We Need to Grapple With Sexual Misconduct From Politicians…Even when It’s Politically Inconvenient

Content warnings: Inappropriate touching, sexual assault

I don’t know how many of my readers caught this bit of news with the media being in all-pandemic-all-the-time mode, but there is an allegation of sexual assault against former Vice President Joe Biden, who is the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States. Namely, Tara Reade, a former Biden staffer when he was a United States Senator representing Delaware, has accused her former boss of sexually assaulting her in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building in 1993.[1]

And yet, I have heard relatively few on the Democratic side even talk about the allegations against him, save a few disgruntled former Bernie Sanders supporters who are struggling to support Biden. Goodness, even the story about the accusations eight women (including Reade) levied against Biden last year for inappropriate touching seemed to disappear after a couple of weeks, even though there are photos of him touching women in ways that clearly made them uncomfortable. For a party that claims to be pro-woman, it’s pretty appalling that the representative of said party for the party has, at minimum, a well-documented history of inappropriate touching of women (and potentially sexual assault).

It’s not just Biden and the Democrats, though. With the Republicans…need I say more? If you’re a Republican reading this piece, with all due respect, your party continues to stand behind someone who says: “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” Your leader literally bragged about getting away with sexual assault. Yet, leadership in your party looked and continues to look the other way.

Examining how the Democrats have handled Biden’s different accusations, and how the Republicans handled Trump’s, there seems to be a commonality: these politicians’ misconduct against women is not scrutinized fully if it is politically inconvenient to do so. It is politically inconvenient for the Democrats to scrutinize Biden’s accusations of inappropriate touching and accusation of sexual assault because of “blue no matter who.” It is politically inconvenient for Republicans to scrutinize Trump’s past allegations of sexual assault because of “Trump no matter what.” Treating these accusations with the seriousness deserved has seemingly been sacrificed in the name of political convenience.

We need to scrutinize the accusations of misconduct against women that our politicians face, regardless of whether there is a D or an R next to their names. We need to talk about and grapple with such accusations of misconduct, even if it’s politically inconvenient, and even if the accused deny the allegations they face.


[1] https://time.com/5819939/joe-biden-accusation-sex-assault/

14 Replies to “We Need to Grapple With Sexual Misconduct From Politicians…Even when It’s Politically Inconvenient”

  1. I don’t know what news sources you watch but the Biden accusations have been out there and publicly talked about.
    On MSNBC he was grilled over and over and maintained his position, quite well, I thought. First, he said any accusation by any woman should be taken seriously, including the one by Reade. He also said any accusation should be investigated. And he categorically denied doing anything wrong. Pretty clear.

    A number of Democrats have spoken out and it has been a hot topic on Fox news as well. In fact, MS. Reade was supposed to do an interview on Fox with Chris Wallace on Sunday. But, for some odd reason she cancelled.

    Keep in mind that her story has changed significantly over time. First, she said she was uncomfortable. Then she said he touched her hair. Then she said she reported a complaint but couldn’t remember if the complaint included sexual assault. Then it happens that there is no record of any complaint, and she herself has no copy. Then we have 3 of her 5 sources say she never said anything abut a sexual assault. Then we have an “anonymous” source, who refuses to come forward who supports her story, even as that story changes. Then we have her all of a sudden recalling that Biden assaulted her with his fingers, something she never claimed before he became the presumptive nominee for the Dems. Why, all of a sudden, a sexual assault complaint?

    Keep in mind that Biden was vetted when he ran for the Senate. Thoroughly vetted. Then he was investigated by private investigated and a law firm when he was vetted by Obama to be vice president. They found nothing. Nothing over 40 years of being in the public eye.

    I won’t go into Ms Reade’s background, but I suggest that it is quite checkered. She has praised Biden in the past for his support of women . Recently she talked about how wonderful Putin was and how “sensuous” he is. She is writing a book. She has been accused of larceny by her former employer. In other words, her word may be questioned.

    Just because a woman makes a claim does not make it true. This is not a situation where there is any credible evidence to back up her recent claims. Unlike the other women who have come forward with complaints about politicians, she has refused to be to interviewed by reporters.

    As Biden says, we should always take complaints seriously. But that means they should be seriously vetted and investigated. But not believed just because someone make a claim. So far, there is absolutely no evidence that Biden ever did anything wrong. Nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Believe me, I have questions about Reade’s story, too, like you. But Biden has a well-documented (and photographed) history of inappropriate and quite frankly creepy touching. None of the other accusations have risen to the level of sexual assault as has been the case with Reade, but we know he has a history of touching people in inappropriate ways. And as a result, while I have questions, I also have a hard time thinking this is something to completely dismiss, either. Maybe I’m being skeptical, or even cynical.

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    1. Yeah, it has gotten more widely covered. My post was more directed at us as voters, because even with Biden, we have a lot of complexities to work through. He was instrumental in creating the Domestic Violence Hotline, for example (very instrumental during these times), but also has at minimum this history of inappropriate touching.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As Mr Biden explained, the U of Delaware papers are his public speeches, policy statements, etc. That is pretty much the case will all vp and presidential papers. Nothing regarding any personnel issues. All of it is already public. You can be sure if there was ANYTHING, ANYWHERE that indicated Biden did anything wrong, the GOP/Trump fake news corps would have found it. That is why they had to manufacture the Ukraine “scandal”. They got nothing. Not sure what else folks want Biden to do? He has asked the Senate to release ANYTHING referring to Reade. Compare that to Trump….

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    1. I don’t think it’s so much what Biden needs to do, but what we as voters need to do. Voters will have to weigh the good, the bad, and the accusations when it comes to his record on women. Because there is bad (inappropriate touching), an accusation (from Tara Reade), and some really significant good as well (his role in helping to create the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which is a godsend for many in this pandemic). I talked about the creation of said hotline in a previous post, where I talked about the various elements of the 1994 Crime Bill (of which this was one): https://blindinjusticeblog.com/2020/02/03/what-is-the-1994-crime-bill-and-why-is-it-so-controversial/

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      1. Exactly! And sexual assault cannot and should not be dismissed so easily despite all the good that person has done or our choice on whether we like that person or not. If somebody decides to Harass somebody then he or she HAS to face the consequences of their choices.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yep. I think one of the things people are struggling with, going back to the Biden case, is that he has done some things that are viewed as pro-woman too, such as the Violence Against Women Act (through which the National Domestic Violence Hotline was created…something that is SO useful right now). And yet there’s this allegation.

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  3. And let us not be so naive as to believe every accusation without real evidence to back it up. To do so minimizes REAL sexual assaults. Demand evidence. Demand facts. Don’t just swallow every line.

    Liked by 2 people

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