Tara Reade’s allegation against Joe Biden deserves full scrutiny (opinion)

A valuable lesson in the #MeToo era is that every accuser deserves to be heard, and every accused deserves due process. (Biden himself made these two points in a statement he released on Friday).
A trove of Biden’s Senate records are currently stored at the University of Delaware — records that may or may not contain a complaint from Reade. In a statement provided to CNN, the University of Delaware said it is still curating the collection, a process that is not expected to end until well into 2021. And even then, a spokesperson said the school would not release the papers until two years after Biden retires from public life.
A thorough accounting of the details is appropriate in any allegation, especially for Biden, who prides himself on being a champion for women’s rights. As an advocate for the Violence Against Women Act, Biden should feel a certain obligation to set the record straight. Though he did write a letter to the secretary of the Senate asking for the release of any documents related to Tara Reade’s allegation, he took far too long to address the allegation itself; it’s past time to put all the facts on the table.

If the cornerstone of Joe Biden’s campaign is pledging to be the moral compass of our nation, he needs to be more transparent.

This is not even close to the first time a woman has accused a politician of sexual assault, only for him to deny it. President Donald Trump has been accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen women. He denies all the allegations.

President Trump has paid off a porn star to hide an alleged affair, and made vulgar comments about women in the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape.

He’s hardly a choir boy, but he does not claim to be one either.

On this there is no room for debate: Sexual assault is a crime, a deeply immoral act. But if some liberals want to persist in asserting the moral superiority of their responses to the issue of sexual assault, conservatives would be justified in calling out their double standard.

When Christine Blasey Ford accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her back in the early 1980s (an allegation he denies), prominent Democrats came to her defense and demanded documents dating back to his high school yearbook.
Joe Biden himself said Blasey Ford “should be given the benefit of the doubt.”
Kavanaugh faced public interrogation by Senate Democrats during his confirmation hearings. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee who brought forth Blasey Ford’s allegations, expressed concern about how women who are victims of sexual abuse are treated in this country. As Feinstein said then: “Because how women are treated in the United States, with this kind of concern, is really wanting a lot of reform.”
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) in particular went after Kavanaugh, saying men needed “to shut up and step up.”
We need to talk about Tara Reade

Where are those same Democrats now, calling for Biden to be more transparent?

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is a big supporter of the #MeToo movement and is “satisfied with how (Biden) has responded.”
Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, who is being floated as one of Biden’s potential VP picks, says she doesn’t believe Tara Reade and the New York Times’ “investigation doesn’t support the accusation against the vice president.”

In 2018, Democrats used every tool in their arsenal in their attempt to destroy now-Justice Kavanaugh’s reputation, under the thinly-veiled guise of giving sexual assault victims a voice.

They got their documents and their thorough accounting. Now let’s see Joe Biden’s.

If members of the Democratic Party want to hold themselves out as the party of zero tolerance against sexual violence and claim the motto that every woman should be believed, now is a good time to put that into action.

If you are going to be the party of women, be that. If you are going to be the party of selective persecution, don’t feign outrage when your opponents call you out on it.

Let’s be honest: right or wrong, guilty or innocent, elected officials are often flawed vessels elected to deliver a desired political outcome. It happens on both sides of the aisle. But if a candidate promises to “restore” my soul, a little more transparency doesn’t seem too much to ask for.

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