Joe Biden should be on vacation until at least, I don’t know, Labor Day or something…

Here's what I think, Joe: You should take off until at LEAST Labor Day. OK?

Here’s what I think, Joe: You should take off until at LEAST Labor Day. OK?

This is one of those blog posts I’ve meant to write since not long after South Carolina set all that Democratic nomination nonsense straight at the end of February. Remember how stupid stuff was before that? The world was full of people who imagined there were reasons to suppose someone other than Joe Biden would/should be the Democratic nominee, and they wouldn’t shut up about it for, like, most of a year. It was tiresome.

Well, we fixed that, as soon as we got a chance. Finally, even Bernie Sanders got it. I think I heard recently that even Elizabeth Warren had endorsed Joe. So that’s good, I guess.

But now, there’s other stupid stuff going on, despite the fact that nothing is normal, and we’re all dealing with this coronavirus and stuff. Some of us have even had a freaking stroke, and are really not inclined to put up with stuff like this Tweet today:

A bit after sending that, she added … well, you see what she added: “Biden took four questions.”

Really? What is missing from your life that you think Joe Biden should be doing command performances for you on a regular basis?

More stupidness. So I replied with the only relevant question I could think of: “Why did he have a press conference? Dang. Guess I need to write that blog post about how Joe should be on vacation until about, say, Labor Day…”

This is that blog post. Dang…

What is it that you suppose Joe should be saying or doing right the f___ this minute? Huh? Look. Most of us know that deliverance for this country involves, demands, can’t be had without, replacing Donald John Trump with a normal, decent, qualified human being. And as I told you, over and over for months before we in SC got a chance to step in and do something, that there is no one on the planet more normal, decent and qualified than Joe Biden. That’s been the fact since this started.

Either you get that or you don’t. Those who don’t get it yet and need to by Election Day need to get that message THEN, in the context of what’s going on THEN, which is like light years away from NOW, and anything they hear NOW is likely to be long forgotten by then. These are not, in any case, people with long attention spans.

But even if they were, things are going to change, a LOT, between now and then. And however they change, Donald John Trump won’t be any better at being president then than he is now. Which, for people with longer attention spans, is and has always been the point. That point will not change if Joe Biden has a press conference today, or tomorrow, or anytime soon. If it seems to change, I assure you it will change back, long before Election Day.

Folks, think. If you’re capable of it.

Most of us don’t know whether life will have turned around back toward normal — not normal, but toward it — by a month from now. We don’t know. But if it does, it will still only be May. We won’t have a decision yet on whether there will even be a Democratic Convention at that point, much less how the election is going to come out.

There is nothing Joe needs to do, or define, or explain in that time. Nothing. Yeah, he needs to be raising money, but that doesn’t require press conferences.

Then the summer will come. And it will pass, no doubt with a lot of confused weirdness.

Then the fall will come, and the coronavirus will probably come back. We don’t know what that’s going to look like, but it isn’t going to be pretty, and Donald Trump will not have his normal world with a booming stock market breaking records (in a good way, anyway).

He’s going to really start freaking out then. That’s when Joe needs to be drawing the contrast between this and normal. That is what he’s running against, and that’s when he’s running.

Nothing we can do can make Election Day come one day earlier. It sure won’t come earlier by Joe Biden running around acting like this is a normal election year. Although it will at least feel longer that way.

And I don’t want it to feel longer.

There’s a lot more I could say, but this should get a conversation going…


44 thoughts on “Joe Biden should be on vacation until at least, I don’t know, Labor Day or something…

  1. Barry

    He’s leading trump nationally including in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Whatever he’s doing, it’s working ok so far.

  2. Brad Warthen Post author

    Mandy posted this a little while ago:

    I replied as follows:

    “Yes, and I’m so glad you took those for me! Joe’s been running enough. He was running then, and he’s been running ever since. He should rest up now, and pour it on when the country needs him to…”

    Joe’s given so much for this country, because he knows we need him.

    Take some time off, Joe, and then run full out…

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      That was toward the end of an event I had played a small part in arranging.

      I’d been there at Page’s Okra Grill for a couple of hours that Saturday. Joe had been there, campaigning HARD, for about an hour when Mandy, ever thoughtful, shot a few pics while I was talking with Joe (after she and James had introduced me), just before the thing ended.

      This was an OTR — something we had set up off-the-record, and of course off the schedule, with some media people who we had told to be there without telling them why. They knew, of course, and came flocking. They weren’t invited to the main event, which was the fund-raiser Joe was speaking at for us over on King Street later in the morning. But they got plenty of stuff from this.

      And I learned a lot that morning from Harvey Greene, Joe’s thoroughly professional advance man. I’d been working with Harvey on this since early the previous evening. Harvey let me do the easy stuff, like getting the press there, and letting them go only where Harvey wanted them to be. Harvey did all the hard stuff, like checking out the venue the night before (with me, the guy he had to keep telling to stop acting conspicuous), being at the place before staff got there Saturday morning, buttonholing the manager, getting her to wake up the owner on the phone to get permission, etc…

      Here’s Harvey at the fund-raiser, with our campaign manager Scott Hogan. Harvey’s work was done at this point, and he and Scott were sitting out of the way, watching. First time I’d ever seen either of them in a suit. Maybe the last time, too…

      Harvey and Scott

  3. deathwarmedover

    “What is it that you suppose Joe should be saying or doing right the f___ this minute?”

    Um, maybe responding in some way to allegations of sexual assault?

    “…Trump won’t be any better at being president then than he is now. Which, for people with longer attention spans, is and has always been the point.”

    The point, in other words, is Trump, not Biden. Biden is essentially a figurehead for the effort to unseat Trump. So, Biden will have served his purpose by November 3rd. And after that … what?

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I approved that comment just now because it is such an excellent example — actually, a couple of them — of the kind of thing this post was meant to address.

      “Um, maybe responding in some way to allegations of sexual assault?”

      Why, exactly? In what way does anything he could possibly say help the nation make the only decision before it: re-elect Trump, or elect Biden? Seriously. Let’s suppose the worst: Biden says “Yep, I did it, and it was as bad as anyone has said.” Which he’s not going to do for a lot of reasons, including the fact he didn’t do it.

      That still makes him a better candidate than Trump. Trump is worse on this, as on so many other measurements. Far worse.

      So… it’s helpful how? As a way of making that point? Mmmm — doesn’t work for me.

      So what’s the point? How is this anything but a distraction, and a harmful one at that?

      And… I’m not even sure I understand your second point.

      It seems to arise from the same misunderstanding as your first point. Both seem to be things a person would say in a universe in which there is an alternative to the only choice before us: Trump, or Biden.

      That’s it. It’s the decision before us, and we don’t get to act on our preference until November.

      Frankly, I think the whole country should take a sort of political hibernation until then. We’ll be nicely rested, and the choice before us will be so clear…

      1. Bryan Caskey

        Ok, so it seems you’re firmly committing to vote for Biden over Trump even if Biden admits to having committed forcible penetrative rape. And that’s certainly your right. You can choose to vote for one candidate over the other on whatever criteria you see fit. It’s your vote.

        However, I think you are discounting the fact that there is a non-zero number of people who would vote for Biden, unless, of course if Biden admitted to forcible, penetrative, rape. I mean, that might stop some people for voting for him. Not you, obviously, but possibly some people, maybe.

        All that’s happening now is that the Biden supporters are telling Biden, publicly, that the previous Biden strategy of just pretending this story doesn’t exist is not working.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Whoa. You’re talking like a prosecutor. I thought this was a story about people who want to talk about something some more — because it’s a serious topic they don’t think gets talked about enough — and a guy who didn’t do anything and would just like to win an election.

          You make it sound like Crime and Punishment, which was not the way I was reading this at all…

        2. Brad Warthen Post author

          You really threw me there, Bryan. I was working on a Robert Redford Top Five list, making joking references to yours, and then you went all dark on me…

      2. bud

        Let’s suppose the worst: Biden says “Yep, I did it, and it was as bad as anyone has said.”

        IF this allegation is true and Biden’s conscience dictates that he should come clean and own up to it then he has no choice but to quit the race immediately. Full stop. The voters deserve a better choice than two white male septuagenarian sexual perverts. How the Democrats settled on such a terrible nominee will be forever a mystery to me.

      3. Ken

        Seems to me you completely missed the point of the comment you responded to – which wouldn’t be surprising given how in the bag you are for Biden.

        The point was simply that Biden is now the vehicle, the vessel, for all anti-Trump sentiment. If he wins, it’ll be on that basis. Not because voters are enthusiastic about Biden as Biden. Which means his presidency will have little to no mandate. And if you don’t think the Republicans will take advantage of that, you’re living in an alternate reality.

        Sure, I’ll be voting for Biden this fall, because I relish the thought of booting the incumbent from office. But I’m not enthusiastically backing Biden. He’s merely the default choice. His support is a mile wide and an inch deep.

  4. randle

    I get that most people normally don’t start paying attention to elections until couple of months beforehand, but I don’t think Biden and the Democrats can afford to sit on the sidelines until Labor Day. The Republicans are going to be laser-focused in the coming months on gaslighting the country about Trump’s handling and attacking Biden relentlessly. I don’t think Biden needs to be in our faces all of the time, but letting his opponents define him without responding could hurt him, especially with those swing votes we hear so much about. This is a do-or-die election and, while we don’t need a shadow government or daily press conferences, we do need to build a case for why Biden is the best choice to get our country back on track, not just a default choice. Take nothing for granted.

  5. Bob Amundson

    Keep your powder dry. There will be plenty of opportunities to show all the contradictions (lies) made on the record.

  6. Realist

    Biden is scheduled to address the allegations Friday on MSNBC. He will deny the incident ever took place. Democrats will continue to support him. The #MeToo movement will support him because he isn’t Trump. The standard flag for Biden vs. Trump based on the same allegations is vastly different because Biden is a Democrat not Trump. The comparisons of reactions by the #Woke and #MeToo regarding the Kavanaugh vs. Biden is clearly not on an equal basis with the #Woke and #MeToo defending Biden and basically going after his accuser but with Kavanaugh, it was “We Believe Women” and they supported Ford’s allegations that were never proven or even had anecdotal evidence that could actually offer proof of the alleged incident while Reade does have it.

    Understanding the Kavanaugh confirmation vs. the Biden POTUS nomination are different but in many ways much the same. Kavanaugh will be around and influencing the laws of the land until retirement which could be a couple more decades while Biden may be around to serve a full term if elected and IMHO, that is questionable. I have my reasons for stating such and really don’t care if others don’t agree.

    The critical element for Biden’s campaign and success will center around who will be his VP running mate. That is who our attention needs to be more centered on in November. His choice will be a major factor in achieving victory over Trump. There is also the possibility since the rest of the primaries have been or will be cancelled, Biden may have to survive a brokered convention. Sanders is going to have a major impact on the outcome, count on it.

    For the past few months, the world has been sailing in unchartered waters and their seems to be no one capable of charting a course that will help protect the general population’s health and the revival of the economy that can save us from facing a long term recovery.

    Joe Biden has an advantage so far in that he is able to stay out of the public arena and avoid gaffes and stumbling over his words. What happens if the crisis passes sufficient enough and televised debates between Trump and Biden can take place? Whether one supports Biden or not, if Trump is able to get him to react the way he has when dealing with the public, it will not bode well for Biden and lest we forget, Trump is a brawler and counterpuncher.

    At this moment in time, it is in Democrat’s favor if the stay at home, self-quarantine, no public gatherings, and the shut-down continues for a few more months and all of the usual pre-election activities of the past are cancelled. Harsh observation but again, IMHO an accurate one.

    Perhaps the best thing to do is keep Pelosi away from late night talk show hosts and her expensive freezers filled with expensive ice cream. That would be a tremendous boost for Biden.

    By the way Brad, glad to see you back in fighting form!!

  7. Bob Amundson

    My wife, #MeToo, and I, with much of my career spent dealing with women and children that were victims, discussed this last night. I will always believe victim’s statements until there is “clear and convincing” evidence (Bryan will appreciate the legal burden of proof) the victim’s statement is false.

    Vice President Biden has multiple women accusing him of touching them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, with one accusing him of sexual assault. To date, there are 25 women that have accused POTUS of sexual assault. I did not support VP Biden in the primary, often telling my wife (and others) that I did not want to have a President who was an older white man, with money, that could be a sexual predator.

    I am tired of both parties nominating people that I see as flawed candidates. However, unless VP Biden drops out (unlikely after listening to his interview this morning), I will most likely hold my nose and vote for someone I perceive to be the lesser of two evils. Honestly, our country deserves better than that.

    1. Bryan Caskey

      “I am tired of both parties nominating people that I see as flawed candidates. However, unless VP Biden drops out (unlikely after listening to his interview this morning), I will most likely hold my nose and vote for someone I perceive to be the lesser of two evils.”


      1. Barry

        If it’s good enough for TRUMPERs to vote for a serial abuser, it’s good enough for me. They convinced me it doesn’t matter.

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          Well, I need to separate myself from THAT argument.

          I may have muddied the waters a bit by offering an extreme position — that a guy who did something like that once and admits it would be better than someone who’s done it dozens of times and lied about it — but it MATTERS a great deal.

          It matters very much that Biden didn’t do it….

          1. Barry

            I hope Biden didn’t do it. I’m really not in the trump supporter camp of “I don’t care what he says or does.”

            I don’t th8nk he did but I dont. know. I read a tweet last night that quoted a passage out of a book that his accuser’s dad supposedly wrote years ago before the incident. It was very similar to what his daughter said Biden did. But I didn’t verify if the tweet was accurate.

            I’m just saying I’ll vote for Biden regardless in this case.

  8. Barry

    Unless something is proven, I’ll take the trump support approach and vote for Biden.

    Well, I shouldn’t say Trump supporter approach. Many of them said they’d vote for trump regardless if he sexually assaulted women.

  9. Realist

    Multiple women coming forward accusing Bill Clinton of sexual assaults and advances did nothing to prevent him from winning and being re-elected, ultimately facing impeachment over lying in court about his affair with a WH intern. Hillary Clinton spearheaded the denials and counterattacks against the women who did come forward and did everything she could to destroy them. All of this is in the public record.

    Then comes GWB and no allegations from any women about any sexual interactions in any way, shape or form. A POTUS with a solid marriage and commitment to it. A respite from the sordid side of politics and men in positions of power taking advantage of women.

    After GWB, Obama and again, no allegations from any women re: sexual misbehavior. Another POTUS with a solid marriage and commitment to it. Another 8 years respite from the sordid side of sexual misbehavior by a man in a position of power.

    Then along comes Donald J. Trump and 17 allegations plus the Stormy Weathers sensationalism the voters had to contend with. Plus the Kavanaugh circus with an accuser who couldn’t find anyone to support her accusations and the ambulance chaser crashing the party and bringing more false allegations.

    And now we have good ol’ Joe Biden being accused of a little more than kissing but an actual act of what could be loosely classified as a rape accusation. Plus there are photos in the public domain showing Biden with both hands clearly grasping a female by her breasts along with an abundant supply of other photos showing Biden engaging in displays of touching, etc.

    There is an established record of presidents, members of Congress and powerful men in all levels of government engaging in sexual misconduct whether it be an affair, sexual advances and touching, improper language, and a host of other behaviors considered to be offensive and in some cases, prosecutable. Depending on the individual, some are given a pass while others are held to a different standard. Some have resigned voluntarily, others under tremendous pressure from constituents and political opponents plus the press.

    So, in the end, who do we believe when an accusation is made and there is some element of truth associated with it or supported by public documentation by filing a complaint or immediately telling family and friends about it afterwards? And does it really matter to the accused supporters if their political agenda and affiliation supports theirs over the opponents?

    I happen to believe Tara Reade’s accusation just as I believe the ones made against Trump, Clinton, and others whose actions do go beyond a forced kiss or grabbing a behind.

    Another point is the fact that males in any position of power or influence at any level, business owners – large or small, supervisory positions, politics, academic, ministry, etc., have the opportunity to abuse their power to act on their prurient tendencies. For decades, women were afraid to come forward and complain due to retaliation and believing the male’s denial over the accusation.

    There have been too many incidents involving high ranking politicians inside the Beltway to count. Perhaps the Fanne Foxe and Wilbur Mills affair in the 70s was the official beginning of the sordid behavior pattern slowly emanating from the shadows of power in Washington, DC. Washington, DC, the place we send elected representatives to act on our behalf. Not all engage in this behavior but the ones who do not like VP Pence are almost treated like pariahs.

    Where doe this leave us, the voters who must decide when casting our votes? Where is the line drawn or is this no longer a line to consider or have an impact on who we vote for? Given the amount of accusations against both candidates, that is if Biden does end up being the candidate, do we ignore what is before us, hold our noses and then cast our votes for the one who best represents most of our values and political positions?

    Conclusion – emphasis mine. Once we capitulate and vote for either Biden or Trump while knowing about their past and possible present behavior, can we legitimately and without engaging in outright hypocrisy make a judgmental remark or judgment about either one’s transgressions? How important is the compromise we make in order to justify voting for either one and knowing the allegations are probably true?

    Just some thoughts on the topic.

    1. Bill

      I don’t believe a word she says;she comes off like such a tramp,and,IT’s Just Sex;there’s an election.Eff it.
      Grow up,everybody…

      1. Realist

        Couple of things here. First, it is your right to not believe her. Second, basically calling her a tramp is out of line and I guess typical of the Biden/Clinton school of retribution. Taking lessons from Hillary, eh?

        Third and most important, Brad why did you allow this video to be posted on this site and remain? Did you or anyone else other than Bill bother to listen to the lyrics? It should have an x-rating and if anyone who comes to this blog approves of the totally nasty and foul lyrics, then maybe they should re-examine their moral codes. If one wants to listen to and enjoy this trash in the privacy of their home, go for it. But posting it on a blog where children have access is another thing altogether.

        Our culture is growing more and more crass and vulgar and this video is a prime example of how damn far down the sewer so-called entertainers have been at the forefront, leading the way.

        I know in the past I have said I am through with this blog but if you continue to allow this to be posted, I will leave and let Bill and his fellow trash collectors have it.

        1. bud

          No one is calling Ms. Reade a tramp but her credibility is low. So far there is no evidence of any complaint. She really doesn’t have any reliable contemporaneous backers. Maybe she’s telling the truth. But right now I’m inclined to think she’s a disgruntled former staffer who let this fester for 27 years and is now seeking retribution. I really don’t like Joe Biden but this seems out of character for him.

  10. Bob Amundson

    I read a USA Today article that has most likely send this into “clear and convincing” that the accuser has ulterior motives (see: “Why I’m skeptical about Reade’s sexual assault claim against Biden: Ex-prosecutor”). It is quite long, but I found the following compelling.

    ►Rejecting Biden, embracing Sanders. By this January, Reade was all in for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Her unwavering support was accompanied by an unbridled attack on Biden. In an article on Medium, Reade referred to Biden as “the blue version of Trump.” Reade also pushed a Sanders/Elizabeth Warren ticket, while complaining that the Democratic National Committee was trying to “shove” Biden “down Democrat voters throats.”

    Despite her effusive 2017 praise for Biden’s efforts on behalf of women, after pledging her support to Sanders, Reade turned on Biden and contradicted all she said before. She claimed that her decision to publicly accuse Biden of inappropriately touching her was due to “the hypocrisy that Biden is supposed to be the champion of women’s rights.”

    ►Love of Russia and Putin. During 2017 when Reade was praising Biden, she was condemning Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s efforts to hijack American democracy in the 2016 election. This changed in November 2018, when Reade trashed the United States as a country of “hypocrisy and imperialism” and “not a democracy at all but a corporate autocracy.”

    Reade’s distaste for America closely tracked her new infatuation with Russia and Putin. She referred to Putin as a “genius” with an athletic prowess that “is intoxicating to American women.” Then there’s this gem: “President Putin has an alluring combination of strength with gentleness. His sensuous image projects his love for life, the embodiment of grace while facing adversity.”

    In March 2019, Reade essentially dismissed the idea of Russian interference in the 2016 American presidential election as hype. She said she loved Russia and her Russian relatives — and “like most women across the world, I like President Putin … a lot, his shirt on or shirt off.”

    Believe all women?Now that Reade has accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, never mind.

    Pivoting again this month, Reade said that she “did not support Putin, and that her comments were pulled out of context from a novel she was writing,” according to The Times. The quotations above, however, are from political opinion pieces she published, and she did not offer any other “context” to The Times.

    Reade’s writings shed light on her political alliance with Sanders, who has a long history of ties to Russia and whose stump speech is focused largely on his position that American inequality is due to a corporate autocracy. But at a very minimum, Reade’s wild shifts in political ideology and her sexual infatuation with a brutal dictator of a foreign adversary raise questions about her emotional stability.

    1. Realist

      Interesting. The incident took place in the 90s according to Reade. She did tell others about Biden’s advances and so far, all have been willing to corroborate her about the allegations.

      It is no surprise USA Today would engage in research to find a way to discredit Reade’s allegations and give Biden a pass.

      Whether Reade’s political affiliations changed or not is not the issue when it comes down to whether Biden assaulted her or not. If she has a fascination with Putin or is sexually attracted to him or not does not change the allegation against Biden for something that happened in the 90s. Her support for Bernie and the fact that Bernie has a long history of ties to Russia, etc. does not change what supposedly happened in the past.

      Defend, Deny, Discredit, and Destroy, the Four Horsemen of Politics used against an accuser.

      The same type of investigation reporting took place when Clinton’s accusers came forward, they were excoriated in the press and by Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s bulldog went after his accusers with a vengeance and the attacks were merciless.

      So, do I expect the same treatment for Reade? Absolutely. Is it happening already? Absolutely. What you posted is a prime example of what to expect over the next few weeks as long as it is perceived as an issue that can damage Biden.

      Finally, everyone who comes forward with an accusation has an ulterior motive to a degree. What the motive is does not matter if the accusation is true and there is corroboration to support the allegation.

      I choose to give credence to her allegations for reasons stated in my first comment based on observations of Joe Biden’s public behavior of touching, smelling, kissing and yes, fondling females of all ages. He reminds me of the “family uncle” mothers warn their daughters to avoid. My wife, daughter, sister and mother would have slapped the crap out of him if he had tried any of the above with her.

      1. Barry

        From what I understand, her story about what Biden did to her has expanded over time.

        She has a very colorful history of taking seemingly contradictory positions. .

        1. Bob Amundson

          Which is discussed in length in the USA Today article, which I find credible because it is written by an ex-prosecutor. I encourage everyone to read the entire article, not just the snippet I pasted.

  11. Realist

    Democrats are talking off the record and admitting they took the #MeToo movement and “Believe All Women” during the Kavanaugh hearings too far and it is coming back to bite them at an inopportune time. The press with great zeal examined every nook and corner of Kavanaugh’s life and ran with unfounded and unproven allegations coming from a couple of attorneys on behalf of clients who were proven to be liars. Yet, Democrats and the #MeToo and Believe All Women movements still fostered the unproven Ford accusations and some members of Congress are still pushing for him to be impeached because they still believe Ford and the other accusers. They have clearly stated that if Democrats take the Senate in 2020, some House members will introduce articles to hold impeachment hearings against Kavanaugh.

    Unless there is an investigation conducted in the public arena by a committee and everyone with an accusation be given an opportunity to testify openly, then the much accepted and lauded “Believe All Women” meme’ used like a sledge hammer as a political smear tool is tainted and loses a lot of credibility.

    When Ford first come forward with her accusations against Kavanaugh, I accepted her as being truthful and without any ulterior motives. As time passed and her allegations could not be substantiated by anyone she used as a witness, doubts started to settle in and by the time the circus was over, it is my conclusion that Ford may have been a victim of an assault but it was not Kavanaugh.

    Stories change over time and there can be contradictions as time passes. But something happened between Reade and Biden. Of that I don’t believe there is any doubt. She does have people who support her in that she did tell them about it.

    As an anecdote, when I was in high school, five young boys in my home town were accused of raping a young girl they gave a ride to one night when she was hitchhiking. She swore that all five raped her and then put her out on the interstate alone. They were brought to trial and sentenced. Before they were sent to prison, she changed her story and the reasons for the accusations. She was trying to get her boyfriend back after they broke up and used an innocent ride offer by the five to create sympathy.

    There was evidence presented to disprove her accusations but no one believed it. The prosecutor at the time was notorious for winning almost 100% of the cases he prosecuted. Later on, several of his convictions were overturned because he hid exculpatory evidence from the defense. In the rape case accusation, it took the girl’s admission to exonerate the five young boys. But by the time she confessed, their reputations had been destroyed and their futures severely compromised. Eventually all five left my home town and moved as far away as possible because people still insisted they were guilty.

    I read the article in full. Indeed, Stern does present a compelling case against Reade. But, as for Mr. Stern, based on his recent history of writing articles for various print and online outlets, not one is considered to be conservative or moderate. According to the HuffPost,

    “In 2018, disheartened by the state of politics and seeking catharsis, Michael began writing political op-eds for publication. His first article was published by the Chicago Tribune and titled “Jeff Sessions Makes Me Glad I Left the Department of Justice.”

    If this is his motivation, then it most certainly can be viewed as being biased in favor of Biden and his evaluation could reasonably be interpreted as one to discredit Reade for ideological and political purposes.

    The accusations are serious and should be examined and thoroughly vetted officially, not in a biased news and social media venue. If the results clear Biden, justice is done for him. If they substantiate Reade’s allegations, then justice is done for her.

    1. Bob Amundson

      I believe this will be investigated as much as possible by good journalists. It is too big of a story to ignore, and anyone proving the allegations are true would be famous. I still believe in, have faith in, the fourth estate. Those that don’t make me think of Orwell’s “1984.”

      1. Realist

        I too at one time believed in and had faith in the fourth estate until the fourth estate became the ad hoc voice of an Oceania like political party or in other words, when the fourth estate actually was neutral when reporting instead of editorializing and being bloated with partisan reporters and pundits.

        If it was or is too big of a story to ignore, then why are the mainstays of the media, NYT, WaPo, LAT, and most other print media not insisting on interviews with Joe Biden and members of broadcast media ignoring the story altogether?

        1. Bob Amundson

          I certainly understand your concerns about media bias, as it certainly exists. But I believe it exists episodically, not culturally. I am more concerned about our human nature of bias, and one powerful form of that bias is confirmation bias. I am aware of my biases, one being the belief that victims rarely lie. Having spent (too?) many years conducting forensic interviews of victims of sexual abuse (mostly children), you bet I have that bias, along with a strong dislike (hatred?) of perpetrators.

          I changed my opinion about this victim’s truthfulness as I wrote on this blog. I looked into the situation deeper, doing my “homework.” I have not just read the USA opinion piece, and the latest reporting is (from Business Insider) that the victim “has disputed a recent report saying she didn’t explicitly refer to sexual harassment or assault in her complaint to a congressional personnel office. “This is false,” she tweeted just before 4 p.m. in response to a link to the Associated Press report. She did not say what exactly was false about the story, and Reade did not immediately return a Business Insider request to clarify what about the report she believed to be untrue. Reade later told NBC News she was “not sure” what exact wording she used in the 1993 complaint to the Senate personnel office, but said the complaint concerned sexual harassment. “I filed a complaint re sexual harassment and retaliation but I am not sure what explicit words on that intake form until we all see it again,” Reade told NBC News.”

          I still believe there are unbiased reporters looking for a possible “scoop.”I use the burden of proof of clear and convincing, because I am not convinced, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this did not happen. I still believe that Vice President Biden is a highly flawed candidate, but not as flawed as POTUS.

          1. Realist

            I appreciate your reply and the carefully worded content of it.

            In response to the following, “I certainly understand your concerns about media bias, as it certainly exists. But I believe it exists episodically, not culturally.” At one time I would have agreed with you but unfortunately I no longer believe it even exists episodically but believe it is now embedded in the media and any chances of returning to the days when the Brad Warthen’s of this country were at the helm of the fourth estate no longer exist.

            Without getting into the details, in a post some time ago, I told about the time when I was 9 and sexually abused by an older boy. I was fresh from living in the country and had no idea about such things. I was told it was something friends did for friends and somewhat the same words she recalled Biden said resonated with me. “I thought you liked me.” I heard the same words when I started to understand what was going on. When I decided to tell my parents, I overheard them talking about rape victims and victims of sexual abuse. They were repeating what was the thinking of the time that the victim usually “asked for it”. When I understood what was done to me and the stigma that would be attached to me for what I thought would be the rest of my life, I shut down and never talked to anyone about it for over 40 years. The perpetrator came into my home one day and without warning and with as much anger and strength as I could muster, I attacked him. But the anger and fear of being stigmatized didn’t go away.

            I can understand the inconsistencies in her story because of the time when it happened, the fear of coming forward, and the fact that a powerful politician like Joe Biden would always be believed over her. She did tell others about it over the years and some have come forward to confirm her story with as much detail as they can recall. I also know that trying to tell what happened can be so painful, the words stick literally stick in your throat and you never get into graphic detail about it.

            Not one of us know what she went through unless we have been in her shoes. As I said earlier, I believed Ford until she couldn’t provide any backup or corroboration from any of the witnesses she named. They actually refuted her testimony. But I will never totally disbelieve her and that something traumatic did happen to her. Victims lives are changed forever and the emotional scars left behind are always present. I have often wondered what my life would have been if the assault on me had never happened.

            Fortunately, I married a wonderful, beautiful lady and we had two great children and overall, a good life. When I finally told her after 30 years together, she took me in her arms, hugged me and held me tight while I let my emotions go for the one and only time since it happened. She assured me she loved me and that gave me the strength to start the healing process. I still have flashbacks about that time of my young life and sometimes the feelings of anger and wanting revenge still haunt me.

            I may have shared more than anyone on this blog cared for but I believe it is important to provide another perspective from a firsthand experience.

            1. Bob Amundson

              I carefully respond to you because you make very sensible points. Your story confirms what I thought, that Realist is resilient, a survivor, a person who has overcome challenges in life.

              I do hope you will reconsider “As time passed and her allegations could not be substantiated by anyone she used as a witness, doubts started to settle in and by the time the circus was over, it is my conclusion that Ford may have been a victim of an assault but it was not Kavanaugh.”

              This quote is from the PBS.Org story “Here’s what the 4 affidavits supporting Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford say.”

              “As two parents watched their children play. At a restaurant with a friend. As a neighbor walked her dog. In all three otherwise everyday scenes, Christine Blasey Ford described to others about being sexually assaulted many years earlier by a future federal judge, according to sworn affidavits her lawyers said Wednesday they submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee. A fourth from her husband says that during a 2012 couples therapy session, Ford named her attacker as Brett Kavanaugh. President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh July 9 to the Supreme Court.”

              Further research indicates that two affidavits, from Ford’s husband (Russell Ford) and from the coach of their son’s baseball team, say Ford named Kavanaugh as the alleged assailant. In the other two, Ford did not name Kavanaugh but said she was assaulted by a federal judge.

              It seems that Mrs. Ford’s stories have some similarities to your story. I am not trying to change your opinion on Ms. Reads’s story, but I do ask you to reconsider your opinion of Mrs. Ford’s story.

              Best to you!

          2. Brad Warthen Post author

            I don’t know what “bias” y’all mean when you speak of media. I don’t understand what it has to do with Realist’s painful story.

            But I don’t believe in it the way most people speak of it.

            There are biases we need to be concerned about. For instance, there’s the fact that in the internet world, media can be assembled to serve desires within the electorate for specific points of view. Take, for instance, this “news” source. You couldn’t have had pubs such as this one in the past.

            But if you’re talking about conventional media — particularly press — you’re talking about people who for generations now have internalized a code that most people can’t even conceive of, in terms of nonpartisanship. So no, with the WSJ, NYT, Washington Post and so many other MSM print outlets like them, there’s nothing like what people, particularly on the political right, think they see in the press.

            Are there “biases” to worry about? You bet. There’s the bias toward simplistic conflict — to reduce every issue into an either/or proposition between two, and only two, “teams.” Left/right, liberal/conservative, Democratic/Republican, black/white, what have you. The POWERFUL urge to frame everything in sports terms — there are only two teams, and when one is winning the other is losing — is pretty overwhelming.

            This is a HUGE problem. I long ago determined that I, as a “neither” guy, would have to interpret that stuff out of what I read, and make up my mind based on reality as I perceive it.

            It puts me in an awkward position on a lot of stories. For instance, this Tara Reade thing has been a game between left and right from the start, with one side trying to emphasize the contradictions from the other side and gain advantage from them. You know what I mean, the “if you believed Kavanaugh’s accusers you must believe this one.” That stuff. Since I never embraced (or rejected) Kavanaugh’s accusers, the whole thing seems kind of a pointless game. Joe didn’t do it. He says he didn’t do it, and I believe him. I have nothing to reconcile, nothing to balance, and the whole thing seems kind of pointless in relation to the issue at hand (who will be president?).

            Anyway… yeah, there’s “bias.” And it’s a problem. It does harm. But it’s not what most people mean…

            1. Bob Amundson

              Do you believe Judge Kavanaugh when he says he didn’t do it as passionately as Vice President Biden says he didn’t do it? I you do, fine. If you don’t, please explain why you believe one denial and not the other.

              1. Brad Warthen Post author

                Wow, that’s easy: I know Joe, and I didn’t know Kavanaugh from Adam. So yeah, I tend to believe Joe. With Kavanaugh, I didn’t know what to think. He was a stranger to me.

                Mind you, from what I read, I was totally OK with his joining the court — just as I was OK with Gorsuch, and with Merrick Garland before them. At least, I was at first — the blowup over the allegations against him made me wish a little that we could start over with someone else, but I had seen him as a qualified candidate.

                I’m just not a player in these ideological battles over judicial nominees…

                If Trump picked them himself, I’d have a problem — because he’d pick someone he had seen on TV. But he doesn’t, so Kavanaugh and Gorsuch were like Garland — eminently qualified judges…


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