Joe Biden’s stale postmodernism

Earlier today, John wrote about the accusation that Joe Biden touched Lucy Flores inappropriately when he campaigned for her back in 2014. I want to focus on the statement Biden’s team put out in response:

Neither then, nor in the years since, did he or the staff with him at the time have an inkling that Ms. Flores had been at any time uncomfortable, nor do they recall what she describes.

But Vice President Biden believes that Ms. Flores has every right to share her own recollection and reflections, and that it is a change for better in our society that she has the opportunity to do so. He respects Ms. Flores as a strong and independent voice in our politics and wishes her only the best.

John calls this kind of statement “obligatory,” and it probably is if you’re a white male Democrat who may seek office. But no normal person would respond this way.

A normal person would flatly deny the allegation if he didn’t believe it. If he did believe it, he would either deny the allegation anyway or apologize.

If he wasn’t sure (i.e., he didn’t recall doing what he’s accused of but knew he was capable of it — which is probably the case with Biden), a normal person would either deny the allegation or simply say he doesn’t remember inappropriately touching Flores. He would not add the obligatory salute to the “Me Too” movement.

Unfortunately, the modern Democratic party is post-normal.

Biden, for his part, is hiding behind postmodernism under which truth is just a construct and people are entitled to their own reality. Biden’s reality is that he didn’t inappropriately touch Flores, her reality is different, and far be it for Biden to impose his reality (as opposed to his hands and face) on her.

Unfortunately, as Peter Berkowitz has observed, the academic left has moved beyond postmodernism to identity politics. Truth is no longer just a construct and all realities are not equal.

Truth can be ascertained. We ascertain it through identity politics — that is, by figuring out which speaker comes from the most marginalized, most victimized group, and believing her.

In this case, Biden, an old white male, sits at the bottom of the identity food chain. Flores, a Hispanic female, resides in the upper-middle class.

Biden, therefore, cannot hide behind out-of-date boilerplate about Flores’ right to share her recollection and reflection. Her right isn’t to share; her right is to be believed.

Poor old Joe just doesn’t get it.

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