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    Open Thread on the Virginia Thomas / Anita Hill Incident

    Has anyone except me wondered why Virginia Thomas called Professor Hill's office at 7am on a weekend and left a recorded message for all to hear (and parse)? If she had just called and spoken to her she could actually claim that she had extended an olive branch, and it would have been her word against Hill's. Her recorded words completely refute her stated reason for the call; after all, an olive branch doesn't usually include an accusation of perjury.

    Why did she do this, and why do it the way she did? I am very suspicious, but I can't think of what the Thomases could possibly gain from this. Do they have something on Hill that they want to throw at her, and this is just the prelude?

    Any ideas?


    Anger.  Also, Virginia's been more in the public eye of late so I bet a lot of what might otherwise be considered ancient history has been dredged up.

    Given that both of them must be morally bankrupt, it could make you wonder if one of them got bad medical reports, and looking toward death may be wanting to change Clarence's legacy.  He knows he's guilty, and his wife must, too.

    Ho! I think she has tapes of Clarence's confession that she is hiding and she's saying to him, shutup, I can say whatever I want to.

    If we're going to dig up the past I'd like to know more about the mutual friend and potential witness who had conveniently drowned in Africa. 

    Dahlia Lithwick has an interesting take here, I think:

    She's also in the anger camp.

    Thanks for the link. It was interesting, and I had not heard previously about the woman to dated Thomas and said that his behavior was as Anita Hill described it. I had also forgotten that Hill took, and passed a polygraph but Thomas refused.

    Crazy conspiracy theory, but I wouldn't put anything past this right wing crowd. By raking this up and reminding the nutjobs about Anita Hill and where she is, and in this kkk climate, anything could happen.  

    Destor, what was the flap about ginni's performance at the tp event?  I seem to have missed it.

    It's no one event, it's that she's been very active in the Tea Party and political fundraising and activism, which is unusual for the spouse of a Supreme Court justice.  That isn't, and shouldn't be, an issue.  I'm sure we all agree that spouses should be free to pursue their own lives and interests.  But, there's no transparency.  We don't know where the money she raises comes from or where it goes.  So there are potential conflicts of interest for her husband that we know nothing about.

    She's only recently taken a prominent role in all of this but seems a very effective fundraiser.  So, that's where the increased attention is coming from.  After Citizens United exempted so many organizations from disclosing donors, and given Clarence's laissez faire attitude towards political funding in general... well... it makes one wonder if Thomas isn't making decisions that support his wife's political activity and both of their political agendas.

    Hmn.I'm not so sure about Supreme Court Justices spouses being freed . Maybe this is the excetion that proves the rule.  Your last sentence indicates why.

    I've stayed out of that cat fight, however, it's not too hard to add the numbers and see the sum.

    First, this election has brought out many off-the-wall statements by republican tea-baggers...yes, I refer to tea-baggers as republicans because that's who they are. Notice how the more outlandish a statement is made, it's glossed over, ignored and becomes part of the public debate?

    Now comes the grudge match. Seems Ms. Thomas has an itch she hasn't been able to scratch for quite some time. Could it be her PAC she recently established had ulterior motives beyond the politics of the day...her own personal politics of revenge?

    It should be obvious to the most casual observer she is exacting vengeance for what she perceived as a wrong to her hubby. Since this election cycle has thrown out the civil decorum of politeness, it's a no holds barred fight and Ms. Thomas is taking her revenge to the extremes simply because in today's political arena she is not only allowed to do so, but there is support for whatever can be mustered to paint Democrats and liberals as deserving their noses being rubbed into the shit as punishment for having dared impinge the honor of those conservatives believe should be on a pedestal and honored.

    She is crass and the MSM should haul her through the gutter regardless if her hubby is a justice. But that's her saving grace and ace-in-the hole that allows her to be so publicly repugnant.

    So there's nothing to see's best to move on and ignore the circus so as to avoid giving her the audience she 's seeking.

    Thanks, that is a much better statement than mine.

    And as a side note....anyone wanna bet Bork's name doesn't just happen to pop up within the next 7 to 10 days? I suspect the republicans are gonna be airing out all their dirty laundry in hopes of stirring up their base.

    Absolutely agree with you that there will be a second act to this, other shoes to drop.None of this is a mistake.

    Thanks for your post. This has really been bugging me.

    After this incident and the one when Mrs. Thomas called the President a "tyrant" I can only believe that this closeted super partisan now feels the climate is so permissive of outrageous political acting out that she feels suddenly freed up.

    She obviously knew that this would become public, that's why she called on a weekend. Why is she seeking this brand of attention? One take is that she has taken some kind of hit about her outspoken criticism of the President, and this is a diversionary tactic. I suppose some of their cocktail parties have guests who are not pure right wingers.

    It's in the Rove playbook to attack where you are vulnerable. Is Thomas vulnerable, he's there for life regardless.  It's inexplicable behavior. 

    Here's a real Paris Hilton to Artic ice cap leap (can't remember who used that but its great imagery). Who would be the greatest threat to ultra-conservatives in 2012? A black woman. But not Anita Hill. Do you think Rice would be stupid enough to come to Anita Hill's defense? Well, I said it was a leap.  Still trying to get my brain around this one.

    The renewed attack on Anita Hill -- this time by Mrs. Thomas, rather than by Clarence Thomas and his neocon supporters --  illustrates something, nineteen years later, that is important: the ultra Right is incapable of gratitude; its adherents cannot move on, privately relieved that their outrageous posturing won the, they have to be push the envelope, demand acknowledgement that they were right when they were only Right and oh-so-Wrong.

    The phone call Mrs. Thomas made to Anita Hill reminds me of the truth contained in Shelley's Prometheus Unbound:

     ......And for a world bestowed, or a friend lost,                    390
          He can feel hate, fear, shame; not gratitude.
          He but requites me for his own misdeed.....

    Maybe it's a simple case of those who are prone to sexually harrass others make good stalkers as well?

    The more I look at this the more I think it is a blatant attempt to stir something up before the election. The original idea of putting Thomas on the court was to split the black vote, which never worked. But renewing it might peel off votes. Better yet some black person or Democrat will make a gaffe in referring to it. And of course the entire thrust of the tea party is to shore up every last white bigot vote in the country--what better than re-opening the Anita Hill controversy and the victimhood of Clarence Thomas, that basket case of cultural rejection.

    Aha!  The plot thickens:   ;o)

    Kinda like the news that Thomas and Alito (I think) went to a Koch Bros. event recently.  Conflict or not?  Nah; nobody's gonna be able to prove nuttin'.

    I believe it was Thomas and Scalia.  It is a scandal that they will just laugh off as usual.  I hope Kagan reconsiders her recusals.

    It was Scalia, you're right.

    Giving heart to tea partiers--"ain't no way this elecshin is tightenin"

    Stirring the pot?

    First: Take the time and read the following, specifically the section about Angela Wright:

    Secondly: Don't ever underestimate the dirty tricks of Dick Armey and his Tea Party crowd. Huh, you might ask? Well Jennie Lamp nee, Virginia Thomas was an aide to Armey before she was executive director at the conservative Heritage Foundation on her climb up the social and political ladder in DC... Does anyone see a pattern here?

    Now here's the rest of my take ... So. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' spouse Virginia Thomas requested an apology from Anita Hill? This, after 19 years have passed? I can't adequately describe my first reaction to this notion; I simply don't know how to best represent uncontrollable laughter in text except to use the old go-to of LOL LOL LOL. This overbearing broad as they say in the trades should get a tight grip. Her current action  exhibits and underscores that which many of the nation who witnessed the hearings originally realized 19 years ago. That being, the fact that her husband was and is the weak minded human that pulled out the victim card accusing Anita Hill and so many others of a "...high-tech lynching."

    "This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It's a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree."

    I'd request ol' Clarence to direct his spouse to put a sock in it but he's not in charge so it's way too much to expect from this weak-minded poor excuse for a man.


    Was the telephone conversation slurred?

    A BAC of 3.0?

    Maybe when she's with the DC party crowd, she's tired of the behind the back sneeering or jeering  "Pssst, thats the woman who thinks her ol Clarence would never cheat on her."

    Maybe to many "mirror, mirror on the wall"

    In her mind, why would he cheat, when she's the best."

    Anita tell the truth.

    It definitely does'nt make any sense. She feels hurt, so apologize?

    Poor woman

    And some people call me passive-aggressive?  Wink


    It seems more serious than just normal anger though,  it is a seething, 19 year anger And wow, look what happened, a woman destroys her own reputation in an instant. I wonder if she is somewhat mentally ill  She had to realize this would get out there, right? I mean, what the hell was she thinking?

    I think the purpose is to stir things up, in hope of getting a Reverend Wright fiasco rolling before the election. Lawrence O'Donnell is now covering this incident, and others will get the ball rolling. I suspect that by early next week CNN will have Reverend Wright, Al Sharpton and Jimmy McMillan of the Rent is too Damn High Party all on at the same time to discuss the incident.  Mission accomplished.

    But WHAT mission?  This only makes the Thomases look bad; especially her.  One person who talked to Lawrence O'Donnell made the point that the current generation of 20 somethings never even heard of this whole tawdry mess until she brought it all back up, and there is not a lot of sympathy for sexual harassers these days.  There is also a fair amount of well-researched scholarly books and articles out there that only make Thomas look guilty.  Remember:  Anita Hill took and passed a polygraph; Thomas refused to do so. 

    I am still wondering what she has up her sleeve.


    Sorry, tm, but she hasn't destroyed anything.  This will only endear her further to wingnuts, for whom victimhood is mother's milk, and allow our ever more conservative leaning media another chance to trash Anita Hill and for Ginny Thomas to enhance her own rep among the Tea Party crowd.

    A radio show guest I heard today, Tracee Hamilton of the Washington Post, offered the view that Thomas still hasn't resolved this issue for herself.  Obviously, if she had entirely trusted her husband's denial of Hill's account, it would not have even occurred to her to do something like this.  And what she was really, really hoping Anita Hill would say was "You know, Virginia, you're right.  I was just kidding about all that stuff.  All the crap and abuse I took for doing what I did really wasn't a big deal at the time.  In fact it was kind of fun, in its own way."

    Yeah. Right.  Very hard, maybe impossible, for Thomas to emotionally accept that Hill might actually have been telling the truth all along.

    Ordinarily I might say this doesn't pass the laugh test.  But it's creepy.  Trying to put myself in Anita Hill's place, if that happened to me, I think I'd have referred the matter to campus security, too.

    Unless the woman, Ms. Thomas, is a complete moron she knows that her request for an apology is an acusation that Ms. Hill is the guilty party in this old "he said, she said" issue. Thomas now defends her acusation as reaching out with an olive branch. She can only hope that idiots, both her base and her husband's, will accept that or, more likely, they will thoughtlessly agree that Hill was, in fact, the guilty party. Publically accusing someone of lying under oath to promote what her husband described as a "lynching' is not a friendly gesture.

     I would bet a very large amount that if God was actually sitting before Orin Hatch, and required him to bet his life one way or the other, that the righteous mr. Hatch would bet that Justice Thomas was/is guilty as Ms. Hill charged and so would most others who paid attention at the time but who demonized Ms. Hill. 

    If Virginia Thomas were required by God to bet her life one way or the other, which way do you believe she would bet?

    "Historical fundamentalism" is the term Jill Lepore uses, in her excellent book The Whites of Their Eyes: The Tea Party's Revolution and the Battle Over American History, to describe the Tea Party's obsession with bringing a fantasized past back to the present.  I suppose Virginia Thomas has just added to the list of ways in which they are trying to do that.

    The real Founders, of course, for all that was also admirable about them, accepted slavery as the price of independence for some, and denied all women, and men with little or no property, the vote.  

    In the guise of "freedom fighting" the Tea Partiers, and many of their elite Republican enablers, do not merely enslave themselves to an invented and largely irrelevant past; they mean to ensure that you and me live in their 2011 version of it as well.  

    About the Tea Party's development over the last 18 months or so, Dylan Ratigan had a very good show, I think yesterday. What was originally organized around Rick Santelli's CNBC rant was quickly appropriated by Republicans. Essentially, the R operatives offered large financial donations in return for reshaping the message. The original thinking was a sweeping financial reform movement which would have included the Fed opening its books, same with the Fanny's, and a pretty harsh look at the perps on Wall Street who invented and packaged MBS's. Within months, Tea Partiers had morphed from credible reformers into "God, gays and guns". However the media story line kept up the charade that the movement was still the original angry financial reformers. Thanks all around to the investigative talents of our corporate media, a self absorbed, unimaginative, risk averse, intelligence challenged, privileged, mobbed up with R operatives, self admiration society. I think even calling the tea rabble a "party" is stretching things. But obviously there is a large group trying to maintain an organization, abetted by people like Thomas. In the last analysis I'm not sure the Republicans will want to end up owning this group.

    >>If Virginia Thomas were required by God to bet her life one way or the other, which way do you believe she would bet?

     I would bet that she would bet the same way as I expect Orin Hatch would bet. I would not, however, bet as much and I would not give nearly as strong odds. That is because I do not reject the possibility that she is "blinded by love", so to speak, although I doubt it. I put God into my original analogy to represent a holder of absolute truth and made the stakes in the bet so high that no sane person would choose a position that they only claimed to believe just to avoid admitting that they had been lying about their beliefs all along. It would also give a person who had not critically examined their beliefs, but was put into the ipsition of paying a huge immediate price for being wrong, strong incentive to do so. I brought Hatch in as an example of the first because I listened to him during the hearings and was never convinced that he believed his positions. Over the years I have become more convinced that he is a hypocritical, two-way, lying, sack of partisan crap. Worse than most politicians.

    One look at Liberty Central and it's pretty clear that Ginni Thomas sees herself as the darling of her base.  We're all making a fuss about the impropriety and downright zaniness of her actions, but her base thinks she's a hero(ine).  This just reinforces it, and all the attacks against her are welcomed and savored.

    To the Liberty Central crowd, their leader did a brave thing, telling the enemy to pray about the "damage" she has done, to confess, to do what she can to make it right.  And when Anita Hill says "no way", the fires are fueled, the anger mounts, and the base is off and running again.

    It works for her.  She doesn't care what we think.  We don't matter. 

    (Strictly my own interpretation, given after thinking a whole lot of thoughts and not coming up with anything else.)

    Yes, I come out there, it was meant to fuel the fire of racism and make sure the tea rabble cornered every last by God white bigot vote in the universe. I just can't wait to see Reverend Wright on CNN defending Anita Hill.

    I don't know about the charge of racism, since Anita Hill is black, too, but Clarence has always gotten ahead by playing the victim, and Ginni is his enabler.  I saw a reporter today who had gone to one of Ginni's rallies.  The reporter said even though she was spouting the worst kind of garbage she was "utterly charming" and likable.  That's a deadly combination and one the Right Wing women seem to have honed to perfection.  They DO get their followers.  There's no denying that.  Too bad they're on the wrong side.

    Yes, I caught those comments, deadly, I agree.

    Maybe not racism per se, but just get the ball rolling, some kind of flap to re-energize their base, get their whipping folks back on T.V. like the Reverend Wright fiasco. Maybe also self defeating for us to participate.

    Well, in the end, the whole rest of the world wins. Why? Because she is the one married to him. I think they deserve each other.

    Every man deserves a mama grizzley.

    I am expecting more of these type of turd bomblettes up until election day.  It's distraction politicking.  A little side trip to momentarily take the spotlight off the gaffe prone Tea Party candidates.

    Eyes on the prize. Cool

    I am expecting more of these type of turd bomblettes up until election day.  It's distraction politicking.  A little side trip to momentarily take the spotlight off the gaffe prone Tea Party candidates.

    Oh I think a simple psychological explanation fits best. The more convincingly that little voice in your head tells you things you don't want to hear the more you have to do to shut it up. There's really no way to know what was the immediate trigger that restarted the little voice in her head that required this phone call to silence her doubts.

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