Today’s big story is Biden’s response to the Tara Reade allegations. To briefly recap, Reade is making allegations that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 by forcibly inserting his fingers into her vagina without consent. This is horrifying conduct that is uncomfortable to even talk about, but the focus of the conversation should start with the allegation, and not everyone’s reaction to the allegations.
I support Biden, though he was not my first choice when the primaries began. He went on Morning Joe today and had an awkward interview with Mika about the allegations. There were silences that went beyond those we have come to expect in the WFH era of cable news. Biden was on his heels and evasive. He ran to the safety of “27 years ago,” “I’m not going to discuss her motivations” and “there is no record of a complaint being filed” again and again. And he flatly denied that he did what he is being accused of.
I have already seen one tweet saying that the University of Delaware records (currently unavailable) will be the new ‘33,000 emails.’ Why not just turn over everything?
So, now Biden is playing defense and he’s doing it in a very predictable way. This makes him vulnerable. The campaign for the general election is still in its earliest stages and is being further delayed by the pandemic. Also, Trump can’t go at Biden too hard for rape alleagations because it reminds people of the numerous allegations against Trump.
Once again, the Sanders wild card comes into play. Bernie’s coalition can easily (and for some, happily) do Brad Parscale’s bidding and Trump never has to get his hands dirty. On paper, at least, this looks like a great strategy.
Biden was somewhat successful during today’s interview at minimizing the effect of his 2018 comments in connection with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations against Judge Kavanaugh. It really is different when you are the person being accused of the conduct. Believing women, as a default position can co-exist with an accused person’s right to deny allegations. During the interview, Mika fumbled with this distinction in an effort to secure a gotcha moment. In response Biden scored a worthwhile point by saying “facts matter, the truth matters.”
If I knew, unequivocally, that the allegations were true, I would hope that Biden would remove himself from consideration. I know that might ultimately help get Trump re-elected (something I desperately do not want), but the crime is serious enough and horrible enough that it should disqualify Biden. The problem is that we won’t get unequivocal confirmation either way.
I look forward to seeing Reade do her press tour so that I can somewhat judge her credibility as a juror would. In court (and this is NOT court) Reade would have the burden, so it is interesting that, for all the criticism of Biden, that he has been slow to address this, he still beat her to the camera. That being said, her interview will be important to me in further assessing how I feel about this scandal. I deeply love this country and am not willing to let perfect be the enemy of the good. During a pandemic AND a Trump presidency, we don’t really have that luxury.