I am reposting this column that appeared in Wednesday’s Riverside Press-Enterprise. It was penned by Gloria Romero, former Democrat Majority Leader of the California State Senate and a professor of gender studies at California State University, Los Angeles. @GloriaJRomero. It is refreshing to see a Democrat acknowledging the blatant hypocrisy of not only the #MeToo movement but of the Democrat party as it relates to Tara Reade and her charges of sexual misconduct by Joe Biden.
Joe Biden is clearly being held to a different standard
By Gloria Romero
It is stunning to see emerging profiles in hypocrisy among predominantly Democratic female elected officials who just 18 months ago were proclaiming one must “believe women” in situations of he said-she said, birthing the #MeToo movement.
What was hailed as “Believe Women” during the Justice Brent Kavanaugh confirmation hearings when allegations of sexual assault were leveled against him has become diluted to “let her speak (so we can then be done with you)” in the case of the accuser leveling charges against former Vice President Joe Biden, Tara Reade. It truly is head-spinning.
Let me be clear: I consider myself a feminist and advocate for the rights of survivors of sexual assault — be they male or female. But I am also a champion of due process rights for the accused, having once served on the board of the Southern California American Civil Liberties Union.
Some of the most powerful women who demanded Kavanaugh’s accuser be believed have lined up to declare their support for Vice President Biden.
“I’m satisfied,” the most powerful woman in the U.S., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, intoned when asked her thoughts on Biden’s response to the accusations.
Yet, during the Kavanaugh affair, she tweeted, “Dr. Blasey Ford, we are with you. #Believe Survivors.” Pelosi held Kavanaugh to a different standard than she’s holding Biden.
Regarding Kavanaugh, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — who also led the charge to expel former Sen. Al Franken from office amid sexual misconduct allegations and photos, declared that “Women are watching as the most powerful people in this country disbelieve, disgust and minimize their experiences.”
But Gillibrand still declared her support for Biden, claiming that Reade “(came) forward, she has spoken, and they have done an investigation … and I support Vice President Biden.” Today, those formerly believing sisters Hillary Clinton, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, and Stacy Abrams stand with Joe, not Tara.
Undoubtedly, the core of the “believe women” movement is severely compromised and has been exposed for what it always really was: It’s based on whether there is a D or R following your name. In my book, a pig is still a pig — irrespective of those letters. Kavanaugh’s accuser was embraced — but that fight was about decisions affecting reproductive rights on the Supreme Court. Now, the stakes are higher — political control of the presidency and the likelihood of at least one or two new appointments to that same court.
True to her principals, actress and #MeToo activist Rose McGowan slammed Democrats, liberal media, and Hollywood elites for their double standard. Said she in a series of posts, “I was always told it was the Democratic Party that were the good guys … But now I know too much.”
“I feel really quite a sense of loss tonight … Republicans have always been painted as the bad guys, and I’ve always seen them more as a cult, but now I realize so are the democrats and the media. Macro and Micro,” McGowan continued. “This is deeper than a cover-up.”
Bravo for her courage. And courage means the willingness to take on those in power. It is when those with power want more power that the hypocrisy begins.
But we can’t have it both ways. Believing a sexual assault allegation should not be grounded on the political ideology of accuser and accused, nor the political consequences. Nor can it simply be based on their sex. When I served on the ACLU board and later chaired the Public Safety Committee of the California State Senate, I held two fundamental beliefs: 1) Always give the presumption of innocence 2) Grant and expect due process — for both survivor and the accused I still abide by those beliefs — irrespective of the D or R that follow those names.
There’s a reason one of my favorite books is “To Kill a Mockingbird.” During the Kavanaugh melee, I often felt like mailing copies of the book to fellow Democrats and asking them what they would have shouted outside the courtroom as Atticus Fink walked in to defend Tom Robinson.
Justice can be elusive in America. But, like Lady Justice herself, we should become a little more blind to discover the truth.
Gloria Romero was the Democratic Majority Leader of the California State Senate and a professor of gender studies at Cal State University Los Angeles. @GloriaJRomero
Tara Reade, who worked as a staff assistant in Joe Biden’s Senate office in 1993, helping manage the office interns, April 11. Reade has accused Biden of assaulting her in 1993 and says she told others about it.