Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

 

Over the past month, many young Democrats around the country have watched in dismay as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders fell behind in state victories and the delegate count to Joe Biden. Now, as Biden faces sexual assault allegations from a former staffer, the murky future of the 2020 race continues to thicken. 

The former Vice President’s surge came as a shock to anybody keeping up with network news, being that his campaign has botched hurdle after hurdle up to the new year. The malleability of his campaign was the easiest platform the Democratic media could stand on to elevate the status of other candidates. 

The 77-year-old continued to be the subject of intense scrutiny and dismissal from the Democratic establishment, who stood poised to place their bets on trendier campaigns, such as Buttigieg’s or Warren’s. In an attempt to siphon voters away from Sen. Sanders, many of the candidates’ policies were shifting in a more progressive, effectively weakening their credibility and consistency with attentive voters.

Following the descent of Warren and Buttigieg, in conjunction with the ongoing erasure of Congresswoman Gabbard, the field became a two-man race. Going forward, the Democratic establishment had no choice but to raise their sails for the Biden campaign.

In late February, a student poll on Democratic candidates was published in The Quad, in which 12% of West Chester students preferred Biden over his contenders. The poll showed Senator Bernie Sanders 44 percentage points above Biden. This poll appropriately mirrored the sentiments felt throughout most American colleges and universities, with Sanders consistently winning young votes in both of his presidential bids. Still, without holding campaign rallies in Super Tuesday states, without broadcasting the galvanization of a dedicated base, Biden resurrected his campaign with the help of the undecided, uninformed Democratic voter. Whether or not the powers that be have placed a thumb on the scale for Biden, he certainly has the name recognition on his side, promising voters that things would effectively return to the Obama-era normality of silent hegemony. 

Now that Biden has taken the position as a media darling, all smear pieces on him have ceased and all criticism has turned to praise. Where TV personalities would formally see an opportunity to critique Biden’s wild and pathless ramblings, they now speak highly of his energy and passion. However, now that Biden faces damning allegations of sexual assault and harassment, we shall bear witness to the Democratic establishment’s eventual choice between justice or party interest. 

Last April, Lucy Flores shared her uncomfortable story in which Joe Biden touched and sniffed her hair and head, a Biden staple that is shockingly documented through photographs over his career. Flores’ story caught national attention, with many other women sharing similarly strange accounts of Biden’s unwanted advances. Many news outlets, including The View, dismissed Flores’ story of harboring political motivation, going so far as to suggest that she is a Russian asset. 

The following account touches on sensitive material that might make some uncomfortable. Now, former Biden staffer Tarra Reade has shared new horrifying allegations against Biden, recounting an incident between the two in 1993 in which Biden digitally penetrated her without consent. Reade attempted to share this story back in April with the nonprofit organization Time’s Up. A letter from the Time’s Up program director that would be sent to attorneys read: “[Reade] began publicly sharing the harassment she experienced in April 2019 but was attacked … online including by Richard Painter, a University of MN law professor, and journalist Edward-Isaac Dovere for being a Russian operative.” 

One month ago, Reade learned that Time’s Up refused her case, since Biden is a candidate for federal office, and that siding against him could “jeopardize the organization’s nonprofit status” as reported by The Intercept, March 24th. 

In addition to these harrowing facts, it has been revealed that Time’s Up works alongside Public Relations firm SKDKnickerbocker. Anita Dunn, who is the managing director of the PR firm, is also the top aide to Joe Biden’s campaign. No comment has been released by Biden or his team.

We have yet to see how these allegations will shape the former vice president’s campaign. CNN and MSNBC have yet to report on the allegations. Reade’s story, as horrifying as it is, is a reminder that victims of sexual violence are often subsequently silenced or erased, and organizations like “Time’s Up” must uphold the mission statement that they set out. Reade’s story is accessible on Katie Halper’s podcast.

 

CJ Fudala is a fourth year English major at West Chester University. cf865983@wcupa.edu

 

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