Joe Biden

On Saturday April 25, the hashtag #DropOutBiden had been trending all day. The previous day new evidence had emerged against Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden, regarding credible allegations that he technically raped Tara Reade (with his finger). The new evidence was that Tara Reade’s mother had phoned into the Larry King Live show in 1993, regarding a prominent senator at the time, regarding sexual misconduct against her daughter thus further corroborating Tara Reade’s allegations.

Following some luke-warm reluctant CNN coverage of the Tara Reade allegations earlier on Saturday by Wolf Blitzer and Ana Cabrero, Twitter decided to remove the #DropOutBiden hashtag from its trending tags, despite the hashtag having had well over 100, 000 hits at the time with no signs of slowing down.

The Tara Reade story (which originated in 1993) had resurfaced months before April 25 2020. It was only reluctantly reported on by CNN after Bernie Sanders announced that he was suspending his 2020 campaign for the Democratic Party’s nominee for President. Bernie is still on the ballot in the remaining states which have not yet voted, though Andrew Cuomo has sought to remove Bernie from the ballot in the New York primaries.

George Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ is prophetic regarding the contemporary world and contemporary America under Trump.

On Friday May 1st, a day traditionally associated with working people, Biden did not try to court progressives with a show of solidarity with workers in general. Neither did he appeal to the few unions (whose leaders, not most of their members) that publicly supported him during his campaign. Instead, Biden chose to use the Friday news-dump day to respond to long-standing allegations of sexual assault against him by Tara Reade which had been boiling over in independent media for months.

Biden appeared on the MSNBC ‘Morning Joe’ show on Friday May 1 2020 and was interviewed by Mika. Biden was asked - “would you please go on the record with the American people. Did you sexually assault Tara Reade?” (Notice that there are two questions here.). In response, Biden claimed: “No. I’m saying unequivocally - it never never happened. And it didn’t.”

Notice that it is not clear which of Mika’s questions Biden is purporting to answer (if either). Is he saying no, I won’t go on the record? Or no, I didn’t sexually assault Tara Reade? Mika doesn’t press the point.

Also notice Biden’s odd language in response to Mika’s questioning. He doesn’t say “I didn’t sexually assault Tara Reade” He switches from the first person (‘I’) to talking non-specifically about ‘it’. What does ‘it’ refer to? ‘It’ could be anything - again Mika doesn’t press Biden on this lack of clarity, letting people make the subconscious inference that he’s denying the allegations regarding Tara Reade. He does not explicitly do that.

Furthermore, ironically, Biden’s ‘unequivocal’ reply is indeed equivocal - it equivocates between a conversational interpretation of his claim that “it never never happened” which just strongly insists that ‘the’ event never happened, and a contrasting more rigorous interpretation according to which the rule in classical logic of double negation is taken into account. On that view, if one says that something never never happened, they are saying that it’s not the case that it never happened, i.e.

IT DID HAPPEN.

One can’t help but remember the similarity between Biden’s answer to Mika and Bill Clinton’s answer regarding the allegations that he’d had sexual relations with his staffer Monika Lewinsky. At the time, Clinton said: “I never had sexual relations with that woman. Monika Lewinsky.” (Notice that these are two different sentences - one makes an inference that Bill is talking about Lewinsky in his second sentence but that doesn’t logically follow from the first sentence, in which he could have been referring to any unspecified woman. Similarly, Biden’s claim ‘and it didn’t’ distinct from the ‘never never’ claim could be referring to completely different things, technically true in the context of the answer to the question posed to him but disingenuous. Bill Clinton infamously admitted to having had sexual relations with Lewinsky after being impeached and de-barred from his lawyer status. The point is that Bill Clinton used the same kind of legal deception in language that Biden (also a lawyer, but not of the same caliber as Bill or Hillary) may also be using. Biden needs to be questioned harder on this issue. Unlike Bill Clinton who faced impeachment, Biden was not under such rigorous questioning yet seemed to avail himself of the same deceptive language that Bill had used.