Tag Archives: Tara Reade

Where is the truth to be found?

I admit readily that I don’t understand a lot of things in this crazy old world of ours.

One of those unknowable things — at least to me — is this: How do we establish the truth between someone who levels an allegation against a politician and the person who has been accused of behaving badly?

I present to you Joseph R. Biden and Tara Reade.

Reade has accused Biden of assaulting her sexually in 1993; she says Biden, then a U.S. senator from Delaware, pinned her against a wall in the Capitol Building, shoved his hand under her skirt and touched her where he shouldn’t have touched her.

Biden denies it. Categorically. Emphatically. Says it did not happen.

Who is telling the truth? I don’t know. Nor do I understand fully how we get to the truth.

Do the accuser and the accused submit to polygraph exams? That’s dicey for this reason: Polygraph examinations cannot be used as evidence in a court trial, which often renders the results potentially suspect.

Biden is now the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. His opponent this fall will be Donald J. Trump, who’s got a lengthy list of accusers who have alleged he has done many things to them. Indeed, Trump can be heard on an audio recording bragging about how he has grabbed women by their genitals; he has admitted to philandering; he has boasted of the boorishness he has exhibited with women. In this context, though, that is beside the point.

The crux of this blog post deals with how Biden can possibly put this matter aside beyond merely denying he did what Reade says he did.

I suppose this matter falls the category of “Whom Do You Believe?

I am inclined to believe Biden. Reade reportedly filed a sexual harassment complaint against the Biden Senate office. Indeed, Biden has acknowledged behaving in a manner that some women have said crossed the line into sexual harassment. He has apologized for it and has vowed to keep his distance among women. Sexual harassment, though, is a huge distance away from sexual assault.

Reade waited only until now to allege a sexual assault? Victims of such acts often have good reasons for not wanting to file complaints in the moment.

I don’t know what to believe. Nor am I aware of anything Biden can do to push this accusation aside. A flat-out denial never is good enough. Indeed, even proper “vetting” of such an accusation will not dissuade the most hardened cynics/conspiracy theorists from believing there’s more to the accusation than meets the proverbial eye.

This is the kind of story that gives me an upset stomach. I need to gulp some Pepto.

Biden faces growing scrutiny … as if he hasn’t faced it already?

There’s something we should know about Joseph R. Biden Jr., as he prepares to take the Democratic Party presidential nomination to run against Donald Trump for the presidency.

It is that this man who’s now in his late 70s has been standing in the middle of the national spotlight since before he turned 30 years of age.

Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. He now faces allegations from a woman who has accused him of sexual assault in 1993, when he was a veteran U.S. senator from Delaware.

When and why did the national spotlight start shining on this fellow?

He ran for the Senate in 1972. He was elected to that seat before he was old enough to qualify to hold it; the U.S. Constitution says one must be at least 30 years of age to serve in the Senate, but Biden was 29 at the time of his election, but would turn 30 before he took the oath of office.

Then tragedy struck. His wife and daughter were killed in a traffic accident. The young senator-elect considered bowing out, thought about not serving. He was crushed, heartbroken. His allies talked into serving. So he took the oath with the spotlight shining brightly on him from the very beginning of his Senate career.

Biden took office as a single father to two young sons. He commuted back and forth daily between Capitol Hill and his home in Delaware. The nation continued to follow his emotional journey.

He found love again. Sen. Biden married his wife, Jill. They produced a daughter. Their love story became one of Washington’s ongoing feel-good sagas.

And so, with that tragedy behind, with his newfound love, his reputation as a champion for women’s rights on the line, we now are being asked to believe he would squander all of that by attacking Tara Reade, one of the senator’s staffers?

This one strains credulity. Yes, I know there are other stories of politicians who portray themselves as loving family men only to be revealed as cads, philanderers and moral alley cats. I think at this moment of former Sen. John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat who cheated on his cancer-stricken wife with a woman who would give birth to his child.

Joe Biden isn’t the perfect man. No one can make a claim to perfection. Is he capable of throwing away a lifetime in politics and public service with an astonishingly stupid act such as what has been alleged?

I don’t think so.

Biden faces stern test of his character

Well now, an interview that Joe Biden thought might quash concerns about a sexual assault allegation likely has done nothing of the sort.

The former two-term vice president of the United States and presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president has been accused by former Biden staffer Tara Reade of sexually assaulting her. Reade says that in 1993 Biden pinned her against a wall and groped her.

Biden went on the air this morning to deny categorically the allegation. He told MSBNC’s Mika Brzezinski that the incident never happened. He didn’t question Reade’s motives. Biden said no one on his staff ever reported anything resembling what Reade has alleged.

Furthermore, Biden today announced he has asked the secretary of the U.S. Senate to obtain personnel records from the National Archives that would contain any formal complaint that Reade might have filed and release them to the public. Biden said the archived record would contain nothing of what Reade has alleged.

Is that good enough? Will it quell the questions? Will it stop Donald Trump’s slime machine from kicking into high gear? Hah! No to all of it!

I am inclined to believe Biden, but you likely have assumed that already. Fine, assume all you want. I also believe we need to examine fully the veracity of what Tara Reade has alleged and come to a conclusion on its validity.

Yes, this episode has the sort of echo that resonated when Christine Blasey Ford alleged sexual misconduct by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when the two of them were much younger. Ford got her public hearing, as did Kavanaugh. The U.S. Senate confirmed Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and the story of what she alleged has more or less gone dormant.

Meanwhile, the president of the United States has been accused by more than 20 women of assorted acts of sexual misbehavior. Donald Trump has denied all of it; he has called the women liars and worse. Accordingly, he has suggested that Reade’s allegation might be as false as the accusations he has said were leveled against him. Of course, we have heard that hideous recording of Trump regaling “Access Hollywood” about how he sought to have sex with a married woman and how his celebrity status allowed him to grab women by their genitals. What a guy.

Whatever. This matter needs a resolution.

My own belief is that Joe Biden has been a national political figure since the moment he was sworn into the Senate in 1973. He took office under the most extreme duress imaginable, having lost his wife and daughter in a tragic auto accident in late 1972.

He and his second wife, Jill Biden, have been at the forefront of any number of social issues, involving protection against women facing sexual assault. Therefore, I would be astonished beyond all measure to learn that Joe Biden — of all people — would have behaved in the hideous manner that Tara Reade has alleged.

Let’s get to the truth.