No, Ann, The Fact That The Accusation Against Joe Biden Was a “Hit” Doesn’t Mean It Wasn’t Necessary And Right.

Ann Althouse has fallen into the Biden harassment rationalization trap.

How disappointing.

She writes,

“I’m not a Joe Biden fan. I thought he was loathsome in the 2012 VP debate with Paul Ryan (live-blogged here (“Ryan is speaking earnestly about preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons, and Biden is chuckling toothily, his body shaking like Santa Claus”)). And I’m a longtime opponent of sexual harassment (and kept true to the position even when Bill Clinton, the first person I ever voted for for President who won, got accused of it). But this hit job has made me sympathetic to Joe. I’m surprised how distinct and strong my emotional reaction is.”

So am I.

As regular readers here know, Althouse is one of my most quoted commentators here, because she is objective and usually perceptive.  Her mistake in sympathizing with Biden, however, betrays some kind of ethical blind spot. This is the common confusion of motive with conduct.  If the conduct is objectively ethical, then the fact that there may be less than ethical motives behind it doesn’t change anything about the ethics verdict. No doubt about it, the first of the accusations against Biden for sexual harassment and misconduct (There have been more since ) came from a Bernie devotee, and was, as Ann says, a political hit.

This was not, however, some manufactured, dubious accusation ginned up to  destroy a blameless target, as with Brett Kavanaugh. We have photographic evidence that Joe does these things, after all. If there were ten years of photos showing Judge Kavanaugh throwing women onto beds and jumping on them, Dr. Blasey-Ford’s accusation would have been a bit more credible, don’t you think?

As I have written so often I’m boring myself, Joe Biden has been advertising the principle that if you have enough power, you can get away with indulging yourself with conduct that is taboo in every workplace in America, and has been for almost 40 years. He has promoted sexual harassment, while holding the second highest office in the land, while supposedly being a leader in “the party of women.” This was arrogance, hypocrisy and stupidity exemplified, and it should have been stopped long ago, but whenever the whistle was going to be blown on Joe, it was about time. Yup, she should have flagged this habit in 2014 when it occurred, thus saving other women from Biden’s groping. That doesn’t mean she was obligated to let the hypocrisy continue forever.

I’m going to use photos of Joe in my upcoming sexual harassment seminar. He’s a harasser; it’s simple as that. If a candidate has committed a rape or a murder years ago, and a witness came forward to finally reveal what she knew, would the fact that it was a”political hit” change the necessity of doing so? Does someone who points out how wrong Biden’s conduct has been, and how harmful to the cause of discouraging harassment, have to do so out of altruistic motives only?

Ridiculous. The fact that Althouse, a lawyer, could even suggest such a thing makes me wonder it, like many men and women of her generation, she really doesn’t regard sexual harassment as that big a deal, even though she’s “against it.” (And Bill Clinton was accused of sexual harassment? Take me now, Lord…)

I have sister who is smarter than I am, and I have watched her, and many other brilliant female friends, have to work twice as hard to get to the same place men of their talents (or less)  reach professionally, in part because of the insidious, paternalistic, demeaning, subjugating, but oh so nice behavior of men like Joe Biden, who with every kiss, hug and gentle tone send the message that the “fairer sex” is eye-candy for the  big, strong men in the workplace, and, like children, weak and sensitive participants who need to be shown love and appreciation.

Women like Ann Althouse enable men like Joe Biden, and the toxic message he sends every time he unashamedly puts his hands on women without their consent.

12 thoughts on “No, Ann, The Fact That The Accusation Against Joe Biden Was a “Hit” Doesn’t Mean It Wasn’t Necessary And Right.

  1. And everytime a woman attempts to hug, softly touch my forearm to suggest how correct her position is, or give me one of those Hollywood pecks it is harrassment if intent has no bearing on the behavior.

    Law may be a patriarchal environment but education is matriarchal. Sexual harassment works both ways.

  2. Biden is smart enough to have seen where this was all going. The Internet is full of memes about creepy Uncle Joe. Perhaps he believed he could laugh this all off because he was in a position of power. Too bad creepy Uncle Joe.

  3. I wonder what the basis is for being sympathetic to Joe. He is clearly a predator, plain and simple. How hard is it just to not touch people?

    • EO

      Perhaps it is not necessarily sympathy but rather an unwilliness to pile on when the accusation’s timing is clearly political. I find the term predator a bit hyperbolic and suggestive of sexual aggression. I find that a bridge too far to describe him. Yes he appears creepy because we always focus on the younger ones but he treats the octogenarians the same as teens an young women.

      I don’t know how to accurately describe my feelings on this subject except to say that while his behavior is wrong , waiting until you can exact the maximum harm for reasons unrelated to the behavior deemed offensive which should or could have been addressed earlier and privately seems wrong and grossly unethical to me.

      • Why privately, since his conduct has been public? This wasn’t a late hit regarding past conduct. It was a hit regarding current conduct. I am reminded of the pine tar incident—Billy Martin noticed that Brett’s bat was illegal, and waited until flagging it would do maximum damage to Brett and most help his team. Al Gore did the same to Bush, waiting until a strategic moment to release the DUI story. It’s unethical to wait so that the accused can’t defend himself, but Brett’s bat WAS illegal; Bush WAS hiding a DUI, and Joe WAS sexually harassing women, openly. In none of those cases did the accused have any right to have the information suppressed.

      • Chris

        I see him as a predator in the sense he’s using unwillingly victims for his own purposes, whatever they might be. I don’t see him with his hands on men or boys.

        As far as waiting to inflict the maximum harm, this is an open secret years in the making. It’s still wrong and it’s still going on.

        • This wasn’t even an open secret. If there are internet memes about it, it isn’t a secret at all. It is blatant. This wasn’t about revealing a secret, it was about demanding that he face accountability for his actions. He was the Vice President, is the leading Democratic candidate for President in 2020, and he routinely harasses women in public, on camera, with no fear of any consequences. Even with this in the news, Biden invited children on stage at his rally, hugged them, and joked “I had permission to touch them”.

          James Comey leaked classified documents. That isn’t a secret, they were published in the paper. He admits he leaked them in retaliation for being fired. If Trump insists on pressing charges against him, it isn’t revealing some secret. It might be politically motivated, it might not even be politically wise, but it would not be an abuse of the justice system. Comey knowingly leaked classified documents, putting the credibility of the FBI (in charge of investigating people for leaking classified documents) in jeopardy.

          I just realized I could keep on going with Democratic officials until the internet runs out of electrons.

  4. Mrs. OB worked in IT for big companies from the late ‘seventies until 2016. If she’d have been accosted by anyone in her upper management like Joe Biden, I’d have heard about it and neither of us would have been happy. She had to put up with all kinds of snide comments (she’s very good looking as well as smart and super competent) and lots of guys who were slugs but were more highly regarded and compensated. But she never had to put up with anything like Joe Biden. His conduct really is way over the line.

    Bottom line, he’s just a dope. A good reason for him not to be president.

  5. Joe does not understand what the gripe is: HE never changed, and he shills for the progressives just so they will leave HIM alone.

    It is about power to Joe. He has it, and others can pound sand.

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