You can see some of that view in the letters that The Times received from readers. “Men were acculturated to behave in ways that ignored the sensibilities of women, and that is no longer acceptable,” Laura Petiford wrote. “I … struggle to understand how it is helpful to render men like Mr. Biden ‘unfit’ because of behaviors that were so deeply woven into the social fabric of this country that we are only now beginning to address them contextually.”
Susannah Sard wrote, “Sometimes we need to relax.” Richard Brandshaft wrote, “Yet again the proverbial liberal circular firing squad.” And Eileen West wrote: “Joe Biden has plenty to answer for, especially his treatment of Anita Hill. Let his challengers question him on that, rather than being distracted by the media frenzy of the day.”
The strongest reaction I saw came from Theda Skocpol, a Harvard political scientist whom I’ve quoted before in this newsletter. She has spent years studying the Tea Party, the Obama presidency and the Trump resistance. I’m going to turn over most of the rest of the newsletter to her, by reprinting an email she sent me.