It is one of the curiosities of the English language that the words “shameful” and “shameless” are nearly synonymous. How can something that is full of X mean the same as something that is X-less?
Rather than trying to explain it, let me give an example. Tara Reade.
Of course, you know all about Tara Reade. How could you not. CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and all the other organs of woke opinion have been running the same sort of round-the-clock sympathetic stories about her that they accorded to Christine Blasey Ford when that fantasist made her accusations of sexual abuse against then Judge, now Justice, Brett Kavanaugh during his senate confirmation hearings.
Ford’s accusation was as long on hysteria as it was on fuzziness—Where was I? How did I get there? How did I get home? Why won’t any of my friends corroborate the story? Never mind. “Believe All Women” was the mantra.
Just so, when Tara Reade, an aide to Joe Biden in the 1990s, comes forward with a very specific charge of sex abuse, it’s flood-the-zone coverage. Even more, since what Reade accused Biden of was more serious than what Ford had accused Kavanaugh of.
Moreover, there are contemporary witnesses who confirm Reade’s story. To wit, Biden “pinned her to a wall in a Senate building, reached under her clothing and penetrated her with his fingers. A friend said that Ms. Reade told her the details of the allegation at the time. Another friend and a brother of Ms. Reade’s said she told them over the years about a traumatic sexual incident involving Mr. Biden.”
The press instantly went into action to hound Biden about the accusations and Michael Avenatti, just sprung from jail, just found that Julie “My Picture Is In The Paper, Ma” Swetnick had an older sister who was eager to come forward to make accusations against Mr. Biden.
Shameful and Shameless
Just kidding, of course. The media have essentially buried the story of Tara Reade in a way that is both shameful and shameless, even as more and more evidence accumulates that the allegation is credible.
Perhaps the latest tidbit is a recording of a call, apparently from Reade’s mother, to the Larry King show some years ago complaining about such an incident with a “prominent Senator.”
It is both amusing and disheartening to compare the way the media has handled the allegations against Kavanaugh and the way they are treating the allegation against Joe “the Sniffer” Biden.
No slur was too groundless or too outlandish to be flung against Bret Kavanaugh. Democratic politicians as well as the media had a field day. The reigning principle was “innocent until accused.”
How different it is with Tara Reade. Now the response is—crickets.
When Fox News contacted the same Democratic lawmakers who had been on the warpath against Brett Kavanaugh and asked for comment about Reade, they heard—nothing.
“Similarly, not a single Democratic senator responded when The Daily Caller gave each lawmaker 24 hours to provide comment on Reade’s allegations.”
The media suddenly discovered the virtues of due process and the principle that “in dubio, pro reo”: When in doubt, find for the accused.
I think my friend Roger L. Simon is right. Both Biden and Reade should submit to a lie detector test and make the results public.
I do wonder, however, how accurate such a test would be in Biden’s case since he often cannot remember where he is, what office he is running for, when he was in the Senate, or the name of the president he served as vice president.
Maybe he just doesn’t remember the incident, or maybe he mistook Reade for his wife just as he recently mixed up his wife and his sister. I’m just looking for an excuse here.
The behavior of the Democrats, and of their enablers in the media, is both shameless and shameful. But those tempted to dismiss it as business-as-usual political hypocrisy should think again.
It is something darker and more cynical. It is sometimes said that if the Democrats didn’t have double standards they would have no standards at all.
But the present case goes beyond that admittedly low standard. When Caligula made his favorite horse a senator, he did so not because he was mad or impish but because he held the senate and everything it stood for in utter contempt.
Similarly in this case. These people were willing to crucify Brett Kavanaugh for the sin of being from the wrong party. Now they are willing to ignore credible evidence not just of sexual abuse but patent mental deterioration because of their thirst for power.
The silver lining in this shameless-shameful episode is that it has revealed, if but momentarily, the utterly brutish nature of the Democratic establishment. Let the voters beware.
Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of the The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.