The Briefing, Vol. VIII, Issue 19

May 10, 2020

This week: 

  • More corroboration of charge against Biden
  • Could it threaten his coronation?
  • Another COVID-era Wisconsin election

President 2020

Biden allegation: The allegation that Joe Biden raped a subordinate in 1993 certainly hasn’t been proven. It remains just an allegation, with some corroboration but no additional direct evidence. 

Still, that corroboration matters. It sets this allegation in contrast to meritless charges that lack contemporaneous evidence, such as the sexual assault allegations raised against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. 

With respect to Biden, and accuser Tara Reade, another piece of the puzzle emerged last week. It turns out that the incident was mentioned in a court filing for Reade’s 1996 divorce. This amounts to one more piece of roughly contemporaneous corroborating evidence. Reade appears to have discussed the incident with multiple people in various levels of detail, including a neighbor and a handful of others. If she was in fact plotting to get at Joe Biden, then she must have hatched this plan more than 25 years ago. And that’s very unlikely.

Again, this doesn’t mean Biden did it. It does mean that the Democrats refusing to take the charge seriously are demonstrating the utter insincerity of their earlier claims to support victims of sexual assault. How much evidence would Reade need to produce before Democrats would take her seriously instead of circling the wagons around their apparent nominee?

It remains a significant fact that Biden does not yet possess the delegate majority that would officially render him the Democrats’ nominee. Don’t read too much into that — but don’t forget it either.

Although it is of course unlikely that Biden will be replaced, he is still technically replaceable. And it’s not as if Democrats are especially enthusiastic about him. They were forced to embrace him in order to avoid nominating Bernie Sanders. It was a shotgun wedding that may not take. 

If further evidence emerges against Biden — such as records of a contemporaneous complaint by Reade in Biden’s sealed archives at the University of Delaware — then Democrats could still go in a different direction.  

Green Party: With Justin Amash giving the libertarian ticket a potentially higher profile, there was some hope that former pro wrestler and independent Minnesota Gov. Jesse “the Body” Ventura might do the same thing for the Green Party. Speculation boiled over after his strange, suggestive tweet of April 27

Such a run probably wouldn’t matter much — Green Party candidacies rarely do — except that Minnesota is sure to be a hotly contested state in 2020. Typically, those who vote Green do so because they would never vote for the Democrat on the ballot. But unlike the obscure Jill Stein, Ventura would have an appeal of his own, and in a state that Trump nearly won in 2020.

But Ventura has since announced that no, he will not be running — apparently because he would lose his health insurance. This is a very strange stated reason for not running, but a very appropriate one for a far-left socialist party.

Senate 2020

Massachusetts: Perhaps name recognition really does matter — even decades after one’s name has been a big thing. 

Two polls now show challenger Rep. Joe Kennedy, D, leading incumbent Sen. Ed Markey, D. Markey has enjoyed support and endorsements from the Democratic Party’s left wing — including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. But a late April poll from the University of Massachusetts shows Kennedy with a modest two-point lead and an early May poll from Emerson College shows him with a large double-digit lead.

The Bay State’s primary is a late one, scheduled for September 1. Markey is already trailing now — a very, very bad sign for him — but even worse, he has less name recognition and a slightly lower approval rating than the Kennedy scion. 

House 2020

Wisconsin-7: In this Tuesday’s special election, Republican state Sen. Tom Tiffany is favored to hold on to the northwestern Wisconsin seat being vacated by Rep. Sean Duffy, R. 

Duffy had been part of the Tea Party class of 2010, wresting a seat left behind by 21-term Rep. David Obey, D. This district is an excellent example of the sort of blue-collar, rural area that once voted Democrat but now favors President Trump.

This marks the second consecutive Wisconsin election that will go on in spite of the coronavirus. The first election, held early last month, doesn’t seem to have caused any spike of COVID cases or deaths in the Badger State, which is obviously good news.