Biden’s most irresponsible political act was dissolving, and absolving, our country’s responsibility for the millions of girls and women abandoned to their fate under the Taliban. His most irresponsible private act has been dissolving, and absolving, his family’s responsibility for the daughter his son fathered.
Surprisingly or not, neither the first act nor, so far, the second raised the ire of American feminists.
Besides gender there is another, perhaps deeper resemblance between the decision affecting the anonymous millions of Afghan women and the one affecting Navy Jones Roberts. A decade before the Afghanistan withdrawal, Biden as vice-president thought the U.S. should leave Afghanistan but had to defer to Obama’s judgment. So, when he occupied the White House in 2021, he ordered what he wanted back then, willing to squander the intervening decade’s positive consequences. After all, Obama was wrong and he was right in the first place. A few years before the Afghan withdrawal, Hunter Biden impregnated a woman while he was so deep in drug addiction that he later claimed not to remember their sexual encounter. He employed her during her pregnancy; fired her and canceled her medical insurance before she gave birth; fought her paternity claim until, in 2020, DNA testing confirmed it; negotiated a financial settlement; never saw his daughter.
Hunter erred. Obama erred. How best to erase their errors? Ignore, indeed negate the miracle the errors produced: a newborn whose future calls for love and sustenance and a multitude of women who were discovering learning, freedom, and ambition. Biden chose to reject these girls’ and women’s love and sustenance, their learning, freedom, and ambition. He erased the error by erasing the consequence. Dissolve and absolve.
America has largely forgotten Afghan women. Perhaps someday one of Biden’s six acknowledged grandchildren will step forth and, citing Wordsworth, say, “We Are Seven.”∞