The New York Times took the better part of three weeks to investigate Tara Reade’s allegations, but they can eventually get it right.
On Friday, The Times’ editorial board said it was time Reade’s allegations were investigated by an impartial — or at least independent — panel of individuals to determine whether or not there was some truth to them.
The Democratic National Committee shut this down pretty hard. Their reasoning? Joe Biden had already been investigated when he was vetted as President Barack Obama’s running mate in 2008.
There’s some stuff you can’t make up.
So first, The Times’ editorial:
“In 2018, this board advocated strongly for a vigorous inquiry into accusations of sexual misconduct raised against Brett Kavanaugh when he was nominated to a seat on the Supreme Court,” the paper’s editorial board wrote.
“Mr. Biden’s pursuit of the presidency requires no less. His campaign, and his party, have a duty to assure the public that the accusations are being taken seriously. The Democratic National Committee should move to investigate the matter swiftly and thoroughly, with the full cooperation of the Biden campaign.”
The editorial noted inconsistencies in Reade’s story — funny, the board didn’t note the inconsistencies in the story of “Dr. Blasey” in that call for a “vigorous inquiry” they mention — and the fact that while she said she had filed a complaint with the Senate personnel office, that complaint wasn’t on file in the National Archives, where such a complaint would be. The editorial board wrote that Biden had asked the Senate to do a more thorough search for any documents relating to an accusation.
“This is a start, but it does not go far enough. Any serious inquiry must include the trove of records from Mr. Biden’s Senate career that he donated to the University of Delaware in 2012. Currently, those files are set to remain sealed until after Mr. Biden retires from public life — a common arrangement. There are growing calls for Mr. Biden to make those records available to see if they contain any mention of Ms. Reade or perhaps others who raised similar complaints about his behavior,” the editorial went on.
Those files are currently a matter of vigorous dispute, which The Times feels would be settled best by an impartial panel selected by the Democratic National Committee. That isn’t just a plan with a few flaws in it so much as it is a plan made of flaws, but here it is:
“Any inventory should be strictly limited to information about Ms. Reade and conducted by an unbiased, apolitical panel, put together by the D.N.C. and chosen to foster as much trust in its findings as possible.
“Admittedly, this would be a major undertaking. Mr. Biden served 36 years in the Senate. He turned over nearly 2,000 boxes and more than 400 gigabytes of data to the University of Delaware; most of it has not been cataloged. But the question at hand is no less than Mr. Biden’s fitness for the presidency. No relevant memo should be left unexamined.”
Yeah, “an unbiased, apolitical panel, put together by the D.N.C. and chosen to foster as much trust in its findings as possible.” I often wonder how wide the smile is on The Times’ authors when they write that stuff or if they actually believe the words as they spring from their fingers onto the computer screen.
Well, anyhow, we needn’t worry about such a spectacle, because even that dream plan was shot down by the DNC:
“This is an absurd suggestion on its face. Regardless of whether it’s the job of DNC to do this kind of thing, it’s already been done,” Xochitl Hinojosa, DNC spokeswoman, said in response to The Times.
“Joe Biden has been clear in responding to this allegation, he went through a thorough vetting process to be Obama’s Vice President in 2008 (which is a vetting process like no other) and lawyers and the press found nothing, and he has asked for transparency by requesting that all relevant documents be released if they exist.”
In response to the NYT editorial board’s suggestion that the DNC assemble an “unbiased, apolitical panel” to inventory Biden’s Senate papers, DNC communications director @XochitlHinojosa calls this an “absurd suggestion on its face” and argues Biden has already been fully vetted. pic.twitter.com/QgrPJT6svh
— Ruby Cramer (@rubycramer) May 2, 2020
However, what The Times was suggesting was that a group of people appointed by the DNC — an “unbiased, apolitical panel,” of course — would look into the relevant documents and release them if they exist.
Hinojosa’s response: “This is an absurd suggestion on its face.” It’s absurd, apparently, because Joe Biden was vetted by Barack Obama’s team and this should be good enough for anyone.
As for the veracity of Reade’s claim, let me be the 1,284,367th to say that I have zero idea and that, in the court of public opinion, Biden deserves due process and the presumption of innocence.
I’d also say not opening the University of Delaware archives isn’t a good look — and it hasn’t been good for the last year or so as people have been asking him to open it — and that the idea Obama’s vetting of Biden during the VP process should substitute for a thorough investigation of the claims is a joke that isn’t funny.
I will say this much, though: The DNC’s anaphylactic reaction to the idea of appointing its own committee to look into the allegations against Biden certainly took the attention off of him.
What, pray tell, are they afraid of? And why are we supposed to believe them when we were supposed to be taking these allegations seriously? Are they afraid of being put into a situation where they have to replace their nominee with the aged socialist from Vermont? The one they ensured would lose four years ago? Does the fear of Bernie Sanders run that deep?
No one is looking good here — except maybe Donald Trump.
If that’s what the DNC wanted — well, no, it can’t be what they wanted. But it’s what they got. They’ve somehow taken the Tara Reade scandal and made it look worse.
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