Patterico's Pontifications


WaPo Editorial Board Calls On Joe Biden To Address Sexual Assault Allegations

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:32 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Well, Joe Biden’s unfolding scandal – which may or may not lead anywhere – is certainly wreaking havoc in the Democratic Party, and with Democratic-aligned women’s groups. Everyone is showing their hypocritical underpants. There is little to no support for Tara Reade from the #MeToo and Believe All Women hens. And most ironically, no support from that feminist icon herself, Hillary Clinton, who endorsed Joe Biden yesterday. And of course, prominent Democrats, per instructions from the Biden camp, are parotting the party line: It did not happen. The bottom line is, when a man accused of such egregious behavior is the Democratic presidential nominee, Democrats circle the wagons and protect their tribe member, rather than hold him accountable. (Shades of Bill Clinton...) This makes it all the more surprising that the Washington Post bucked the Democratic company line and have called on Biden to address Reade’s claims:

TARA READE deserves to be heard, and voters deserve to hear her. They deserve to hear from Joe Biden, too.

The former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has yet to speak publicly about the allegation Ms. Reade has lodged against him: that when she was a member of his Senate staff in the 1990s, Mr. Biden pushed her against a wall and put his fingers up her skirt and then inside her. Mr. Biden’s campaign says “this never happened.” Contemporaneous accounts of Ms. Reade’s claim are counterweighted by the denials of her superiors at the time that she reported any misconduct, as well as inconsistencies in her retelling.

There are, at the moment, no clear conclusions. There may never be. But that is no excuse for not searching. One place to start is the records covering Mr. Biden’s 36-year Senate career, donated to the University of Delaware in 2012 and slated for release to the public two years after Mr. Biden “retires from public life.” These could contain confirmation of any complaint Ms. Reade made, either through official congressional channels or to the three other employees she claims she informed not specifically of the alleged assault but more generally of harassment. They could also contain nothing of the sort. Insisting on an inventory doesn’t mean one believes Ms. Reade or doesn’t believe her. It signals only a desire for the public to know all that’s able to be known, which ought to be in everyone’s interest.

Why wouldn’t Biden want to be as clearly transparent as possible? Why wouldn’t he want to do everything he can to address the issues with supporters, and reassure Americans that he did not do what Reade has accused him of doing?

I don’t know what really happened. There are inconsistencies in Reade’s account, and we don’t know what inconsistencies there might be in Biden’s account until he addresses the matter.

P.S. Political whores or token doormats:

Kirsten Gillibrand:

“I stand by Vice President Biden,” Gillibrand said. “He’s devoted his life to supporting women and he has vehemently denied this allegation.”

Stacy Abrams:

“The New York Times did a deep investigation and they found that the accusation was not credible. I believe Joe Biden,” she said, adding that he’s “a person who’s demonstrated that his love of family, his love of our community, has been made perfectly clear through his work as a congressional leader and as an American leader. I know Joe Biden, and I think that he is telling the truth and that this did not happen.”

Amy Klobuchar (a former County Attorney who shockingly appears to believe that because the NYT wrote about the sexual assault allegations – without interviewing Joe Biden – the matter is settled):

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said on Thursday that all sexual misconduct allegations should be thoroughly investigated and indicated that the one against former Vice President Joe Biden had been examined.

“He has said, and I agree with this, you’ve got to get to the bottom of every case and all allegations. I think The New York Times — I haven’t read all the stories. I read that one,” she said on MSNBC.

She seemed to be referring to a lengthy Times report titled “Examining Tara Reade’s Sexual Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden.”

“Your viewers should read that,” Klobuchar told MSNBC host Ari Melber. “It was very thorough. They interviewed people…”

I think this case has been investigated. I know the vice president as a major leader on domestic abuse, I worked with him on that. And I think that, again, the viewers should read the article. It was very thorough.”


Justin Amash Forms Exploratory Committee for Presidential Run

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:15 am

I think it’s safe to say he’s in.

I have gone my entire life without having a presidential candidate whom I could support with actual enthusiasm. The closest I came was probably Ross Perot in 1992, because I believed in his message of deficit reduction — but I also found him goofy and did not understand his fixation on NAFTA. I don’t agree with Justin Amash on everything. His views on criminal justice are the typical libertarian contempt for the system. I see the need for surveillance that he rejects. Although I have become more of a pacifist over the years (and always have been to a large degree), I worry a little that thugs might try to push him around.

But he is committed to the Constitution, whip-smart, and one of the most sensible and level-headed people I have ever seen in politics. The fact that I do not agree with him on every jot and tittle of what I assume would be his platform does not mean I cannot support him without reservation.

I’ve always supported voting for who you truly believe in, and not just being a strategic voter. I voted for Perot, for goodness’s sake. I told you to vote for Tom McClintock and not to settle for Ahhnold in the California recall. That said, I understand Amash seems unlikely to have a realistic chance (nobody knows the future), and if I were in a swing state I might vote differently than I will in California, where I feel free to vote my conscience, knowing that my vote won’t make a damn bit of difference.

To me, the only question is this: from whom will Amash take votes? Biden? Or Trump?

Conventional wisdom seems to be that he will take votes from Biden. And that has a lot of the prominent Never Trumpers worried:

On the other hand:

I asked Tom Nichols why he thinks Amash would take votes from Biden and not Trump, and here is how he replied:

I am not convinced by that logic:

That said, even if his reasoning is wrong, his conclusion may be right, for all I know. I have my own poll running on Twitter — of a highly unrepresentative sample of people (my followers) which includes very few Trump fans — and so far the results seem to back up Tom’s intuition.

Feel free to register your vote if you’re on Twitter.

Putting stock in an online poll of such an unrepresentative group would be foolish, but the poll does tell you that there are actual flesh and blood humans who (if their responses reflect their true feelings) at least today could see switching from Biden to Amash.

Depending on where they live, that could be a problem for those of us who believe removing Trump is the critical goal in the election.

That said, this is a true test of whether America, faced with a choice of two bad candidates, and offered a better alternative, will take it.

Me, I plan to take the better alternative. I will be voting for Justin Amash.

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