Pendhamma Sindhusen is an independent political columnist and analyst.
“A hypocrite is a person who - but who isn't?” That’s an ingenious aphorism famous author Don Marquis left for us. Hypocrisy is, of course, a human nature that has been displayed at times by every human being.
In recent days, or more broadly since the advent of the Trump era, though, it has been displayed so profusely and ubiquitously among the left, the media and their allies. From the abrupt reorientation of their views on illegal immigration to Hollywood celebrities’ preaching about climate change while continuing embarking on private jets and the late 2020 campaign of Bernie Sanders’s handling of its staff wages in dissonance with Sanders’s socialist rhetoric, there have been abundant cases that testify to that. But a new case has emerged to do exactly the same, perhaps in an even more brutal and discernible fashion: their treatment of the sexual assault accusations.
Back in 2018, sexual assault accusations against President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh were readily welcomed and celebrated by leftists and #MeToo enthusiasts who wished to derail the nomination process and keep the seat for which Kavanaugh was selected vacant until a Democrat is elected to fill it. They were given credibility in a blink of an eye notwithstanding how easily refutable many of them appeared or how preposterous they sounded. They were heavily incorporated into the daily news cycle by the cooperative media. Amid all of this, the “#BelieveAllWomen” trope was popularized.
As the name suggests, the left and the #MeToo movement thought all Kavanaugh accusers deserved to be believed and Kavanaugh thereby was a pathological sex abuser. This thought was widely reiterated by many in the media and liberal celebrities like Alyssa Milano. Stigma formed around him and a flurry of calls were made for his nomination to be dropped in an instant.
Protests erupted on the steps of Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court building and multitudes took to social media to express their rage at the Supreme court nominee. Hashtags “#MeToo” and “#BelieveAllWomen” were abuzz on Twitter and other platforms while news media continued to cover the issue intensively. The accusers were hailed as heroes who merited laurels for their fortitude in bringing forward their stories of victimhood. Christine Blasey Ford, the chief accuser, even had her picture on the cover of Time Magazine and became one of its leading choices for the person of the year title.
The topic of Kavanaugh accusations had sparked fire, or more aptly conflagration, and galvanized the left and the so-called feminists who deemed Trump’s selection guilty even before any investigative conduct was completed and the accusers as rightful victims of Kavanaugh’s mischief. Clearly enough, they disregarded the accused’s due process rights and formulated a new substitutionary principle of “guilty until proven innocent”.
Without doubt, after rounds of redundant investigations by the FBI and public hearings, Kavanaugh was found innocent. The spurious allegations against him were dismissed. The left’s partisan, politically motivated smear campaign against the SCOTUS nominee had fortunately and condignly failed. The tragic, somber chapter in American history was now over.
Fast forward to March of this year, Tara Reade came forward to present her claim that the presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden had sexually assaulted her in 1993, a move that according to leftists’ own logic and precedent should desiderate on its heels an outpouring of fury against Biden and commendation, as well as compassion, for Reade. However, such outpouring didn’t come to pass in reality.
The left and #MeToo “feminists” suddenly contradicted themselves by arriving at Biden’s defense and repudiating Reade’s claim. Many were, and many still are, even lackadaisical to provide their insights on it. Media coverage on the issue has been comparatively scarce. There are no vehement protests (although the Coronavirus and social distancing discourages them already) or tempestuous social media reactions from them, and instead of being reserved a privilege to be on Time’s cover, Reade is faced with a continuum of castigation.
Obviously, the scale of attention, ardor and anger over purported molestation present some one and a half years earlier has yet to be reached. Far from it. (As a matter of fact, even more anger seems to be concentrated on Reade for bringing up the claim.) Even though a minor group of Democrats have called for Biden to suspend his bid for the presidency, the vast majority of people on the left appear to be dismissive about Reade’s allegation and are still on board with the Biden campaign. Senator Mazie Hirono, a highly outspoken figure during the Kavanaugh nomination imbroglio, as well as Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, President Obama and AOC even endorsed Biden after he was accused while Alyssa Milano who was also highly outspoken in 2018 affirmed her support for the former vice president and actively engages in defending him.
Tara Reade is getting unduly ignored, and in many cases vilified, by the very people proclaiming to detest and fight against “women’s victimhood” and the “social patriarchy” that oppresses women despite having corroboration for her story, the very thing Blasey Ford fall short of. At least 6 people could recall Reade, who by the way is Biden’s eighth accuser, recounting to them the incident of her assault when she was working for Biden’s senate office. There’s even a record of her mother’s call into Larry King Live discussing the difficulty her daughter had endured from “a prominent senator”. There are also court documents from 1996 that substantiate her accusation, besides the fact that she claims to have filed a Senate complaint regarding the assault. In addition, she can give a coherent account of what she avers happened to her, something Blasey Ford failed to do with her story (her own “witnesses” also failed to give any information that could undergird its premises, some even gave information that undermined those premises).
Compared to the Reade-Biden case, the Ford-Kavanaugh case was merely flimsy. But it somehow excels the former at enraging the left and the #MeToo movement against the accused by far. So why are the treatments of these 2 cases so irrationally at disparity? Shouldn’t the former, given its superior plausibility, be given more credibility and attention? The answer lies only in the following sentence. Biden is a Democrat, while Kavanaugh was Trump’s appointment who would potentially stem the leftist political agenda.
As it turns out, the #MeToo dogma that every woman who comes forth with a sexual assault allegation is presumed to be veracious in their revelations and the alleged presumed to be damned while anyone who dares to disagree with this and repudiate a sexual assault allegation is doomed to being slandered as a sexist or misogynist and if he is the alleged himself, a liar, has a discriminatory application. Whenever a conservative or any political rival of the left is confronted with such an allegation, regardless of its actual level of credibility, the dogma fits perfectly fine. On the contrary, if the allegation goes against someone on the left, it should be jettisoned at once and due process and equity for the alleged are magically of paramount priority.
This is not only a subjective description of mine. No leftist, #MeToo feminist or media person has come up with a sound vindication of the double standards we’re seeing. The only answers they’ve given are either capricious assertions that Reade is being untruthful or whataboutistic references to something utterly irrelevant like the past allegations against President Trump. Apparently, the dogma was contrived over overzealousness and opportunism in an attempt to character-assassinate Brett Kavanaugh. But then when it retributively puts them in hot water less than 2 years afterwards, they traverse it with alacrity in hopes of an outcome convenient for their sectarian interests, a showcase of hypocrisy at its finest.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that Reade should be instantly believed and hailed as a heroine the same way Blasey Ford was. The #BelieveAllWomen dogma is sheer lunacy that clearly violates individual rights of the accused and contemns the sacrosanct presumption of innocence. It should by no means be deployed in any case of sexual assault accusation. For the left and the #MeToo crowd to use it in 2018 was truly disgraceful. But what’s even more disgraceful is their hypocritical choice to forgo it in their defense of Joe Biden. Yes, hypocrisy lives among the many human traits that we share. But one on this issue, seriously intertwined with ethics, poses a substantial threat to truth and justice. Such hypocrisy is barely forgivable.