- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 4, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Joe Biden has a lot of friends who’ve been busily explaining away his too touchy-feely behaviors lately as little misunderstandings — that the former vice president is simply affectionate and nice, more like a favorite family “uncle” of the effervescent variety than creepy or predatory.

These defenders are wrong. Do they not have eyes to see? Even calling Biden “uncle,” or any politician, in fact, is weird.

But more than that: Does Biden himself not know that his behaviors are wrong? And if not, why not? He’s 76 years old, well past the age of reason. He’s also a seasoned politician, trained to read people in order to bend their political wills. Are we to believe that it’s escaped Biden’s notice that he’s got the brand of a predatory creep?

Yet Americans seem confused.

So let’s get this straight, straight off the top: Just because someone seems nice, doesn’t mean that person can’t also be a creep. Just because someone carries groceries for a neighbor, helps an elderly lady across the street, smiles and tells jokes and charms groups of people, doesn’t mean they’re Polly pure on the inside. 



MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski rose to Biden’s defense on a recent “Morning Joe” segment, saying it’d be “sad” if Biden had to stop hugging people just because of a few bad seed female accusers.

Really? Pragmatic might be a better word. Polite, even. Or proper.

Her words, as captured on Mediaite: “[Biden‘s] a nice guy, he’s not a predator, and this is ridiculous. Let me just say it, this is ridiculous. … [T]he conversation has gotten out of control. And Democrats and those on the left who want to tweet me today and go nuts and get all woke, you’re eating your young. You’re eating those who can beat Trump, you’re killing the very people who have been pushing women ahead, who’ve been fighting for equal pay, who have been doing everything they can to respect women in their lives.”

Biden’s defenders aren’t confined to his own liberal camp.

Meghan McCain, the Republican voice of “The View,” said in a tweet: Leave my buddy, Joe, alone.

She put it this way: “Joe Biden is one of the truly decent and compassionate men in all of American politics. He has helped me through my father’s diagnosis, treatment and ultimate passing more than any one of my fathers’ friends combined. I wish there was more empathy from our politicians not less.”

Come on now, people.

Biden is a creep. He’s been a creep for a long time, toward a lot of people, in a lot of different settings.

“Biden Swims Naked, Upsetting Female Secret Service Agents, Book Claims,” reported U.S. News in an August 2014 headline.

“What Are We Going To Do About Creepy Uncle Joe Biden?” wrote The Washington Post, in a February 2015 headline.

Twitter threads have even been dedicated to discussing Biden’s untoward behaviors.

“It’s time to talk about former Vice President Joe Biden, the open sexual predator. A thread/moment,” wrote Richard Armande Mills, an activist and content creator tied, at least at one point, to Turning Point USA. This thread, from November 2017, was shared more than 39,000 times and commented upon more than 2,500 times.

In other words: the jig is up.

Biden’s reputation is out there.

It’s talked about, both discussed and whispered, captured on video, shared on social media and treated as topic for numerous commentaries and articles.

There’s no way Biden isn’t aware of his reputation.

So that leads to this main question: Why hasn’t Biden changed?

What kind of man knows he has a reputation as a lech, as a creep, as someone who makes women and girls uncomfortable with his intrusive, unasked-for touches — and doesn’t change?

A “decent” man, as McCain calls him? A “nice guy,” as Brzezinski insists?

If so, America’s standards of decency have fallen too low.

Here’s a refresher. A decent man, when confronted with the truths of his indecent behaviors toward women, should adjust his behaviors. A nice guy, when informed of how his actions toward little girls cause feelings of discomfort, should change how he acts around little girls — even if he truly means no harm, even if he genuinely believes he’s simply being affectionate, or friendly, or innocently kind. He changes because he’s shocked someone would think something wicked of him and he wants to set the record straight. He changes because he wants to make others comfortable, not uncomfortable.

Biden, age 76, has had plenty of time and opportunity to realize the folly of his behavioral ways and adjust accordingly. That he hasn’t, that he won’t, only underscores his power-hungry heart, his arrogant nature — and without a doubt, his creepiness.

That he has so many defenders of both political parties only underscores the vast, deep damage to America’s moral compass. When Donald Trump’s rhetoric toward women made national headlines, the then-presidential contender was called out for it; he was slammed, and rightly so, for some of the things he’s said about women, as well as for some of the ways he’s treated women. He still won the White House.

Similarly, calling out Biden’s behavior for what it is does not mean he can’t run for president. It does not mean his supporters can’t continue to support him as a politician, as a public figure, as even as a friend. But scoffing his creepiness and dismissing it as “nice” is deceptive and does a disservice to truth.

Pretending his creepiness is something it’s not, as too many of Biden’s supporters are doing these days, is just plain wrong.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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