This article was all but inevitable. MSNBC host/Democratic hack Joy Reid took to The Daily Beast to insist “As We Rethink Old Harassers, Let’s Talk About Clarence Thomas.”
By the standard of today’s outrageous allegations, Anita Hill’s still-unproven charges in 1991 didn’t include rape, or sexual touching. They were all about talking – talking about porn films or making jokes about pubic hairs. But somehow Reid concluded that he and Donald Trump were “sexual raptors.” But people accused of rape, like Bill Clinton? He already “paid a price.”
At that time, Hill was painted by the liberal media as a civil-rights heroine comparable to Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and Rosa Parks. Forgotten by Reid and many others were an outpouring of testimony by women who worked at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with Thomas and Hill, and who testified in favor of Thomas’s professionalism and integrity. But in Joy’s revisionist account, everyone tilted against Anita, and even Joe Biden favored Thomas (he didn’t vote for him! He barely made it, 52 to 48):
The national moment of self-reflection on the culture that produces such entitled men has compelled the left to indulge in its favorite ritual: curling into the fetal position as it self-flagellates over the eternal sins of the Clintons. [Link in the original.] It’s as if they’ve forgotten that the former president who left office 17 years ago indeed paid a price, including years of forensic investigation culminating in impeachment for his illicit affair with a 24-year-old White House intern.
Well if we are getting about the business of re-examining the past indecency of powerful men, we’d be remiss not to include the moment in 1991 when a woman was not believed and her alleged abuser was elevated to the highest court in the land, where he remains 26 years later.
It’s hard to see Thomas, who wrote off his Yale degree as worthless because of affirmative action yet retreated to the language of “lynching” to disparage his accuser and her supporters, as much of a victim. Particularly when most Americans, and most African Americans, took his side against Anita Hill and against prominent civil rights and women’s rights organizations who were unanimous in their opposition to his elevation to the seat once occupied by the great Thurgood Marshall. Democrats including then-Sen. Joe Biden, took Thomas’ side against Hill, too — even refusing to allow witnesses who could corroborate her account to testify at Thomas’ Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
Instead, we were treated to a bipartisan spectacle of the old men of the United States Senate lecturing Professor Hill from the dais; scowling at her as she was forced to recount in mortifying detail how Thomas pushed her to date him and taunted her with disgusting jokes and insinuations at work that included graphic tales of pubic hair and Coke cans.
Hill was not "forced to recount" these tales. They were in her opening statement. If she was "forced" to testify, it was by reporters like NPR's Nina Totenberg and her Democratic allies on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who wanted her to accuse Thomas on the record, and not just as an anonymous source in a news story.
For people who don’t remember, there was not a “bipartisan spectacle” of men lecturing Hill. The Democrats were very supportive, even if some (ahem, Ted Kennedy) sunk a bit in their chairs at the allegations. Republican Sen. Arlen Specter suggested Hill may have committed perjury, which outraged the liberals. Hill insisted she wasn’t making the allegations to make a buck....and then signed a million-dollar book deal and took a prestigious law professor job at Brandeis, where she still works. Back to Joy:
Again, most Americans chose not to believe Hill, who was castigated as a liar, a temptress, and a race-traitor trying to keep a black man off the Supreme Court. Never mind that the American Bar Association had delivered a mixed verdict on whether he was even qualified for a lifetime appointment of such grandeur. I can personally recall knock-down, drag out arguments with black colleagues and relatives who were defending Thomas, and demanding a West Indian gypsy cab driver in the Bronx pull over and let me out of his car after he called Hill a whore.
But we can’t get out of Joy’s cab when she calls Thomas a predatory dinosaur:
Indeed, we need to continue to talk about predacious men. That needs to include the sexual raptors armed with immense power right now—beginning with the president of the United States and the high court’s scandalized associate justice, Clarence Thomas.
It's possible to believe, even now, that not every man accused of sexual harassment is guilty. It's not just to always believe the woman -- see the Rolling Stone "frat rape" story, or the Duke Lacrosse trial. Many Americans still believe Thomas and think Hill didn't bring any convincing evidence.