According to the Associated Press, Fox News and other major news outlets, former Vice President Joe Biden has won the 2020 presidential election and will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States in January. Democrats are ecstatic. Republicans are in denial. Mr. Biden himself took to the airwaves this past weekend to deliver a message of hope and a call for unity moving forward.
Mr. Biden proclaimed victory with soaring themes. “Let’s give each other a chance,” he said. “We must put away the harsh rhetoric. Our opponents aren’t our enemies.” His theme was clear. It’s time for unity. It’s time to stop vilifying our political opponents. It is time to stop attacking our fellow Americans.
“The grim era of demonization ends here and now!” Mr. Biden proclaimed. “Not cooperating is a choice. America wants us to cooperate.” He went on to insist now is the time for our better angels to beat out our darker impulses.
It was a great message except for one thing. The extreme hypocrisy of the messenger.
Joe Biden apparently has a very short memory, and that’s not a cheap shot at dementia. Not cooperating is a choice? Mr. Biden is correct. Like the choice made by Jeffrey Catalan, the Rhode Island man who accused Brett Kavanaugh during his 2018 U.S. Supreme Court nomination hearings of raping a close associate of Mr. Catalan’s on a boat in August of 1985. Catalan later admitted he had fabricated the entire story. “I made a mistake and apologize for such mistake.” That’s not just not cooperating, that’s downright lying in order to derail a conservative nominee to the highest court in the land.
The same can be said for Judy Munro-Leighton, who claimed she had authored a letter saying Justice Kavanaugh had raped her in the back-seat of a car. Like Mr. Catalan, Ms. Munro-Leighton eventually admitted her story was a lie. In fact, she had never even met the judge. “It was a tactic” she explained. “It was a ploy.” Clearly, she didn’t follow her better angels.
Julie Swetnick was yet another Kavanaugh accuser. First, she claimed to have been gang-raped by the Supreme Court nominee. Her story then changed to her attending multiple parties where Justice Kavanaugh had participated in gang-rapes. Finally, her story changed again to say she was at parties where he and his friend might have spiked the punch in an attempt to render potential rape victims helpless. In an interview with NBC News, Ms. Swetnick named multiple witnesses. None corroborated her claims. Her ever-changing story was not only discredited, it was ultimately given to legal authorities for investigation as to whether she intentionally lied.
Debra Katz was the attorney for the most prominent of the Kavanaugh accusers. To this day, no one knows who paid for her services and for her expenses. Never mind that the accuser had no idea where the party of her alleged sexual assault took place, how she got to the event or how she got home. Never mind that all four witnesses she named denied ever being at the alleged gathering. The accuser literally said on the official Senate record she had no idea who was paying for any of her representation or costs. The point being that someone paid for her flights, her legal team, the circulation of her story, etc. Someone paid for the attack on Brett Kavanaugh.
All of which were choices. Choices to sully the name and reputation of a man, truth be damned, in an effort to keep the Supreme Court out of the perceived clutches of an alleged conservative.
Those weren’t Mr. Biden‘s choices you may say. Perhaps not. Maybe he can’t be held accountable for the grotesque exercise of harsh rhetoric and demonization of Brett Kavanaugh, but his running mate can be. While complimenting one of the judge’s accusers Sen. Kamala Harris, now vice president-elect, said “Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people.” Did someone say we should end the practice of demonization? Please pass the memo to Ms. Harris.
About a year after Justice Kavanaugh’s approval and swearing in at the Supreme Court, The New York Times published a bombshell story claiming Justice Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted Harmon Joyce at a college party. If true, many speculated, Justice Kavanaugh could be impeached from the high court. There was one problem with the story. Harmon Joyce said it never happened. Who told the story to the media then? A Democratic operative and former Bill Clinton lawyer by the name of Max Stier.
He made a choice. The choice to fabricate a story in an attempt to take out a sitting Supreme Court justice.
If Mr. Biden truly wants people to make choices to cooperate rather than marking our political opponents as enemies that must be neutralized, he may wish to reach out to Hillary Clinton. It was the Clinton campaign and the then-Clinton-controlled DNC that solicited and paid for the Steele dossier, the file used to create the entire Trump-Russia collusion hoax.
It was Obama-Biden era CIA Director John Brennan who briefed President Obama and his entire national security team in 2016 that the Russia file was merely a Clinton campaign ploy. In his own handwritten notes, Mr. Brennan says he told the team Clinton’s bogus info was “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.” No one who attended that meeting, not President Obama, not Vice President Biden, not National Security Adviser Susan Rice and certainly not Mr. Brennan himself listened to their better angels. No one spoke up as the frenzy grew over the Russia allegations. In fact, to the contrary, Mr. Brennan went on CNN for more than two years claiming to have insider knowledge of damning evidence that proved the Russia collusion allegations were true, despite having told Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden exactly the opposite. Brenna chose not to cooperate with the truth. Mr. Biden chose not to speak up.
Mr. Brennan again made the choice not to cooperate later after the Russia nonsense had been cleared by the Mueller investigation. It was Brennan protege Eric Ciaramella, better known as the whistleblower, who made the choice to try to take down a sitting U.S. president. Mr. Ciaramella was a CIA employee who had been detailed to the White House as part of a national security effort during the Obama administration. Specifically, Mr. Ciaramella worked on Ukraine policy. Joe Biden headed up the Obama administration’s Ukraine effort and the two worked together. The CIA spook managed to stay at the White House in a different capacity after Mr. Trump was sworn in.
The so-called whistleblower didn’t actually hear the infamous phone call between President Trump and the president of Ukraine, but he was told second and third-hand, that the call had allegedly been inappropriate. In his anonymous complaint he deemed his friends’ accounts of Trump’s terrible offense to be “credible.”
Two of the whistleblower’s national security brethren were working with Congressman Adam Schiff in his capacity as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Mr. Ciaramella consulted with them on assembling and filing his allegations against President Trump. This alarming information only came out after Rep. Schiff had denied the whistleblower ever having talked with him or his staff. Again, evidence of a prominent Democrat choosing not to cooperate with the truth but instead prioritizing the takedown of a political enemy.
That same Adam Schiff had claimed during the Russia investigation that the FBI “provided additional information provided through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting” (the Clinton paid file). The problem with Mr. Schiff’s claim? The FBI had provided no such thing. It was a lie. Mr. Schiff put a purely political (and untrue) agenda ahead of the truth, the media, his sworn duty and the people of the United States.
The most important person Joe Biden can speak with about choosing to stop attacks on fellow Americans can be found in his mirror. He needs to have a conversation with himself about his own past, both recent and distant.
In January of 2017, after Donald Trump had won the presidency but before he had been sworn in, Joe Biden himself suggested to the FBI that the Logan Act be used against incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Two weeks later, FBI Director James Comey sent FBI agents to the White House specifically to meet with Gen. Flynn and to “get him fired” or get him “to lie.” When the FBI called Gen. Flynn to arrange the meeting he asked if he needed his attorney present. The FBI assistant director told him he did not. It was to be just a friendly conversation. The assistant director of the FBI lied to Gen. Flynn in hopes of getting Gen. Flynn to lie. Classic. All organized as the result of a suggestion from Joe Biden. Better angels? Obviously not.
Mr. Biden‘s effort to take out his enemies with extreme prejudice in 2017 was nothing new. Just ask Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas or the widow of rejected Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.
In a February 2020 town hall meeting in New Hampshire, Mr. Biden bragged that he “almost single handedly made sure that Robert Bork did not get on that Court.” Mr. Biden and Sen. Ted Kennedy ran a railroad on Bork, claiming he was the worst kind of extremist and his nomination to the high court would take away abortion rights and return the U.S. to the days of segregation. There was no evidence to support their claims of course. In fact, Bork’s voting record during his five years on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., had been almost identical to that of Justice Antonin Scalia, who had been unanimously approved by the Senate the year before.
The gross distortion of one man’s record in a naked grab for political advantage showed Mr. Biden at his worst. In the week previous to Bork’s Senate hearings, Mr. Biden had been forced out of the race for the Democratic nomination for president because of plagiarism. Robert Bork’s widow later recalled, “In the course of one week Senator Biden orchestrated a vicious lying assault and was caught passing off someone else’s words as his own.”
Four years later, Mr. Biden would reprise his penchant for cruel fiction when he led the effort to smear Clarence Thomas during the justice’s nomination hearings. Joe Biden had no interest in unity. He had no interest in better angels. He had no interest in ending any grim demonization. Instead, he embraced his darker impulses. The things Mr. Biden said and the effort he led against Clarence Thomas were nothing short of disgraceful.
An incoming president-elect offering a message of hope and unity is delightful. It’s warm, it is what most Americans hope for. Hearing that message from someone who has spent decades exhibiting exactly the opposite, however, puts a bad taste in one’s mouth before Mr. Biden‘s term has even started.