Thursday, April 30, 2020

"Why Now?"

That is quite a long thread, and you're welcome to review it.  Having posted about the Biden "scandal" tangentially, I'm just gonna leave this much here, and move on.

That's the main one, because he makes some interesting points.  Without going into the weeds of the details (which he does, and if you're interested, they are well laid out in the column), a couple of points that stayed with me.  First was this: (there are substantiating links in the original to both statements):

A year ago, Tara Reade accused former Vice President Joe Biden of touching her shoulder and neck in a way that made her uncomfortable, when she worked for him as a staff assistant in 1993. Then last month, Reade told an interviewer that Biden stuck his hand under her skirt and forcibly penetrated her with his fingers. Biden denies the allegation.

Which I mention because the change in the story links to this:
Compliments for Biden. In the 1990s, Biden worked to pass the Violence Against Women Act. In 2017, on multiple occasions, Reade retweeted or “liked” praise for Biden and his work combating sexual assault. In the same year, Reade tweeted other compliments of Biden, including: “My old boss speaks truth. Listen.” It is bizarre that Reade would publicly laud Biden for combating the very thing she would later accuse him of doing to her.

Rejecting Biden, embracing Sanders. By this January, Reade was all in for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Her unwavering support was accompanied by an unbridled attack on Biden. In an article on Medium, Reade referred to Biden as “the blue version of Trump.” Reade also pushed a Sanders/Elizabeth Warren ticket, while complaining that the Democratic National Committee was trying to “shove” Biden “down Democrat voters throats.”

Despite her effusive 2017 praise for Biden’s efforts on behalf of women, after pledging her support to Sanders, Reade turned on Biden and contradicted all she said before. She claimed that her decision to publicly accuse Biden of inappropriately touching her was due to “the hypocrisy that Biden is supposed to be the champion of women’s rights.”
A lot of the analysis is of allegations like this, and that's the kind of analysis often assailed by #MeToo proponents.  The column deals with that, too, but I leave that to the column.  What strikes me is that this attack is undoubtedly political, else why make it 27 years after the fact, and change the story when the first version wasn't salacious enough? (There's also the fact that the first version fits ths pattern of behavior Biden is well known for, while the second version sounds more like Donald Trump took over Biden's soul one day, on a lark.)  And this answers my first question, "Why now?"

So does this:

Ultimately, the question is a political one, not a moral one.  Must the President be a moral exemplar and, if the Reade allegations are true, must we reject Biden?  In what, favor of Donald Trump?  Our political system doesn't allow another option.  The people who objected to Hillary Clinton on whatever grounds each voter had, gave us Donald Trump, who, on moral grounds, should have been driven from our shores.  But we don't get the option in November of "None Of The Above."  If we measure the two men on the scales of morality, the balance clearly favor Biden, imperfect as he may be.  But is this even a relevant issue, given the state of the country and of our leadership?

I don't see how.

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