In a new Op-Ed for The Week, Ryan Cooper suggests “pressuring Biden out of the race, and replacing him with someone else” could be a possible resolution for Democrats amid sexual assault allegations.
While the move would be unprecedented Cooper writes “There would surely be some controversy, but most Democratic voters would wind up happier in the end.”
But getting mad is not going to get Democrats out of their Biden fix. Only one thing can do that — pressuring Biden out of the race, and replacing him with someone else.
As I have previously written, Reade’s story about Biden is credible. It would never meet the courtroom standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” but given that Reade is now known to have privately told at least five people what happened at the time or in the years following, it can’t be dismissed out of hand. Biden has a track record of behaving creepily around women, and has a long history of ridiculous exaggeration and telling bald-faced lies. At bottom, it is quite similar to many other #MeToo stories.
The plain fact is that this accusation is going to dog Biden for the rest of the campaign. Trump has already started talking about it. The right-wing media will cover the story for purely political reasons. Fox News does not care about #MeToo, but the story damages Biden, demoralizes Democrats, and makes liberals look like egregious hypocrites. The sight of nearly every Democratic-aligned women’s rights group queasily keeping silent about the story is simply delicious for the likes of Sean Hannity (though a few have started speaking out).
It’s also hard to see how Biden could conclusively “address” the story, as some liberals have advocated. At bottom it is a case of he-said-she-said, and Biden does not have a record of scrupulous honesty.
Many mainstream and lefty journalists will continue to cover it. The Reade accusation is unquestionably news, and outside of the right-wing press, there is still a broad ethic of covering stories even if they are politically inconvenient. It is not always honored, but it’s still there. As The Intercept‘s Ryan Grim writes, “I decided early in my career that I would never suppress a story if the only reason I were doing so was concern about its political implications. If you do that, you’re no longer a journalist.”