How do Democrats view sexual harassment allegations? If we’re talking about party politicians and operatives, I think they view such claims as weapons to be used to derail their enemies — Supreme Court nominees they disapprove of, for example.
When the allegations are against enemies, Democratic pols and operatives say, as Joe Biden has, that we should believe the women who make them. But when the allegations are against important allies (as opposed to easily replaceable ones), this rule is discarded, as it was when Tara Reade “credibly” alleged that Biden sexually harassed her.
To make this double standard stick, it’s useful to have Democratic operatives at the top of organizations claiming authority in matters of sexual harassment. “Time’s Up” is such an organization, perhaps the leading one.
Tina Tchen is a cofounder of Time’s Up and its CEO. Tchen is a Democratic operative par excellence.
She was one of Barack Obama’s leading fundraisers. During the first two years of the Obama presidency, Tchen was the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. After that, she served as assistant to Barack Obama and chief of staff to Michelle Obama.
Roberta Kaplan a co-founder of Time’s Up. She too is a Dem operative.
No less of an authority than Andrew Cuomo described her as “indispensable in the fight against the cancer of hate and division that [Donald] Trump spent four years exacerbating.” Kaplan represents E. Jean Carroll, who has accused Donald Trump of sexual assault. She also represents Donald’s niece, Mary Trump, an enemy of her uncle.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that Tchen and Kaplan helped Andrew Cuomo’s effort to smear Lindsey Boylan, one of his accusers. Boylan had publicly called Cuomo “one of the biggest abusers of all time,” which seems like only a mild exaggeration in light of the New York attorney general’s report
Cuomo responded by writing an op-ed for publication in the New York Times. According to the New York attorney general’s report, the letter “denied the legitimacy of Ms. Boylan’s allegations, impugned her credibility, and attacked her claims as politically motivated.”
Cuomo had one of his aides run the letter by Kaplan. She showed it to Tchen. The pair said that except for statements about Boylan’s interactions with male colleagues, the letter was fine, again according to the attorney general’s report.
The letter was never published.
Tchen and Kaplan aren’t the only “champions” of sex harassment victims who helped Cuomo defend himself against valid claims of such harassment. The Free Beacon reports that Alphonso David, former general counsel for Cuomo and current president of the Human Rights Campaign, also assisted in the governor’s war on Boylan.
The attorney general’s report found that David provided Cuomo’s advisers with Boylan’s personnel file, which was then leaked to news outlets. In addition, he offered advice about Cuomo’s op-ed and helped round up signatures for a letter of support for Cuomo.
Not only that, David was also part of discussions about having a former Cuomo staffer secretly record another Cuomo accuser. With friends like Tchen, Kaplan, and David, sexual harassment victims don’t need enemies.
Time’s Up is now calling on Cuomo to resign. So is David. By doing so, they hope to retain enough credibility to continue their role as gate-keepers for sexual harassment claims — advancing those directed at enemies of Democrats and trying to undermine those directed at key political allies.
Let’s hope that time’s finally up on that scam.