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The Biden Apology

A former aide to Joe Biden,Tara Reade, has accused him of assaulting her at a campaign rally in 1993.

A number of feminist “women’s groups” have prepared a nice letter to Joe:

Vice President Biden has the opportunity, right now, to model how to take serious allegations seriously,” the draft letter said. “The weight of our expectations matches the magnitude of the office he seeks.

Reade’s accusation has little bait-and-switch in it: she does have friends who do remember that she alleged an inappropriate act by Biden way back shortly after it happened.  She claims that that is proof that this is not something she thought of later or that may be due to faulty memory.  But none of those friends remembers the same specifics that she now claims.  At least, not before she updated her allegations and clued her friends in on the fact that she was waiting until the time was ripe (once the nomination was secured).

I leave aside for a moment the question of just how long it has to be before dredging up an accusation becomes pure vindictiveness.  Ten years?  Twenty years?  In this case, 27?  If you say, it’s never too late, I say you have no rational basis for making that argument.  There is no rule that says transgressions may be punished no matter how long someone has waited to make them known.  I think there is a very good argument to be made for the idea that anyone who waits that long should just suck it up: you are too late.  You could be taking advantage of the fact that no one can really disprove your allegation, and you are implying that people never change, and you are really, really just playing the victim card long after your victimization is relevant.  And you have this:

Ms. Reade, who worked as a staff assistant helping manage the office interns, said she also filed a complaint with the Senate in 1993 about Mr. Biden; she said she did not have a copy of it, and such paperwork has not been located.  (This Article)

But let’s leave that aside for now.

So, several women activists are demanding that Joe Biden “respond” to the allegations.  They say he “owes” them a response.  They say he “must” address the issue.

Why?

Here’s the million dollar question:  is there anything Joe Biden can say about the allegation that would result in the accusers and activists say, “Oh– okay.  That’s what I wanted to hear.  Thanks Joe.  We’ll drop the issue now.”

Not in your lifetime.  The purpose of badgering Joe Biden into addressing the issue to provide leverage to his accusers for television appearances, interviews, speaking engagements, and the fake virtue of self-righteous indignation.

Think about it– what could Biden say that would actually result in “closure”?  Can you imagine any words he could use, any phrases, that would satisfy his accusers, that would cause them to say, “oh.  Well, that’s okay then.”?

Ms. Reade said she faced a wave of criticism and death threats, as well as accusations that she was a Russian agent because of Medium posts and tweets, several of which are now deleted, she had written praising President Vladimir Putin.  [my emphasis]

How about a full-throated apology, you say?  That is never enough for the harpies who crave this spotlight.  He can’t possibly sound sincere enough to escape the accusation that he is doing it for political gain.  In fact, they are inviting him to do it for political gain by insisting that he cannot be the Democratic nominee unless he addresses this issue.  But then, if he does, you accuse him of insincerity and reject the apology.  Or you shout that he has admitted guilt and must, therefore, resign.

The accusers and sympathizers could only be on the right side of the issue if they genuinely offered to unconditionally accept a clear apology, and to support Biden if he gives it.  They will not.   That is not their real agenda.  The real agenda includes appearing on nationally televised talk shoes to discuss, tearfully, how humiliated they felt.  So humiliated, they had to tell the world.  And write a book.  And openly lobby for Merle Streep to play the role in the inevitable movie.

If he denies that it ever took place– which he does– he must be a liar– because this school of thought believes– contrary to overwhelming evidence– that women never make up these accusations.  Never.  If he makes a full apology– we’ve seen this before– you will label him an “admitted abuser” and continue to demand that he quit.

I will say it: i believe that some of the women who have accused men of inappropriate behavior want people to know or think that they are so desirable  that a powerful, influential man could not resist hitting on them.  That is why they go public with information that they claim is “humiliating” to them.  People never voluntarily disclose information that they genuinely believe to be “humiliating”.  They disclose information that, in their own minds, flatters them, or excuses pathetic behavior.

David Brooks makes an interesting point about why the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic is so forgotten by history.  It is because people were compelled, by the virulent contagion, to shun infected friends, neighbors, and family.  To admit it would be genuinely humiliating.  Nobody writes a book to tell us how they refused to help look after cousin John’s children when he became infected.  Nobody goes on national tv to tell you something that they think reflects badly on them, that humiliates them.

You put yourself in the category of those right-wing blow-hards who treat every piece of evidence that proves them wrong as more evidence that they are right, that the conspiracy is deeper and more widespread than even you imagined.