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It’s not as if Zhou and Hunter were unknown quantities to the DC Swamp. The ruling elite—both parties—knew exactly who Zhou is and has been for all these years. The removal of Trump could never have occurred without bipartisan cooperation. Never.

I deliberately put the cart before the horse today, by publishing How Do You Solve A Problem Like Zhou? before delving into the actual Zhou problem. Dems are currently whistling through the graveyard by pretending that the Zhou problem is that he’s too old, too incoherent, too inherently stupid, has screwed up the economy, has screwed up foreign policy—and is simply an embarrassment. All fair enough, and of course neither Dems nor Never Trumps can say they weren’t warned—by Obama, who had to put up with Zhou for eight long years. Nevertheless, incredibly, there’s even more to the Zhou problem.

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However, before we go there, a bit of context and historical study may prove worthwhile.

Spencer Klavan has a wonderful article at The Federalist today:

Will The U.S. Fall Just As Rome Did?

I know what you’re thinking—we’ve seen these comparisons before. Nevertheless. It’s really good.

The obvious comparison that Klavan draws out is the descent of the Roman Republic into oligarchy and then into dictatorship and finally empire. Klavan applies this framework to the current situation in America. The comparison isn’t exact, of course, since the American Republic was arguably transformed into an empire as long ago as the aftermath of WW2, with the rise of the Deep State and the Military-Industrial complex. Still, the American Republic has retained much of the form of a constitutional republic and, actually, a fair amount of the functionality of a republic. For our purposes I’ll excerpt a very brief portion of the very lucidly written article.

The driving point of Klavan’s analysis is the comparison of the Gracchi brothers to Donald Trump. Both represented the revolt of ordinary citizens of their republics against the corruption of their oligarchic elite rulers. Ancient writers regarded republican decay into oligarchy as inevitable. Our founding fathers were aware of this school of thought and sought to guard against such decay:

Both Rome’s republic and ours were intended to forestall such decay by balancing the strengths and weaknesses of the three basic forms of government — monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy — against one another. An executive (for us, the president) leads his country as a monarch might, especially in times of war. Yet his power is restrained by a chosen few, the legislators, who are in turn accountable to the people — theoretically.

Our Oligarchs Bidding for Control?

But republics have their own vulnerabilities, one of which is despotic ambition among the rich and powerful. As Machiavelli observed, the “corrupt and insolent behavior” of those “undertaking to retain power” can be fatal to a republic’s legitimacy. When state authority becomes a mere pretext for class hierarchy, as the Gracchi suggested it had in Rome, the system starts to look like a sham.

Some would argue that this is exactly our situation. The ideological capture of major corporations and media outlets, the relentless exportation of American jobs and importation of foreign labor, the pretextual use of Covid-19 to transform election procedures, leaving them highly vulnerable to fraud — all these trends, and others besides, indicate that our elites are making a bid for oligarchic control.

The control is, arguably, in place. The problem for the elites is that, since there was no formal granting of control, the appearances must be maintained. That becomes harder and harder as the need for ever greater jiggering of the system increases.

Perhaps Donald Trump, then, was a kind of Gracchus — giving voice to justified populist frustration, encountering relentless subversion by entrenched state actors, then getting both implicated and defeated in a disastrous season of politics by riot. If so, then is our Caesar next? “We think we’re in a democracy; we’re actually in an oligarchy,” said the provocative theorist Curtis Yarvin recently. “The only thing that you’re left with, if you don’t like the way this oligarchy is trending, is…monarchy.”

Our Rubicon Moment

And yet… even in late stages of decline there is still that Rubicon moment, the moment before the end is set in stone. ...

[Caesar] could have chosen otherwise, and so can we. Our own national lore begins with the inverse of that Rubicon story — with a man who led an army but foreswore a crown. George Washington is the foundational American hero because he surrendered sovereignty to the people when he could almost certainly have seized it for himself. The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health shows that this American spirit is still alive in some corners of our government. In Roe v. Wade, the Court unjustly usurped the prerogative to legislate about abortion. But Dobbs returned that prerogative to elected representatives. It is still possible to resist the will to power in the name of the common good.

... From the statesman to the average voter, from the Rubicon to Washington, D.C., nothing is written in the stars until it happens. We can still choose to live free.

That’s, in a way, the point that I’ve been making about this just ended SCOTUS term. The clear thread running through the decisions has been the determination—at the risk of being harassed in restaurants and at home—to restore a fuller functioning of what remains of our federal system. As a bulwark against the oligarchy.

As I suggested above, the American oligarchy still feels the need to disguise its power. Perhaps the true Zhou problem, when we get to the bottom of it, is not so much the grotesque incompetence and lack of ability to function, or even the ideological corruption of the elites, as the revelation of the elite. As commenters like to point out, none of Ghislaine Maxwell’s johns have even been publicly outed—much less prosecuted. We think we know the Deep State’s secrets, but maybe we don’t know the half of it.

Which gets us to Hunter.

Karl Denninger underlines the point today: Hunter's iPhoney. They key here is the revelation of the contacts, which will reflect the corruption of a very long and very corrupt life within the DC circles of power:

Expect the leaking of extremely nasty things to start in earnest, and the files have been seeded via torrents sufficiently at this point that there is no possible way for any government or any agency to stop it, particularly given that the password has also allegedly been leaked.

So now you have the "chest", if you will, and the key to the lock is in the public domain.

Whatever is in there and whatever it shows -- it will soon be everywhere.

Among the "everything" would be expected to be all the contacts in the phone's database, which, from what I understand, includes an awful lot of very powerful people, both in corporations and political venues.

Buckle up Joe -- ***, this is not just about tawdry things like smoking meth (that's not exactly news at this point) but also may include sexual proclivities that are wildly embarrassing or even illegal and corruption that reaches across the globe and straight into the Biden family's finances and political path.

Which is why I still use the PinYin spelling: Zhou.

Don Surber—who’s been totally on a roll today—had the same thought: China. After linking to a video of Hunter arguing with a hooker over crack, Don writes:

ITEM 1: Let us start the day with a simple math question.

If Hunter gets a kilo of meth and a 16-year-old hooker for the night, how much money does Red China owe?

Please show your work.

Ow, ow, ow!

But Don is nothing if not fair, so he doesn’t just beat up on China:

ITEM 4: The Washington Examiner reported, "Hunter Biden's payments to a Ukrainian woman linked to an Eastern European escort ring were flagged by JPMorgan Chase in late 2018 and early 2019 in a report filed with the federal government, according to a new report.

"Hunter spent over $30,000 on escorts, many of them linked to Russian email addresses, who worked with a model agency called UberGFE between November 2018 and March 2019, the Washington Examiner previously reported. Biden claimed to members of his family that he was broke during that time, but he was able to make payments to the escorts thanks in part to President Joe Biden committing to wiring him a total of $100,000 to help pay his bills from December 2018 through January 2019."

Where did Joe get the money?

Yes, anyone who’s been following the news knows this stuff, but KD’s point remains. Soon this will be everywhere. And many, many more questions will arise, implicating more and more DC elite insiders.

Did you hear the one about how Zhou used the pseudonym “Peter Henderson”? Peter Henderson—that was the name of a Russian “mole” in a Tom Clancy novel. Now everyone wants to know who the “Peter Pedo” is—that’s the name that appears in some of Hunter’s text threads. Some think it’s Hunter himself, but others argue that it’s the guy in the picture that Surber posted today:

ITEM 2: The apple rots not far from the tree.



The larger point is that this travesty was foisted on the country by the ruling oligarchic elite, who figured that the Zhou family was good enough for the deplorable likes of you and me. Anything but the Orange Man and his populist ideas. It’s not as if Zhou and Hunter were unknown quantities to the DC Swamp. The ruling elite—both parties—knew exactly who Zhou is and has been for all these years. The removal of Trump could never have occurred without bipartisan cooperation. Never.

Christopher Bedford expresses it well, although he fails to note the bipartisan character of it all. The Zhou problem is a regime problem—the regime of the oligarchic ruling elite. That means the trick for the regime, solving the Zhou problem which is of their own making, is to dispose of him without revealing too much about themselves and the regime itself:

So now, the corporate media and Democratic establishment that picked the Democrat candidate, worked to install him as America’s president, and virtually dictated his White House’s policies are trying to sulk away and avoid blame for the decline. Now they’ll point to his age and his cognitive decline on the front page of the Times. They’ll discuss it once again on Twitter. But it’s all just a game.

...

The fact is that the American regime ignored and hid this because they hated Trump enough they were willing to do anything — anything — to defeat him. They did this, and the hard reality is this isn’t a Biden problem; it’s a regime problem.

And this is the importance of this SCOTUS term. Its decisions struck hard at the core of the regime: The administrative state and the support of the courts for foisting the elite consensus on the rest of the country.

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