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Nancy Pelosi and the Politics of Looking the Other Way

Joe Biden has been raking in the endorsements as of late.  Obama, Warren, Sanders, Al Gore, and now the queen bee of the House Democrats, Nancy Pelosi. 

Of course, these endorsements coming in when his official nomination is all but guaranteed are devoid of meaning since any American paying attention knows that these folks would have fallen in line with any Democrat who had won the nomination.  The sugary sweet speeches that have been provided by the campaign are, likewise, meaningless.  They’ve been written as part of a larger campaign strategy and are certainly not representative of what these endorsers actually think about Biden (if they think anything about him at all).

What is meaningful is the lack of acknowledgement of the sexual assault claims against the former VP.  For those who haven’t heard, a lady by the name of Tara Reade has come forward with accusations of sexual assault against Joe Biden.  She claims that this attempt happened in 1993 when she worked as a staffer for the then Senator.  Lending credibility to this claim is a video that recently surfaced of a woman calling into the Larry King Show to ask what recourse staffers working in congress would have in such a situation.  This caller claimed her daughter was recently put into such a situation and chose to remain silent out of respect for the prominent Senator involved.  Tara Reade has said that this caller was her mother.

 Now, for Biden’s earlier endorsements, not mentioning this allegation is forgivable since it was only in the last month that this has entered the news.  For Nancy Pelosi, though, this silence has been deafening.  Not only has the allegation itself been out there for some time, but the revelation of the Larry King call has also been out there long enough for her to process.

Pelosi is on record as saying that she found Biden’s answer to the initial charge satisfying.  And that’s fair.  But what was it about that answer that was satisfying?  And is it still satisfying in light of these other recent developments?  I, personally, would like answers to these questions.  If these answers are enough to convince the party of “believe all women” then they should certainly be shared with the rest of us.  They would put to rest a lot of issues and our country could carry forward with a normal presidential campaign.

But we’re unlikely to get such answers since the press has been mysteriously MIA when it comes to asking questions about this issue.  Three prominent democratic women who are on Biden’s short list for VP appeared on Sunday shows over the weekend and not one of them were asked about Reade’s allegations.

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Stacey Abrams appeared and host Chuck Todd saw fit to not mention this elephant in the room.  Meanwhile, on ABC, George Stephanopoulos failed to bring it up in separate interviews with Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.    

Even if they didn’t bring it up in an interview, you would think that these Sunday shows would bring it up as a point of discussion among the expert political panels that they always have on.  Nope.  There was no mention of this on CNN’s “State of the Union” or NBC’s “Meet the Press” or ABC’s “This Week” or CBS’s “Face the Nation.”  Not even “Fox News Sunday” saw fit to broach the issue. 

 This is in contrast to Trump whose coarse language can generate wall-to-wall coverage on every news outlet for weeks on end.  Contrast it to Brett Kavanagh whose accuser presented a story with far less specifics than Reade’s and had less corroboration. 

It’s unfortunate, but this double standard is the norm and not the exception. 

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