May 06, 2020

Does Joe Biden Regret the Sexual Assault Standards He Forced on College Campuses?

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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today issued a final regulation to fight sexual misconduct and sexual assault in schools, and strengthen Title IX protections for survivors. For the first time in history, the new regulation will codify that sexual harassment, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, is prohibited under Title IX. Today’s final regulation will also provide due process protections to students facing accusations of sexual misconduct.

Once again, the Trump Administration is righting a wrong perpetrated by Joe Biden, who as Vice President spearheaded a Title IX initiative that attempted to “overhaul the assumptions on which our legal system is built” and undermined the “ability of the accused, usually men and often men of color, to get a fair hearing.” Black men were disproportionately hurt by Biden’s campus sexual assault policy.

In 2017, Biden reacted to the fixes proposed by Secretary DeVos by slandering her as a “cultural Neanderthal” and comparing her to a neo-Nazi. And he was unequivocal in his belief that the burden of proof must be on the accused:

  • In 2018 – before Brett Kavanaugh was even nominated to the Supreme Court – Biden said that “women should be believed” when they come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct or assault.
     
  • When Christine Blasey Ford emerged, Biden said, “For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time.”
     
  • Biden told The View, “It's a job interview, and you don't have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt anything as to why you shouldn't put so-and-so on the Court.”
     
  • “The woman should be given the benefit of the doubt,” Biden told the TODAY Show.

Now Biden is the one who stands accused of sexual assault, which raises key questions: does Biden regret the standards he set for students on college campuses? If not, shouldn’t he be held to them?

Commentators across the political spectrum have pointed out Biden’s double standard:

  • Andrew Sullivan, New York Magazine: “Biden is now claiming simply that he never did what Tara Reade said he did. Let’s posit that he didn’t. Too bad. If he were to attempt to defend himself, by his own campus logic, he would be barred any knowledge of what he was precisely accused of, even the identity of his accuser; he would be unable to see the results of any investigation; and his own claims of innocence would be rejected if the woman merely subjectively felt as if she were being abused, regardless of his own intent. Likewise, he could be deemed guilty even if he were completely innocent.”
     
  • Emily Yoffe, Politico: “Biden is finding himself ensnared by some of the doctrines he has advocated over the past several years….the Obama administration expanded the definition of sexual violence to include compliments, or the kind of touching—often unasked for, and sometimes unwelcome—that Biden has engaged in for years.”
     
  • Bret Stephens, New York Times: “Accused students, sometimes facing charges based on ambiguous sexual encounters, were left to fend for themselves in campus tribunals with little regard for due process. … But if Biden ever spoke up against the miscarriages of justice carried out in the name of his policy, I’m unaware of it. … I will continue to extend [the presumption of innocence] to Biden. The least he can do now is extend it to everyone else, including those who suffered when he didn’t.”
  • Jonah Goldberg, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “Biden wants to be the chief law enforcement officer of the land. Even if he’s wholly innocent of the allegations against him, he owes voters an answer for why he should be exempted from the rules he would impose on others. If Biden wants the accused to carry the burden of proof, he should act as if it’s his responsibility to disprove the Reade allegations, not the media’s responsibility to prove them.”
     
  • Robby Soave, Washington Examiner: “If the allegation against Biden were being decided by the kind of adjudication system that he helped enshrine on college campuses, it’s quite likely that he would be found guilty.”
     
  • David Harsanyi, National Review: “If presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden were forced to live by the standards he wants to set for college students accused of sexual misconduct, he would already have been presumed guilty, have been denied a genuine opportunity to refute the charges leveled against him by Tara Reade, and had his life ruined.”

Biden should cut the malarkey and provide an honest answer to Americans: why shouldn’t he be held to the same standards he spent years imposing on everyone else?

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