Nevada politician Lucy Flores published an article on March 29 that recounted an unwanted encounter with former Vice President Joe Biden in 2014. In the piece, Flores describes a campaign rally where Biden placed his hands on her shoulder and smelled her hair from behind before ultimately kissing the back of her head. Shortly after, a second woman, Amy Lappos, came forward with similar allegations. With rumors swirling that Biden plans to enter the 2020 race, one would think that such an accusation would spell the end of his presidential prospects. While Republicans may be more than happy to have a president who has been accused of assaulting or harassing women, Democrats surely would not condone this, right? Wrong. At least, not when it comes to Biden.
The fact is, Biden has always been problematic. From his comments about former U.S. President Barack Obama being the first “clean” mainstream African-American to his creepy interactions with women on national television, Biden should have faced much more criticism over the years than he has. Yet, liberals were somehow able to overlook all of that in favor of his “average Joe” persona. Instead of rightfully condemning Biden’s actions, we painted him as the cool uncle who wears leather jackets, eats ice cream, and makes friendship bracelets for Obama. Even with pictures floating around of the former vice president engaging in what can only be called sexual harassment, for some reason these instances were thought of almost as endearing. Biden was consistently given the benefit of the doubt, with liberals claiming he “didn’t know any better,” or he was “only being nice,” or some other excuse that certainly doesn’t apply to a grown man, let alone a former vice president.
As of now, Biden has only responded to Flores’ essay with what is at best a half-hearted acknowledgment of the accusation–though it was certainly not an apology. In the statement recounting the numerous “expressions of affection” he has offered on the campaign trail, Biden insisted, “Not once–never–did I believe I acted inappropriately. If it is suggested I did so, I will listen respectfully. But it was never my intention.” Maybe at first glance, this looks like an apology, but maybe we have simply become too accustomed to lukewarm responses from our politicians. The fact is, not only does Biden not acknowledge his actions, he seems to believe he has never behaved inappropriately toward women. Yet, as many have correctly pointed out since Flores’ and Lappos’ accusations, a quick Google search of “Creepy Biden” shows far too many pictures of the politician in clearly inappropriate situations. From holding young girls to smelling women’s hair, not only are these scenes seemingly common, but Biden also regards them as acceptable.
Even if we were to give Biden the benefit of the doubt (which we’ve done for long enough), do we really want another man so ignorant of what is socially acceptable to be running our country? This certainly is not an attempt to overlook Biden’s policies that have offered protections for women (e.g., his work preventing sexual assault on college campuses, the Violence Against Women Act, etc.), but it also does not erase his questionable behavior. Let’s stop giving Biden a free pass, and instead start holding him accountable.