A credibly alleged rape by Joe Biden against an employee of his in 1993 will here be compared to a proven rape by him against the very same Democratic Party electoral constituency that were decisive for him to win the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination. This comparison will raise some basic questions about what the meaning of “rape” is, and also about whether the nation’s news-media have an obligation (which they routinely violate) to focus on only clearly proven facts that pertain to many or even millions of people, instead of to concentrate on mutually contradictory allegations (such as the ‘news’-media currently do focus on in American politics). Can democracy even exist if the news-media violate this solemn obligation to focus on the former and not on the latter? The view here is that ‘news’-media are not, and should not try to be, courts of law which investigate and render final decisions upon controversial matters, but should instead report ONLY what and when they are in a position to discover, and report to be, established and proven facts. To go beyond this is to deceive voters, and it is to violate their most basic mission that the press has to the public, in any democracy. Therefore, an actually functioning democracy cannot even exist, in such a country, where such foci as “he said she said” (either in personal or in policy matters) predominate. It kills democracy.
On March 25th, Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks posted a video commentary titled “Biden Accuser REJECTED by #MeToo & Breaks Her Silence” and she asked why a credible accusation by a former employee of Senator Joe Biden, Tara Reade, that he had manually raped her, and which had just been reported by Ryan Grim of The Intercept, was being generally ignored by Democrats. At 6:30 in her commentary, she said
We’ve had so many examples of politicians who tell us everything we want to hear, who pretend like they care about the disenfranchised, and then they turn around and in their leadership they do the exact opposite. So, I don’t know, I am not a prosecutor, I haven’t investigated this case; same with Donald Trump, I am not a prosecutor, I haven’t investigated those cases. … I can have an opinion about what I think, but these are the types of things that should be investigated, right? And so, if you have multiple women who are coming forward and saying, hey, the Democratic front-runner has …
There are over 65,000 views and 2,000 viewer-comments to that video, and the comments are generally hostile to Kasparian for “Trashing metoo to promote Bernie,” or even for being one of “Trumps Young Turks” (i.e., pro-Trump). Kasparian’s expressed cynicism about the actual sincerity of Democratic Party voters in their assertions of concern about exploitativeness and lying on the part of Republican politicians who become accused in such allegations was being responded to mainly by the viewers’ faith either in the Democratic Party or in the Republican Party. The basic point which Kasparian had tried to raise was that ‘truth’ becomes only partisan when such partisanship prevails, but few of the commenters seem even to have noticed it.
After the posting of that video, Ryan Grim’s report posted, on March 27th, a denial of the accusation, from a former executive assistant to the then-Senator Biden, Marianne Baker, who had served in that office from 1982-2000:
For nearly 20 years, I worked as Senator Biden’s executive assistant and supervised dozens of employees who reported to me. I took very seriously my duties with respect to human resources, following the direction of a Senator whose insistence on a professional workplace was embedded in our culture. In all my years working for Senator Biden, I never once witnessed, or heard of, or received, any reports of inappropriate conduct, period — not from Ms. Reade, not from anyone. I have absolutely no knowledge or memory of Ms. Reade’s accounting of events, which would have left a searing impression on me as a woman professional, and as a manager. These clearly false allegations are in complete contradiction to both the inner workings of our Senate office and to the man I know and worked so closely with for almost two decades.
On March 31st, Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!” headlined “‘It Shattered My Life’: Former Joe Biden Staffer Tara Reade Says He Sexually Assaulted Her in 1993” and interviewed Reade, who basically said that what the Biden people were now saying were lies, and Reade gave there the most detailed public description, thus far, of the alleged event, and of the follow-up to it:
TARA READE: I was approached by my supervisor. She handed me a gym bag and said, “Hurry, Joe wants this, so get it to him. He’ll meet you down towards the Capitol.” And I went down the stairs, and I don’t remember exactly where I was, because there’s connections between the Russell Building and all of that and the corridors, but we were in a semi-private location. It wasn’t a room. It wasn’t, you know, the Russell Office Building — I mean, in his office. It was down in the corridors. And I handed him the gym bag.
And then he — it was one, as I described, fluid moment. He was talking to me, and he said some things that I don’t recall. And I was up against the wall. And he — I remember the coldness of the wall. And I remember his hands underneath my blouse and underneath my skirt, and his fingers penetrating me as he was trying to kiss me and I was pulling away. And he pulled back, and he said, “Come on, man. I heard you liked me.” But he was angry. It was like a tight voice. And he tended to smile when he was angry. And he isn’t like the Uncle Joe like everybody talks about now. He was younger. He was my dad’s age at that time and very strong. And he looked insulted and angry. And I remember feeling like I had done something wrong when he said that statement. And then I was standing there when he said — he was still near me. He said — pointed his finger and said, “You’re nothing to me. You’re nothing.” And he walked away.
And I don’t remember exactly where I went after. I think I went to the restroom to clean up, but I don’t remember precisely. The next memory I have is sitting on the cold stairs, on the Russell Building back stairs, where the big windows are. And I remember just my whole body shaking. And I remember knowing that — knowing that I had made him angry and that my career was probably over. And I didn’t comply. And I didn’t comply when I was asked to serve drinks at a cocktail party for donors, because, apparently, Joe Biden said, according to a legislative staffer, that I had pretty legs, and he thought I was pretty, and I should serve the drinks. And my supervisor had encouraged me to do so, and I did not. So, sitting on those stairs, the reality hit me.
The next thing I remember was that night and talking to my mom, and she was like, “You need to file a police report. It’s a sexual assault.” And I didn’t think of it as sexual assault, and I didn’t really understand. And I was trying to just get over the shock of it, because I looked up to him. He was supposed to be a champion of women. And I was so thrilled to be at that office and so honored, and it shattered my life and changed the trajectory of my whole career and life. And I lost my job after I complained, and I was fired.
AMY GOODMAN: And how exactly did you complain, Tara? You filed a complaint of sexual harassment against Senator Biden at the time? Now, let’s be clear, this is 1993, two years after he led the Senate Judiciary Committee around the Anita Hill charges against Clarence Thomas. So this is soon after that. You filed a complaint. Did you talk about this happening?
TARA READE: No, I didn’t talk about the sexual assault. What I did was I went through office protocol, which would be to go to your supervisor. And if you’re not happy, you go to the next supervisor, and then the next one would be the chief of staff. And I did go up the chain verbally. And there were a couple of meetings — more than a couple, actually. And there were people taking notes. I mean, I know they took notes. And some were more informal in the hallway, with Marianne. And I was basically — after I had not served the drinks, that whole, you know, episode, I was immediately told, like within a few days, by Marianne’s assistant that I dressed too provocatively, that I was too — that I needed to be less noticeable. And then Marianne got me in the hallway, because I was annoyed by that, and she said, you know, “You want to just keep your head down and do as you’re told, if you want to last here.”
And I went to them and told them I was uncomfortable. So I couched it in those terms. We didn’t use the term “sexual harassment” a lot back then. And I remember saying I was uncomfortable and why. But nothing happened. And in fact, I was put in a windowless office, and I had my duties taken away from me. I was given a desk audit. I was told to call one of my upper-level supervisors even if I went to the restroom. I was not to call or talk to other staffers or go to legislative hearings. I was told that I was given a month to find another job. And I sent out my résumés. And before I did that, because of this retaliation, I told my mother, who gave me the term “retaliation” and explained to me what was happening, and said to march in there and file a sexual harassment claim. And I said — and she used the word. And I said, “Well, you don’t just march into their office. Like, that’s not how this is done.”
So, I had gone through that protocol. Then, when that didn’t work, I went to the outside, which was like a — they had a temporary office set up, so it was Senate personnel or something like that, and I was given a clipboard. I filled out a form and talked about just the incident of the sexual harassment, feeling uncomfortable. And I was told at the window that somebody would call back, you know, call me back in. And they never did.
I ended up looking for work, couldn’t find it. I volunteered for the Robert F. Kennedy memorial. I was fortunate enough to work in the VIP tent and with the family, and it was helping me emotionally, because I was trying to recover from the trauma of what had happened that day. And I didn’t share it with many people at all at that time. It’s just not something that was easy to talk about. It’s not easy to talk about now.
And when I came out in April, I started again — I had the intent to tell the whole history with Biden. But one of the first questions out of the reporter’s mouth was, “Yeah, but it wasn’t sexual, right?” when he was talking about the sexual harassment. And it shut me down. And that’s not his fault. It’s my responsibility, I know, to be brave and to be courageous and say the words. But it just put me off from being able to talk. And then, when the story was hitting, there was so much blowback and smearing on social media that I just didn’t feel comfortable. So I was trying to find a way to tell my story to a legitimate news agency. I didn’t want it sold or, you know, sensationalized or anything nonsense like that. I wanted to have the deeper conversation of how hard it is for survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace to go up against powerful men, because I have not received any payment for this, I have not received any compensation, because the facts are, you know, women are not paid to talk. They’re paid to stay silent. And so I wanted a women’s organization around me, and that’s why I went to Time’s Up.
Reade there went on to say that Time’s Up then gave an excuse that they would lose their tax-exempt status if bringing a case against a politician while he is in office. As Grim’s report documented from a legal expert on that matter, that excuse was simply a lie from Time’s Up (which therefore is a fake ‘human-rights’ ‘non-profit’, which perhaps might more accurately be considered to represent its sponsoring Democratic Party billionaires and centi-millionaires who mainly want to beat the nominees of Republican Party billionaires and centi-millionaires, since ‘women’s rights’ are a Democratic Party issue far more than a Republican Party one; so, such ‘non-profits’ are basically a con).
Tara Reade has clearly set forth accusations against the Democratic Party’s U.S. Presidential nominee that in a democracy would be hotly debated in the Presidential campaign, and all of the alleged witnesses would be called to testify — including under oath to the U.S. Congress — so as to prevent any reasonably likely election of an outright rapist to the U.S. White House; but, not only is this not done, but Americans are accustomed to considering, for the U.S. Presidency, nominees who have felonious accusations hanging over them unresolved. But the issues here are actually much deeper than that.
No blackmailable person should even qualify for the Presidential ballot. But perhaps America’s billionaires want them to (so as to have their claws in whomever wins).
However (and here is the basic point), there is something even worse than this, and it is when a nominee has demonstrably, provably, and undeniably, raped millions of people and gotten away with it as if that had not been the case. Blackmail isn’t really the problem here; massive and pervasive demonstrable crime is — there is no speculation, whatsoever, involved — and, consequently, this is the type of situation that should be what the news-media in a democracy focus their searchlights on, and never focus on speculation (though they do).
What is “rape”?
What would you call a man who has convinced a woman to submit sexually to him by means of force against her mind, instead of force against her body? Force against the mind is popularly called “lying” or “deceit.” For example, if a man promises a woman that he will pay her for sex but then gives her afterward fake bills or a bum check, is that “rape”? Did he rape her? Unlike force against the body, no threat is used, but are threats a necessary part of any rape? Suppose that a threat is used but the man has no intention of actually carrying it out if she fails to comply, and yet she does comply. Was that “rape” simply because the threat to use physical force had been made? Or did she instead do it “willingly” because no physical danger had actually been applied in the incident? Is it “rape” only if there was a physical threat, or would a non-physical threat — such as blackmail against her — also qualify to call it “rape”? What is “rape”? The question is real, and it’s a huge issue.
Suppose that a man promises to marry a woman and she is a virgin who trusts his promise and she loses her virginity as a result and he then promptly dumps her after having had that sex with her — is this a “rape” of her? Did he “rape” her?
According to the Merriam-Webster definition of “rape”, rape is:
unlawful sexual activity and usually sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against a person’s will or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent because of mental illness, mental deficiency, intoxication, unconsciousness, or deception.
If you believe that mental coercion — and not only physical coercion — against a victim, should legally be counted as constituting “coercion,” then you would call what Joe Biden has done to America’s Blacks who voted for him “rape” against them. This “rape” is proven multiple times over, as compared to what is the case regarding Tara Reade or others, where absolute proof might not even exist. The only basic difference is that the vast majority of Blacks were deceived into submitting to Biden politically instead of sexually; but is that deception a lesser crime? And when there are millions of victims of it, is this not a vastly worse crime?
Why is this — why is the proven, clearly documented, rape by Joe Biden against millions of Blacks — being ignored, in America’s Presidential contest?
Should it be? Should it even be allowed to be?
Of course not. But it is. And such a country cannot be a democracy.
Even if Trump is unacceptable (as I believe to be the case), Biden is clearly unacceptable. Democracy is not to be blamed for this. Lack of democracy is.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.