2020-04-29 – Remember “Hillary’s emails!” That was the non-stop non-scandal that put Trump over the top in the 2016 election. Remember that it was “corroborated” by no one less than James Comey, Director of the the FBI.
Until it wasn’t. Until the election was over and the lie wasn’t useful anymore.
That’s what I think of when I hear about the Tara Reade scandal that is trying to do to Biden what the email scandal did to Hillary.
And this is a clever one. The abuser-in-chief, Donald Trump, wants you to believe this scandal because #MeToo!
Here’s the thing about #MeToo: while it says that women should usually be believed when they open up about ways they’ve been abused, it does not say that a heavily-funded presidential campaign that is built on lies can’t find the exception. And cynically use your honest empathy for abused women to create doubt about a strong opponent. That’s what they do. And we’ve seen it time and time again.
Apparently, for some, exposure to the lies hasn’t created an immunity.
I’m not going to pick apart Reade’s story. Others have done that. It’s weak.
But it’s exactly the kind of story that the Trump campaign would thrive on: false, but “credible.” The story is not aimed at his true believers. The true believers would listen to a story that Biden murdered puppies on the Moon and answer that with “Lock Him Up! Lock Him Up! Lock Him Up!”
The story is aimed at fair-minded people who might be swayed by the argument: “they’re all alike.” That’s what the Trump campaign wants. They want to normalize their guy with the idea that they’re all alike. It weakens the opposition enough that their voter suppression tactics will work and get their guy another four years.
And it’s aimed and the not-so-liberal liberal media. They love to take a wildly out-of-balance situation and make it “fair and balanced.” It gets them ratings. Nothing’s more important than ratings.
And, of course, th people who are most susceptible to stories like this are Democrats who didn’t like Biden to begin with. Like Bernie supporters. It’s called confirmation bias. They didn’t like Joe and now they’ve heard something bad about him. They were right all along!
Well, they may have been right to begin with, but they are not right now.
Joe may be “credibly” accused, but Trump has admitted publicly to being a serial abuser. And he’s taken his serial abuse into the White House where he:
Separated refuge asylum seekers from their children and threw them into concentration camps;
Solicited foreign help in undermining our elections;
Fomented racial and antisemitic violence across the country;
Gave the wealthiest 1% the biggest deficit-busting tax cut in their lives while cutting or sabotaging meager programs that help the middle class and the poor;
Packed the Supreme Court with right-wing ideologs, taking aim not only at the overturn of Roe v. Wade, put the perpetuation of corporate power over human power in America;
Tried multiple times to weaken and undermine the health insurance system in America;
Failed to heed the warnings of pandemic and, once the pandemic was here, opposed measures to fight it, even measures aimed as safely reopening the economy.
The list goes on and on.
But forget all that.
(And remember: if the Tara Reade “scandal” doesn’t catch on sufficiently, there will be more “credible” scandals.)
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