A New York Times opinion writer says it's time to dump Biden

On Sunday, I wrote that it's been fun watching Democrats struggle with the Biden conundrum: do they rally around him, or, because he's obviously mentally diminished and has significant corruption problems, do they use Tara Reade's accusation against him as an excuse to boot him out?  By Sunday night, Elizabeth Bruenig, a New York Times opinion writer, had her verdict: it's time for Biden to go.

Bruenig is surprisingly sympathetic to Reade.  She acknowledges that Reade's story has been inconsistent and that she's a somewhat eccentric character.  However, unlike other Democrat journalists, she extends to Reade the same benefit of the doubt that Democrats routinely extend to politically correct victims:

Ms. Reade's account is not nearly as incredible as some have argued. In the course of my reporting, I have worked closely with many survivors of sexual assault. It isn't unusual, in my experience, for survivors to exhibit behavior that seems unstable or erratic to others. They may initially disclose to investigators or journalists only a fragment of what happened, and then reveal more over time — some even falsely recant, either because they sense the police don't believe them, or because they fear the consequences of pressing their claims. And victims often maintain relationships with their attackers or harbor mixed feelings about them.

"It's not at all uncommon for someone to still have positive feelings about aspects of the person who assaulted them, or to admire or respect them," Scott Berkowitz, the founder and president of the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) told me. "With people who work for politicians, there's usually a strong measure of loyalty or respect in that relationship. So it's not indicative that someone wasn't telling the truth."

Bruenig also has a dose of intellectual honesty for her fellow Democrats: you can't treat Christine Blasey Ford to one standard and then apply an entirely different one to Tara Reade.  She notes, as well, that a few feminist groups are, however reluctantly, realizing that Biden cannot stop this train merely by insisting that he didn't assault Reade, especially because she's got some decent witnesses.

The allegation must be investigated, says Bruenig, if #MeToo is to mean anything.  Even if the claim fades away, doing nothing about it will still betray the #MeToo movement, which was started to protect women from having their claims ignored.

Even worse, though, would be for Reade's claim to remain out there:

But it is also possible that this won't just go away, and that it will demoralize voters and place Mr. Biden at a disadvantage against Mr. Trump in the general election, despite the fact that Mr. Trump has a damning list of accusers alleging sexual offenses. For a candidate mainly favored for his presumed electability and the perception of empathy and decency, that's a serious liability.

Incidentally, regarding Trump's accusers, there's good reason to believe that many, if not all, of the accusations were politically motivated.  Also, as anyone who watches the whole "grab 'em by the p----" video knows, Trump is not confessing to anything.  He's simply stating a fact with which Bill Clinton would have to agree: if you're rich and powerful, women will acquiesce to aggressive sexual behavior they would reject from other people.

But back to Biden...

Having laid out the issues (Reade is at least somewhat credible, the #MeToo movement demands an investigation, and there'll always be a cloud hanging about Biden), Bruenig renders her verdict:

To preserve the strides made on behalf of victims of sexual assault in the era of #MeToo, and to maximize their chances in November, Democrats need to begin formulating an alternative strategy for 2020 — one that does not include Mr. Biden.

Reading that, one can't help feeling that some Democrats are almost grateful that Reade came along.  With every passing day, it's become more evident that Biden is in an accelerating state of mental decline.  If he were on the campaign trail, the news would be filled with problematic gaffes, ranging from incoherent speech to stupid statements to completely inappropriate remarks.  The longer the Democrats wait to acknowledge the obvious, the harder it will be for them to configure the rules to get someone else in place.

Bernie Sanders will feel entitled to the nomination because he was the big vote-getter up until Rep. Jim Clyburn tapped Biden as the candidate of choice for black voters.  The establishment, however, dreads both Bernie and Elizabeth Warren, whose policies are consistent with core Fabian Marxist demands.

The big push will be for Michelle Obama.  However, as more information comes out about Michael Flynn and the Russia hoax generally, Michelle might want to get herself and her husband as far away from Washington as possible.

I continue to believe that the final ticket will be stodgy Amy Klobuchar, who is a comforting, relatively soft leftist, and Pete Buttigieg, a cute and articulate leftist.  I wouldn't bet money on it, though.  Right now, the Democrat party nomination is anybody's guess.