On Thursday, Joe Biden made quite an astonishing statement. In conversation with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Biden said, "If they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me. I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade."
What makes this statement stand out is the fact that Biden’s signature position throughout his tenure as VP has been that when it comes to allegations women are to be uncritically believed.
For proper context, let’s look at two cases involving unproven allegations of sexual assault.
In 2018, Marcus Knight was a 19-year-old student with autism and cerebral palsy attending Saddleback College in California. In an attempt to make friends, Knight asked a female student if he could fistbump her. She said yes, so they did. In a separate instance, he took a selfie with another female student. Both of these incidents wound up in sexual assault allegations against the young man.
Knight, who has trouble expressing himself verbally, was found responsible of two Title IX complaints of sexual assault. After nearly two years of hell, the Knight family was finally able cleared Marcus’s name by suing Saddleback College. Knight’s mother had to set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds to file a lawsuit. She raised over $14,000.
In 2020, Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. When he was a Delaware Senator, a woman named Tara Reade alleges that he pushed her against a wall and digitally penetrated her. She pulled away, and Biden allegedly said, "I thought you liked me."
Biden also has trouble expressing himself verbally, but that's where the similarities between him and Knight end. When confronted with the allegation by Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski, Biden said, "No. It is not true. I’m saying unequivocally: It never, never happened. And it didn’t. It never happened." This is the eighth allegation of improper behaviour toward women levelled against Biden.
As a result of his denial, women politicians and prospective Vice-Presidential picks for Biden’s run came to his defense. Nancy Pelosi said, "I'm a big, strong supporter of the 'Me Too' movement. I think it has been a great—made a great contribution to our country. And I do support Joe Biden. I'm satisfied with how he has responded."
Title IX enthusiast Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "She has come forward, she has spoken, and they have done an investigation in several outlets. Those investigations, Vice President Biden has called for himself. Vice President Biden has vehemently denied these allegations and I support Vice President Biden."
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said, "not every claim is equal."
Indeed. The claims against Knight were frivolous if not malicious, ruining his life for years. The claims against Biden are serious, credible, and have hardly made a scratch.
The biggest difference between the two sets of allegations is that in the case of Knight, there was no due process whereas in Biden’s case, due process has been granted.
Knight was the victim of the Obama-era Title IX guidance that completely stripped away due process for men and women accused of sexual assault or harassment on American campus.
It’s an extra-legal Kafkaesque nightmare that Joe Biden created when he made campus sexual assault his signature issue in 2011. Since then, the reimagining of Title IX as a mechanism to hold star chambers that, for all intents and purposes, flipped the burden of proof onto the accused and resulted in hundreds upon hundreds of false allegations and ruined lives.
Of course, the very same craven politicians who sing Biden's praises and claim his innocence now were very heavily invested in not affording the same due process to the sons and daughters of ordinary Americans.
Pelosi lauded the Obama-era overreach: saying it held up the "fundamental right to be free from abuse, harassment and fear."
Whitmer raged against current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' plans to bring due process on campus by tweeting: "Survivors are coming together and fighting against the rollback of Title IX campus protections."
Gillibrand has long been a Title IX warrior; she actually took disgraced false accuser Emma Sulkowicz (aka Mattress Girl) to the State of the Union address and presented her with an award for her "courage."
Beyond the hypocrisy of Biden and his Democratic women supporters, is the baffling reality that all of them are currently fighting the restoration of due process on college campuses. Biden himself is vowing to restore the Obama-era guidance he once championed—rules that would immediately find him guilty of raping Tara Reade, end his political career and make him a pariah for the rest of his years.
As a result of Biden’s social-justice fuelled reforms, Marcus Knight lost two years of his life, was branded a sexual predator, and his family was forced to raise funds and sue his university to restore his good name. He and his family are only now beginning to emerge from the nightmare he endured.
It's frankly disgusting to see Biden advocate for rules that enable false accusations, destroy lives like Marcus Knight's, and violate one of the most vital legal principles of our society. It's even worse that he is doing so even as he benefits from the very same legal principle—due process—in order to save his own skin.