Elizabeth Warren believes Joe Biden when he says that he did not assault or otherwise engage inappropriately with Tara Reade. Warren, who was vocal in her support of Believe All Women and is on the short-list for Biden’s running mate, has stated unequivocally that she believes not Tara Reade, but Joe Biden. Warren, who once was sure she believed all women, now believes this man instead. There’s only one good reason for that, and it’s not the one Warren claims.
“The vice president’s answers were credible and convincing,” Warren told reporters this week. “I support the vice president. I support his campaign, and I am proud to endorse him for president.” Biden has denied Reade’s assault claim.
Yet it was only a few short months ago that, when asked whether she believed that former presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg told a pregnant employee to kill her baby, she told Chris Matthews, “Well, a pregnant employee sure said that he did. Why shouldn’t I believe her?”
Much has been made in media about this new revolt of the powerful women who were involved in the anti-Trump movement that contained the Women’s March, Me Too, Time’s Up, and Believe All Women. Conservative media has had a field day in denouncing these women, and the Democratic party in general, for not living up to those standards that they forced on us in earnest since Donald Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton in 2016.
And they should. While leftist publications and advocates now carp about how Biden is innocent until proven guilty, deserving of due process, conservatives beat the drum of hypocrisy. They’re right to do it, it’s blatantly obvious to anyone who has been paying attention, and it’s for sure a bad look for progressive politics in the US.
But aside from leftist hypocrisy, these new revelations that the same women who took down any man with even a hint of dodginess in his past are now vouching for Biden make clear that the most important thing to these people is not honesty, integrity, transparency, or even ethics, but power. And this should come as a surprise to no one.
A letter to the editor of The New York Times from Martin Tolchin, a founder of Politico, reveals that power is exactly what's at the heart of the Democratic refusal to poison Biden with the progressive pen of accusation and mistrust.
The claim to Believe All Women, in the face of serial predators like Weinstein, seemed altruistic; it wasn’t. The support for women stepping forward to reveal their Me Too truths about past abuse gave the appearance of being supportive and kind; it wasn’t. The cry of Time’s Up, meant to separate corrupt men from their positions of power across a wide swath of industries, from entertainment to politics, looked like it was about delivering fairness and equity; it wasn’t.
All of these movements were about power. Me Too, Believe All Women, and Time’s Up were popular, catchy ideas that under the rubric of compassion were intended to redistribute power from those who had it to those who wanted it. In fact, it was a remarkably clever way to do it.
Standing on social media soapboxes, women who wanted power could grab it by taking the crown of female oppression and demanding that their victimization had earned them this power. A woman who’d had a bad date, or realized that her long term relationship was merely an abusive ruse, or didn’t like the way a guy talked to her, or believed she was passed over due to her sex or unwillingness to have it, or thought that the guys in her industry were dicks, was able to stand up, say so, get support, and demand that the power they had was rightfully hers.
Of course, women are raped, abused, victimized, discriminated against, that happens frequently, it has happened for centuries, and that is not in question. What is in question is the use of those circumstances, and in many cases alleged circumstances, to reshuffle the power hierarchy.
Whether Biden forcefully fingered Reade in a Senate building is not the point for Warren, Stacey Adams, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, or Kamala Harris. Instead, what matters to them is the power that a presidential win for him would mean for the Democratic party, and for their own ambitions.
The thing is, there’s not even anything wrong with being hungry for power. The progressive women who are looking at Biden and wanting in on that action believe that more important than those women-centric standards they have been touting for the past four years is their ability to gain power.
Warren and her compatriots are so sure that the nation would be better off with them in the driver’s seat that the standards they so stridently believed in pale in comparison to that need for access to power. And Biden is their best shot at it.
Warren can go ahead and support Biden, she can throw Reade under the bus, and she can convince herself that she’s doing it because she believes Biden, and not because she doesn’t believe all women. But Warren’s support of Biden has nothing to do with Biden, or Reade, but with Warren’s ambitions, and she’d be doing women a great service by saying that outright, instead of spinning in rhetorical circles. Women want power just as much as men do, of course they do, and many women would sacrifice anything to get it—including ethics and standards—just like men do. It would serve the mission of equality and feminism if they’d just go ahead and say it.