To: Website browsers, fans, clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Joe Liebermanís defining moment
Iíll bet only a tiny percentage of those of you who visit this website regularly watched the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Clarence Thomas to be a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. It was nearly ten years ago, after all, so even those of you who did tune in have undoubtedly forgotten the details of what Anita Hill charged Judge Thomas with doing to her in the several years she remained in his employ in various government agencies. Instead of a lengthy memo on the margin today, here is the link to the complete record of the hearings. We located it a few weeks ago and I found myself frittering away precious hours, fascinated with the Clarence/Anita story that glued the nation to their tv sets back then. The reason I went through this exercise was to remind myself when and why I decided Holy Joe Lieberman was a phony.
It was Lieberman, after all, who had called for a re-opening of the Senate hearings when the liberal coalition which had vowed to keep Judge Thomas off the High Court persuaded Anita to go before the cameras and tell her story. This Lieberman did after making a show of support for the nomination, which gave him great credibility when he voted against the nomination. He had heard all the evidence and decided Anita Hill was telling the truth when she recollected instances of Thomas making off-color remarks to her and hinting she drop by to watch a porno flick. Now most of the Senate Democrats were committed to voting against Thomas because he was not ďthe right kindĒ of black guy. He might give the masses of blacks on the liberal Plantation ideas on how they might escape. They needed a reason, though, to vote against him that was not so cynical. Joe was anointed to play that game.
If the most religious Democrat in the Senate would find for Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas, they might be able to lynch the troublemaker. First, though, Lieberman makes a great show of supporting the Thomas nomination. Here is Sen. Orrin Hatch [R-UT] of the Judiciary Committee during his quizzing of Judge Thomas:
This is a statement that was made on the floor of the Senate in this Record by my distinguished colleague, Senator Lieberman, a man I have a great deal of respect for. Senator Lieberman's staff conducted a survey of various women who have worked for you over the years. He was concerned. He has been a supporter of yours, and he was one who asked for this delay so that this could be looked into because he was concerned, too.
But as a result of the survey, Senator Lieberman made the following statement:
He said, "I have contacted associates, women who worked with Judge Thomas during his time at the Department of Education and EEOC, and in the calls that I and my staff have made there has been universal support for Judge Thomas and a clear indication by all of the women we spoke to that there was never, certainly not a case of sexual harassment, and not even a hint of impropriety." That was put into the Congressional Record on October 8, 1991.
Indeed, there was no testimony of a single instance of impropriety attributed to Clarence Thomas in the entire proceedings, except for Anita Hill. And her credibility was totally destroyed, at least in my mind, when it turned out she agreed to go on a business trip with him after the alleged sexual harassments took place, and nothing improper was reported. Yet when it came down to voting, thumbs up or thumbs down, there was Joe Lieberman with the lynch mob.
It was wonderful training for how Joe behaved in the Senate impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton. With a difference. In the first instance, he gets down on his knees and prays to God for guidance and then announces Clarence Thomas is GUILTY. When it came to Bill Clinton, he first takes the Senate floor and denounces the man for his immorality. Then he prays to God for guidance and announces it is NOT FOR HIM TO JUDGE. It is for GOD TO JUDGE. Yes, thatís what he said. Amen, I say unto you. Read the transcript.