National View: Where's #MeToo on the Joe Biden allegations?

Christine Flowers.jpg
Christine Flowers

To say I am notoriously skeptical of the #MeToo movement is an understatement. I have railed against a movement that has always struck me as extreme, partisan, and motivated more by vindictiveness than by a search for clarity and justice. From actor and comedian Bill Cosby to former Sen. Al Franken to, most infamously, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, I have publicly questioned the motives of the self-proclaimed victims of harassment.

My position on these issues is not based in politics. I was as angered by Franken's unnecessary resignation as I was by the senatorial witch hunt against Kavanaugh. Due process is not tied to voter registration. It is a fundamental value that undergirds our system of law.

I also criticized the women who claimed former Vice President Joe Biden had manhandled them, kissing their necks, smelling their hair and getting too close for comfort. The stories seemed more like astroturfed attempts from Democratic presidential candidates to weaken Biden's position as a front runner.

Ironic, then, that I now find myself demanding an investigation into accusations that Biden assaulted a former employee, Tara Reade, when he was a senator in 1993. The irony lies not in the fact that I am now embracing the #MeToo movement (I'm not and I won't, even at this stage) but in the realization that the basis of the whole movement now seems fraudulent.

The hashtag "believe all women" arose before Christine Blasey Ford launched her PR campaign, complete with slick D.C. lawyers and a cacophony of media noise, against Kavanaugh, but ended up becoming the slogan of the hearings. We were told to simply suspend skepticism, inquiry, and a requirement that guilt, and not innocence, be proven. Those of us who questioned both the veracity and the plausibility of Blasey Ford's narrative — one contested by even her closest teenage girlfriend who presumably would have confirmed her tale of assault — were pilloried as sexist abettors of the patriarchy.


Given my past experience, you can forgive me for expecting that the minute Reade alleged that Biden had pushed her against a wall in the hallways of the Senate and forcibly penetrated her, there would have been a call for some sort of investigation similar to what Kavanaugh endured. At the very least, you'd agree that the front pages of every newspaper would be filled with quotes from prominent women's advocates seeking information and advocacy on behalf of the accuser, for these much more serious allegations than those launched against Kavanaugh. After all, this was a sitting U.S. senator, not a teenage boy, accused of actual physical penetration.

Alas, that didn't happen. The legacy media has been relatively silent, excepting a fairly exhaustive report from the New York Times, which, as it happens, went nowhere. Only when an old tape of an episode from the “Larry King Show” emerged, seemingly including a recording of Reade's late mother from 1993, has momentum picked up. In the clip, Reade's mother asks what recourse her daughter would have after having been assaulted by a senator, aside from going to the press, something she refused to do.

That is pretty compelling corroborating evidence.

Now the media is paying attention. But why did it take this voice from the dead, this maternal deus ex machina, to trigger a serious response to allegations of assault? Surely accusations against a prospective president are equally weighty as those against one member of nine on the high court. Can the reason be that the leaders of the #MeToo movement are sympathetic to the politics of the presidential candidate but found the judicial nominee's to be anathema?

If that is the case, then the #MeToo movement is about left-wing politics and not about women's rights.

And yet, this silence of the supposed proponents-of-women is nothing new; the question of whether these groups are really left-wing fronts answers itself, particularly if you look at their silence during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

Perhaps in a different climate, Biden's alleged transgressions would be subjected to a higher scrutiny, although given the Clinton debacle that's not certain. What is certain is that Biden is now viewed as a firewall between the country and a second term of President Donald Trump, so it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that the #MeToo wagons are being circled.

And for that reason, and unless there is a serious investigation of Reade's claims, I will continue to believe the #MeToo movement is a fraud, wrapped in a lie, serving one pretext: to win elections for the left.


Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times. She can be reached at

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