At the very beginning of our Republic his enemies tried to demolish Thomas Jefferson by denouncing him for maintaining a slave mistress. And so it has been ever since. Decades later President Grover Cleveland’s illegitimate child prompted this Republican campaign ditty: “Ma, ma, where’s my pa?/Gone to the White House Ha, Ha, Ha.”

Owing to my Rutgers connections I heard a story from three different left-lurching political science graduate students who knew three different people who knew three different friends who knew someone with Hollywood connections who knew three different women who had been raped by Ronald Reagan.

More recently we have the Clarence Thomas case. Left-lurching Democrats didn’t want another conservative justice on the Supreme court. They couldn’t make an effective case that the nominee was incompetent, but along came Anita Hill to tell how she was sexually harassed by the villain. Not raped; not assaulted, but exposed to salacious remarks. This wasn’t much to go on and the effort failed.

But it came close and the left-lurchers have remained viciously hostile to Justice Thomas ever since. The Democrats learned an important lesson from this incident. They learned that the Sex Bomb had potential as a means to blow up a supreme court nomination, even if the accusation was unsupported by witnesses.

Bill Clinton’s sexual frolics in the Oval Office looked to the Republicans like a powerful bomb to blow up the Clinton Administration. Here’s an interesting departure from the usual pattern. When the accusation first became public Hillary Clinton said that the Clinton-Lewinsky liaison was a serious matter if true. When she said that she did not know about a certain blue dress (now living in Montana disguised as a pair of drapes under a federal witness protection program according to Mark Steyn).

When that dress, adorned with presidential residues, became known, the devious FLOTUS decided the liaison was a personal matter between Bill and Hillary and not the business of any Republican. Faithful Democrats rallied around this interpretation and attacked the Republicans for having dirty minds. Clinton was impeached by the House but not convicted by the Senate. He lost his law license for perjury, but carried on as before.

The Brett Kavanaugh nomination fight shows us that the left-lurchers learned a lesson from their Anita Hill failure. They made it known from the start that they vehemently opposed Kavanaugh but their efforts to demonstrate that he was professionally unfit went nowhere. They needed a rape accusation to stop him. Christine Blasey Ford supplied it.

They improved on their weak he said/she said case by invoking their new rule: We Must Believe The Woman! Ford had no corroboration. She couldn’t remember details. So the Democrats were left with Dr. Ford’s soulful presentation and the We Must Believe the Woman rule.

And that brings us to Tara Reade, a former Biden Senate staffer who accuses the Democratic presidential candidate of a physical assault just short of rape. She supplied supporting details, but this is still a he said/she said confrontation. Unlike Ford, she has no history of political hostility toward the accused. Unlike Ford, she told her story to a number of people before going public. This doesn’t alter the he said/she said status of the accusation.

When MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski grilled him on Reade’s accusation Biden emphatically maintained that he has nothing to hide and Reade’s claims are untrue. That should be enough in a court of law, but it’s no longer accepted in the court of public opinion. Mika insisted that Good Ol’ Joe reconcile his support of the new rule. His response: “Believe the woman. But investigate.” In other words (mine): “Believe the woman, only don’t go too far.”

John Frary of Farmington, the GOP candidate for U.S. Congress in 2008, is a retired history professor, an emeritus Board Member of Maine Taxpayers United, a Maine Citizen’s Coalition Board member, and publisher of He can be reached at [email protected]

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