Posts Tagged ‘#metoo’

The accusation against Biden — Who are the hypocrites?

May 5, 2020

Republicans call Democrats hypocrites for believing charges of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh but not Joe Biden.

Most women making such accusations are truthful. A lot of men behave like pigs. Especially powerful men with a sense of entitlement and impunity. Like Weinstein, Cosby, Trump, with proven patterns of behavior and numerous victims whose stories taken together lend credence.

The #metoo movement, calling them to account, was long overdue. Much justice was done. But women as well as men are fallible, and facts matter. Here is my assessment of the facts.

Kavanaugh had a clear history of major alcohol abuse, if nothing else, that gave credibility to the accusation, by a woman whose own reputation was stellar.

Biden’s case is entirely different. The alleged conduct would have been totally out of character. His open physical demonstrativeness toward women is not remotely comparable. As David Brooks commented, Tara Reade’s story entails not only lasciviousness but cruelty. That just is not Joe Biden. No similar accusation has ever previously surfaced, and nobody who knows him well believes it.

Having hormones myself, I understand the attraction of illicit sex. But mature, sane people control their impulses. The alleged behavior would have incurred huge risk for meaningless momentary jollies. That doesn’t sound like Biden either.

Reade, who briefly worked in Biden’s Senate office before being terminated, says she filed complaints at the time (1993), but no record of them has been found. People on Biden’s staff who would have known of it remember no such complaints, which they say would have been very memorable.

A few of Reade’s acquaintances, and her mother, have said she spoke of the incident at the time. That does not corroborate the story’s truth. Meantime, just months ago, her public story was totally different, claiming merely that Biden’s physical demonstrativeness made her uncomfortable — a far cry from the crude sexual assault she now describes.

This new story reeks of being contrived, pasting together stereotypical parts. Especially quoting Biden, “You mean nothing to me.” That’s the cruelty Brooks mentioned. It loudly rings false.

Why is Reade doing this? Who knows what demons can motivate people. Reade may actually now believe her tale. Memory plays tricks on us — particularly in the fraught realm of sex. The documentary film Capturing the Friedmans showed one young man literally writhing in anguish over his memory of sexual abuse. Which in fact never occurred.

One clue about Reade: She’s been quoted extravagantly gushing over Putin. I wouldn’t suggest she’s part of a Russian plot. Just nutty.

It is reasonable to believe Biden rather than Reade. At the very least, to give Biden the benefit of the doubt.

Now about those Republican taunts of hypocrisy. They not only defended Kavanaugh but of course disregard all women making accusations against Trump, well into double digits, up to and including outright rape. “Grab them by the pussy” is on the record. Likewise illegally paying off women to silence them regarding sexual transgressions. Amid all his innumerable other corrupt deeds (Trump University, charitable foundation fraud, etc., etc.), lies, and offenses against public decency. Yet these Republicans point fingers at Democrats? Who’s hypocritical?

But this is not about principle. For Republicans, all that matters is power. No ploy is too cynical if it might help keep them in power.

Biden has proven himself a thoroughly decent human being, an honest, responsible, public-spirited man, with deep regard for other people.

Everything Trump is not.