Let’s get the caveats out of the way first. I believe both of them. I am a democratic socialist. I’ve supported Bernie Sanders for the past two cycles. I loathe Donald Trump with the white hot intensity of a supernova. I believe a Republican judiciary is the greatest threat to America after Donald Trump. I have opposed Senator Joe Biden on many occasions regarding the Drug War, the Crime Bill, the Bankruptcy Bill, and so much more. Vice President Joe Biden was my second-to-last preferred Democratic candidate after Mike Bloomberg. Al Franken is one of my favorite humans and I’m still bitter that his outstanding political career was kneecapped over a photo and acts less egregious than what Joe Biden’s done on video even before we ever heard of Tara Reade.
Now, let’s get to it: why do progressives I aligned with heartily at the emergence of the #MeToo Movement so easily believe Christine Blasey Ford and not Tara Reade?
I figured I would take a deep dive into both of their allegations to see how they’re alike and how they differ.
|Christine Blasey Ford||Tara Reade|
|The Kavanaugh Allegation||The Biden Allegation|
|Around July 2018, alleges sexual misconduct (groping) by drunken teenaged Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge 36 years prior in 1982 at a house party.||Around April 2019, is one of eight women alleging sexual misconduct (inappropriate touching) by sober adult Joe Biden. While Reade’s claim is about acts taken 26 years prior in 1993, one woman (Lucy Flores) cites Biden’s creepiness as late as 2014.|
|Cannot recall where the assault took place, not the house or street, sometime in Summer ’82.||Knows the building and locations where the alleged assault occurred in Spring ’93.|
|March 2020, updates claim to include assault (penetration).|
|April 2020, files police report about alleged 1993 assault.|
|The Blasey Ford Proof||The Reade Proof|
|Cites mentioning surviving a rape attempt in couples therapy in 2012, describing the incident “in detail for the first time.”||Cites filing written complaint with Senate personnel office at the time of the alleged assault. But she has no copy of it and it has yet to be found.|
|Therapist’s notes from 2013 show she talks of rape attempt.||Mother calls to Larry King Live in 1993, discussing her daughter’s problems (not assault) with Biden|
|Lawyer Keith Koegler says she told him of assault in 2016, explicitly mentioning Kavanaugh in an email. Email cannot be found.||Brother and a friend confirm her telling them about Biden’s creepiness in 1993.|
|Neighbor confirms her talking about assault in 2017.||Neighbor Lynda LaCasse (a Biden supporter) confirms her talking about the alleged assault (not just creepiness) in 1995 or 1996.|
|Takes and passes polygraph test in 2019.||Co-worker Lorraine Sanchez confirms her talking about Biden’s creepiness in the mid-1990s.|
|Friend confirms her talking about Biden’s creepiness in 2008.|
|The Blasey Ford Investigation||The Reade Investigation|
|Broken to the mainstream by journalist Ryan Grim at the Intercept.||Broken to the mainstream by journalist Ryan Grim at the Intercept.|
|Kavanaugh (under oath) and Judge both deny the allegation.||Biden |
|“Lifelong” friend Leland Keyser, one of four people she says was at the party where the assault occurred, says (under oath) her story is implausible.||Biden’s Exec Asst. Marianne Baker denies her claims to have filed complaint and claims nobody ever complained about Biden.|
|Friend Patrick “PJ” Smyth, who she said was at the party, denies (under oath) all knowledge of any party.||Biden’s staffer Dennis Toner denies her claims to have told him about creepiness and filing a complaint.|
|Ex-boyfriend says (under oath) she never mentioned assault from 1992-1998 and contradicts her statement she’d never helped anyone prepare for a polygraph.||Biden’s staffer Ted Kaufman denies her claims to have told him about creepiness and filing a complaint.|
|Father supported Kavanaugh’s nomination, spoke directly to Kavanaugh’s father about it, offered his support (odd to support daughter’s assaulter, no?)||Her complaint from 1993, she believes, is within Biden’s Senate records at the University of Delaware. They do not confirm or deny, and note they cannot release his records until two years after his retirement. Biden has not offered to open up the records for a look.|
|Her “family’s” letter of support was not signed by any of her direct blood relatives.||Biden says personnel complaints would be filed at the National Archives and welcomes a search for her complaint.|
|Kavanaugh’s contemporaneous calendars show no free weekend in the summer of 1982, nor any reference to the alleged party.||Biden rejects call to search his U Delaware records for her name, since personnel complaints would not be filed there.|
|Blasey Ford Inconsistencies & Political Motivations||Reade Inconsistencies & Political Motivations|
|Therapist’s 2012 notes say there were “four boys” in the bedroom; she says therapist made notation error.|
|Therapist’s notes show she claimed assault in “mid-1980s” (not 1982) when she was in her late-teens (when Kavanaugh was already at Yale), not age 15.||Brother originally only told Washington Post his sister told him of Biden’s creepiness, texted them later to add the sexual assault part.|
|Her descriptions of the neighborhood and the layout of the house changed as media gained evidence about them.||Her 2019 story originally only referenced Biden’s creepiness, she adds the sexual assault part in 2020.|
|She tells Washington Post that Trump’s 2016 upset her because he’d put Kavanaugh on SCOTUS, but Kavanaugh wasn’t even on Trump’s list until late 2017.||She cannot recall which supervisor told her to find a new job, every one she names denies hearing any complaint by her.|
|Couldn’t fly to Committee hearing because of fear of flying, yet testifies that she flies annually.||Has written effluent praise of Vladimir Putin and Russia, she now claims to have changed her views.|
|Registered as a Democrat.||Had supported Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.|
|Her attorney, Deborah Katz, said Roe V. Wade “is part of what motivated Christine.”||Only broke story of sexual assault on the podcast of die-hard Bernie Sanders supporter.|
|Kavanaugh History||Biden History|
|Investigation shows Kavanaugh to have been a bit of a creep in his high school and college days.||Video shows Biden to have been a bit of a creep as recently as 2017.|
|Kavanaugh begins clerking for Justice Kennedy in 1993, passes first of many FBI background checks over the next 25 years. Never is accused of any pattern of sexual misconduct in that time.||NY Times interviews dozens of people who worked with Biden or accused him of being creepy, none can corroborate her story, finds “no pattern of sexual misconduct” by Biden.|
To recap, in Christine Blasey Ford we had a woman who claims she was sexually assaulted as a fifteen-year-old at a high school house party by two drunk teenage boys 36 years ago. Both the boys as adult men deny this under oath. Everybody she claims was at the party cannot recall it under oath. She cannot recall any details about the location of the assault. She doesn’t mention the assault to anybody for 30 years. Her corroborating evidence is therapist’s notes and her telling of the assault to friends starting in 2012. Contradictory evidence is her shifting stories, Kavanaugh’s calendars from 1982, her father’s support of Kavanaugh, her opposition to a new Roe v. Wade-averse Justice, and numerous FBI background checks since 1993 finding no sexual assault problems in Kavanaugh’s background. Nothing in Kavanaugh’s decades of public service indicate any further sexual impropriety.
In Tara Reade we have a woman who first claimed to be inappropriately touched by an adult Senator for whom she worked as an adult 26 years ago, which she later upgrades to include a sexual assault. The man has never addressed the allegations. Everybody she claims to have complained to cannot recall the complaint. She can recall the exact location of the assault. She mentions problems (but not assault) with Biden in the same year (1993) as she claims the assault occurred, continuing to mention him by name in the mid 1990s to two other people and in 2008 to another. Her corroborating evidence is her mother calling in to Larry King Live to discuss her daughter’s problems (but not assault) in the same year it happened and her filed complaint she believes the University of Delaware is holding and Biden won’t let release. Contradictory evidence is her shifting stories, her writings praising Vladimir Putin, and her support of Bernie Sanders. Plenty in Biden’s decades of public service indicate unwelcome touching of women, which even he has had to acknowledge and address.
Like I said, I believe both of them. I think Christine Blasey Ford went to a house party as a teenager and two drunk asshole teenage boys thought it would be funny to get her into a grope sandwich. I think Tara Reade worked for a touchy-feely Senator Biden, who thought he was getting some “signal” of interest and made a clumsy groping attempt to get a noon quickie in the office.
But I’ve also been the victim of two different women who told lies about our sexual relationship with the intent of doing me harm. So, I could understand why someone might think that Christine Blasey Ford might have been assaulted by someone somewhere, but her intense hatred for a conservative SCOTUS may have mistakenly jogged her memory to peg Kavanaugh for the assault, or she might have knowingly lied just to harm Republicans.
Or I could understand why someone might think Tara Reade just hates Joe Biden because he was creepy to her and his staff retaliated by firing her for complaining, so she was going to take him down with his creepiness along with seven other women, and when that didn’t take, she added a little-too-on-the-nose allegation of pussy grabbing, motivated out of hatred for Joe Biden, love of Bernie Sanders, or benefit from Vladimir Putin.
What I can’t countenance is believing Christine Blasey Ford’s story but not Tara Reade’s, when the evidence for the latter’s story and the subject of it seem to me far more credible than the former’s.