We have been discussing the struggle of Democratic members and various commentators in rejecting sexual assault allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden while also opposing any review of his papers for past allegations, including those at the University of Delaware. Some members and feminist figures, including most recently Iihan Omar, have declared that they believe that Biden did rape his Senate aide Tara Reade and is continuing to lie about it publicly. However, they still support him to be the next President of the United States. Now, former George Bush ethics lawyer Richard Painter has chastised Omar for publicly stating that she believes Reade because it could cost the Democrats the election. It is a curious ethical line to draw. If a member believes that Biden is not just a rapist but continuing to lie about the rape, one would hope that the member would publicly voice their view. Just as I find Omar’s position to be morally incomprehensible, I find Painter’s position to be ethically incomprehensible.
Painter has been one of the most vocal voices claiming an array of criminal and impeachable offenses by Trump over the last three years (here and here and here and here). Now he has declared it to be “ridiculous” for a Democratic member to believe an alleged rape victim when it could help Donald Trump. On Twitter, Painter has also encouraged voters to oppose Omar in part because she believes Reade.
Richard W. Painter @RWPUSA
Tired of hearing antisemitic slurs from @IlhanMN? Tired of her saying she thinks @JoeBiden is guilty of sexual assault because a pro-Putin accuser says he is? Support @Antone_MN for Congress in
Richard W. Painter @RWPUSA
This is ridiculous. Two days after Reade’s lawyer quit because she has trouble telling the truth. Are Democrats trying to lose this race? Ilhan Omar: ‘I do believe’ Tara Reade’s claims against Joe Biden https://fxn.ws/36slHRj#FoxNews
This of course decouples the ethical from the political considerations. Indeed, it entirely dispenses with the ethical consideration. I have stated that I believe Biden has the stronger case thus far based on the weight of the witnesses. However, I support a review of all of his paper for any claims of sexual harassment. This is not the first such claim to be raised of inappropriate touching or conduct by Biden.
Where I disagree with Painter is that, if Omar does believe Reade, it is “ridiculous” to say so — and that voters should punish her by voting against her for such a public statement. I would think that the ethical thing to do in such a circumstance would be to voice one’s view of whether the next possible president is a rapist. Painter clearly disagrees on the merits (which is a fair thing to do, though would be stronger when couple with a call for a full investigation). However, he is trying his criticism not to the merits but that fact that such statement could “lost the race.” The suggestion is that, even if Omar believes this alleged victim, she should keep her mouth shut about it.
This is precisely the logic that was the basis for my recent column on a type of “Presidential Bull” issued in this election for members and the media to give special indulgences for Biden. There has long been a concern that the media is in the bag for Biden. However, it has recently gone further than that with refusal to address false statements by Biden and the active effort to confine can damage to him, including the recent omitting of a line from this controversial interview where he falsely claims multiple NAACP endorsements. Some of us have criticized both Trump and Biden. However, there is a special dispensation that has been openly on display, including Painter’s objection to a member saying that she believes an alleged rape victim.
My objection to much of the legal analysis over the last few years is the corrosive impact of political considerations and bias. A rape allegation is a serious matter for both the accuser and the accused. It should be a matter that is divorced from questions of political advantage. If Omar truly believes Biden to be a rapist, she should of course voice her view. What I find incomprehensible is her view that he is a rapist but should be the next president. I find Painter’s point equally incomprehensible as presented. Painter may in good faith question the allegations of Reade. However, the political implications of such conclusions should not enter into the analysis in my view.
49 thoughts on ““Are Democrats Trying To Lose This Race?”: Bush Ethics Head Slams Omar For Saying That She Believes Biden Accuser”
“Bush Ethics Head” How can he have a head of ethics? Bush had no ethics!
We don’t have to really care who says what about Biden. The outcome November election will be based on how many votes the Dum’s can steal. Nothing more, nothing less.
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