If Joe Biden is as clueless as he is to witnesses’ reactions to him while he’s cozying up to a female, it’s no shock that today he pretty much dismisses his history of chronic handsiness as having been no big fucking deal. Biden is shown above in the act during a campaign stop in Ohio in 2012 while he still was vice president, and no, that photo wasn’t posted to Bernie Sanders’ website, but accompanies a New York Times piece.
It is entirely true that in October 2016, after the release of the “Access Hollywood” video and audio, I pronounced the current “president” to be toast.
This time, though, I believe it’s different.
And that’s because while the Repugnicans (most of them “Christians,” you know) are as hypocritical as they are treasonous, the Democrats long have held their own to much higher standards. (Just ask former U.S. Sen. Al Franken.)
Joe Biden’s repeated violations of women’s body space indeed is, in a word, creepy, and his “defense” of “Oh, gee, I’m so sorry that you felt that way” doesn’t fucking cut it.
He should have known all along that as a high-level politician, the power differential between himself and his female victims is so great that many if not most of his victims are going to be too afraid to say a word at the time he’s pawing them (and even for perhaps a long time thereafter [indeed, some of those women whom Biden has mauled might never make their experiences public]).
And should a handsy politician be (literally as well as figuratively?) grandfathered? I like Slate.com’s Christina Cauterucci’s recent observation:
… In a lukewarm statement of support for Biden on Tuesday [yesterday], House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “He has to understand in the world that we’re in now that people’s space is important to them, and what’s important is how they receive it and not necessarily how you intended it.”
Here, she gives Biden the out that so many men spotlighted by the #MeToo movement have taken: Low-level harassment and gendered invasions of personal space were fine a few decades ago, so we can’t expect older men to respect women’s bodies to the extent required by current expectations.
In this narrative, men of a certain age are like rickety gas-guzzling cars that don’t meet today’s fuel-efficiency standards. Sure, they wouldn’t be acceptable as newly manufactured models. But they can’t change now, so reasonable people should grandfather them in. …
I don’t believe that Joe Biden has been or could be rehabilitated. I think that he probably understands that in today’s political climate his bullshit isn’t considered to be cute and that it doesn’t fly, but do I believe that he personally is truly remorseful for having abused his power for years? No, I don’t.
Full disclosure: I am a “Bernie bro” (I prefer the term “Berner”) and I don’t like Joe Biden or his centrist, bait-and-switch politics in which he pretends that he’s for the common person but once in office does the corporations’ bidding.
(If Biden wants to wear the mantle of Barack Obama, then let’s look at Obamacare, for example, which promised better health care for the masses but which pleased the for-profit “health-care” insurance industry because it required you to buy their product. Woo hoo! Progress!)
My problem with Biden’s history of handsiness, besides the Ewwwww! factor (I mean, that photo above is nauseating), is that it apparently gets to the core of his character, which apparently is all about the abuse of power, and I can’t support those who abuse power.
I don’t want Joe Biden in the Oval Office. He’s not different enough from its current occupant.
But I surmise that it isn’t the sexual harassment or sexual harassment lite (or whatever you might like to call it) in and of itself that will tank Biden’s presidential prospects this time (three strikes and he’ll finally be out!).
What I think is going to do Biden in this go-around is the label of the creepy old uncle. Methinks that it’s going to stick, much like “Pocahontas” stuck to Elizabeth Warren, and look how well she is doing (hint: not well).
Good luck launching a successful presidential campaign while all that the nation wants to talk about is how you have a history of not keeping your hands to yourself.
I think that it’s safe to say: Buh-bye, Joe.