Simple Question: Based on What Evidence Should Christine Blasey Ford Be Believed, But Not Tara Reade?

Posted: May 14, 2020 1:00 PM

On Fox News yesterday, I discussed the sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden, which we've covered extensively here.  Biden has denied claims by former staffer Tara Reade and has taken a bit of a favorability tumble in the process.  The evidence against Biden is mixed, but the accuser has provided significantly more corroborating evidence than was ever presented against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  Many in the media and the Democratic Party treated Kavanaugh as guilty, with a prominent member of the Senate judiciary committee insisting that the accused shouldered the burden of affirmatively proving his innocence.   

Democratic leadership and the entire slate of Judiciary Democrats demanded Kavanaugh withdraw from the nominating process based on the utterly deranged and debunked ravings of Julie Swetnick.  Today, Democratic candidates in major Senate races don't have a word to say about Reade's allegation against Biden.  Kamala Harris, like other contenders vying to join Biden's ticket, is abandoning her 'principles' on believing women, and Chuck Schumer is making the official Democratic position crystal clear:

Our man has spoken, he's our candidate, he's going to help us win back the Senate.  We're done here.  It's a message not only to his rank-and-file members, a handful of whom have unhelpfully strayed from the approved talking points, but also the media.  We've had enough of this, he's saying, so it's time to move on.  We'll see how obedient the press will be, but their hearts are surely with Schumer's sentiment.  I'll remind you that Brett Kavanaugh's explanation was not even close to good enough for Schumer, who embarrassingly joined the withdrawal chorus over the insane Swetnick smear.  There was no contemporaneous corroborating evidence against Kavanaugh.  None.  Reade told multiple people what allegedly happened at the time, plus court documents and other evidence confirm that something untoward happened to her while she was working for Biden.  By contrast, there is no evidence that Kavanaugh and Ford ever even met.  

Schumer et al look at these inconvenient disparities and shrug.  There's an election to be won, and old standards cannot apply anymore.  Will any of them be pressed extensively, in detail, for an explanation?  This was the point I drove at during yesterday's TV segment, in which I debated liberal contributor Richard Fowler.  After discussing Joe Biden's campaign (as well as a new CNN poll showing President Trump trailing nationally but leading in battleground states), we shifted to Democrats' carnival of abject hypocrisy.  The Biden/Reade portion of the conversation begins shortly after the three minute mark:

Fowler did the best he could here, demonstrating the paucity of serious arguments available to him on this front.  The 'let the people decide' argument sounds very similar to how many Republicans eventually handled sexual allegations against Trump -- but letting voters determine whom they believe and whether the allegations matter is a far cry from believing and supporting survivors.  Democrats didn't just argue that women should be heard; they argued that they must be believed.  If Biden assaulted Reade, but he wins the election, does that mean the assault didn't happen?  Of course not.  Also, the notion that a Supreme Court nominee warrants more scrutiny than a major party presidential nominee, especially given the enormous concentrated power of the presidency, isn't remotely compelling.  To borrow a phrase employed frequently two years ago in some quarters, these are very high stakes job interviews, no?

My fundamental point was that if Democrats believed Ford, and insisted Kavanaugh must withdraw, there is literally no fair standard under which they should feel any differently about Reade and Biden.  The only difference -- aside from the evidence gap in Reade's favor -- are the political power dynamics.  It really is that simple and cynical, and some are willing to admit it.  Fowler tried to deny it, but could not answer a straightforward challenge about why Ford was telling the truth, but Reade is not, based on all available evidence.  He's right to mention corroboration, but as I alluded to above, the problem for his side is that there is much more corroboration supporting Reade than there ever was in the Kavanaugh fiasco.  I don't know if Reade is telling the truth, but I never adopted the mantra that all women must be believed on such matters.  Democrats have.  And now -- poof -- that fervently and indignantly stated belief has expired, with no reasonable explanation. So we're left with a mix of silence and dissembling.