And by the way, KABOOM! This made my head explode.
Fans and supporters of Joe Biden were shocked–SHOCKED!–that anyone would accuse nice old Joe of non-consensual sexual touching and sexual harassment. Conservatives aren’t any better: so eager are they to discredit the whole concept of “believe all women” and sexual harassment —ah, for those good old days when bosses could chase their comely secretaries around the desk, secure in the knowledge that Miss Buxley would regard it as good clean fun and part of her job!—that they are making idiotic comparisons between the unethical Democratic smearing of Brett Kavanaugh and what has befallen Biden. There is no comparison. The accusations against Kavanaugh was based on uncorroborated, decades old alleged conduct while he was a high school student; the two accusations (so far) against Biden are workplace-related, took place not only when he was an adult but when he was Vice-President.
How can anyone be shocked, or even surprised, much less indignant? Biden has been engaging in unconsented to touching, kissing, and groping of women repeatedly, for decades, in front of cameras. Who knows what Biden has done when no photographers were around? He has corroborated the accusations against him all by himself.
There is no excuse for this. Biden isn’t deaf, dumb and blind; he knows about sexual harassment, and how it works. He’s been given a pass by his party, its supposedly victim-sensitive supporters, and the news media, just like Bill Clinton was for so long, but that doesn’t mean he can’t read. Nor is there any excuse for the Democrats and progressives who are lining up to defend Biden for what is, at this point, indefensible.
The utter idiocy of the Left exclaiming “Sexual harassment? What sexual harassment?” after Weinstein, Lauer, Keiller, Lasseter, Kozinski, Levine, O’Reilly, Ailes, Franken, Singer, Moonves, Farenthold, Conyers, Rose, and so, so many others is hard to overstate. Some of these individuals engaged in far worse conduct than Biden, but some engaged in very similar conduct. We have been talking about #MeToo for more than a year; sexual harassment law has been out there for decades, and what Biden did, and does, was a textbook no-no then.
Another reason the Left’s sympathy for Joe made my head explode is that his situation is not just sort-of but exactly what I tried to explain to NPR audiences in 2017 before I was rudely shut down (because, they felt, I was mitigating the alleged harassing conduct of President Trump). I explained that a young man of power and influence who is attractive to women often develops the habit of aggressive flirtatious conduct because he received positive reinforcement from the women he subjects to it, even though it is not consensual. This is especially true of people like Biden and Trump, who reached adolescence in the Fifties.
These habits persist, but times change, and worse, they change: middle-aged and senior Trump and Biden are no longer so likely to have their advances appreciated by women who now see themselves as victims, not flattered objects of affection. The targets of these powerful men may public eschew complaints because of the men’s position and perceived power for years, and may even decide that, in retrospect, what they thought was harmless or even “welcome” at the time is unwelcome now. They now say they were harassed. And they were. The simple fact is that such workplace conduct as touching, hugging, kissing, sniffing, nuzzling and groping was always inappropriate. The workplace is not a singles bar. This shouldn’t be hard.
Readers here know that I predicted months ago that Biden’s history of inappropriate conduct with women (and even female children) ensured that he would never be the Democratic nominee in 2020, that Democrats, especially after the Kavanaugh debacle, had trapped themselves into nominating a woman, no matter how awful their female options are, and they are awful indeed. This forecast didn’t require any special acumen; it just required paying attention. The fact that Biden, and his advisors, and his supporters, and my Facebook friends, didn’t see all of this coming tells us something, and what it tells us is alarming and sad. Either the public, and worse, the news media, are inexplicably ignorant about sexual harassment, or they feel free to use it as a weapon against those they oppose, and excuse it, or ignore it, when the harasser is sufficiently useful.
More Observations in Part II, coming right up.