Saturday, May 2, 2020

Andrew Sullivan on Joe Biden

Fast upon finishing my previous post, I came upon this, by Andrew Sullivan. It takes up the point about judging Joe Biden by the standards proposed by the Obama administration Department of Education. And it does so with more detail. Knowing that you will want to see the extra added detail, I am offering up a few excerpts. I recommend that you read the prior post before delving into this one:

The problem with defending due process in a case like Biden’s with respect to Tara Reade is that Biden himself, when it comes to allegations of sexual abuse and harassment, doesn’t believe in it. Perhaps in part to atone for his shabby treatment of Anita Hill, Biden was especially prominent in the Obama administration’s overhaul of Title IX treatment of claims of sexual discrimination and harassment on campus. You can listen to Biden’s strident speeches and rhetoric on this question and find not a single smidgen of concern with the rights of the accused. Men in college were to be regarded as guilty before being proven innocent, and stripped of basic rights in their self-defense.

Harvard Law professor Jeannie Suk Gersen noted the consequences of Biden’s crusade in The New Yorker last year. “In recent years,” she wrote, “it has become commonplace to deny accused students access to the complaint, the evidence, the identities of witnesses, or the investigative report, and to forbid them from questioning complainants or witnesses … According to K.C. Johnson, a professor at Brooklyn College and an expert on Title IX lawsuits, more than four hundred students accused of sexual misconduct since 2011 have sued their schools under federal or state laws — in many cases, for sex discrimination under Title IX. While many of the lawsuits are still ongoing, nearly half of the students who have sued have won favorable court rulings or have settled with the schools.”

The objective truth, Biden argued, is what matters. I agree with him. But this was emphatically not the standard Biden favored when judging men in college. If Biden were a student, under Biden rules, Reade could file a claim of assault, and Biden would have no right to know the specifics, the evidence provided, who was charging him, who was a witness, and no right to question the accuser. Apply the Biden standard for Biden, have woke college administrators decide the issue in private, and he’s toast.

Under Biden, Title IX actually became a force for sex discrimination — as long as it was against men. Emily Yoffe has done extraordinary work exposing the injustices of the Obama-Biden sexual-harassment regime on campus, which have mercifully been pared back since. But she has also highlighted Biden’s own zeal in the cause. He brushed aside most legal defenses against sexual harassment. In a speech at the University of Pittsburgh in 2016, for example, Biden righteously claimed that it was an outrage that any woman claiming sexual assault should have to answer questions like “Were you drinking?” or “What did you say?” “These are questions that angered me then and anger me now.” He went on: “No one, particularly a court of law, has a right to ask any of those questions.”

And than, in 2014, the Obama administration issued a new definition of sexual violence:

In 2014, the Obama administration issued another guidance for colleges which expanded what “sexual violence” could include, citing “a range of behaviors that are unwanted by the recipient and include remarks about physical appearance; persistent sexual advances that are undesired by the recipient; unwanted touching; and unwanted oral, anal, or vaginal penetration or attempted penetration.” By that standard, ignoring the Reade allegation entirely, Joe Biden has been practicing “sexual violence” for decades: constantly touching women without their prior consent, ruffling and smelling their hair, making comments about their attractiveness, coming up from behind to touch their back or neck. You can see him do it on tape, on countless occasions. He did not stop in 2014, to abide by the standards he was all too willing to impose on college kids. A vice-president could do these things with impunity; a college sophomore could have his life ruined for an inept remark.

I have mentioned many of these points before. Biden’s hair sniffing fetish constitutes a simulated rape. Since most women’s groups have remained silent on these matters, it is good to see a couple of guys take up the cause.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

This wokeness around Tara Reade seems coordinated, no? Mika’s all in on it, and now Andrew “the conservative” Sullivan.

Seems fishy. Buyer’s remorse? It’s impossible to be too cynical about the Democrats and their core allies — a confederation of aggrieved groups.

Joe is white, male, old, Catholic and demented. What could possibly go wrong for him with today’s all-out Leftist Democrat Party?

whitney said...

Definitely. They've decided to get rid of him. Under no circumstances should anyone think that this is because they really believe what they say and are operating with any honesty or decency

UbuMaccabee said...

The source of all evil in America is the university. Every bad idea comes from there. It's a sewer hole of bad ideas. The best thing about the Coronavirus is the financial damage it is doing to the universities. If half of them went out of business, and the other half were reduced to essential disciplines only, America would be immeasurably better off for it.


Ithaca delenda est.


David Foster said...

I think the vast expansion of American higher education over recent decades has drawn a lot of people into professor roles who really had no calling or talent for scholarship or teaching.

At the same time, the increasingly-larger $$$$ involved have led to administrative positions being filled by the kind of people who are alert for the main chance (for themselves) and don't really care about doing useful work.

UbuMaccabee said...

David, the traditional disciplines were all well infected by 2000 or so as the old liberal guard retired and gave way to the race and gender intersectionalists. I saw it happen first hand, but it was happening nationally at the same time. Even old class warrior professors were dismayed. This was the history dept, English, foreign languages, political science, philosophy, etc.; what used to called the humanities were transitioning from scholarship to activism, from the love of literature to the use of literature as a cudgel to beat the civilization that created it.

It was bad in 2000, so I can only imagine the stink today. But based on who now occupies our institutions and what I hear from our elites, it’s not too hard to work backwards and find Butler and Foucault mixed into their cognition. In many respects, you have a better chance of finding a good professor at a marginal state college than at the prestigious schools; Harvey Mansfield over at Harvard is a very isolated man, and Harvard will never allow a man like him in again once he is gone. I do not think the dilution of the universities with second rate instructors (and students) is a primary cause of the destruction of the university. I think it has to do with adoption of bad ideas by people who should know better.

As for the university administrators, there is no lower form of humanity skulking on the earth than the craven and cowardly college administrators as a class. In Satan’s hands is a journalist and a college president. One betrayed the trust of their nation, and the other betrayed the trust of its youth. Fire them all and hire one of the janitors to run the administrative functions of the university. I’ll take the Boston phone book over the faculty every time.

David Foster said...

Ubu..."I do not think the dilution of the universities with second rate instructors (and students) is a primary cause of the destruction of the university. I think it has to do with adoption of bad ideas by people who should know better."

Does that imply that the current crop of professors is as intelligent and creative (to consider only two dimensions of professorial goodness) as the old guard? I doubt it...I would think that a lot of talented people are kept away...or driven off the stifling climate.