It is only a matter of time before serious Democratic
candidates for president pledge to pardon Joe Biden if
they are elected president in 2024 — mirroring what most
Republican candidates who are now pledging to pardon
Donald Trump are saying in their quest for the 2024 GOP
Trump already faces four separate sets of indictments,
and eventual trials. Allegations and evidence are now
piling up against Mr. Biden during the time when he
was vice president, as well as his current position as
president, and often involving members of his family.
Mr. Trump was twice impeached by a partisan-controlled
Democrat U.S. house four years ago, but not convicted in
the U.S. senate. Articles of impeachment have now been
introduced in the currently partisan-controlled Republican
U.S. house, but if passed, face no likelihood of conviction
in today’s U.S. senate.
A potentially serious third party, called No Labels, is already
on the ballot in ten states, and likely to qualify in many more.
It would seem inevitable for its nominee to pledge that he or
she would pardon both Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden in the hope
that voters would welcome it as an end of the bitter divide
between the traditional major parties.
Although such pardons would end the prosecutions for
alleged federal crimes committed by both figures, one a
sitting president and the other a former president,
presidential pardons do not cover prosecutions of crimes at
the state level.
Moreover, it remains an open question whether pardoning
both leading figures would, in fact, reduce the now-widening
divide between liberal-progressive and conservative voters,
Such a circumstance, however, might well shift the emphasis
and political strategies of both sides.
It also might take the air out of the current use of impeachment
and prosecution as weapons of political discourse and conduct,
thus lowering the temperature of contemporary political combat.
That current temperature has produced an unprecedented
political heat wave which no political air-conditioning has so far
provided any relief.
Although there are aspects of the current national political and
social environment which resemble or echo those in the past,
the now unfolding 2024 presidential campaign and its volatile
national voter mood continues to move in largely uncharted
political territory — and much of the campaign still lies ahead.
It seems likely to make the ride on even one of the newest
amusement park roller coasters seem placid by comparison.
Copyright (c) 2023 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.