[Editor’s note: Make sure to read Robert Spencer’s masterpiece contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
Sit down, I’ve got some bad news: Hunter Biden isn’t really “one of the most consequential artists in this century,” as a gallery owner described him in February. Instead, his meteoric artistic career is just more Biden Crime Family influence peddling. I know, knock me over with a feather, right? It has just come to light that Old Joe Biden named a big buyer of Hunter’s artwork to a prestigious federal commission. What a coincidence! But surely there is nothing untoward or even worth investigating here, right, Mr. Garland? After all, it isn’t as if this fishy artistic savant were named something like Donald Trump Jr.
Hunter Biden burst onto the artistic scene like Oppenheimer quoting the Bhagavad Gita. This crackhead party boy who had shown no previous sign of having any interest in art, much less a talent for it, overnight became one of the hottest properties in the art world, with his paintings going for as much as $500,000 and generally selling for between $55,000 to $225,000 each. By way of comparison, in 2021 a painting by one of the most celebrated artists of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso, sold for $150,000. To be sure, better-known Picasso paintings frequently sell for millions, but it was astonishing for Hunter Biden paintings to be selling for prices that were remotely comparable to what was paid for anything that one of the great masters produced.
Astonishing and suspicious. What was really going on was all too obvious, although those who were involved in the scheme did their best to conceal it. New York gallery owner George Berges, who displayed Hunter’s daubings, insisted that everything was as honest as the day is long: “I know that there’s a lot of politics involved at the moment which is a shame because his work is not only good it’s important. Hunter Biden will become one of the most consequential artists in this century because the world needs his art now more than ever.” Oh yes, that’s exactly what the world needs.
Business Insider noted Monday that “in 2021, when a New York art gallery debuted Hunter Biden’s paintings with asking prices as high as $500,000, the White House said that Hunter Biden’s team had a process for carefully vetting buyers and that their identities were known only to the gallery, and not to Hunter Biden himself.” There, see? No influence peddling here! Why, good ol’ Honest Hunter doesn’t even know who is buying his dreck! So how could he be selling them access to The Big Guy?
Well, knock me over with a feather again; it looks as if he found a way. Business Insider adds that Hunter “did in fact learn the identity of two buyers, according to three people directly familiar with Hunter Biden’s own account of his art career. And one of those buyers is indeed someone who got a favor from the Biden White House.” Wow, who could possibly have seen this coming?
The art patron in question is one Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, whom Business Insider describes as “a Los Angeles real estate investor and philanthropist,” as well as, lo and behold, a “significant Democratic donor who has given $13,414 to the Biden campaign and $29,700 to the Democratic National Campaign Committee this year. In 2022, she hosted a fundraiser headlined by Vice President Kamala Harris.” In July 2022, Old Joe named Hirsh Naftali to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, which “as an agency of the Government of the United States of America” is dedicated to “protecting endangered historic sites in Eastern and Central Europe that are associated with the heritage of U.S. citizens.” It’s a plum appointment of the type that usually goes to such people as well-heeled donors to the president’s political party.
What is not known is whether Old Joe appointed Hirsh Naftali to this Commission before or after she shelled out for Hunter’s paint spatterings. But this is not as important a question as it may seem to be at first glance. Hirsh Naftali bought Hunter’s art, and Hirsh Naftali got an appointment from the Biden regime. Whether her investment in Hunter’s paintings was a request for that appointment or payment for it makes little difference. The other possibility is that Biden named her to this Commission because, gosh darn it, she is an expert on historic American heritage sites in Europe, and her interest in Crackhead Picasso is just a coincidence.
The Biden regime, of course, insists that “there was no connection between her art purchases and her appointment.” White House spokes-soyboy Ian Sams said unctuously: “Hunter Biden is a private citizen who is entitled to have his own career as an artist. We are not involved in his art sales, and any buyers of his art are not disclosed to the White House.” But as Old Joe himself would say, Come on, man!
If Hirsh Naftali had already bought Hunter’s art before her appointment, she shouldn’t have been appointed. If she was appointed first and then bought the art, she should have thought twice. Remember all that business Bill Clinton used to say about avoiding even the appearance of impropriety? Slick Willie ignored this adage in practice, and Biden tramples it in the mud.
The Biden regime is playing the American people for fools. It isn’t the first time. It won’t be the last.