Commentary

Biden Demands Benefit of the Doubt for Himself, Vows To Get Rid of It for Students Accused of Sex Assault

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Joe Biden’s latest hypocrisy is so blatant even Democrats should be able to see it.

The man on the cusp of winning the Democratic nomination for the presidency is banking on the benefit of the doubt to convince Americans that a sexual assault allegation against him is not true.

But the same candidate is vowing to remove due-process protections for college students who are accused of the same thing.

On Wednesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos made good on her longstanding efforts to reverse kangaroo court policies on the nation’s campuses when it comes to charges of sexual assault. She released new federal guidelines on how colleges that receive federal funding should process the accusations.

As NBC News reported, the guidelines start with the presumption of innocence.

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That essential hallmark of the American idea of due process might sound like common sense to sane people, but to liberal Democrats – and the man who’s likely to lead their party into November’s election – it’s unacceptable.

“It’s wrong,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday, after the new guidelines were announced. “And, it will be put to a quick end in January 2021, because as President, I’ll be right where I always have been throughout my career — on the side of survivors, who deserve to have their voices heard, their claims taken seriously and investigated, and their rights upheld.”

Maybe someone should break it to Biden in his basement bunker, but he hasn’t exactly been on the side of the “survivors” lately – since that’s what liberals call the accusers in sexual assault cases.

Whether he remembers it or not, Biden is personally very much considered to be on the side of the accused, given that a former staffer has publicly said that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993 in the nation’s Capitol, penetrating her with his fingers.

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Biden has denied the charge – though he waited more than a month after former aide Tara Reade’s story became public to go to the friendly confines of MSNBC to deliver that denial.

To be clear, Biden does deserve the benefit of the doubt. The presumption of innocence is a bedrock part of the American legal system, and no one should be judged – in a court of law or the court of public opinion – simply on the word of another.

While it’s true that Reade has considerably more apparently corroborating evidence than California psychology professor Christine Blasey Ford presented when she accused then-Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh of a high school sexual assault during Kavanaugh’s 2018 Supreme Court confirmation hearings, the Reade-Biden case is still her word against his.

(Of course, having more corroboration than Blasey Ford is a pretty low bar to set, considering Blasey Ford couldn’t remember where or when the alleged assault took place, presented no credible witnesses and was later shown to have a clear political agenda in attacking the conservative Kavanaugh.

(Creative parents, in other words, can come up with more corroborating “evidence” for the Tooth Fairy than Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh’s other accusers ever brought to the American public.)

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Because of its very nature, usually involving two people without others around, a campus sexual assault allegation often comes down to the accuser’s word against the accused. The guidelines DeVos announced Wednesday make it clear that an accusation is not enough to find the student-defendant – almost always a young man – guilty.

That reverses previous federal guidelines, adopted during the Obama-Biden years – with considerable backing from Biden himself.

In April of 2011, then-Vice President Biden and then-Education Secretary Arne Duncan published a news release outlining the new standards for judging campus sexual assault cases that amounted to overturning the presumption of innocence standard.

“The accused were to be judged under the lowest standards of evidence,” Atlantic magazine contributing editor Emily Yoffe wrote in Politico, “the definitions of misconduct were widely broadened, third-party reports could trigger an investigation even if the alleged victim did not think there had been a violation, and more.”

That piece was published on April 3, 2019, and dealt with the previous litany of accusations that Biden had touched women inappropriately, sniffed their hair or even kissed them. More than a year later, with the much more serious accusation by Reade now in the public debate, the Politico headline has an ominous irony:

“Joe Biden Created the Culture He Is a Target Of”

Actually, the reality is that Joe Biden created a culture he wants everyone else to be a target of. Demanding the presumption of innocence in his own case, he’s denouncing a Trump cabinet member who simply wants to restore the presumption of innocence to American campuses where Biden himself helped destroy it.

No one with any sense would buy what Biden was selling – and many on social media had no problem picking up the hypocrisy.

It’s hard to believe that this is the man who’s truly on the verge of winning the Democratic nomination for the presidency.

He’s the man who, if the likes of Nancy Pelosi have their way, will actually be the next president of the United States.

Biden might not be guilty of assaulting Tara Reade in 1993, but his record of deplorable behavior with other women over the years is well established. That alone makes feminist support for Biden hypocritical.

But Biden’s attack on the DeVos standards on campus that he himself is relying on for his political career is beyond that.

It’s hypocrisy so blatant even Democrats should see it.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.
Birthplace
Philadelphia
Nationality
American




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