Yes it certainly does, but that argument also seems a bit surprising coming from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Speaking to NPR yesterday, the firebrand frosh House member declared that Tara Reade needs to be heard and Democrats might risk their credibility by ignoring her, even though she also affirmed that she still planned to vote for Joe Biden. It’s clear, though, that Ocasio-Cortez isn’t entirely buying Biden’s denials, and thinks that her fellow Democrats don’t have an appreciation for just how much this “is not clear-cut”:
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., says an accusation of sexual assault against former Vice President Joe Biden is “not clear-cut,” but that it remains of great importance to listen to survivors and allow for proper due process in such cases.
Speaking to NPR’s Morning Edition, Ocasio-Cortez said, “There have been investigative journalists that have corroborated certain aspects of her account — that is undeniable — [and] have raised questions about other aspects of her account.” She is concerned, though, that an early rush to take sides could signal hypocrisy from her party and potentially alienate victims of sexual violence.
“It certainly seems as though something has happened. I’m not sure,” she said, later adding, “Frankly, this is a messy moment, and I think we need to acknowledge that — that it is not clear-cut.”
That’s quite a tone change from other Democrats, who have rushed to claim that Biden’s denial completely suffices — a standard they refused to apply to Brett Kavanaugh. John wrote about Dianne Feinstein’s explicit double standard in that regard yesterday, in which Feinstein claimed that Reade’s refusal to go public while Biden ran for other offices or ran the Judiciary Committee amounted to a conclusory credibility destroyer:
"Why didn't she say something — you know when he was Chairman of the Judiciary Committee or after that?" Feinstein rejected the notion of a Dem double standard and argued the situation isn’t “comparable” to Kavanaugh
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 7, 2020
Feinstein didn’t apply that standard to Christine Blasey Ford, however, even though Brett Kavanaugh had gone through a contentious confirmation hearing for his appointment to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals more than a decade earlier. Furthermore, Blasey Ford had none of the contemporaneous indirect corroborators that Reade has; the four named by Blasey Ford ended up denying her claims, in fact. And now that a court record of Reade’s story has emerged from 1996 in an unrelated case, the evidentiary balance has tipped far over — making the hypocrisy from Feinstein and other Democrats all the more apparent.
Ocasio-Cortez wants to play it a little cagier, it seems. While telling NPR that she still plans to vote for Biden, she also won’t “endorse” him for the moment. She wants Reade to get her story fully out first, which is what Ocasio-Cortez thinks Reade really wants:
Ocasio-Cortez, 30, said it appears Reade – who told her ex-husband about the allegations, according to a 1996 court document obtained Thursday – wants to get her story out.
“If anything, it sounds like she simply wants to be heard,” she said. “It seems as though she does not feel she’s been heard yet.”
Gee, I wonder why that might be? Thus far, the national media has covered the story … in the sense of smothering it to death, that is. Reade’s interview with Megyn Kelly was the most significant time she has had to tell her story, and that was a New Media publication. Julie Swetnick got more air time and sympathetic coverage for her utterly insane allegation against Kavanaugh than national media outlets have afforded Reade.
The media coverage has been so bad that Washington Post media analyst Erik Wemple lamented on Wednesday that his industry is forcing him to agree with Tucker Carlson:
So why is Ocasio-Cortez deviating from the party line on Biden? Perhaps she’s still sore over Bernie Sanders’ defeat and hopes that the scandal gives the candidate she did endorse another shot at the nomination. Ocasio-Cortez lamented that “people are fast forwarding to the political implications,” but the circled wagons of her own party make it clear that’s already happening. Ocasio-Cortez might also be mindful that her particular constituency runs a lot younger and more socialist/activist than Biden’s and the Democrats as a whole, and that they may not forgive Ocasio-Cortez for abandoning a “Believe All Women” just to promote the party. However, she’s still signaling some support for Biden to keep the party support and money flowing into her own race.
It is indeed “a messy moment,” but only because Democrats, activists, and the national media constructed a model based on the Salem witch trials as a cudgel to beat Republicans. Had they insisted on due process and the proper burden of proof during the Kavanaugh hearings, we never would have heard from Blasey Ford at all, and defending Biden would have been much easier on everyone.