Power of Denial

Published May 3, 2020 in Warp & Woof


Power of Denial
 
William Sundwick
 
Under increasing pressure to deal with Tara Reade’s allegation of sexual assault, Joe Biden went on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to reiterate his campaign’s official position – flat denial. “It never happened.” The campaign had already sent appeals to supporters to not stray from that line.
 
Tara Reade shared her 27-year-old story only with a few intimates, until this March, when she went public on a podcast to announce that she was sexually assaulted in the halls of the Senate by then-Senator Joe Biden, for whom she worked as a junior staffer. The charge was old, and there is no documentary evidence to corroborate it, but three friends and a brother have come forward recently, following interviews from multiple investigative reporters.
 
So far, the only “evidence” for skepticism of Reade’s story is vague suspicion of her motivations, and some inconsistencies in her accounts.
 
Yet, the response from Biden’s supporters, especially potential running mates and cabinet appointments, implies satisfaction with the denial, often citing Biden’s past legislative efforts on behalf of women, especially the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Where does that leave the #BelieveWomen trope now?
 
The oblique support for Biden will likely persist. Deny, deny, deny is a time-honored political strategy. If fewer women turn out in November, they at least won’t be voting for Trump — considering his even more egregious past behavior!
 
Deniability is still plausible. Biden’s campaign can reason its margins will still hold for myriad other reasons.
 
Most importantly: Biden remains the only thing standing between us and the apocalypse!

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