Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Different Ballgame

In the wake of the accusation of Lucy Flores that she had been inappropriately touched by Joe Biden when the Vice-President was promoting her for Lieutenant Governor of Nevada, Laura McGann reminds us that Biden had

been caught on camera embracing a female reporter from behind and gripping her above her wait, just below her bust. At a swearing-in ceremony for Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Biden put his hands on the shoulders of Stephanie Carter, Carter’s wife, and then leaned in and whispered into her ear. (He’s whispered into many women's ears.) He’s also touched women’s faces and necks during other photo ops. Once at a swearing-in ceremony for a US senator, he held the upper arm of the senator’s preteen daughter, leaned down and whispered into her ear, as she became visibly uncomfortable. Then he kissed the side of her forehead, a gesture that made the girl flinch.

Nonetheless, it is odd, or hypocritical, or a combination of the two that Erick Erickson would tweet
Far be it for me, of all people, to deny that an individual was given a pass by the media because of his loyalty to Barack Obama. However, that simply is not the reason that a blind eye was turned to the apparent creepiness of Joe Biden.

Biden was 66 years old when he became Vice-President. He would serve either eight years in that position or, if President Obama were to be defeated in 2012, he would have to wait four more years to run for President. A campaign in his '70s would have been very unlikely.

The 2012 election was assumed to be the last electoral effort by ol' Joe, especially because his two previous campaigns for the Democratic nomination for the presidency famously flamed out. And as Vice President, he wielded no power, other than that granted to him by the President to cast a vote in the Senate to break a tie, in which case he would not be exercising independent judgment,. There simply was little reason for an expose of a man who was largely irrelevant.

Enter Donald J. Trump. When he entered office, Trump was 70, the oldest individual to become President in a nation which has always valued youth, and even more so in recent decades. If he is re-elected in 2020, he will be 74 on Inauguration Day 2021. (I've always dazzled with my mathematical acumen.)

Being old had been considered an impediment to being elected President- not as much so now. Additionally, it was assumed that no one who treated women like they were the standard offering of the neighborhood butcher would be seriously considered as President. 

That assumption was eroded upon the election of a man who has been accused by 13 women of having touched them inappropriately, or worse, the man seen on tape stating

I did try and f--- her. She was married....

And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’ I took her out furniture. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married.

Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.

That tape only briefly, and temporarily eroded Donald Trump's popularity and a few weeks later he would be elected President of the United States of America and leader of the free world.

It became evident, though little acknowledged, that unless the victim is oneself, a relative or a friend, Americans care far less about sexual harassment than previously thought. That was reinforced when a man credibly accused of sexual assault was approved for a lifetime position on the United States Supreme Court.

But now Joseph R. Biden is presumed to be a formidable candidate to win the Democratic nomination for President.  He would not be one of 100 United States senators, nor in a powerless position as vice-president.

It therefore is odd to argue that the primary reason that Joe Biden's sexually questionable record was ignored is because he served Barack Obama. Biden is simply far more relevant now than ever before because he could in two years possibly wield tremendous power, all the more for what Trump has demonstrated is possible if the office is abused.

But it's also hypocritical, because Erick Erickson should understand very well that it would have been disproportionate to delve into Biden's behavior when the President is Donald J. Trump. Clearly pleased about the Trump presidency, the once-never Trump Erickson recently wrote 

I will vote for Donald Trump and Mike Pence. And, to be clear, it will not be just because of what the other side offers, but also because of what the Trump-Pence team has done. They’ve earned my vote.

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