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In Defense of Joe

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Where did Sleepy Joe go wrong? Remember what a champion of women, or at least of Democratic women, he was? Remember the role he played in the Violence Against Women Act? Recall, if you will, how he kissed the Democratic ladies affectionately and smelled their hair, at least until a group of indignant Democratic women publicly objected. Then he promptly ceased and desisted. Now he only gives them a wave, or whatever it is that's allowed in Democratic precincts. But you can be sure that Joe is observing the latest rules of decorum among the Democratic womenfolk. He is giving this highly excitable Democratic voting bloc its "space," as they call it.


Yet Joe is still in hot water with the #MeToo movement and the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund. That's because 27 years ago, Tara Reade, a 29-year-old on his staff, claims Joe accosted her in a Senate hallway and touched her inappropriately. Now a growing number of Democrats are saying that the presumed Democratic presidential candidate must ... do what? I have been following this latest controversy in Democrat Land assiduously, and frankly, I have concluded that I do not know what the leading Democrats would have Joe do.

Does he tell Reade he is sorry and will never touch her inappropriately again? Does he choose her for his vice presidential running mate? After all, we are told he is intent on choosing a woman, though he has said he will choose a woman of color. That could present a problem. Reade looks very white in her pictures, though in the Democratic Party, one can never know for sure. Forget not Sen. Elizabeth Warren. She claimed to be a Native American and offered DNA proof that she is at least 1/1,024 Native American. Or does Joe simply retire from the race and leave the field wide open, maybe to a woman? How about Hillary? Joe has already told Mika Brzezinski that he never touched Reade. But this is not enough for the Democratic women. They are angry that Joe and his campaign did not respond to Reade in a timely manner. How did Joe get into such a mess?

I think his problem began during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings, when Joe thought he would outdo everyone involved in the controversy. He supported Christine Blasey Ford's unsubstantiated and quite ancient charges against Kavanaugh by saying, "You've got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she's talking about is real." He did not say you have to start out with the standard rule of law that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. You start out with the presumption of guilt. So, by Joe's own standard, he is guilty until he proves himself innocent, which is not easy in dealing with an ancient charge that came to light only recently and with little substantiation from anyone other than the accuser.


Maybe now, Joe, you will see the wisdom of conservatives such as myself, who insist that a person is innocent until proven guilty. You say that the alleged assault never took place. "It didn't happen," is how you put it. Well, Joe, I believe you. Just as I believed Kavanaugh and Justice Clarence Thomas. Your accuser has to come up with persuasive evidence, and she has not. But I do not believe that Reade should be ignored, as the media and your Democratic Party seemed to think, at least until last week. I believe Reade should be given a hearing, and because you are running for such an important office, I think the media should interview her. It is shameful that they have not.

I recognize that Joe and his Democratic Party have to reward their voting blocs. They have broken down the American electorate into myriad groupings. There are the whites, usually the poor whites. There are the blacks, usually the poor blacks, but the Democrats have also reached out to the middle-class blacks, for they do not seem to mind paying more in taxes. There are Latinos. There are the young, the politically correct groupings and, of course, the feminists, the women of the fevered brow, as some of us call them.

All have to be paid off at election time. Yet, Joe, remember, you have me on your side. I think you are innocent, innocent until proven guilty, and my guess is you have two members of the Supreme Court on your side, too -- both Republicans.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author, most recently, of "The Death of Liberalism," published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.


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