Thursday, October 04, 2007

A New Snarl From an Old Smear

To those paying attention, the ongoing smear attempts by Democrat politicians and their operatives of Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are nothing new. We remember the “daisy” ad by Lyndon Johnson against Goldwater, the Ray Donovan affair, Bork’s video rentals and garbage riffling, the Texas pickup truck ad against Bush, and, of course, the famous fake memos put forth by Dan Rather. Coincidentally, one of the left’s most heinous smear attempts was of Clarence Thomas, and just this week his memoir has appeared containing his first public comments on the details of the “high-tech” lynching. These are only a few of the many instances I remember. How can anyone support these Stalinists? They don’t dare discuss issues, so over and over they resort to character assassination.

One good thing that can come of this is for conservatives and others who are fair-minded to keep pounding home just what has been happening to a greater and greater extent in recent years. Millions of Americans still get their news information from network news and the newspapers. They are mostly exposed only to slanted news and actual lies on a daily basis. The smears of O’Reilly and Limbaugh are so egregious and so obvious that we ought to be able to reach the ordinary citizen with the truth about what has been going on.

Clarence Thomas's Great American Story
By Rich Lowry, RealClearPolitics, October 02, 2007 (Excerpt)

“If only Clarence Thomas weren’t a black conservative, his new memoir, My Grandfather’s Son, would be hailed as a kind of classic, a powerful, moving tale of a black man’s ascent from bone-crushing poverty to the pinnacle of the American system of government.

But Thomas has a unique lot in life. On top of the discrimination, insults, and condescension he has experienced simply as a black man have come the outrage, insults, and condescension he has experienced as a black man who broke with liberal orthodoxy. In his view, all this culminated in his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, when liberal interest groups revived the old smear of the sexually rapacious black man in the guise of Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment.

The final section of the book dealing with the hearings is getting the most attention, and Thomas is being portrayed as the aggressor. He “lashes out,” according to a headline in the Washington Post. Those pages do indeed pulse with anger, but how could it be otherwise when Thomas contends –- persuasively -- that he did Hill a favor by hiring her to work for him in the federal government, he had never mistreated her, and her accusations were a brutal instance of the politics of personal destruction?

Thomas survived, of course, and if his opponents had been able to read this book they would have known he would. My Grandfather’s Son is a tale of pride, determination and independence -- from the constraints of discrimination and the deadening influence of group-think.”

Ah, Anita Hill:

Sauce For The Goose, October 2, 2007, Captains Quarters

Anita Hill takes to the pages of the New York Times to answer Justice Clarence Thomas' memoirs -- and becomes an inadvertent ironist. After waiting sixteen years to tell his side of the story, Hill accuses Thomas of throwing unsubstantiated allegations at her. Anyone who watched the Thomas confirmation process should fall into gales of laughter at this cri de coeur:

“In the portion of his book that addresses my role in the Senate hearings into his nomination, Justice Thomas offers a litany of unsubstantiated representations and outright smears that Republican senators made about me when I testified before the Judiciary Committee — that I was a “combative left-winger” who was “touchy” and prone to overreacting to “slights.” A number of independent authors have shown those attacks to be baseless. What’s more, their reports draw on the experiences of others who were familiar with Mr. Thomas’s behavior, and who came forward after the hearings. It’s no longer my word against his.

Justice Thomas’s characterization of me is also hobbled by blatant inconsistencies. He claims, for instance, that I was a mediocre employee who had a job in the federal government only because he had “given it” to me. He ignores the reality: I was fully qualified to work in the government, having graduated from Yale Law School (his alma mater, which he calls one of the finest in the country), and passed the District of Columbia Bar exam, one of the toughest in the nation.”

Well, let's see. I recall that it was Hill who went to the Judiciary Committee with a litany of unsubstantiated representations and outright smears in 1991. The committee had noted the lack of substantiation and had dismissed her effort until someone leaked it to the press. Her colleagues testified that they had never witnessed any of the events or any other harassing behavior from Thomas when they came before the committee. In fact, at the time, the other women who worked for Thomas testified to his professional mien in the office.

Hill then goes on to say this:

“It’s worth noting, too, that Mr. Thomas hired me not once, but twice while he was in the Reagan administration — first at the Department of Education and then at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After two years of working directly for him, I left Washington and returned home to Oklahoma to begin my teaching career.”

It's worth noting that Hill followed Thomas to the EEOC despite having purportedly been harassed by Thomas at Education. Why did she do that, if Thomas made her workplace miserable? She could have stayed at the DoE when Thomas left and been rid of his supposedly creepy behavior. As she takes great pains to point out, she had plenty of other career opportunities without Thomas' assistance.

And why didn't Hill -- who takes great pains to review her CV in this essay -- ever file a complaint against Thomas at the time of the harassment? She waited almost ten years to say anything, despite being a Yale grad who could and did make her own way in the world. She worked at the EEOC, after all, and would have had knowledge of how to address the kind of debilitating harassment that Thomas supposedly directed at her. Yet she said nothing at all about Thomas' behavior until it became convenient for those Democrats looking to derail Thomas' confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Coming forward after ten years does not build credibility. Hill, as a lawyer, should understand that evidentiary evaluation. Old, unsubstantiated allegations only have credibility among those who use them for political purposes. Contrast Hill's reception to that of Paula Jones and her allegations of indecent exposure and sexual harrassment against Bill Clinton. Unlike Hill, Jones made her complaint contemporaneously, and pursued legal action through the channels that Hill espouses in this column after the incident got publicized. All of the same people who lined up behind Hill against Thomas didn't just ignore Jones, but called her every name in the book, including "trailer trash". Hill, who thinks that she helped lead an evolution in how harrassment gets treated, somehow neglects to mention Jones as part of that evolution.

Now she wants to cry that Thomas has attacked her in his memoirs, and without what she sees as substantiation. Sixteen years still hasn't taught Hill much, apparently including the "sauce for the goose" proverb.

One of the untold stories of the Thomas hearings was the smear that Senator Howard Metzenbaum attempted against one of Justice Thomas’ character witnesses, a young and successful black attorney named John Doggett who knew both Thomas and Hill. Someone got another woman to charge him (Doggett) with a sexual advance that supposedly had happened 8 1/2 years before – and had never been previously reported. Metzenbaum attempted to read into the proceedings unsworn testimony to discredit this Thomas’ witness.

It was with great pain that I watched the Thomas hearings and saw this decent and gifted man smeared because he was a conservative black. Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are not in the same league as Thomas, but it pains me again to see Senator Reid on the floor of the United States Senate continue the smear attempt against Rush with his ridiculous letter. We need some liberals to stand up, as Joseph Welch did to Senator McCarthy many years ago and say, “at long last, sir, have you no decency?”.

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At 9:40 AM, Blogger Truth_In_Politics said...

The Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings were basically a "he said, she said" confrontation between Thomas and Anita Hill. Some people believed Thomas's account and some believed Hill's, but characterizing those who believed Anita Hill as Stalinists is way over the top.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

Optimizer, you are using a typical leftist debating trick of misstating a point. I said those who cannot argue issues resort to character assassination and are Stalinists. That's exactly what happened in the Thomas hearings.

At 6:39 PM, Blogger Truth_In_Politics said...

And you are using the typical right wing tactic of calling names rather than addressing the point made.
In a dispute between two parties, a bystander may make a judgement about the veracity of either of the parties. Choosing to believe one of the parties and not the other does NOT constitute character assassination of the party thought to be lying. OTOH calling any American a Stalinist is character assassination. Stalin was a mass murderer. Few, if any, Americans supported him.


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