Wednesday, October 20, 2010
And the Chutzpah Award Goes To . . . Ginni Thomas
I thought this was from the Onion. Clarence Thomas's wife left the following voice mail for Anita Hill: “Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas . . . I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband.” Apologize for what? For telling the truth? Context is provided by Ted Kennedy's speech on the Senate floor opposing Thomas's nomination back in 1991. Kennedy defended Anita Hill's "extraordinary courage and dignity" in expressing "the pain and anguish experienced by so many women who have been victims of sexual harassment on the job," and accused the Senate of being an "old boys club." He called out Thomas for claiming to be a victim of a "high tech lynching," stating that such a "deliberate, provocative use of a term like lynching is not only wrong in fact, it is a gross misuse of America’s most tragic — most historic tragedy and pain to buy a political advantage." Finally, and most presciently, perhaps, Kennedy argued that "the extreme views [Thomas] expressed before his confirmation hearings demonstrate that he lacks a deep commitment to the fundamental Constitutional values at the core of our democracy," and that Kennedy opposed any effort "to pack the Supreme Court with justices who will turn back the clock on issues of vital importance for the future of our nation and for the kind of country we want America do be." Apologies should come from George H.W. Bush for nominating Thomas (to replace Thurgood Marshall!), from the Judiciary Committee's inept and sexist performance, and from the 11 Senate Democrats who (in what was a 52-48 vote) failed to heed their fellow Democrat and voted to confirm arguably the most conservative and one of the worst Supreme Court justices in history.