The philosopher Eric Hoffer famously observed that every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket. I am tempted to say that recent events mark the Me Too movement’s transition into its racket stage. But that would imply — erroneously, I think — that it was ever anything but.
If the Me Too movement was an actual movement, it would be rallying to the defense of Tara Reade, the woman who says she was sexually assaulted by Joe Biden. Her story is about as credible and believable as a rape allegation made publicly years after the fact can possibly be. Women who come forward after a lengthy interval of time rarely have eye witnesses to the event or video tape or anything that would make the matter conclusive. Indeed, women who come forward after a short time or no time rarely have anything approaching that sort of evidence. Neither, in fairness, can they be expected to have conclusive proof, given the nature of the crime alleged.
Nevertheless, Tara Reade has a rather impressive catalog of circumstantial evidence to present. She has several people — friends, family, neighbors, coworkers — who can vouch that she told them about the alleged assault shortly after it happened. She has tape of a woman, who she says is her mother, calling the Larry King show and making cryptic references to a “problem” her daughter had with a “prominent” politician. She has a relatively consistent story that she can recount in detail. She has Joe Biden’s documented history of inappropriately touching women. And she has his conspicuous refusal to directly address the allegation.
None of this proves anything, but it does add up to a far more compelling case than the one made by Christine Ford. It’s also more compelling than a fair number of the Me Too cases in Hollywood and elsewhere. Many of them boiled down to “he said/she said” without much evidence, circumstantial or otherwise, beyond that. Tara Reade, by having any at all, easily exceeds the meager standard of evidence that was enough to convict many accused men in the court of public opinion.
And yet the primary promoters and cheerleaders of the Me Too movement have nothing to say about Reade, or else what they have to say is openly hostile and dismissive. The media, with its courageous, truth-seeking journalists who uncritically reported many salacious rumors about accused men during the height of the Me Too hysteria, have suddenly lost interest in the topic of sexual assault. The New York Times essentially exonerated Biden, claiming that he has no established pattern of sexual misconduct, even though his pattern of misconduct is not only established but on film for all to see. But perhaps the biggest favor the media have done for Biden is to not ask him about the allegations at all. It has been over a month since Reade went public. Biden has done many television interviews in the interim. He has never once been asked about this.
Democrats in Congress, who were all quite convinced by Christine Ford’s allegations despite the utter lack of corroborating evidence and her inability to remember even the most basic details about the alleged incident, have come to Biden’s defense. Senator Klobuchar says she knows Biden and thinks he’s a great guy. Speaker Pelosi says she’s “satisfied” with Biden’s denial of the allegation, even though he has not himself actually denied the allegation. She also praised his great “integrity and authenticity.” Stacey Abrams, who declared “I believe women” during the Kavanaugh hearings, has since amended her stance considerably, telling CNN that she believes Joe Biden.
Joining the hypocrite’s parade are ten supposed “pro-woman” groups, such as Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women, who all refused to provide a comment on the Biden allegations. The founder of the Me Too movement, Tarana Burke, has likewise declined to condemn Biden or offer support to his alleged rape victim. In a lengthy and circumspect Twitter thread, she said that Biden can “demonstrate what it looks like to be both accountable and electable.” Translation: yeah, he might be a rapist, but I’m still voting for him. Alyssa Milano helped to popularize the movement and bring it to the forefront of the national conversation, but her first instinct was to leap to the defense of “decent man” Joe Biden. Even the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, established in response to the Me Too movement, declined to take Reade’s case.
All of this adds up to what perceptive people knew all along: the Me Too movement is, and has always been, a sham. It may have succeeded in bringing down a few bad men like Harvey Weinstein, but that was never the point. The point was to advance the ideological agenda of left-wing feminism. “Believe women” was very useful to that end, so long as the women we’re supposed to believe are accusing actors, moguls, athletes, and Republicans. But as soon as a significant Democrat ventures into the Me Too crosshairs — particularly one who is about to face Donald Trump in a presidential election — the slogans and standards of the Me Too movement are no longer useful. They are summarily discarded and replaced by credulous yammering about the unimpeachable decency of a man who has no compunctions about grabbing a woman and sniffing her hair while the cameras are rolling.
This dramatic reversal doesn’t surprise anyone who was alive and conscious during the Clinton years. Democrats back then valiantly defended a slimy creep who was accused of assaulting, raping, or harassing a whole series of women. Two decades before they would start shouting “Believe All Women,” leftists viciously descended upon and tore apart any woman who dared speak about the violence and degradation she allegedly suffered at Bill Clinton’s grubby hands. Now they are back to those old tricks again, after a brief period of pretending to give a damn about rape victims. They are two-faced hypocrites and Me Too was just another political game they played, and have now abandoned. Good riddance.
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