What is Biden's Trump-Ukraine game?

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As a Ukrainian official once said about Trump’s overseas machinations, which, of late, have targeted the official’s precarious country, “For us, the important thing is to not get involved. There is nothing good that can come from this.”

Joe Biden might say the same; in essence, he is saying the same in keeping mostly mum on the administration’s pernicious, serpentine efforts to extort the Ukrainian government into sullying and even criminalizing the very name of “Biden” prior to the 2020 election.

Biden’s reticence may end, of course, depending on how Trump’s Ukrainian corruption plays out in Congress, the courts and the media. For the moment and more important for Biden, though, “the important thing is to not get involved. There is nothing good that can come from this.”

For those who find Biden’s relative silence incomprehensible — which is to say, relative to his campaign’s instant fundraising off the swaggering scandal that is Trump, his demand that Trump “immediately release the transcript of the call in question,” and his public descriptions of the president’s foreign crimes as “bottomless.” “abusive,” “abasing,” “abhorrent” and “exploitative” — answers and clarifications can’t be found on the surface, where most voters look.

For one — and doubtless, Biden and Nancy Pelosi have talked of this — on the outside chance that Trump’s malodorous malfeasances should propel House Democrats to impeachment proceedings against the Oval Office skunk, their partisan counterparts would take immense glee in drilling witnesses about the former vice president’s many nonexistent corruptions.

Given the media’s ratings-driven attention, it would be those Republican soundbites from their other side of Eden that would make the mainstream news and make Fox, Limbaugh etc. etc. happy as hell. It would be a public relations disaster for Biden. It would be the ghastly phenomenon of Hillary and her nonetheless innocuous emails once again. From all that, nothing good could come for Biden, so better to not get that particular ball rolling.

Another advisable reason for Biden to lie low — i.e., at least until Trump’s felonious behemoth morphs into the singularly monstrous issue of 2020 — is that his Democratic competitors have been gingerly searching for that one angle from which they can take Biden down. The Ukraine thing coupled with Biden’s vociferous remonstrations could be as good as it gets.

Such a move by Biden’s desperate competition would momentarily repel hordes of rank-and-file Democrats, but, you know, fairness, love, war. And in the end, those disgruntled Dems would still almost certainly vote for the Biden slayer.

From Trump’s characteristically satanic skulduggery and criminal meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs — intended to benefit only The Great Satan — the upside for Biden is that there is yet no other screamingly manifest denuding of the president’s self-devastating fear of the former vice president. Trump and his evil little campaign elves are transfixed on the holy terror of Biden; they know not what to do. Except break more laws.

And so Biden is thinking what Napoleon, who had also been to the bloody circus of political warfare a few times, once concluded: Why get involved in an enemy’s self-immolating fires?

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