After a political career in which he gained a reputation — and not just among conservative commentators — for being bizarrely and inappropriately affectionate with women in public, Joe Biden finally had his #MeToo moment when a former Nevada state candidate came forward with her story about what happened at a 2014 campaign event.
The media talked about it and mostly dropped it. But surely the #MeToo campaigners hadn’t forgotten, right?
Well, not exactly — at least when it comes to one of the campaign’s highest-profile individuals.
Alyssa Milano, the “Charmed” actress who has consistently railed against sexual harassment and abuse in and outside of Hollywood, is willing to blame Uncle Joe’s touching and smelling of women on “cultural differences.”
As The Daily Wire reported, Milano made the remarks on MSNBC Monday, defending the former vice president and 2020 Democratic contender after she spoke to him privately.
In fact, she said that he told her things about his conduct that she wishes “more men in positions of power would say out loud.”
.@Alyssa_Milano defends Biden: “He was raised in a family that was super affectionate.”
Adds she knows what it’s like: “I walked onto set a few weeks ago and I kissed our prop guy on the arm. And I had this moment of, like, maybe that made him uncomfortable.” pic.twitter.com/KRbWJiQExU
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 29, 2019
“He said to me, ‘I’m willing to learn, I’m willing to listen. I didn’t realize that I’m too affectionate,'” Milano said.
“And I think that this brings up a really important question that we really haven’t touched on in #MeToo,” she continued. “Often in these moments, where we’re hearing these stories, I think it’s important to emphasize the difference in these stories.”
Milano was one of the activists who uncritically supported the unsubstantiated accusations of sexual abuse against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation last year. She attended the hearings and told CNN she “was proud to be a woman and I was proud to be a survivor, and I felt like I needed to be there for other survivors that couldn’t be there.”
I point that out because when it came to Lucy Flores, the former Nevada lieutenant governor candidate who accused Biden of a truly creepy moment during a 2014 rally that started the cascade of accusations against Biden, Milano said it was merely the result of “cultural differences.”
“For me, the thing that set this story — the Ms. Flores story — apart from all the other stories: To Joe, this is a culture difference, because culturally he was raised in a family that was super affectionate,” Milano said.
“For him, this was a realization of, well, everyone sort of grows up in a different household, then maybe my actions make other people uncomfortable, and it was an acknowledgment,” she added.
“So I think it was important that it came out and I think that it is important to have men support women and say, ‘I hear you, and I wanna learn and make a change.’”
This wasn’t exactly Flores’ take on that brand of Biden apologia:
“I intended to describe what it was like to be inappropriately touched by a powerful man who would likely declare his presidential candidacy. Instead, I watched as the conversation about my essay, published in the Cut, morphed into a simplistic — and misguided — discussion of hugging in America,” she wrote in a commentary piece in BuzzFeed.
But then, you don’t believe all women when those women are saying inconvenient things about the Democratic front-runner, at least if you’re of the same political persuasion. However, I’d like you to take a look at Flores’ original accusation and see if it sounds like a case of someone just being “super affectionate” in an inappropriate situation:
“Just before the speeches, we were ushered to the side of the stage where we were lined up by order of introduction. As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. ‘Why is the vice-president of the United States touching me?’” Flores wrote in a March piece for New York magazine.
“I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, ‘I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice-president of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual f—? Why is the vice-president of the United States smelling my hair?’ He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused.”
Does that sound like being “super affectionate” to you? Without necessarily being sexual, the encounter sounds degrading and weird in the extreme. If you’re going to go after toxic masculinity, one would imagine that would certainly count.
On the other hand, I don’t necessarily know if Milano — or other Democrats — care about that.
This is exactly how Trump gets another four years.
Alyssa Milano talking about how Biden’s the way to go: “this primary to me is not about policy. It’s about beating Trump, period, that’s it, end of story.” pic.twitter.com/NXcyjFGnXN
— Ryan Masri (@ryanmasri_) April 29, 2019
“This primary to me is not about policy,” Milano said on MSNBC. “It’s about beating Trump, period. That’s it. End of story.”
And if the supposed ideals of #MeToo need to be sacrificed along the way, hey, go for it.
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