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I don’t know. But here are some thoughts.

Joe Biden a Rapist

Although those who have made it their business to hype this accusation, are trying to show a pattern, to my knowledge this is the only allegation of sexual assault made against him. There is a pattern of him touching women in ways that made them uncomfortable.

In contrast, Donald Trump is a known, repeated sexual predator.

Republicans don’t seem to care about that (as regards Trump, anyway). Democrats do, but they are of course conflicted as their presumptive nominee comes under attack.

Biden cannot get away with a Trump-style stonewall, because Democrats are not Republicans.

Trump is impeded from directly attacking Biden on this because it would reopen him to questions about his own past, questions he has previously stonewalled. But this doesn’t stop his surrogates, or the minority of die-hard Bernie folks who will do anything to stop Biden.

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Tara Reade’s allegation should be investigated. Biden cannot get away with a Trump-style stonewall, because Democrats are not Republicans. His Democratic supporters have a right to expect openness. He has urged the National Archives to search for the alleged complaint: that must obviously be done. He has to date refused to open his personal papers held by the University of Delaware, on grounds that there are no personnel files there. This is not a tenable position. He needs, minimally, to have the U of D archivists search his files for any mention of Ms. Reade. He says he has nothing to hide, so he should stop hiding.

At the same time, we should obviously avoid assuming that he’s guilty because he’s been accused.

Any accusations of this sort, about acts allegedly committed decades ago, are inherently impossible to prove, one way or the other. One must decide whom to believe. In this case, because her stories have changed, and because there are no other similar accusations, I tend not to believe Tara Reade.

But if an archival search should turn up an actual complaint from that time, then I would reconsider. And since Biden has flatly denied that any such incident occurred, if evidence emerges that it did, I don’t think he would have any alternative but to take himself out of contention for the presidency. Because Biden is not Trump, and Democrats are not Republicans.

I don’t think it will come to this, because I don’t expect the archives to yield anything.

impeachment unavoidable

John Peeler

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