Sunday, April 12, 2020

Saving Crazy Uncle Joe

With warm best wishes to those celebrating Easter today, I am happy to announce that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has exited the ICU and is recovering from his coronavirus infection. Apparently, it was more serious than we had been told. 

Or, as one of his family members put it: “He is risen.”

As is its wont, the New York Times is today in full electioneering mode, bookending a story about how the Trump administration failed miserably to address the medical crisis and another proving that Joe Biden is not really a sexual predator. 

That is, the Times has gotten round to investigating former Biden staffer Tara Reade’s accusation against the former senator. Reade has accused Biden of having sexually assaulted her in 1993. Various leftist media outlets have responsibly reported the story. Among them, as we shall see, notable socialist sympathizer Nathan Robinson. Until today, the mainstream media has been largely silent. 

The Times is at its investigative best when it is engaged in a cover up. After all, it did yeoman work covering up the Holocaust when it was happening, so it is surely up to the task of saving Joe Biden.

Herein, it describes Reade’s accusation. Yes, I know that I have written about this before, but, humor me. This will save you from reading several more posts.

The former aide, Tara Reade, who briefly worked as a staff assistant in Mr. Biden’s Senate office, told The New York Times that in 1993, Mr. Biden pinned her to a wall in a Senate building, reached under her clothing and penetrated her with his fingers. A friend said that Ms. Reade told her the details of the allegation at the time. Another friend and a brother of Ms. Reade’s said she told them over the years about a traumatic sexual incident involving Mr. Biden.

Surely, this counts as a sexual assault. It must count as a serious criminal violation.

Not so fast.

Former Biden staffers are now circling the wagons. They have no recollection of having heard of such an incident:

In interviews, several people who worked in the Senate office with Ms. Reade said they did not recall any talk of such an incident or similar behavior by Mr. Biden toward her or any women. Two office interns who worked directly with Ms. Reade said they were unaware of the allegation or any treatment that troubled her.

Except that there have been other accusations:

Last year, Ms. Reade and seven other women came forward to accuse Mr. Biden of kissing, hugging or touching them in ways that made them feel uncomfortable. 

And now for the exoneration. The Times reports:

No other allegation about sexual assault surfaced in the course of reporting, nor did any former Biden staff members corroborate any details of Ms. Reade’s allegation. The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.

What Biden did to Tara Reade certainly goes well beyond the “uncomfortable” standard. Keep in mind, Biden has never hidden his hair sniffing fetish. And, for those who have been living a sheltered life, sticking your nose in an unsuspecting woman’s hair, even that of a teenage girl, is a form of sexual arousal. After all, a woman’s hair is saturated with pheromones, that is, sexual attraction hormones.

Biden’s actions constitute a simulated rape. It is pathetic to see those who would be out marching in the streets against any Republican who had ever displayed such behavior in public, dismissing the charge against Biden. They did it for Bill Clinton, but have never taken responsibility for their own contribution to a culture of sexual harassment.

But, they are also dismissing the overt taped evidence… because Biden has done so in public, to the teenage daughter of Sen. Chris Coons and to the wife of Ash Carter, in PUBLIC.

And we will not even mention Biden’s habit of swimming nude in front of female secret service agents.

Note the difference in tone between the Times piece and this by Nathan Robinson:

And, let’s be honest, the fact that seven other women have accused Biden of inappropriate touching should affect our judgment about the likelihood Biden would have done this. Biden has proved that he does not respect women’s boundaries, and, rather than adhering to a narrow pattern of inappropriate behavior, sexual predators frequently do as much as they think they can get away with. If Biden kissed Lucy Flores, a prominent Democratic politician, against her will in public, is it implausible that he would have done worse to a low-level staffer in private? Early in Biden’s run, people who knew him were suggesting that he was a MeToo scandal waiting to happen because of his habit of touching women without consent. Is anyone in the world surprised that a prominent political leader with a greater record of physical creepiness than almost any other—save the president—would ultimately be accused of serious physical misconduct?

Nextt, the Times trots out its outrage against Donald Trump. Whereas the Biden accusations were insinuation and fantasy, those against Trump were obviously, to the Times, gospel truth:

President Trump has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by more than a dozen women, who have described a pattern of behavior that went far beyond the accusations against Mr. Biden. The president also directed illegal payments, including $130,000 to a pornographic film actress, Stormy Daniels, before the 2016 election to silence women about alleged affairs with Mr. Trump, according to federal prosecutors.

We should doubt some of the accusations. Besides, paying hush money to a porn star to prevent the exposure of consensual sex is not the same as sexual assault. Alleged affairs are not the same as sexual assaults. And, keep in mind, during the time of the confirmation hearings for Bret Kavanaugh, over a thousand women called the FBI to claim that Kavanaugh had raped them.

We are talking politics here. This has nothing to do with sex.

As we have often done, for this type of story we turn to a man of the left. In this case, to Nathan Robinson, a notably socialist Bernie supporter. He wrote his defense of Reade before the Times story appeared, but still, we applaud his honestly and his intelligence:

Now, before we engage in any speculation on the reasons for the quiet response to Reade, let us just note something that is indisputably true: if Tara Reade’s allegation were to be widely publicized, Joe Biden might be significantly damaged politically. And given the current state of the Democratic primary, in which Biden is the only candidate still campaigning, a scandal like this could throw the Democratic Party into utter chaos. With Biden the presumptive nominee, if something were to undermine Joe Biden, it would therefore hurt the Democratic party’s prospects of defeating Donald Trump. It would therefore be quite understandable for there to be many in the party who want to do everything possible to keep Biden from being damaged, in order to preserve their chances against Trump. If Biden went down in flames, the only plausible alternative—running Bernie Sanders, who is still on the ballot despite having suspended his campaign—is, for many, completely unthinkable. Senior figures in the party have made it clear before that they see Bernie Sanders as an existential threat to the party. They thus have a strong incentive to do whatever it takes to ensure Biden is in fact nominated.

Of course, the Times was not widely publicizing the accusations. It was burying them, on Easter Sunday, in the midst of a pandemic.

For his part, Robinson finds the Reade account persuasive:

The main defense for not paying attention to Tara Reade, then, is that she is not “credible,” which means that she is either a malicious liar or completely delusional. Anyone who has listened to Reade’s interview with Katie Halper—and I encourage everyone who can stomach it to do so—knows that if this were the case, Reade would have to be very malicious or very delusional. Her story is so detailed and emotional that it is extremely hard, listening to her tell it, to believe that she is not telling the truth.

Robinson did his own research. He spoke to the people the Times spoke to. And he reached a different conclusion:

I have talked to Tara Reade extensively myself, and she has been completely consistent and frank. I have talked to her brother, who confirms that Tara told him about the assault at the time. I have also talked to her friend Sarah*, a fellow Capitol Hill staffer Tara spoke to about the assault in 1993 as well as over the years afterward. The Intercept talked to both of them as well, and Reade’s brother Collin Moulton said: “Woefully, I did not encourage her to follow up… I wasn’t one of her better advocates. I said let it go, move on, guys are idiots.” When I asked Sarah if the account Tara has given to the press is consistent with what she said in 1993, Sarah said that it was. She confirmed that Tara had called her on the phone shortly after the incident happened and was very distraught about it. Sarah says the news left her in “absolute shock” at the time….

I also asked Sarah about a comment Tara’s brother made to me. He said that the incident had changed Tara’s personality, sapping her confidence. Sarah agreed, saying Tara began to “second guess” herself afterwards, the effects of Biden’s attack on Tara were severe and lasting. “It’s never left her,” she said. “What I wouldn’t give to go back in time and to pull her out of that hallway. Say ‘Run! Go!’ But no one can make time go back.”

How does that compare to the accusations Christine Blasey Ford threw at Bret Kavanaugh:

That is more corroboration than Christine Blasey Ford had—she hadn’t told anyone at the time of her assault, yet her accusation was front-page news. But I also think that the particular reasons Marcotte and Jezebel have for casting doubt on Tara Reade do not hold up, and I would like to go through all the current criticisms of Reade and show why they are so weak. In fact, I think they are totally indefensible. Those who make them are casting doubt on a victim for no good reason, and suggesting that women who come forward should be disbelieved on spurious grounds. Ultimately, those who have criticized and ignored Tara Reade are doing serious damage to the MeToo movement by suggesting that women like Reade may well simply be delusional or lying; and, until they can prove that they are not delusional or lying, their claims can be set aside. 

He adds this:

I think we should be very wary of claims that Reade’s accusations simply were not supported by enough evidence to be widely reported. For one thing, Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation against Brett Kavanaugh was reported as soon as she made it public, even though she had told nobody at the time, and did not have the kind of witness statements that Halper received from Reade’s brother and her friend. Tara, like many victims, is seemingly faced with an impossible standard. The incident happened in private, so what evidence can she provide, other than people she had told at the time? She can prove that she worked for Biden, and she can tell her whole story in clear and unwavering detail, but what else is she supposed to do? What proof, beyond her testimony, is enough?

So, Robinson calls out the feminist left for its flagrant hypocrisy. He denounces its thinkers for failing to apply the same standards to Republicans and Democrats. Since he is a leftist himself, his arguments have special saliency.

I have offered an executive summary of the Robinson article. I find his takedown of the notable feminist loudmouth Amanda Marcotte especially pertinent, though I will leave it for you to read through it.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

I despise, detest, and distrust the NYT. This is just one more unnecessary reason why.
(The WaPoo, too.)