Cal Thomas: The Joe Biden controversy

MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Today is Thursday, April 4th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Megan Basham.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Politics has always been a rough business. But Cal Thomas says the recent attacks on former Vice President Joe Biden are even worse than usual.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: Why does this seem like the political equivalent of a Mafia hit job on Joe Biden? Someone is trying to whack the former vice president before he can announce a presidential run.

Most people who pay attention to such things have seen Biden’s hands-on approach when it comes to women. This isn’t new.

But not until the recent days have two women decided this constituted inappropriate touching. So much so that they needed to inform the major media. Never mind that the behavior doesn’t come close to Bill Clinton’s treatment of women—or Donald Trump’s.

The fact that many Democratic candidates piled on Biden suggests this was an inside job.

In a statement from his office, Biden says he meant no harm to anyone, but his female accusers “should speak and be heard. He said he “will be among those who listen.”

That won’t be enough for those who want him out of the race before he gets in. In the #MeToo era, his actions won’t be permitted.

But this illustrates a double standard when it comes to politicians accused of inappropriate behavior. Two women have publicly accused Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of being forced to have sex with him. And he remains in office.

Appearing on “CBS This Morning,” Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson told their stories to Gayle King. Watson spoke with complete clarity.

WATSON: I tried several times to get up and was pushed back down—held down.
KING: And you made it clear this is not what I want?
WATSON: It was very clear.
KING: Because he is saying this night was consensual.
WATSON: If you have to hold someone down, it’s not consensual.

The accusations against Biden do not come close to that.

Biden is more experienced than any of the announced Democratic presidential candidates. He’s also less ideologically extreme. That may be why others want to derail his potential candidacy.

It would be helpful to our political dialogue if a standard existed for what is and is not tolerated when it comes to relations between men and women in political life. Then apply the standard equally.

By today’s “standards,” a series of pictures on the internet of Biden hugging, touching, squeezing and kissing women and even young girls looks creepy. He says it merely reflects his affectionate side.

Someone should ask Bill Clinton and even President Trump what they think. Their answers would be interesting.

If Biden announces for president, the conversation and debate over this topic will only grow. But I’m betting he doesn’t run now. He likely knows these allegations will cause donors—and convention delegates—to look elsewhere.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.

(Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, File) In this Feb. 19, 2019, file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden reacts as he talks with University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann at the university’s Irvine Auditorium in Philadelphia.

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