Hey Brett Kavanaugh:  Try This Out Thursday

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2018/09/26/hey-brett-kavanaugh-try-this-out-thursday/

If U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh wants to make a splash at the high-stakes U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday, he should take a page out of Clarence Thomas’s playbook and not even watch his accuser testify.

Kavanaugh has told all of us that not only did he not sexually assault Christine Blasey Ford, but that he never had any physical interaction with her. If that’s the case, there’s nothing for him to rebut. Whatever Ford says on Thursday that is relevant will be, in Kavanaugh’s account, wholly untrue. That means there’s no reason to go point by point through it.

Imagine if he greets his Democratic questioners something along the lines of how a previously accused nominee did almost 27 years ago.

Thomas, now a Supreme Court justice, astonished a Senate questioner during that long-ago Senate hearing in October 1991 when he was accused of sexual harassment by former colleague Anita Hill.

Thomas’s appearance is best remembered for his reference to a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks, who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas.”

But there’s another part of his testimony under oath that Judge Brett Kavanaugh might emulate.

U.S. Senator Howell Heflin, a moderate liberal Democrat from Alabama, began his time with a run-of-the-mill predicate question meant to set up something he really wanted to ask him. Thomas cut him off at the knees.

Here’s some of the back-and-forth from a C-Span video (starting at 16:55):

Howell Heflin:  Now you, uh, I suppose, have heard Mrs. – Professor Hill, Ms. Hill, Anita F. Hill testify today.

Clarence Thomas:  No I haven’t.

Howell Heflin:  You didn’t listen?

Clarence Thomas:  No I didn’t. I’ve heard enough lies.

Howell Heflin:  You didn’t, uh, listen to her testimony?

Clarence Thomas:  No I didn’t.

Howell Heflin:  On television?

Clarence Thomas:  No I didn’t. I’ve heard enough lies. Today is not a day that in my opinion is high among the days in our country. This is a travesty. You’ve spent the entire day destroying what it has taken me 43 years to build, and providing a forum for that.

Howell Heflin:  Well, Judge Thomas, you know, we have a responsibility, too. And, as far as I’m involved, I have nothing to do with Anita Hill, ah, coming here and testifying. We’re trying to get to the bottom of this. And if she is lying, then I think you can help us prove that she was lying.

Clarence Thomas:  Senator, I am incapable of proving the negative. It did … not … occur.

After some more discussion, Heflin said he agreed with Thomas about the unacceptability of leaks to the media, adding that he served on the Senate Ethics Committee and that it was a “sieve.”

Thomas was having none of it:

“Well, but it didn’t leak on me. This leaked on me. And it is drowning my life, my career, and my integrity. And you can’t give it back to me, and this committee can’t give it back to me, and this Senate can’t give it back to me. You have robbed me of something that can never be restored.”

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