As our looming debt ceiling precipice draws ever closer, Joe Biden is desperate for a deal. The president has already done everything possible to make these negotiations go smoothly: cutting short his overseas trip; holding daily meetings with key players; refusing to undermine discussions in the press. Yet despite all of his efforts, Biden—and the party he leads—is still losing.
There could be many reasons for this, from the absurd flexibility his administration has given Congressional Republicans to those same Republicans’ chaotic intransigence to the Washington press corps treating the whole thing as a game. But these are all excuses compared to the core truth: the only way to win the debt ceiling showdown is not to play.
The debt ceiling is a mechanism slightly older than flapper skirts, initially designed to let Congress pay more than allotted for a little conflict we now know as WWI. In more than a century since, it has gone up mostly without issue or conflict because denying payment for money you’ve already spent is frowned upon by both credit card companies and taxpayers. “Clean” debt ceiling raises, which lift the borrowing limit without threats or coercion, are a normal, even expected, part of government. The temper tantrum that the GOP is throwing — refusing to lift the debt ceiling unless they receive unpopular, ineffective, and draconian restructuring of government spending — has only happened once before. You will be unsurprised to hear that this one other radical departure from good governance occurred under Biden’s old boss, Obama.
The result was a pretty awful austerity plan that increased income inequality and damaged the economy for years. Which explains why many Democrats have argued that Biden shouldn’t take the bait of “negotiating” with legislative terrorists. An even broader and louder swath of left-leaning commentators even suggested doing away with the debt ceiling altogether when Democrats still held a trifecta in Washington.
Of course, Democrats are allergic to good ideas, so here we are: a nation with a nonsensical debt ceiling, held hostage by a bunch of sadistic clowns, whose bargaining position of absolute fiscal calamity is being treated with the utmost seriousness by a man who sees bipartisanship as an accomplishment unto itself.
It’s going about as well as you’d expect.
Republican demands either require the death of the federal government as a functional administrative state, or the implosion of the global economy with the United States serving as its irradiated core. Democrats in both chambers are (reasonably) balking at the terms, asking with increasing intensity that Biden avoid the whole situation. And the President is going down to the wire while trying to split the difference.
Besides premium bonds and trillion-dollar coins, a frequently suggested resolution is the use of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees not only birthright citizenship and equal protection but also the validity of U.S. sovereign debt. Biden and his representatives have been publicly leery of this option because it requires the judiciary to believe in laws instead of its own power, and we know how that’s gone recently.
Nonetheless, using a particular addition to the Constitution might be the path of least resistance. The amendment itself doesn’t have to be invoked; Biden can just say that he is continuing to pay our national obligations as he is Constitutionally required to do. If anyone asks how he’s able to ignore Congress and the debt ceiling, he can just say that he’s carrying out his Article 2, Section 3 responsibilities, and that the 14th Amendment predates and overrides the debt ceiling.
The next question would be who has standing to challenge this interpretation in court, and then whether the court in question even wants to accept the responsibility for default.
It’s a high-risk, high-reward strategy, with the risk being that courts reject the argument and the reward being the end of the debt ceiling and the destruction of political enemies. The former requires Republicans to actively sue for default and a Republican judiciary to actively rule for default, which is likely to make them as popular as hemorrhoids among every faction of the country — including the all-important donor class. The latter removes the hostage of the U.S. and its place in the global economy from the clutches of any future hostage takers and may even prompt some small reflection on how we got to a major party rooting for economic cataclysm.
No matter what, there won’t be a neat ending to these debt ceiling talks. Congressional Republicans have perverse incentives to drive us over the brink, and Democrats missed their opportunity to neutralize the threat. But Biden’s drive to bridge this gap seems to be making it worse. It might turn out that the best option to fix everything is to do nothing.
I have been mad at Joe Biden for forever.
I’m the kind of person who remembers that he called Obama “articulate and clean” for a Black candidate, that he let Clarence Thomas escape during confirmation hearings, and that Biden bragged as recently as 2019 that white supremacists really liked him as a Senate colleague. In short: I am not now and have never been impressed.
But as the President launches his reelection campaign, I am here to tell you that we have to let him win.
We shouldn’t try to get fellow Democrats to rally for separate candidacies, or throw their weight behind token opposition. We shouldn’t call for debates or feel shortchanged by the political goliath that is incumbency. I don’t say that because I care about Joe Biden. It’s because I care about the Democratic Party.
Many of us youngins came to politics of our own volition. We were pulled into self-governance by the lure of a candidate or campaign that really spoke to us. We live and die on that candidate; we learn the nuances of campaigns from their survival or collapse; we figure out our own political priorities through following or volunteering or connecting with their candidacy. But we don’t learn any history.
So as someone raised in politics, let me throw some out at you. Because my support for Joe Biden’s campaign has nothing to do with Joe himself and everything to do with Ronald Reagan.
To start at the beginning: It is 1974 and Gerald Ford has just taken over as POTUS because Richard Nixon resigned. Ronald Reagan is the popular conservative governor of California (yeah), who has been encouraged to run for president before. He passed because, well, Nixon was an obvious winner. But in 1976, he takes his shot against incumbent Gerry Ford.
It’s a brutal primary. Even though Ford prevails, he’s badly damaged heading into November, especially with the unpopular Nixon pardon hanging around his neck. He loses to Jimmy Carter.
Four years later — after stagflation, an oil embargo, and a hostage crisis — Carter is the incumbent under fire. Ted Kennedy (yup) takes a shot at unseating him. There are a lot of problems with Ted Kennedy’s run (not least that he couldn’t answer why he was running), but the biggest might be how he hurt Carter in his ultimate race against the easily triumphant Ronald Reagan.
While the final results in 1980 look like an obvious blowout, it’s not entirely that simple. Reagan won just over half of the popular vote (50.7 percent), while Carter’s support fell out at 41 percent. It turns out that getting attacked from both sides is a super terrible way to rally voters. And while Reagan’s win might have been inevitable – what with the illegal coordination with foreign nationals to influence domestic politics (ahem) – Carter’s loss is still a textbook example of why you don’t attack incumbents.
So no, I don’t like Joe Biden and probably never will. I didn’t vote for him last primary season and definitely prefer the idea of an alternative. But I’m behind his reelection campaign 100%, no holds barred. Because I have learned from American political history, and I have no interest in repeating it.
Joe Biden had a message for the nation, and it was: The aviators are back, baby! For those of us who remember Uncle Joe’s VP days, his State of the Union address was a vintage performance. He was folksy; he was charming; he was assertive, and with the Republican congressional delegation acting like 7 year olds on sugar. He was the adult in the room.
The heckling from the GOP was the highlight of the night, from the loud and deeply meme-able Marjorie Taylor Greene in her Cruella phase to multiple people calling Biden a murderer as he described the impact of fentanyl deaths. You’d think that after the public humiliation of that interminable Speaker vote and their comical debt ceiling threats, congressional Republicans would at least try to fake sober statecraft to improve their standing. Instead, they were so raucous and wild that Ole Joe Biden was running rings around them on national television.
At one point, as Republicans shouted at him for calling out their plans to cut Social Security and Medicare in order to successfully shrink the national budget, Biden goaded them into an internationally-broadcast agreement via standing ovation not to touch the programs in any budget deal. T’was some masterful shit. And it was perfectly timed for Biden, because exposing the GOP for what they are helped distract from what he’s not.
Despite the theatrics of his opponents, Uncle Joe provided little more than tweaks to the status quo. Long minutes were spent (rightly) excoriating major companies and wealthy individuals for hoarding cash and profits at a high cost to society, but vanishingly few specifics were offered on how this will change. Biden generated thunderous Democratic applause for capping the cost of insulin for everyone (not just seniors) and expanding Medicaid, but said little to nothing about expiring COVID support from the federal government or the calamitous impact the virus has had on our so-called healthcare system. And even as the Dobbs decision provided the animating force to neutralize the factors of an anticipated “red wave,” abortion was a blink-and-you-miss-it moment in Biden’s national address.
So in a way, this successful State of the Union was a display of Biden at his best and his worst. He gave as good as he got to an out-of-pocket GOP, but was giving nothing, honey, to the base. But whether you’re cheering him for reveling in Republican rowdiness or disappointed in his reticent refusal of radicalism, one thing was made very clear last night: Joe Biden is here to stay.
The matriarchs of my family have always treated voting as a sacred ritual. Not a single election went by during my childhood that my mother did not bring me to the polls to watch her vote. Whether that meant waking up before the sun to drive to our nearest polling place so she could cast her vote before she dropped me off for school, or being among the last voters in line, exhausted after a long day’s work, quelling an inconsolable tween whose primary concern was whether we’d be going to Burger King after, my mother always upheld her civic duty to vote. And she always made sure that I, her only daughter, was present to watch.
See, to my mom, a child of the civil rights movement, born in the 1950s, voting was a privilege. It was the be-all and end-all. It was a right that had been legally and systematically withheld from Black people—Black women—for so long, she felt it would be nothing short of a slap in the face to her ancestors to voluntarily deny that privilege. My grandmother, born in the 1920s, felt the same. After all, her great-grandparents had been slaves, hardly able to visualize the prospect of freedom, let alone the ability to exercise the right to vote—a power that was historically reserved for white male property owners. It simply was not an option for my mother or grandmother to choose to forfeit their voting rights given the historical gravity and laborious terms surrounding the acquisition of universal suffrage.
Our family’s voting ritual culminated in 2008, when my grandmother, mother, and I went to the small church two blocks away from my grandmother’s house, which doubled as a polling station, to cast their votes for Barack Obama. The act was monumental at the baseline because two Black women were exercising their rights to vote, a radical act that the founders of the Constitution never intended. But that day was made infinitely more significant because two Black women were voting for a Black man, who would, of course, become the 44th President of the United States. (The day was significant for me because I got to go to Burger King after.)
The generations that preceded me rightly held voting to such a high standard because they directly had ties to a world where Black enfranchisement wasn’t the norm. My generation, on the other hand, is significantly more disillusioned. While we are keenly aware of our history and the struggle endured to acquire the universal right to vote, we also are able to see the cracks beneath the surface. The radical injustices associated with a system that proclaims itself as just. If my mother and grandmother’s generations saw the right to vote as the be-all and end-all, the almighty Oz, my generation’s unique gaze beholds Oz as just a man—and he’s white, self-interested, and a master puppeteer.
It’s no secret that the relationship between voting and Black America is a long, complicated one. From its inception and for almost the first 100 years of American history, Black people were denied the right to vote—simply because they were not white, not property owners, and not regarded legally as a full person. The 15th Amendment, ratified in 1870, technically granted Black (men) the right to vote, however many southern states utilized a plethora of tactics to prevent them from actually being able to do so. Literacy tests, poll taxes, gerrymandering, and grandfather clauses were among the many strategies employed to promote Black disenfranchisement. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 sought to rectify these unjust practices, as it was the first piece of legislation to formally prohibit racial discrimination in voting. But still, racist officials and lawmakers found loopholes within the system to prevent Black people from exercising their voting rights. The creation of voter ID laws, the illegitimate closing of polling places, and the reduction of early voting rights are all ways in which voter suppression still, to this day, plagues the Black community. So while the triumphs of acquiring Black enfranchisement were at the top of mind for my mother and grandmother’s generations, the somber realities of discriminatory disenfranchisement practices are jarring truths that mar my generation’s outlook on the subject of the vote.
I want to be very clear: I am a Black woman and I will be voting in November. And, at the risk of sounding like an episode of Schoolhouse Rock, you absolutely should too. Maybe it’s naïveté, or maybe my mother and grandmother’s voting had tremendous lasting power, but I am of the unwavering opinion that if you can vote, you must. And if you are Black, I mean this tenfold. No, not because our ancestors fought for this right (I do not believe in guilting people to vote), but because far too much is at stake to deny ourselves this right. In the words of Aubrey Stone, President of the Black Chamber of Commerce, “We cannot expect to win with every vote, but if we don’t vote, we can certainly expect to lose.”
I’ll admit, it is exhausting to vote in a political system where your community is not only underserved, but systemically under attack. Almost 50 years after the Civil Rights Act, the racial wealth gap suggests Black men still earn 87 cents for every dollar earned by white men. Almost 66 years after Brown v. Board of Education, racial inequality in our education system still persists as Black students graduate at drastically lower rates than white students, and are more likely to be expelled, less likely to be invited into gifted student programs, and more likely to be overlooked by teachers. According to the Bureau of Justice, 1 in every 4 Black men is likely to go to prison, whereas 1 in every 23 white men is projected to serve time in prison. Black women who give birth in hospitals that primarily serve Black communities are far more likely to have serious health complications than women who give birth in “white-serving” communities. And as we all were reminded this year after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, even though Black people account for less than 13% of the American population, they are still twice as likely to be shot and killed by the police. The system is downright abhorrent for Black Americans. But the answer isn’t for us to not vote. The answer isn’t to self-serve defeat because defeat is expected. I can’t recall any victorious historical movement that was achieved through the passive act of surrender.
The truth is, while suffrage isn’t the all-powerful Oz that my mother and grandmother once proclaimed it to be, voting is a tool that has considerable power and influence in drastically improving our daily living standards. In the upcoming November election, specifically, we’re voting in the hopes of increasing the federal minimum wage, ending the cash bail system, restoring the Voting Rights Act (which was compromised by the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder in 2013), and increasing federal funding for public schools. For minorities, in particular, we’re voting to reinstate DACA, advance the enactment of the LGBTQIA Equality Act, rescind the Muslim-targeted travel ban, and decriminalize marijuana. Access to affordable healthcare, tuition free college, and investment in climate change programs are also all among the many political initiatives that will ultimately be decided by your vote.
And yes, I do specifically mean your vote. I’m cringing at the children’s television-level soapbox I’ve unintentionally found myself standing on, but your vote sincerely does matter. Every vote does. Overwhelming data shows just how many elections have been decided by a mere handful of voters. In 1991, a House seat in Virginia was determined by one single vote. In 2002, a GOP House primary in the state of Washington was decided by just one vote. George W. Bush infamously won the deciding state of Florida in the 2000 presidential election by roughly 500 votes. And, of course, in 2016, Donald Trump secured the presidency by winning just enough votes to secure the Electoral College. Roughly 43% of eligible voters did not turnout to the polls in 2016. And for that, we are paying dearly.
The presidential election next month is one of momentous importance because we are quite literally voting for our lives. And again, if you are Black, I mean this tenfold. A considerable amount of voter apathy comes from the erroneous and, quite frankly, dangerous idea that a Biden Presidency would be just as bad as a Trump Presidency. And while it is absolutely correct that Biden’s political record is not squeaky clean when it comes to his previous political platforms that affected the Black community (i.e. The 1994 Crime Bill and his former anti-busing stance), it is paramount to affirm that re-electing Trump for a second term (either actively by voting for him or passively by choosing not to vote) would be far more damning to Black America than electing Biden. Neither candidate provides the prospect for a perfect presidency, but one candidate refuses to denounce white supremacy, which freely and directly puts Black America under siege. If the leader of the free world cannot merely condemn the malignant threat and oldest form of racism that has plagued our nation, the floodgates of unbridled bigotry will be jolted open and a second-term presidency would terrorize our worlds in unfathomable ways. As Sonya Renee Taylor so poignantly directs, “vote like you are picking the enemy you want to fight.” Be clear that we would all be better off fighting the enemy whose political record is considerably tainted, than the enemy who wholly rejects the validity of our existence.
No, voting is not the ultimate answer to all of the injustices that plague the Black community. Only a complete and total societal reckoning can even begin to tackle that monumental feat. But voting is an essential step that can be utilized to affect necessary and transformative change. Your vote has tremendous power; you simply must use it forcefully and strategically. But we mustn’t stop our work after we’ve cast our votes at the polls. My mother and grandmother were correct that voting is paramount, but they were wrong about it being the be-all and end-all. We must vote in November, and continue our civic engagement in other proactive ways. We must vote in November, and continue to protest—since the protests that ensued after George Floyd’s death, Minneapolis, D.C., Chicago, and Denver have banned the use of chokeholds and many city governments have removed public sightings of Confederate monuments. We must vote in November, and hold our representatives accountable—in 2006 an immigration reform bill that would increase fines and prison sentences for undocumented immigrants was not enacted because of a successful citizen uprising in the Latinx community. We must vote in November, and continue to act. Voting is merely a single action item, on the thousand-page to-do list of “how to fix America.” But it’s a critical step, nonetheless.
Image: Element5 Digital / Unsplash
My Jewish identity has been a huge part of my life since I was born. I was lucky enough to grow up somewhere with a large Jewish community. I went to a Jewish summer camp, participated in youth groups, and now go to a college with a relatively large Jewish population. So, while I grew up aware of antisemitism, I’m privileged in that my own experiences of it have been pretty limited.
Unfortunately, this is not super common for American Jews. As the Anti-Defamation Leauge (ADL) reported, antisemitic attacks are only becoming more frequent across the United States. In 2019, a recorded 2,107 anti-semitic incidents took place across the country. This was a 12 percent rise from the year before and the highest number since the ADL began recording.
Antisemitism is widespread across both major parties in the United States. Sometimes, it seems like attacks on Jewish people are coming from all sides. While we would expect a normal president to denounce all types of hate, including antisemitism, this isn’t the case with Trump. Instead, he covers up his antisemitic policies and behaviors with pro-Israel policy.
For his entire presidency, Donald Trump has leaned on being “good for American Jews” because he is “good for Israel.” This week alone, during an annual pre-Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) call with Jewish leaders, Trump said, “We really appreciate you… we love your country also.”
I'm American. https://t.co/bWUCJBDSKR
— Sam Vinograd (@sam_vinograd) September 16, 2020
This isn’t the first time he has said something like this. Over the last several years, Trump has repeatedly implied that Jewish Americans should be grateful for his actions in the Middle East and his strengthened ties with the current Israeli Prime Minister. And, peace is a great thing, no matter who the President is, part of their job is helping further peace plans whenever possible. My problem isn’t with that, and honestly, I’m not even here to write about conflicts in the Middle East.
My problem is that when Trump views Jewish Americans’ electoral support as tied to Israel, he is perpetuating the idea of ‘dual loyalty.’ The concept of dual loyalty is an antisemitic dog whistle that implies that Jewish people are inherently disloyal and place the global Jewish community over the countries in which they live. In the United States, it is used to imply that American Jews can’t be 100% loyal to America because some of their loyalty is owed to Israel or the international Jewish community.
Trump’s attempts to win Jewish people’s electoral support are all based on the extremely reductive assumption that American Jews’ top policy concern is Israel. While it may be the case for some members of the Jewish community, it certainly isn’t true for everyone. By only attempting to appeal to Jewish voters through Middle Eastern policy, the Trump administration actively ignores dangerous forms of antisemitism in America.
White supremacy and antisemitism are inextricable from each other. We all remember what Donald Trump said after the Unite The Right rally in 2017: “you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.” Many of the “very fine people” that Trump was talking about were carrying Nazi flags and shouting, “Jews will not replace us.”
Throughout his presidency, Trump has clung to white supremacists’ support, endorsed their actions, and continuously given them platforms. The most recent example of this is Trump’s embracing of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which has blatantly anti-semitic roots. The theory pushes the narrative that the Rothschild family holds control of every bank in America and alleges that a secret ‘elite’ class dominates other important industries such as the media.
A few weeks ago, when asked about the conspiracy group, Trump said, “I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate.” This is just another case of Trump not only dismissing dangerous antisemitism, but giving it a platform.
American Jews are not a monolithic group, and we care about a lot of things. Like I said, the top priority for some Jewish people may be the state of Israel, and that’s ok. However, it is neither mine nor many of the Jewish voters I talk to. In fact, around 75% of Jewish voters supported Hillary Clinton in the last election, and Jewish voters consistently make up a large Democratic party base.
This baffles Trump, who, despite his claims of being a great ally to the Jewish community, said that he thinks that if “any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”
If the President actually cared about Jewish voters, he would stop perpetuating the incredibly dangerous narrative of dual loyalty and denounce white supremacy. But, I’m not really holding my breath.
On Tuesday, August 11, Sen. Kamala Harris became the first Black woman to be nominated as a running mate on a major party ticket and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated as a running mate on a major party ticket.
It’s a fitting accomplishment for a woman who has been a trailblazer in almost every aspect of her career.
A child of immigrants from India and Jamaica, Harris was the first Black female Attorney General for the state of California and is currently the second Black woman and first South-Asian American to hold a seat in the United States Senate. She would also be the first woman Vice President.
Born and raised in California, she started kindergarten during the second year of Berkeley’s desegregation bussing programs. Harris went to Howard University for her undergraduate degree before attending University of California, Hastings College of The Law. After graduating law school, Harris devoted her law career to public service.
Harris’ younger sister, Maya Harris, is an established lawyer and public policy advocate who served as a senior policy advisor for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Her niece, Meena, is a Harvard-educated lawyer who founded Phenomenal and Phenomenal Media, a platform elevating and celebrating women of color. All of this is just to say: the level of Harris women brainpower about to descend on the Eisenhower building in D.C. is truly more than we deserve.
Kamala Harris has a strong background in criminal justice issues. As San Francisco’s District Attorney, she was a vocal opponent of the death penalty and started a program called “Back on Track.” This initiative, launched in 2005, allowed first-time drug offenders to opt to get a high school diploma and job instead of prison time.
After serving as DA, Harris was elected in 2011 to be California’s Attorney General. In this position, she expanded her “Back on Track” program, mandated training to address racial bias, and, under her, the California Department of Justice became the first statewide agency to require body cameras. Additionally, she launched a program called OpenJustice, a data bank that highlights criminal justice initiatives and gave the public the ability to track police killings.
In the Senate, Kamala Harris serves on the Judiciary Committee, where she has famously roasted all manner of mediocre white men, from Attorney General Bill Barr to Justice Brett Kavanaugh. She’s a member of. the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues. She sponsored the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act, which passed the Senate but remains in the House.
In the wake of ongoing anti-racist protests around the country, Harris’ history of criminal justice policy is especially important to the ticket. Though Harris’ prosecutorial record raises alarms for those who want to reform the criminal justice system she helped oversee, Biden choosing Harris as a running mate hopefully is a sign of his understanding of the importance of Black and female voices in his administration. She also has a strong prosecutorial background which was made evident in several confirmation hearings during her term – including Brett Kavanaugh’s.
I, for one, literally cannot wait to cast my vote for Biden and Harris. In the meantime, I’ll be tuning in to watch her take on Pence in the Vice Presidential Debate on October 7.
Trigger Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual assault.
We previously penned an article with the headline We Need to Talk About These Assault Allegations Against Joe Biden. One month later, here we finally are. Yay?
In recent weeks, woman named Tara Reade, who worked for Joe Biden when he was a senator in 1993, has come forward accusing the presumptive Democratic nominee of sexual assault, expanding on a previous claim that Biden had touched her inappropriately to allege he also pushed her against a wall and sexually assaulted her.
After remaining silent about the allegations for many weeks, Joe Biden this morning made a statement denying them.
In a written statement, Biden says that this incident “never happened.” The former Vice President and presumptive Democratic nominee also attempts to advocate for survivors of sexual assault, saying, “While the details of these allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault are complicated, two things are not complicated. One is that women deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and when they step forward they should be heard, not silenced. The second is that their stories should be subject to appropriate inquiry and scrutiny.”
Biden echoed the sentiments of the written statement in an interview on MSNBC, where he reiterated, “I’m saying unequivocally it never, never happened.” He also urged the National Archives to search through his Senate records to identify any complaint of misconduct, which Reade says she filed with the Senate in 1993.
Other Biden staffers at the time say they do not recall a complaint or ever discussing an issue like this with Reade. Reade’s motivations have been questioned because of past praise of Vladimir Putin.
So, Biden has graduated from ignoring the allegations to denying them. A bit derivative, but I’m glad he is addressing them now, as they are bound to come up in November. We all know Trump will bring this sh*t up, and Biden needs to be prepared for that. *Thinks about the inevitable moment when these two men go back and forth about their sexual assault allegations on the debate stage and voluntarily dissociates until 2021*
To recap, Tara Reade came forward with allegations of inappropriate touching from Biden back in 2019 when several women did the same. She spoke of incidents when Biden touched her neck and shoulders and made her uncomfortable. Reade has since elaborated on her story, and says Biden shoved her against a wall and penetrated her with his fingers without her consent.
Unfortunately, her story wasn’t met with much of the “believe women” and “all women should be heard” sentiment that the world claimed to adopt in the post #MeToo era. Not many major news outlets covered the story, people accused Reade of being politically motivated, and Biden himself remained silent while women like Nancy Pelosi and Stacey Abrams had to speak on the issue for him.
Not our best work as the party who claims to be champions of survivors, I’ll say that.
Perhaps the reason we finally saw some acknowledgment of these allegations this week are because of a) pressure from women’s rights groups pleading with the former vice president to make a statement before they had to publicly ask him to, and b), evolving reporting that suggests there is more evidence that can be investigated.
Originally, Reade’s brother and a friend who asked to remain anonymous were able to confirm that she told them about the assault after it happened. This week, two more people came forward to say Reade discussed the incident with them.
A former neighbor of Reade’s, Lynda LaCasse, told Business Insider, “This happened, and I know it did because I remember talking about it.”
Another source, Lorraine Sanchez, a former coworker of Reade’s, says she recalls Reade complaining at the time that her former boss in Washington, DC, had sexually harassed her.
Reade had also previously said that she had talked to her mother, who has since passed, about the assault. A newly surfaced video from 1993 shows a woman calling into “Larry King Live” to seek advice for her daughter who was having “problems” working for a prominent senator.
“My daughter has just left there after working for a prominent senator, and could not get through with her problems at all,” the woman says. “And the only thing she could have done was go to the press, and she chose not to do it out of respect for him.”
Reade told CNN that she is confident the voice in this video is her mother’s.
In his official statement, Biden called on the National Archives to release any existing complaint related to Reade’s employment, even as he continued to oppose requests to release other documents related to his years in the Senate, which are housed at the University of Delaware and not scheduled for public release until two years after he leaves public life.
When pressed by MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski about why he wouldn’t allow a search for any documents related to Ms. Reade at the University of Delaware, Biden — seemingly annoyed by the question — claimed that there wouldn’t be anything to find there. He also suggested that releasing the papers could result in the release of private, confidential conversations with officials that his political opponents could use to undermine his 2020 chances. Who, Donald Trump?! He would never!
So, as it stands, Biden denies the allegation, there are several people able to corroborate Reade’s story, but there isn’t any evidence being released that could verify her official complaint against Biden. Hopefully, we can move forward with this information and do a thorough investigation, as women and all survivors do deserve to be heard.
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Welp, after a truly wild primary season that started with approx. 666 thousand candidates of various backgrounds in the running, we have narrowed our option down to the old, white, Christian dude. What a breath of fresh air!
No matter your opinion on the man, Joe Biden is very likely to be the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential race, and humanity will be in much better shape if he beats Donald Trump. The good news is, Biden still has the opportunity to pick an exciting running mate.
Biden has already promised that he would be picking a woman as is vice-presidential nominee, both as a concession to disappointed progressives and to balance out his relentless straight-white–cis-maleness. Picks are typically announced around late June or July in the run-up to the Democratic National Convention (postponed to August this year), but given the extraordinary times and a campaign that could use a real shot of enthusiasm, we wouldn’t be surprised if the second name on the ticket drops sooner than expected.
Here are some amazing women on the shortlist:
Harris and Biden may have butted heads during the primary debates, but that’s all in the past. Harris was quick to endorse Biden early on, sparking early theories that she may top his VP shortlist. The California senator and former attorney general has name recognition, experience, and brings diversity to the table.
Plus, while she’s seen as a somewhat progressive pick, a lot of her politics are actually pretty moderate. For Biden, she could be the best of both worlds. Biden ran on being able to secure the Black vote during the primary, and having Harris as his VP could help him solidify that same strategy in the general election. Plus, Harris had a close friendship with Biden’s late son Beau — the two worked together frequently as attorneys. general.
And let’s be real, she’d add a much needed ~cool~ factor to Biden’s, uh, pretty straight edge image.
Liz! Liz! Liz! Warren and Biden certainly disagree on some things, but this could actually work in their favor. Warren is seen as a progressive, and Biden is seen as a moderate/centrist. If Biden wants to bring in Dems who are further on the Left, picking Warren as his VP could be a smart move. Plus, she has a plan for everything, and could be a very effective VP. Also, after endorsing Biden with a video, Warren told Rachel Maddow that she would say “yes,” to the question of whether or not she would accept the role of VP from Biden.
Judging by the complete lack of hesitation in her answer, it seems like something maybe she had already thought about. Makes ya think…
Abrams gained national attention in 2018 when she ran against Brian Kemp for the seat of governor in Georgia. The election was pretty controversial, since Kemp was Secretary of State at the time, meaning he got to oversee an election he was running in, something one could call a conflict of interest. Kemp ended up winning by a small number of votes, but that’s a whole other story. Abrams caught the attention of many Americans as she came close defeating Kemp in the red state of Georgia. She’s a captivating candidate, and she is a woman of color, which would, again, help with Biden’s saltine cracker image.
Klobuchar was quick to drop out of the race and endorse Biden back when Bernie was the frontrunner, making us wonder if she is working to get that VP spot. She and Biden also make sense as a team. They’re both moderates, yet they appeal to different demographics. Klobuchar has that Midwest vibe that does well with…Midwesterners, and liberal women across the country. She’s got a real moderate feminist energy, which appeals to white moms, AKA a big part of the voting pool. She’s well-liked amongst Dems, and people seem to enjoy her performances at debates. Especially her one liners that I am convinced she learned how to formulate at a $400 week long stand up comedy class at Caroline’s on Broadway.
Who? You may not recognize Whitmer’s name right away, but she has been in the news a lot lately. As the current governor of Michigan, she is receiving some criticism for her very strict measures for combatting COVID-19. People are pissed tf off about it, but as the saying goes…all press is good press. Plus, the main people she is pissing off are Republicans, so it could potentially gaining her some brownie points with Dems. She is def establishing herself as a woman in power who stands her ground, and there’s something to be said for that.
WILDCARD: Michelle Obama
Truly the only thing that could save 2020. And it’s not just pundits and stans fantasizing over a Michelle Obama vice presidency — the Bidens can’t resist the idea either.
“I’d love it if Michelle [Obama] would agree to it. I think she's had it with politics. She's so good at everything she does. That would be wonderful,” @DrBiden says when asked if the former first lady would consider being Joe Biden’s running mate. https://t.co/tAOTzVqh4T pic.twitter.com/DShgiFmj9D
— New Day (@NewDay) April 24, 2020
Jill Biden, wife of the presumptive Democratic nominee, said she would “love to see” former First Lady Michelle Obama join her husband’s ticket if she would agree to it. The former Vice President himself said he’d appoint Obama “in a heartbeat” but that he doesn’t “think she has any desire to live near the White House again.”
Well if Joe Biden doesn’t pick a woman, after all, it’s safe to say I have no desire to live near America again.
Images: Getty; Giphy