Joe Biden has been accused of sexual assault. Or, as the media would say if he were a Republican, he has been “credibly accused” of sexual assault. But he is not a Republican. And so, of course, the media isn’t saying anything at all. If you don’t read The Daily Wire or a site like it, you may not have even heard that the soon-to-be Democratic nominee for president once allegedly pushed a woman against a wall and violated her.
The accuser, Tara Reade, says the assault happened in 1993 when she briefly worked as a staffer for then-Senator Biden. She contends that Biden was very “handsy” in general (evidence of which we’ve all seen on video), and his constant harassment and inappropriate behavior made her feel more like an object than a human. She did, she says, report the harassment through the proper channels. However, out of fear of reprisal and other concerns, she did not report the time when he allegedly shoved his hands up her skirt against her will. She told a friend and her brother about the incident — a claim which they have both confirmed — but that was it until a few months ago when she brought her story to Time’s Up, the leading organization behind the Me Too movement. She thought they would help her pursue a case against Biden, but instead they stonewalled her. Finally she had to go on a podcast called The Katie Halper Show to get her story out.
Just as Me Too decided to look the other way on this, so has the mainstream media. As of this writing, a Google search for “CNN Tara Reade” returns no results. Same for NBC News, ABC News, Huffington Post, and other mainstream outlets. As far as they’re concerned, and as far as they’d like us to be concerned, Tara Reade doesn’t exist. But what should those of us who are not covering our eyes and ears and running in the other direction think about this? Should we give Biden the benefit of the doubt or believe his accuser?
Well, we know where Biden himself stands on this. During the Kavanaugh hearings, Biden was firmly in the Believe All Women camp. “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally,” he said at the time, “you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real.” In a separate interview, around the same time, he said that accusers should be “given the benefit of the doubt” and that scrutinizing them too much might have the effect of “victimizing them again.”
I have no idea if Biden is guilty or not. The fact that he has such little respect for personal space, and feels entitled to put his hands on women whenever he wants, lends credibility to Reade’s accusations. Also it works in her favor that she apparently told two people about the crime when it allegedly occurred. But putting those factors aside, the fact is that Joe Biden has already said how he thinks these situations should be handled. I don’t think we should “start off with a presumption” that an accuser is telling the truth in “essence,” or that the “benefit of the doubt” should automatically be given to one party or the other. But Biden does. Or said he does, anyway. And it is only fair for a man to be held to the same standard that he holds others.
Scripture says live by the sword, die by the sword. Well, to Biden we might say live by Believe All Women, die by Believe All Women. He cannot propose this as a standard and then demand that he be made the exception. He likes his standard; he can keep his standard. None of this actually makes him a rapist. Maybe he is; maybe he isn’t. But he has already told us that we wants accused men to be assumed guilty. Perhaps we should do the polite thing and respect his wishes.