Count Linda Hirshman as one of those on the left who at least isn't hiding her political motivations.
The feminist author and longtime voice against sexual harassment penned a New York Times op-ed Wednesday that spelled things out plainly in the headline: "I Believe Tara Reade. I'm voting for Joe Biden anyway."
What are the details?
Hirshman — who said she also believed Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings — argued that trashing Reade's accusation and her four (and counting) corroborating witnesses "is nonsense."
"So stop playing gotcha with the female supporters of Mr. Biden or the #MeToo movement, making them lie to the camera — or perhaps to themselves — about doubting her to justify their votes," she wrote before her zinger: "I'll take one for the team. I believe Ms. Reade, and I'll vote for Mr. Biden this fall."
Hirshman has a long history of advocacy for women's issues dating back the 1960s, noting that "supposedly 'liberal' men abused the sexual revolution in every imaginable way. I am unimpressed by their lip service to feminism, their Harvard degrees or their donations to feminist causes."
She also said she was "one of a few establishment feminists" who stuck up for Monica Lewinsky when feminist icon Gloria Steinem protected President Bill Clinton by tossing Lewinsky to the sharks.
Now Hirshman is living by the following mantra: "Suck it up and make the utilitarian bargain."
More from her op-ed:
All major Democratic Party figures have indicated they're not budging on the presumptive nominee, and the transaction costs of replacing him would be suicidal. Barring some miracle, it's going to be Mr. Biden.
So what is the greatest good or the greatest harm? Mr. Biden, and the Democrats he may carry with him into government, are likely to do more good for women and the nation than his competition, the worst president in the history of the Republic. Compared with the good Mr. Biden can do, the cost of dismissing Tara Reade — and, worse, weakening the voices of future survivors — is worth it. And don't call me an amoral realist. Utilitarianism is not a moral abdication; it is a moral stance.
"Won't the good for all the Americans who will benefit from replacing Donald Trump with Joe Biden, including the masses of women who will get some crumbs, count for more than the harm done to the victims of abuse?" Hirshman asked.
She added that "utilitarian morality requires that I turn my face away from the people I propose to sell out: Monica Lewinsky, Tara Reade. This is agonizingly hard for me to do. Pretending not to believe the complainants — which is what is taking place with Ms. Reade — or that they're loose nobodies, which is what much of the media did to Ms. Lewinsky, is just an escape from the hard work of moral analysis."
Hirshman added a message to rest of the left trying discredit Biden's accuser.
"Better to just own up to what you are doing: Sacrificing Ms. Reade for the good of the many," she said.
She also savaged President Trump and even Vice President Mike Pence, calling both misogynists in their own ways and concluded Biden — "that relic of the good-old-boy Senate years, seems positively benign by comparison."
Still Hirshman said, "But even that probably would not be enough to make me abandon the claims of justice and vote for him in face of credible accusations of sexual assault. Fortunately for my sanity, there's more."
With that she invoked a philosophical argument about making a "distasteful moral choice" in the midst of a figurative shipwreck — and said Trump's presidency is one.
"It may not be just, but I'm swimming away from Mr. Trump's sinking ship as hard as I can." Hirshman wrote. "If I have to, I'll vote for Mr. Biden. I hope I'm not going to drown anyway."
On that note, here's video of Hirshman in 2019 discussing her book, "Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment." In the first few minutes of the clip, the author recounts the brutal story of a 20-year-old woman who was nearly raped her workplace restroom — and that her shift manager "treated her story like it was nothing." Hmm.
Linda Hirshman and Rebecca Traister on the fight against sexual harassment youtu.be