WASHINGTON – A grunting gang of white male Republicans tear apart a poised, intelligent black woman during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, making sordid innuendo and baseless claims about race and porn to smear her, while her tormented family sits behind her .
It’s been 31 years since I watched this scene in horror as Anita Hill was questioned during hearings before Judge Clarence Thomas. Now Ketanji Brown Jackson has been thrown into the same medieval torture chamber on Capitol Hill as Democrats once again struggle to protect their witness from being mauled.
This time, the male Torquemadas were joined by a female Inquisitor, Marsha Blackburn. The Tennessee Republican is all magnolia Southern charm—until she spits venom.
“Can you define the word woman?” Blackburn asked Judge Jackson, citing the controversy over a transgender swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania. Blackburn’s question inspired Tucker Carlson until later… hold up an image of a woman’s reproductive system, along with a silhouette of a woman so shapely that Roger Ailes would have approved it.
What is a woman? Jackson shows that a woman is someone who stays cool despite slander and is on her way to the Supreme Court. And that will be justice for Justice Jackson.
A better question might be: what is a senator?
Is it an idiot who cares more about fueling unrealistic presidential ambitions with distorted information than about making the Senate look like a dignified body for once?
Wild Republicans took an exemplary record and twisted it to make Jackson look like a pedophile instigator. Tom Cotton almost accused her of lying, just as Arlen accused Specter Hill of perjury – based on nothing.
Less than a year ago, Lindsey Graham voted to confirm Jackson before the DC Court of Appeals, calling her “qualified.” Now he berates her with strange questions and seems to blame her for Brett Kavanaugh’s whims. If only John McCain could strike him as the ghost of Hamlet’s father and knock him into shape.
Perhaps Joe Biden sees his selection of Judge Jackson as a kind of penance for his dismal performance as committee chairman for the Hill-Thomas hearings. Biden let the Republicans do their thing, then adjourned the hearings before Hill’s backup witnesses testified. He paved the way for Clarence Thomas, a liar and sexual harasser, to climb to a lifelong Supreme Court appointment and force his far-right views on the country.
As Jill Abramson wrote in the Times Opinion section, the court’s 6-3 majority now appears to be “reforming itself in the image of Judge Thomas.”
In a speech at Notre Dame last year, Thomas lamented, “We have lost the ability, even as leaders, I think, not to allow others to manipulate our institutions if we don’t get the results we want.”
And yet, manipulating institutions is exactly what his wife, Ginni, was trying to do. As Bob Woodward and Robert Costa reported in a Washington Post-CBS News bombshell, the conservative activist worked frantically to nullify the results of the 2020 election, calling it a “clear fraud” as Donald Trump and his allies vowed to to go to her husband to nullify Biden’s victory.
Ginni Thomas has had a chip on her shoulder since the Hill-Thomas hearings — she blatantly left Hill a voicemail in 2010 asking for an apology — and no doubt she thought that if she could help win back the Biden presidency, she would. sweet would be revenge.
In a cascade of text messages, she urged Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows to get Trump back in the Oval. “Help this great president stand firm, Mark!!!” she pleaded, adding, “The majority know that Biden and the left are trying the biggest heist in our history.” Ginni — who attended the January 6 rally before the attack on the Capitol began — urged Meadows to “release the Kraken.”
The Republicans who harass Judge Jackson aren’t questioning the explosive revelations about Ginni Thomas—nor the rest of their party. Did the judge know what his wife was doing? Did he like it? Will he accept that he must withdraw from matters related to January 6 and the elections?
Apparently not. “Justice Thomas has already participated in two cases related to the 2020 election and its aftermath, despite his wife’s direct involvement in the so-called Stop the Steal efforts,” Jane Mayer reported in The New Yorker.
When the court rejected Trump’s request to prevent the Jan. 6 commission from getting his data regarding the attempt to reverse the election results, Thomas was the only one to disagree. Does the data relate to Ginni?
Stephen Gillers, a judicial ethicist, told Mayer it was Clarence Thomas’ duty to know about Ginni’s crusade: “‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ is not an acceptable strategy for the Thomases’ marriage.”
Thomas should never have been on the field. Now that we know that his wife was plotting the overthrow of the government, he should either step down or be thrown out. You can’t sue if your spouse is running around devising a coup strategy.
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