Joe Biden

Joe Biden Leads Democrats Back to the Norm of Ignoring Inconvenient #MeToo Accusations

Remember Bill Clinton?

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The liberal activist group MoveOn.org, a seven-million-member organization that lobbies for progressive causes, was founded in 1998 to oppose the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for lying to Congress about his sexual improprieties. The organizers thought the public should stop caring so much about Clinton's mistreatment of women, thus the genesis of the name: It was time to move on.

That same year, the crusading feminist Gloria Steinem, known for her support of alleged victims like Anita Hill and the completely discredited children claimed to have been abused at Satanic daycare, penned an op-ed for The New York Times in support of Clinton, even "if all the sexual allegations swirling around the White House turn out to be true."

On Monday, The New York Times published a piece by the feminist attorney and scholar Linda Hirshman: "I Believe Tara Reade. I'm Voting for Joe Biden Anyway." Hirshman's piece is well in-keeping with a long tradition of liberals and Democrats discounting problematic sexual misconduct allegations leveled against members of their own political tribe. Indeed, the Democratic establishment has greeted Reade's sexual assault accusation against the former vice president with an all-too-familiar collective shrug. Those who broke ranks and gave voice to Reade's accusation, including MSNBC's Chris Hayes, were met with condemnation.

This is the norm of politics: He may be a sexual predator but he's our sexual predator, damn it. We are witnessing a reversion to this norm, and it should take no one by surprise.

The actual surprise was that, for a brief moment, at the height of the #MeToo movement, there was an effort by liberals to stand on principle and hold powerful Democrats accountable. This culminated in late 2017 with the successful ouster of Sen. Al Franken (D–Minn.) for alleged sexual harassment and nonconsensual touching. Then the reversion began: The New Yorker's Jane Mayer, who once teamed up with Ronan Farrow in the service of publishing one of the less credible Brett Kavanaugh allegations, wrote a piece arguing that Franken was wronged by his overzealous colleagues.

One of those overzealous colleagues, Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand (D–NY), has become synonymous with #MeToo feminism. Gillibrand invited Emma Sulkowicz to the State of the Union in 2015. She said "I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford." When she was running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination last year, she complained that some of her rivals were insufficiently committed to the cause of combatting rape. "I've got to tell you, I'm really sick of it," she said. "I'm so freaking sick of it."

When asked last week about Reade's allegation, Gillibrand said that Biden had her support.

Biden, similarly, has balked at being held accountable under the harsh standards that he himself worked tirelessly to enshrine for people accused of rape on college campuses. On Wednesday, following Education Secretary Betsy DeVos's final approval of new rules that restore due process and the presumption of innocence to college Title IX adjudication, Biden issued a promise to reverse the changes if elected president.

This hypocrisy runs in both directions, of course. Republicans who were silent about the numerous sexual assault allegations against President Donald Trump don't exactly have the moral standing to weaponize the Reade allegation, though that obviously won't stop them.

Trump himself is apparently wary of the accusation against Biden, though. He reportedly asked an aide, "Does it sound like bullshit to you?"

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87 responses to “Joe Biden Leads Democrats Back to the Norm of Ignoring Inconvenient #MeToo Accusations

  1. They only care about their team. They don’t
    give a damn about anything else. If you agree
    with them on the ‘issues’ it’s all cool. False charges
    against child predators are great for the for getting elected
    or, in Janet Reno’s case ,being the USAG. Anything for power.

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      3. She also deserved the result.

      4. The reason Donald Trump got in was due to the Electoral College.

  3. >>problematic sexual misconduct allegations leveled against members of their own political tribe

    if you can walk away unscathed it’s not problematic

  4. The one thing you idiots (and Betsy DeVos) have gotten right in many decades is standing up for the rights of the accused in sex assault cases.

    Believe the women. Yeah OK. Have you met women?

    1. “one thing you idiots ….. have gotten right”

      That’s not fair. You’re saying you don’t agree with Reason.com’s relentless promotion of unlimited, unrestricted immigration?

      #ImmigrationAboveAll

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  6. I guess it is fair to ask, as someone pointed out to me, “Ford came forward as soon as Kavanaugh became a public figure, even if it was many years after the alleged assault. But why didn’t Reade come forward when Biden became Obama’s V.P. choice?”

    1. Because he was already a senator when he committed the assault so the warm jar of spit’s worth of power that comes with VP isn’t really a step up and the MeToo movement wasn’t taking down democrats at that time?

    2. ““Ford came forward as soon as Kavanaugh became a public figure, even if it was many years after the alleged assault. But why didn’t Reade come forward when Biden became Obama’s V.P. choice?””

      MeToo hadn’t happened yet at the beginning of 2008. By her reckoning she had tried speaking out when he was a senator and gotten nowhere, so in 2008, may not have felt she could get any further. But then MeToo happened and her calculus may have changed.

      1. “Ford came forward as soon as Kavanaugh became a public figure….” Baloney. He became an appellate judge in 2006. He had been nominated in 2003, but prominent Democratic senators opposed him and managed to derail his nomination for three years. Many charges were leveled against him during that interval, making him a full flown public figure at that time; BUT, Ford’s was not among them.

        1. And Ford knew about his nomination back then.

    3. Because she saw with Bill Clinton what happens when women accuse prominent Democrats, and she figured she wouldn’t get any support?

      Turns out, she was right.

      She’s also said that she didn’t want to hurt Obama’s election chances. I’m sure they didn’t ask her about the accusation when they were vetting Biden for VP. Why would they? Her report was probably ‘misplaced’ for over a decade by that time. So she wouldn’t have known Biden was even being considered for VP until it was announced. By then, the consequences of picking a credibly accused rapist would have blown back on Obama and put some serious questions about his judgment at a time when he really couldn’t afford them.

    4. Obama’s VP was almost certain to have only one official power – to break ties in the Senate. Obama was young and healthy so the odds of Biden becoming President were very slim.

      Also, maybe Reade figured that even Biden would be unlikely to finger women against their will at funerals of minor foreign leaders (the VP’s main duty – attending the funeral, not fingering).

    5. This is not a fair question. Kavanaugh did not suddenly become a public figure when he received the Supreme Court nomination. He already was a public figure.

      Kavanaugh had been a judge on the federal Court of Appeals. He went through the same type of public hearing as he did for the Supreme Court. He authored numerous opinions. He went through an FBI background check in order the receive the Court of Appeals appointment. There was not a suggestion of sexual misconduct raised against him at that time, or in the FBI investigation for his Court of Appeals appointment.

      Ford did not come forward “as soon as Kavanaugh became a public figure.” She came forward in an eleventh-hour attempt to sabotage a conservative nominee who was replacing Anthony Kennedy.

      PS – Maybe the reason Reade did not come forward against Biden in 2008 is that she saw what happened to the women who came out against Bill Clinton ten years earlier? Just a thought.

      1. PS – Maybe the reason Reade did not come forward against Biden in 2008 is that she saw what happened to the women who came out against Bill Clinton ten years earlier? Just a thought.

        She now she thought MeToo was for real and trumped the long standing political exception?

        Sucker.

    6. So Weinstein shouldn’t be in jail?

      Someone pointed out to you an irrelevant distinction compelling only to those already desperate to exonerate the accused.

    7. Er, no, Dr. Ford never “came forward”. She sent a private letter one senator, and then tried her damnedest to avoid testifying after it leaked.

    8. Ford didn’t.

      Kavanaugh was the Staff Secretary for Bush from 2003-2006 and a DC Circuit Court of Appeals Judge from 2006-2018. He was in the public life for 15 years…

  7. If Bill Clinton taught us anything, it’s that it’s only hypocrisy if you’ve been caught doing something you’ve condemned as being wrong. When has Trump ever suggested that grabbing women by the pussy was wrong? In fact, when has Trump ever suggested anything he’s ever done was wrong? As I recall, during the campaign when he was asked about his religious beliefs and whether or not he ever asked God for forgiveness of his sins, Trump didn’t actually answer the question but he did sort of hint that he had no objection to asking God for forgiveness in principle and he’d probably consider asking God for forgiveness if he ever did anything he felt needed forgiving, you know, in the unlikely event that such a thing might occur.

    1. Accurate enough to quote elsewhere, Jerry. Good job.

  8. “”“Ford came forward as soon as Kavanaugh became a public figure, “”

    Would not his time on the bench prior to his SCOTUS nomination make him a public figure?

    1. Not a national figure until scotus nomination.

      1. Of course

      2. “public” figure != “national” figure

      3. Ford knew about his federal judgeship and decided not to object years before, likely because she hadn’t yet fooled herself into believing her preposterous story.

  9. The actual surprise was that, for a brief moment, at the height of the #MeToo movement, there was an effort by liberals to stand on principle and hold powerful Democrats accountable. This culminated in late 2017 with the successful ouster of Sen. Al Franken (D–Minn.) for alleged sexual harassment and nonconsensual touching.

    Alternatively, Democrats needed to throw somebody under the bus to demonstrate their pretense of principle, and a weak-ass idiot like Franken – so weak that even in a state as liberal as Minnesota they had to “discover” a bunch of ballots in the trunk of a car to steal the election for him and too stupid to even know he was being thrown under the bus – was the perfect patsy.

    1. Correct.
      Though I wonder if they would’ve even gone that far had there not been a picture of Franken smiling while groping a sleeping woman (i know, I know – it was a joke!)

    2. a weak-ass idiot like Franken – so weak that even in a state as liberal as Minnesota they had to “discover” a bunch of ballots in the trunk of a car to steal the election for him and too stupid to even know he was being thrown under the bus – was the perfect patsy.

      Right. It also helped that Senator from a very blue state was as high as Franken was ever going to go and it took massive corruption for him to even go that far. I’m pretty sure if he had been a strong early contender for the 2020 presidential nomination they wouldn’t have thrown him under the bus. Bottom line: Stuart Smalley was a convenient target because he wasn’t good enough, he wasn’t smart enough, and doggone it – no one liked him.

      1. That’s a pretty good stab at the mental gymnastics involved.

        They were at a fever pitch, and he got tossed into the meat grinder. He was of zero consequence… so screw him!

        His was not the weakest allegation, but it was pretty weak. If you recall, the allegation was that she was creeped out by him, and believed that he wrote a kissing scene between them as a creepy come-on. That was the “serious allegation” part. Then the photo came out – a photo which should be a flat zero for everyone, BTW – and his fate was sealed.

        Although, if he had chosen to stick it out instead of resigning, I think the tide would have turned pretty quickly. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and got steamrolled.

    3. Franken was probably the least deserving of condemnation even while I disagree with his politics. In his case, it really was just a bad joke I think but hardly sexual assault or something criminal. Bad taste isn’t illegal, after all.

      The big ‘mistake’ in that Franken case was that Franken himself decided to step down. If he had waited just a few weeks, or maybe a few months, everyone probably would have simply forgotten about the case.

      In a weird way, it almost makes one wonder if Frankin was either A) exceptionally empathetic for a politician, and he felt genuinely bad about the encounter and decided to set an example or B) he knew there was way, way worse in his closest and decided to get out while the getting was non-criminal.

      Personally, I think it was probably A which might surprise some folks.

      1. hardly sexual assault or something criminal.

        You’re omitting the eight or so women who claimed he grabbed their ass while taking pictures.

        1. Didn’t see any photos of that, so can’t be sure the accusations are accurate. If true it falls into category B, but who knows for sure.

          I did see pictures of the one case, and while it wasn’t particularly funny it also didn’t seem like a case of ‘sexual assault’ either. As I recall, none of the other allegations were terribly convincing on that front either.

          Then again, since Franken apparently regrets stepping down from the Senate I suspect that I’m discounting internal Democrat party pressure to step down being the real cause.

  10. Biden. Was. Vetted. By. Top. Democrats. In. 2008.

    If there was something to find, they would have found it.

    #IBelieveJoe

    1. I just hope when President Biden takes the throne from the usurper, he takes the opportunity to right the grievous wrong done to the most honorable Rep. Alcee Hastings, for Hastings was somehow removed from the bench on some vague charges of having done something wrong despite his having been carefully vetted as well. It’s shockingly disrespectful to our hallowed institutions to suggest that our vetting procedures might be less than infallible.

  11. “Remember Bill Clinton?”

    Monica does…

    1. Linda Tripp doesn’t.

      Too soon?

    2. Joe Biden doesn’t.

      1. Mary Jo doesn’t remember Ted, either.

  12. “Republicans who were silent about the numerous sexual assault allegations against President Donald Trump don’t exactly have the moral standing to weaponize the Reade allegation.”

    In the world of Christine Blasey-Ford, are we really to believe that there are accusations against Donald Trump that are as serious (chortle) as Blasey-Ford’s but somehow aren’t CNN’s top story every single day?

    Regardless of your feelings about Donald Trump, it does not stand to reason that a man whose fame and fortune have yielded boatloads of consensual sex, culminating in his marriage to Melania, should have much need to pursue nonconsensual sex with ugly women.

    It does, on the other hand, stand to reason that Democrats would fabricate allegations.

    It’s ok, reason. You can write an article condemning Democrats for their hypocrisy without needing to fire a shot across Orange Man Bad’s bow.

    1. you’d think…

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  14. No one gives a fuck about Tara Reade since Trump proved a serial rapist can get elected. Like he said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and the GOP would offer to Swift-boat the victim.

    1. That was proven long before Trump was elected.

    2. I mean, if it took Donald Trump to prove a serial rapist can get elected I assume you slept through the Clinton administration…or are basically a child and weren’t alive at the time.

    3. “No one gives a fuck about Tara Reade since Trump proved a serial rapist can get elected.”

      Ya know, reading your constant lies is really tiresome. Is the the coke that makes you post your fantasies, or are you just a fucking lefty ignoramus?

    4. We don’t give a duck about Reade or whoever Trump slept with. What we care about is that this demonstrates that Biden is lying about his policies: he advocates Title IX, he advocates wrecking lives, but it’s all a political charade.

  15. Maybe Uncle Joe could offer an olive branch on this issue and announce Emma Sulkowicz as his pick for veep.

    1. She’s underage…for the Presidency. Around 28 when she needs to be 35.

      1. What? I simply checked Wikipedia, does that make me some kind of pervert?

      2. I don’t think there’s any age limitation for high level political appointees though. I’m thinking maybe Undersecretary of Education, specifically in charge of Title IX enforcement.

  16. That same year, the crusading feminist Gloria Steinem, …penned an op-ed for The New York Times in support of Clinton, even “if all the sexual allegations swirling around the White House turn out to be true.”

    On Monday, The New York Times published a piece by the feminist attorney and scholar Linda Hirshman: “I Believe Tara Reade. I’m Voting for Joe Biden Anyway.” Hirshman’s piece is well in-keeping with a long tradition of liberals and Democrats discounting problematic sexual misconduct allegations leveled against members of their own political tribe.

    How many times do we have to see this same story play out before “feminists” like Steinem and Hirshman lose all credibility within the mainstream media? Rhetorical question, I already know the answer: infinity.

  17. “This hypocrisy runs in both directions, of course. Republicans who were silent about the numerous sexual assault allegations against President Donald Trump don’t exactly have the moral standing to weaponize the Reade allegation, though that obviously won’t stop them.”

    Democrats who still venerate Bill Clinton did not have the moral standing to weaponize the Blasey-Ford allegation against Kavanaugh, though that obviously did not stop them.

    After all the gaslighting by Soave about Blasey-Ford’s allegation being “credible” thus deserving of consideration, he wants to say there is something untoward about holding the Democrats to the principle they proposed with Kavanaugh (despite Reade’s having at least some contemporaneous, if circumstantial, evidence that something happened between her and Biden). Really, get the plank out of your own eye, Soave.

  18. the completely discredited children

    Nice band name.

  19. Ha, Trump is the sole principled actor in this piece.

  20. there was an effort by liberals to stand on principle and hold powerful Democrats accountable.

    Untrue. There was an effort to stand up to one middling Dem because (1) he would have been replaced by another Dem and (2) it helped them attack a Rep. The only principle involved was Power Above All.

  21. “On Wednesday, following Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s final approval of new rules that restore due process and the presumption of innocence to college Title IX adjudication…”

    Biden, who has not read and would not understand the new rules, issued a promise to reverse the changes if elected president.

  22. Republicans who were silent about the numerous sexual assault allegations against President Donald Trump don’t exactly have the moral standing to weaponize the Reade allegation, though that obviously won’t stop them.”

    Republicans accepted the standard set by Dems and left wing activists including the media. Soave apparently thinks pretending this is hypocrisy will eventually land him the token non-leftist “Weigel” position at WAPO.

  23. A few left wingers who supported Clinton tried to reclaim their credibility with claims of regret in order to strengthen their attacks on Trump and Kavanaugh. None of those people are criticizing Biden proving they didn’t change a bit.

    And they’d do it all again tomorrow.

  24. The hypocrisy of the left is spectacular to watch.
    I highly doubt fingerbanging Reade is the worst thing Biden’s ever done, but I also don’t think his failed attempt at ‘romance’ should be the disqualifying factor it should be the fact that he’s a garbage human being and a shitty lying politician and has been his entire life. Also definitely senile… That said, Reade’s allegation, like his senility is poetic justice.

  25. I think the author is being to kind to Democrats.

    The only reason they allowed Franken to fall was that they used that as a weapon against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore who was accused of dating young girls.

    Democrats knew that Franken would be replaced with a staunch leftists so by sacrificing him they won a Senate seat.

  26. This article is unbelievably emotional and reactive. Comparing Biden to Clinton? *shakinghead* You don’t know what really happened any more than the rest of us. Only Reade and Biden know, and frankly, I don’t find her credible – not her timing or the way she’s changed her story or the fact that she strikes me as an attention whore who’s gonna milk this for all it’s worth.

    #MeToo has gone way too far. Yes, take allegations seriously, but – dare I say, Biden is right – investigate, vet them thoroughly. Even if you don’t care, there is a little thing called presumption of innocence. There’s also the little inconvenient fact that there’s no pattern of behavior, there’s no evidence, and no one’s backing up Reade except a few friends and family. Not one single person who worked with Biden. Either way, no wonder I don’t read this rag regularly. Such emotionalism and slant.

    1. Biden is right? Biden is still saying that the title ix kangaroo courts are a good idea and promises to return them if elected. He’s only interested in a thorough vetting when he’s the one accused.

      No one is shitting on dems because they think Reade is telling the truth. Her sincerity is irrelevant. The whole story here is how the dems are handling this compared to Clinton and especially Kavanaugh.

  27. The real accusation against Biden isn’t that he touched Reade inappropriately, it’s his hypocrisy and double standard.

    Besides, I’d vote for a rapey Churchill over a non rapey Stalin any day.

  28. “BIDEN 2020. SOMEWHAT LESS RAPEY THAN TRUMP (maybe?)”

    1. “TRUMP 2020. SOMEWHAT LESS SENILE THAN BIDEN (definitely!… for now)

    2. My original thought was:

      “TRUMP 2020. SOMEWHAT LESS DEMENTED THAN BIDEN.”

      … but there are plenty of people who would disagree, especially all those historically illiterate people who liken Trump to Hitler.

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