Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Wed. May 20, 2020

Iowa Politics with Jeff Stein — Wed. May 20, 2020

Asking for a Vote…Against

During a virtual forum last week, presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden again denied the sexual assault allegations brought against him by a former staffer, and in response to those who have said women who make such claims should be believed, he said “I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade”.

It’s a fair statement to make, not unlike similar statements he made along the campaign trail in Iowa, asking voters to “look me over” and if you didn’t like what you saw, “vote for the other guy” or presumably, woman.

But some of his supporters believe her, but are still going to vote for him. They’ve said so in public statements. Just four days before Biden made his statement, author Linda Hirshman wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times, bluntly saying, “I believe Tara Reade. I’m voting for Joe Biden anyway.” By the way, Ms. Hirshman’s latest book is called “Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment”. 

There have been others who said similar things publicly. Now the Times says using the “believe all women” mantra is, in their words, a right-wing trap.

Remember four years ago, many evangelical leaders who supported Donald Trump were called out because of Trump’s womanizing and related matters. One replied by noting he was voting for a president, not an alter boy, and Trump was the better choice compared with Hillary Clinton.

So I’m not going to join those who yell “hypocrite” when people say they’re picking Joe Biden despite whatever baggage he may have. They’ve made their choice, just as folks do every election. If you can sleep at night after making that choice, then it was probably a good one. But the irony or hypocrite game can be played by both sides. Something to consider when evaluating those folks going forward.