Washington Post springs to the defense of serial groper Joe Biden
Joe Biden is in a lot of trouble, as editor Lifson points out today. Biden apparently kissed a woman without her permission, which is a serious offense in #MeToo land. There are also several photos of Biden with his arms around women, kissing them, kneading their shoulders — shouldn't he be arrested or something?
But never fear, Uncle Joe. The Washington Post is riding to your rescue.
The headline gives a flavor of how one of the most important propaganda arms of the Democratic Party in the media is framing Biden's troubles.
"Joe Biden's affectionate, physical style with women comes under scrutiny ..."
This affectionate and sometimes intimate physical style is one of the former vice president's trademarks, a defining feature of the warm and upbeat persona he has built during more than four decades in the national spotlight. But the appropriateness of Biden's physical behavior toward women is now being questioned, after a female Democratic politician penned a viral Internet piece describing an alleged 2014 encounter that left her offended and uncomfortable.
As Biden prepares to announce whether he will run for president in 2020, the episode has raised questions about whether the older, self-described "fingertip politician" is well-suited for the White House in the wake of the #MeToo movement and at a moment of rapidly shifting social norms. Biden, an outspoken critic of domestic violence who led efforts to pass the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, has also faced sharp criticism from women over his handling of the Anita Hill hearings in 1991 and his subsequent comments about the topic.
"He's absolutely been an amazing ally on the policy level and on campus sexual assault," said Terri Poore, policy director of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence. "But at the same time, nobody gets a pass. Everyone's behavior is up for conversation."
Serial groping becomes his "affectionate, physical style." Unwanted touching becomes his "warm and upbeat persona." It's amazing what you can do with the English language to obscure the truth when you put your mind to it.
That most of us see nothing wrong with Biden's playful physicality is not the point. If Brett Kavanaugh had gotten similar treatment for his "affectionate, physical style," he would have breezed through his confirmation hearing.
Also note that the sexual violence spokesperson wants only to have a "conversation" about Biden's behavior because, well, she agrees with his politics. It reminds me of women's rights groups lionizing the serial sexual assaulter Ted Kennedy at the time of his death. He may have been a pig, but he's a pig who agreed with us.
I'm sure Biden is grateful for WaPo's cunning defense, but I'm with Lifson: the former veep is toast.