Hunter Biden, was kicked out of the Navy Reserve for testing positive for cocaine. It probably only made the back page of your newspaper, if it made it at all.  It was well covered up, and it was only the news that was recent.  The kick happened eight months previously.

We can’t blame Joe for his son’s problems. We all know many good, caring parents whose children got caught up in drugs. And it is a shame that an entire career was ruined by one drug test.

But the real story was Hunter’s Navy experience. He was not a career Navy man and had only been commissioned for a month when he was discharged.  He joined the Navy last year when he was 48 years old, and he joined as an officer, despite never having attended the Naval Academy, or even taken naval ROTC in college (or even owned a boat that we know of).  Yet he was made an officer and a gentleman, spiffy uniform and all, after taking a 2-week crash-course on Navy etiquette and procedures.  Two special wavers were required: one because he was overage and another for a previous drug conviction, but it all went very smoothly, no big surprise.

There was nothing illegal about the appointment.  Such appointments are provided for in the law by the “direct commission” process, but they are meant for those with needed skills, such as a nuclear engineer appointed to serve on a nuclear ship. Hunter Biden was appointed as a public relations guy.

All of this is sad. Hunter seems like an ordinary good guy who went off the tracks when he got involved with drugs and couldn’t get back on. But that is when Joe should have gotten him into rehab and other psychological help. Getting him a cushy, do-nothing job when he was 48 years old could not end well. It is called “enabling.”


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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