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The Associated Press / The allegations involving Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and a 1993 sexual assault have widened, but it has even more broadly exposed the hypocrisy of his political party.

It's interesting to watch Democrats equivocate over the burgeoning sex scandal involving presumed presidential nominee Joe Biden.

After all, they've come almost full circle, from defending former Democratic President Bill Clinton's affair with a White House intern — "it's only sex," they kept telling us — to attempting to drive Republican President Donald Trump from the White House over his pre-presidential affairs to defending Biden, the former Democratic vice president who has denied a 1993 sexual assault allegation by his former United States Senate aide.

The latter defense, though, has become a little tricky in light of the left-driven #MeToo movement, which demands women be believed if they allege a sexual assault.

It has exposed the party anew as hypocritical, a tag even the far-left Washington Post assigned it in a 2017 editorial discussing the party's lack of objectivity involving Clinton when "it was in their political interest."

As corroboration of accuser Tara Reade's story has grown, Democrats have pointed to Biden's reputation, to his campaign's denial that the incident occurred and to a newspaper's conclusion it didn't happen.

But no member of the national media — read that twice — has asked Biden about the sexual assault.

It's an entirely different scenario, as this page has pointed out, from the party's reaction to a 2018 claim then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — nominated by Trump — sexually assaulted a woman during a high school party more than three decades earlier.

The accusations, at the time, filled mainstream newspapers, news shows and blogs, and networks carried live the questioning of the nominee and testimony of his accuser.

None of the people Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford said were present — when she first mentioned the incident 30 years after it allegedly occurred — could even recall the party, and her best friend at the time said she did not have "any confidence" in the story.

Compare that with Reade, whose now-deceased mother allegedly discussed her daughter's incident on "Larry King Live" in the mid-1990s and whose former neighbor acknowledged Reade discussed it with her around the same time. Reade also believes unsealed documents from Biden's tenure as a senator would include her formal sexual harassment complaint about the incident.

The women Biden may consider for a vice presidential running mate are in a particularly precarious position given their statements during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings and their recent pronouncements.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, for instance, praised Ford for being "graceful and so dignified" during her testimony in "laying out the fact." But on Reade, she cited "a thorough review by The New York Times" of the incident and defended the former Delaware senator as "someone I worked with" and "a leader on domestic issues."

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, said "we did not do [Ford] justice. We did not do the American people justice [regarding Kavanaugh]." But she said Biden "is somebody that really has fought for women and empowerment of women and women's equality and rights."

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, said in her floor speech opposing Kavanaugh's nomination that "I believe Dr. Blasey Ford," but, on Reade, she said "they" — whoever they are — "have done an investigation in several outlets" and that she stands by Biden, who "has devoted his life to supporting women."

Trump supporters have been willing to forgive his pre-White House indiscretions, including admission of a payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels "to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair" and the exposure of a tape during the 2016 campaign in which he claimed in order to seduce women he could grab them by their private parts.

We have never condoned such behavior and in fact withheld an endorsement of him in 2016 after the tape was released.

As to Biden, if indeed the incident happened, we believe he should be forthcoming, admit it, apologize, seek forgiveness from Reade and put it behind him. Yes, he'll take some heat for it, as Trump did, but no one believed Trump had a chance to win anyway.

What brought the Democrats' behavior nearly full circle last week was 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's endorsement of Biden. Not only was she the married victim of her husband's indiscretions while they were in the White House, but her endorsement came just as the Biden accusations were widening.

Reade, who voted for Clinton in 2016 and supported U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, in the primary this year, was appalled.

She was shocked, she said, to see Hillary Clinton, "enabling a sexual predator."

Trump's remarks and the allegation of his affairs didn't hurt him in 2016. The allegation against Biden may not hurt him this year, but the hypocrisy of his party in the wake of Bill Clinton and Brett Kavanaugh is likely to remain in full view.

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