In the scheme of Democratic nominees, Joe Biden’s the savior of moderation, the old white “reasonable” guy. And compared to some of the more outlandish proposals to reinvent America, that’s generally true. But what about the Joe Biden who was tasked by the Obama Administration with propounding a cheap and easy lie that thrilled the woke and, more importantly, cost nothing from the public fisk? As Emily Yoffe thoroughly documents, Biden wasn’t quite so moderate then.
Though his reputation rests on his moderation, Biden’s approach to campus sexual assault is part of a pattern: He identifies an actual problem, engages in inflammatory—and sometimes false—rhetoric about it, then fashions a harsh, overreaching response that sweeps up the harmless and even the innocent.
Biden was a leading drug warrior, calling for ever-more, ever-harsher, crimes and consequences. He’s since somewhat repudiated his earlier positions, and to be fair, pretty much everyone, black, white and especially blue, held the same views, that drugs were a blight on society and had to be eradicated at all costs. And cost they did, both to fight the war and in the consequences for human beings, many of whom remain imprisoned for life plus cancer in the Rockefellian fantasy that just one more Draconian decade in prison will make drugs go away.
But when it came to sexual assault on campus, Biden was more than happy to don the mantle of “us,” as in “It’s on Us.”
An analysis this spring in The Chronicle of Higher Education gives Biden full credit for the campus reforms. “Advocates say the sweeping Title IX changes that have transformed higher education would not have happened without Biden’s support,” the Chronicle notes. (Title IX is the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education.) Campus security consultant S. Daniel Carter, who worked with the vice president on these issues, said, “This movement would not exist without Joe Biden.”
Campus sex tribunals? Kangaroo courts? A system based on “believe the woman” and, if some poor innocent male student has his life ruined in the process, that’s just the price of fixing the problem. That’s Joe Biden, who bought into the campus rape epidemic.
As the administration’s point man, Biden traveled the country, speaking to college officials and students, painting a grimly dystopian portrait of campus life in which inherently violent male students abuse their female classmates with impunity.
What could a decent man do but be the frontman for hysteria?
Biden has said repeatedly that the administration was compelled to act because of an “epidemic” of sexual violence, citing a statistic that “one in five” female college students would experience sexual assault before graduation.
That number came from an anonymous 2007 online survey of students at two universities. The definition of sexual assault was broad, encompassing everything from nonconsensual sexual intercourse to such unwanted activities as “forced kissing,” “fondling,” and “rubbing up against you in a sexual way, even if it is over your clothes.”
But Biden was on a roll, basking in the adoration of activists.
Biden hugged activists and said in his speech that fighting violence against women was “the passion of my life.” (Some of the activists Biden interacted with over the years, offering hugs and other physical comfort, spoke out this year saying his touches had been unwelcome.)
And has been chronicled here, the consequences were harsh and irrational, creating a novel system to specifically target male students and assure they would be punished, whether or not any offense (which was stripped of definition such that any woman who felt as if she was raped was, as far as colleges were concerned, raped) happened and they did it.
Young men began being investigated, adjudicated, and suspended or expelled for sexual encounters that all parties agreed began consensually, often assisted by alcohol, and that ended with differing perceptions—the cases often hinging on whether affirmative consent had been obtained for every act. It was not unusual for complaints to be brought weeks, months, even years after the episode. It was common for the accused not to be told the specific charges against him, not to be able to testify in his own defense, and not to be able to present exculpatory evidence and witnesses.
While Joe Biden has been taken to task for his role as Drug Warrior, what about Destroyer of Innocent Male Students? What about spreader of false cries of a rape epidemic? To no one’s surprise, his fellow candidates haven’t questioned his role in spreading misinformation, fomenting hysteria and depriving male students of due process. Much as they may hate the Drug War (now, at least), they absolutely love the Rape War, because women are marginalized and men are toxic.
But what about Mr. Moderation?
In a phone call to activists shortly after the DeVos announcement, arranged by It’s On Us, Biden angrily dismissed the notions that the accused have been treated unfairly and that male students have been “vilified.” He called critics of his policies “cultural Neanderthals.” He urged the activists to organize to prevent their college presidents from making any Title IX reforms. Picking up the language of the activists themselves, he recommended shaming and embarrassing the school leaders. Biden said, “Please, please remember: Shame, shame, shame is a powerful weapon in our fight.”
While Biden may feel badly now about his role in the drug war, not to mention all the “illegals” deported when he was vice president, his fervor to destroying innocent male students remains unchanged.
[Biden] has released proposals that would undo some of the harsh responses he helped put in place, such as mandatory minimum sentences, an increase in crimes eligible for the death penalty, and the prohibition on prisoners getting Pell education grants.
But Biden has yet to acknowledge that his work on campus sexual assault is another well-intentioned effort that went badly awry. Instead of making women safer, it spread panic and damaged the educations and opportunities of many young men who didn’t deserve it.
Biden might not be as radical as some of the others, but there is nothing to suggest that his embrace of the campus rape hysteria, and disdain for due process for the accused, has changed. Moderation may be his mantra, but not in all things. When it comes to Title IX, to undefining sexual assault and denying the innocent males students due process, Biden is no moderate. No Democrat cares much for due process as long as it’s only males who wrongfully suffer. Not even Mr. Moderation.