From The “Stop Making Me Sort Of Defend Joe Biden!” Files: Oh, Look..As Soon As Democrats Finally Conclude That Joe Will Be A Disastrous Candidate, A Woman Accuses Him Of Sexually Assaulting Her 27 Years Ago. How Unexpected!

Seriously, how long will it take women and feminists to realize that repeatedly and transparently using sexual assault and sexual harassment accusations as suspiciously timed political weapons undermines the credibility of legitimate victims and their cause generally?

In fact, why has it taken this long?

We have now seen this scenario so many times: accusers haul out old and unsubstantiated alleged episodes of sexual misconduct conveniently timed to do maximum damage to an individual who has become a problem for the Left. Chris Matthews. Brett Kavanaugh, the most obvious example. Now, the same week in which President trump’s ratings rise, Joe Biden’s bunker broadcasts have even the most dedicated deniers wondering about his acuity, and New York governor Andrew Cuomo is being whispered about as a promising last ditch replacement for Joe if only there were some way to pull it off, and this happens (From Reason):

Despite his public pronunciations on the subject of never touching women without their explicit verbal consent, Biden has previously faced accusations that he was too handsy with people. But now the former vice president is facing a much more serious accusation of sexual assault, from an alleged former staffer named Tara Reade…Reade says she worked for Biden in the early 1990s and asserts that she was unambiguously assaulted by him in 1993. According to Reade, he began kissing her without her permission, pushed her against a wall, reached under her skirt, and penetrated her with his fingers.

“He said ‘come on man, I heard you liked me,'” Reade recalled to Halper in the interview. “For me, it was like, everything shattered. I looked up to him, he was like my father’s age, he was this champion of women’s rights, in my eyes. I couldn’t believe it was happening. It was surreal.”

…She said she once tried to talk to a supervisor about what had happened, but this person shut her down before she could tell the whole story. She also said she filled out an official form detailing her assault, but does not know what became of it.

A year ago, Reade—who supported the campaigns of Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.)—attempted to come forward with stories of sexual harassment in Biden’s offices. As detailed in an Intercept piece, she reached out to Time’s Up, a project of the National Women’s Law Center that provides support to alleged #MeToo victims. Time’s Up declined to assist Reade; the organization’s official excuse was that a feud with a national political candidate could jeopardize their status as a 501(c)(3) non-partisan group. But as The Intercept also notes:

“The public relations firm that works on behalf of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund is SKDKnickerbocker, whose managing director, Anita Dunn, is the top adviser to Biden’s presidential campaign. A spokesperson for Biden declined to comment. The SKDK spokesperson assigned to Time’s Up referred questions back to the NWLC.”

Hey, nothing to see here, move along! Continue reading

Afternoon Ethics Infection, 3/18/2020: Only 3 Out Of 4 Wuhan Viwus Wewated Wefewences! These Days, That’s Not bad…

Good afternoon!

1. I missed this: Roman Polanski, with his “An Officer and a Spy” won the directing, and screenplay awards at the French Cesar awards last month, and the results were greeted by protests. After Polanski’s best-director award was announced, “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” actress Adele Haenel and director Celine Sciamma walked out of the theater.

It was Polanski’s fifth Cesar in the directing category, He’s scum and a rapist as well as a fugitive from justice, but he is and has always been a great film director. Polanski did  not attend the ceremony because, he said, he anticipated it would turn into a “public lynching.”

Haenel  shouted, “Well done, pedophilia!” as she left the hall. In an interview with The New York Times about his nominations, she had said, “Distinguishing Polanski is spitting in the face of all victims,” she said. “It means raping women isn’t that bad.”

Think about that statement a bit, if you have to. It makes no sense at all, but articulates the logic of the cancel culture. The film is the film, just as a song is a song and a painting is a painting. None of these are the same as their creators. Just as the fact that art created by a saint doesn’t make it any better, the fact that other art is created by vile human beings doesn’t change the quality of the art for the worse.  The law punishes people for bad deeds. Society punishes them in many other ways. What artists build, accomplish, and contribute to society are independent of the artists personally.

Bill Cosby’s albums are still funny, and nobody is saying that raping women isn’t that bad by enjoying those classic performances or by honoring Cosby as a performer. Harvey Weinstein produced too many great films to boycott.

Personally, I refuse to support Cosby, Woody Allen, Polanski and others who disgust me, but their work remains what it was and is, and burying it punishes the culture. Continue reading

Biden’s Brain, Part II: Betrayal And Denial

(Part I is here.)

The poll above was offered to her blog’s readers by Ann Althouse this morning.  Those were the early results, but they haven’t changed significantly. The fact that she felt the need to have the poll is significant, as is the fact that only 1% (its doubled, to 2%) would say that Joe Biden definitely didn’t have dementia. This isn’t a right wing rumor or organized slander, like so many of the “resistance” big lies. People have eyes and ears. They notice.

The hypocrisy demonstrated by the Democrats, who have been claiming that Trump is mentally unfit to be President, now apparently determined to nominate a man who is clinically unfit or soon will be is astounding. The only historical analogue that comes close is in 1944, hen the Democrats  went through with nominating Franklin Roosevelt, though he was deathly ill and nobody who saw him or spent any time with him could fail to know it. FDR had already been President for twelve years, though, and there was still a war on. That’s some excuse, though not much.

Today’s Democrats have none. Here’s left-wing cartoonist Ted Rall:

Now Democrats are conspiring to gaslight the American people by engineering the presidential election of a man clearly suffering from dementia, Joe Biden. This is no time to bepolite.” We are talking about the presidency. As always, we need a frank, intelligent discussion and debate about the issues and the candidates….Contrary to current ridiculous Democratic talking points, it is not ageist to point this out. One out of seven Americans over the age of 70 suffers from dementia. (Biden is 77.) If it’s ageist to talk about dementia among the elderly, it’s ageist to talk about immaturity among the young.  It is neither necessary nor possible to scientifically determine whether the former vice president has dementia. On the other hand, you don’t need an astronomer to know that the sun rises in the east. If you have encountered dementia, you know Joe Biden has it.

This may be the only time I have agreed with Ted Rall about anything.

Rall also makes the point, which I have made elsewhere, that Democrats have been trapped into supporting Biden because they believe defeating Trump is so important that they are willing to use a disabled man on the verge of incoherence to do it. That–I would say “if true” except that its truth seems undeniable—is so wrong and irresponsible that it almost defies belief. The party’s duty, any party’s duty, is to give the American people a candidate who will, in their view, be an effective President. Choosing Biden, in contrast, is like the Moors mounting the corpse of El Cid on his horse to “lead” the army during the siege of Valencia.

If the party was preparing to open the convention and take extraordinary measures to stop Bernie Sanders from leading the party to defeat on a platform of socialism, a responsible party should deem it equally urgent to block the nomination of candidate in Biden’s condition. That the party, and so many of its Trump-Deranged members and supporters, can’t or won’t see that is yet another indication of how completely hatred and anger over the 2016 election has corrupted it.

Much of the February 19 Ethics Alarms post about how hatred had driven Democrats into the hypocritical position of embracing Michael Bloomberg is applicable to the resurgence of Biden with just the substitution of names. This paragraph, however, needs no changes: Continue reading

Biden’s Brain, Part I: The Awful Truth

Let’s begin this topic with a stipulation: if your point is that Joe Biden’s evident dementia (or whatever it is) and the phony claim that Donald Trump is “disabled” within the very specific meaning of the 25th Amendment (this is Resistance Impeachment/Removal Plan E on the Ethics Alarms list) are equivalent issues, then you don’t want to be taken seriously in this discussion.

I yield to  few in the strength of my conviction that someone with the character, abilities and proclivities of Donald John Trump should never be elected President because such a person is a risk to the office and the nation as well as my blood pressure. However, the determination of whether such a person should be President is not mine to make alone, but the public, in what we call an election. President Trump was elected by an electorate with eyes wide open, indeed, there have been very few men, perhaps none, elected President in American history whose personalities and weaknesses were as well known to as many for as long as Trump’s. Anyone who claims that this man  has shown himself more “unfit” to hold office in any substantive way than he was when he was elected, or ten or 20 years before he was elected, is, to be blunt, lying through his or her teeth.

The 25th Amendment is about the onset of genuine disability—Lincoln as he lingered between life and death, Garfield as doctors tortured him for weeks trying to find Charles Guiteau’s bullet, Woodrow Wilson after his crippling stroke, Ike immediately following his stroke and heart attack, Reagan following his assassination attempt, not inbred inadequacy of longstanding, not Donald Trump acting like the impulsive, chaotic, intellectually sloppy asshole he has been all or most of his life. Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Week: Rachel Maddow

“If Hillary Clinton can’t win when she gets the nomination and you can’t get the nomination and neither can Kamala Harris, and neither can Amy Klobuchar, and neither can Kirsten Gillibrand. I mean, I think part of what’s going on today is women around the country are like, ‘OK, honestly!’ If it’s not going to be any of them, let’s get real. Is it just that it can’t be any woman ever?”

——The allegedly intelligent MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, making a statement with stunning disregard of facts and logic, indeed reality, in order to advance a divisive and false narrative.

This was an irresponsible argument in the midst of a generally irresponsible and dishonest discourse by Maddow while interviewing Elizabeth Warren following the end of her campaign. She was attempting to bolster Warren’s ethically bankrupt claims that it was sexism that doomed her campaign, just as Hillary Clinton claimed the same, among all the excuses and rationalizations she assembled (and is still assembling) to duck accountability for her own upset loss to Donald Trump, who was generally dismissed as a pushover.

If she wanted to educate her viewers, which Maddow does not—she wants to push an ideological agenda—she would explain that none of the women she mentioned were successful state governors, and that state houses and military command, not Congress, have been the launching pad for the majority of Presidents.  She could explain that the failed candidates she mentioned all had thin resumes for a White House run, including Warren, who is a former university professor and lawyer barely into her second term as a U.S. Senator.

Hillary had the most impressive experience of the group, but there is no avoiding the conclusion  that the only reason she was in a position to get the nomination was by coasting on her husband’s resilient popularity. She had not been an especially outstanding Senator, and her tenure as Secretary of State was marred by many dubious episodes, not the least of which was the email scandal that she persisted in lying about. Moreover, Clinton disproved Maddow’s theory by getting a plurality of votes cast in 2016, an achievement that will elect a candidate President approximately 90% of the time. She was unlucky, that’s all. Hillary  nearly won despite more adverse baggage and dubious character than any Presidential candidate other than  Richard Nixon. Continue reading

Post Flight Ethics Landing, 3/5/2020: Goodbye, Liz, And Good Riddance

I’m blotto, my friends.

It’s been a long day. But I still have some items to review in my waning moments of clarity…

1. Again, movie Bowdlerizing. Why does this keep happening? I know it was routine in the Sixties to bleep  and cut vulgar words out of movies on TV,  but even then it was a practice that marred films great and small, ruined the directors’ and the screenwriters’ craft, and warped character, humor and intensity. Now, when Congress  members spit out charming epithets like “motherfucker” at will,  the sensitivity to tender ears makes no sense at all. Why don’t studios and directors stand up for the integrity of their work? All the “Forget you!” exclamations are bad enough, but sometimes memorable exchanges are lost to dumb Puritanism.

Last night I watched the end of “Stand By Me” before I went to bed. In the climactic scene where Ace and his gang of hoods tries to take the dead body from the four 12-year-old protagonists, young Gordie LaChance (Played by a pre-“Star Trek” Wil Wheaton) points a revolver at the gang leader ( Kiefer Sutherland). When Ace accuses Gordy of bluffing, the mild-mannered kid  cocks the gun and says, with chilling intensity, “Suck my fat one, you cheap dimestore hood.” That line was excised completely, as was the humorous retort by Chris (River Phoenix) after the gang retreats, “Suck my fat one? Who told you you had a fat one, LaChance?” To which Gordie replies, “Biggest one in four counties.”

2. More on Schumer… I’m desperate to find a full transcript of Schumer’s Senate remarks today defending himself against Mitch McConnell’s absolutely fair and accurate condemnation of Schumer’s threatening rant against the two Supreme Court justices yesterday. I heard it live this morning, and I thought, “Wow! This may be the most impressive array of non-stop rationalizations to try to excuse the inexcusable that I’ve ever heard!”

I know this: it culminated in #64, Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is, ” when the Senator said, “Of course, I did not intend to suggest anything other than political and public opinion consequences for the Supreme Court, and it is a gross distortion to imply otherwise.” Of course! It’s a gross distortion to imply that Schumer meant what the clear meaning of his words conveyed, rather than something that his words didn’t suggest at all. Continue reading

Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 3/3/2020: Super Tuesday Edition

Excited?

1. The Super Tuesday tragedy. I can’t find it online, but this supposedly crucial day in the 2020 Democratic Party nomination race yanked out of my mental archives a cartoon in the old National Lampoon that ran in 1972. It showed Richard Nixon saying, “Vote for me! I’ll make Southeast Asia look like the bottom of a used Shake ‘n’ Bake bag!”, and on the other side, showed George McGovern saying, “Vote for me! I have a spine like a wet bed of kelp!” That was the first election in which I could vote, and I refused to do so as a matter of principle. I had good friends who were passionate about McGovern, and I felt sorry for them. He was decent man, but so obviously not a rational choice for President of the United States.

All four of the Democrats (sort of…two of them are pretending to be Democrats) still in the race today are just awful options for anyone with their eyes open and not overcome with hatred of Donald Trump, which, it is clear, a distressing number of once-intelligent people are.  In the end, the Democratic Party is accountable for allowing things to come to this, just as the Republican Party was accountable for allowing itself to be swamped by Donald Trump, a real estate mogul who began his campaign as just one more branding opportunity, and hit the jackpot. How can any Democrat defend a vote for Michael Bloomberg, when part of the “resistance’s”  hate for President Trump is based on his alleged autocratic ways and threat to a free press, and they know that the former New York mayor has ordered his own news agency not to criticize him and is betting that his money alone will give him the White House? How can any Democrat defend a vote for Joe Biden, after that  party has claimed for three years that President Trump is mentally unfit and sexist,  and hearing Joe Biden sound more and more like Grandpa before he was put in a home, and seeing  photo after photo of women and girls wincing as Joe exploited a photo op to kiss, hug, grope or sniff them? How can any American defend a vote for Bernie Sanders ( and if I have to elaborate, you’re hopeless)? Finally, how can any Democrats filled with hate for  the President because of his lies, real or imagined, vote for Elizabeth Warren, whose career and campaign have been built on a foundation of lies?

Continue reading