Hopefully you will never find yourself in this situation, but if you’re an old man, never tell the investigators that there aren’t any more documents in your house. Because it won’t work out well. It’s like a newspaper editor telling her husband, “OK, but I swear, that’s the last piece of dark chocolate you’re going to find hidden in the laundry room.”
There are always going to be more documents.
Classified documents were found in President Joe Biden's garage with the vintage Corvette? Of course they were. Where did the FBI find them, in between the 1962 National Geographics and a rubber-banded sheaf of electricity bills from six houses ago?
Or maybe in that box that he’s been meaning to go through for the last 10 years, the last time he promised himself that once and for all he was going to “get organized”?
I’m less interested in what the documents have to say than I am in the very real possibility that the president of the United States is a hoarder. You’ve seen the aerial footage of his house(s), haven’t you? They cover roughly six football fields. Imagine the amount of paperwork that could be in there, dating back to his old student loan documents. “Yeah Jill, you might be right. I could probably throw these out now, but you never know. Tell you what. If I haven’t needed them in the next five years I’ll move them out of the bedroom.”
And speaking of the basement, what’s the over/under on the number of paint cans therein, each with about three tablespoons of hardened pigment crusted in the bottom?
Happily, I do not have this problem, because my dad put the fear of the Lord in me. He spent every blessed morning at the typewriter, churning out pages (with carbon copies) of theological grievances and correspondence with all the corporations he felt were out to get him.
This was in an age when corporations would actually write back (“No Mr. Rowland, we can assure you that the Bayer Laboratories would never change the formula of its aspirin products to make them less effective on your headaches.”) And he kept it all. And on his death, I had to go through it all. The scars are so fresh that it’s a wonder I even save the deed to our house.
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But the amount of potential paperwork owned by someone who has been in office since the Franco-Prussian War is staggering. How many of the 1983 revisions to the Davis-Bacon Act do you suppose are lurking in the attic? And you kind of suspect, don’t you, that Uncle Joe is one of those guys who prints everything off the internet. Here’s a good piece on the effect of climate change on Ulaanbaatar’s theater district. Better print that out and throw it in the pile.
So no, don’t be saying that there aren’t any more documents, whether you believe it or not.
Going full Sinatra, Biden says he has no regrets (“I Hid it My Way”) over his handling of the whole affair, but I’m not sure I believe that, either.
You know there’s a problem when the administration tries to change the subject back to inflation.
I do, however, take strong issue with the critics and pundits who say the president should have announced the presence of classified documents when they were discovered, which happened to be just days before the midterm elections. Are you crazy? This is politics, not an atonement.
If Biden had announced the presence of classified documents in his possession and the Democrats had lost the Senate, those very same critics and pundits would have been piling on the president for being so stupid as to firebomb the election when he easily could have waited until the following week.
But politics is unfair. Somewhere in President Biden’s beach house there’s probably a paper that says so.
Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.
This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail: In Biden document affair, it's less the content and more the mess