NY Times Slams Bush,, Dowd and Rich Take Down Clarence Thomas

The New York Times has three good reads today:

  • Their editorial blasting Bush over torture.
  • Frank Rich on Clarence Thomas' "high tech lynching" which has earned him a Supreme Court justice position and surely must have him laughing all the way to bank to collect the royalties on his newly published book comparing the prejudice he's endured to that endured by other African-Americans at the hands of the Klu Klux Klan.

It's useful to watch Mr. Thomas at this moment, 16 years after his riveting confirmation circus. He is a barometer of what has and has not changed since then because he hasn't changed at all. He still preaches against black self-pity even as he hyperbolically tries to cast his Senate cross-examination by Joe Biden as tantamount to the Ku Klux Klan assassination of Medgar Evers. He still denies that he is the beneficiary of the very race-based preferences he deplores. He still has a dubious relationship with the whole truth and nothing but, and not merely in the matter of Anita Hill.

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    Thomas's own words (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Dulcinea on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 07:40:08 AM EST
    should get him yanked from the Supreme Court.

    I don't see (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by tnthorpe on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 12:29:04 PM EST
    how this country walks away any time soon from its connection with torture, kidnapping, and illegal incarceration. No matter how much subsequent administrations may revile the Bush/Cheney/Gonzo example, their damage has been done. National hypocrisy isn't washed away by an election. Ben Franklin had it right: "Glass, China and reputation are easily cracked, and never well mended."

    Beyond that, it was Bill Clinton that gave us extraordinary rendition, which I point out to show that precedent is a dangerous thing. The Bush Administration precedent of a secretive imperial presidency will remain a temptation for the forseeable future. With the Republican candidates salivating for a chance to righteously torture, with the exceptions of McCain and Paul, torture is part of the national character in a way it wasn't even after the first World Trade Center bombings in 1993.

    Clarence Thomas and affirmative action (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Aaron on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 02:26:10 PM EST
    Clarence Thomas's book, My Grandfather's Son,  confirms that he not only benefit from affirmative action, but practiced it himself.  Thomas asserts that throughout his life he wound up taking a series of jobs that he really didn't want, was admittedly unqualified for, and that he was somehow being tracked into these positions by forces beyond his control.

    Fortunate Son

     [Over the years, Thomas has brushed off questions about the central contradiction of his life: how can a man who has benefited so greatly from racial preferences oppose them so staunchly for others? Thomas doesn't address the question directly in his new autobiography, "My Grandfather's Son." But he does, perhaps unwittingly, answer it. In chapter after chapter, a recurring theme seems to be that it's only affirmative action if you go looking for a job, not if it comes looking for you.]

    [When a presidential aide called Thomas, then 32 years old, and offered him a job as assistant secretary of Education for civil rights, he did not marvel at his good fortune. Like Reagan, he believed the whole department should be abolished and wanted nothing to do with the place. What's more, he writes, "I had no background in that area, and was sure that I'd been singled out solely because I was black, which I found demeaning." ]

    [A year later the phone rang again. It was a White House official, asking him to become chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Again, Thomas wanted no part of it. "I couldn't think of anyone who would want the job," he writes, "nor would I advise any of my friends to take it." The agency was unloved and underfunded; the offices were filthy.]

    [When President Bush improbably sought to nominate him to the federal bench, Thomas claimed he had no interest in being a judge. "That's a job for old people," he told a friend. ]

    [At nearly every significant turn in his life, he writes as though important decisions had been made for him by mysterious forces beyond his control.]

    [Soon after getting married, Thomas enrolled in Yale Law School. Innocent of the ways of the world, he writes that he was shocked and angered to learn that he was admitted in part because he was black, not just because he was poor.]

    [When a fellow black lawyer later tells him that he had left questions about race blank when he applied to law school, Thomas writes that he "wished with all my heart" that he'd done the same. In his eyes, his law degree would be all but worthless because others would assume that he'd gotten special treatment. He says he considered dropping out of school. But he couldn't. His wife told him she was pregnant, and they could not afford to move. Cruelly, fate had once again stepped in, this time forcing Clarence Thomas to suffer the lifelong disgrace of a Yale law degree.]

    [Thomas dreaded the idea of having to become a Supreme Court justice, he writes.]

    [Of course, he could have told the president that he didn't want the job. But he was powerless to do so. "Events were overtaking me, and once again I had the impression that somebody else had seized control of my life." Thomas gave Bush the answer he wanted. "`Yes, Mr. President,' I heard my voice saying reflexively. It felt as though someone else were doing the talking for me."]

    [This time around, even Thomas had to wonder if his race had something to do with his selection, especially when Bush overpraised him as the "most qualified nominee" for the job.]

    [During his time at the EEOC, he had "wanted to show that a predominately minority and female agency could be run as professionally as any other-and that it could be done without the benefit of affirmative action or quotas." But then, in the very next sentence, comes this: "All that was necessary, I believed, was a concerted effort to give those who had been excluded an opportunity to do their best." A textbook definition of affirmative action if ever there was one.]

    [In the book, Thomas tells the story of one person he'd given just such an opportunity. He was still in the Department of Education when a black friend called and told him a young woman and fellow Yale Law alum named Anita Hill was looking for work. Would Thomas be willing, the friend asked, to "help a sister" with a job? Thomas didn't see why not. "Not only did I feel I had an obligation to help my fellow blacks," he writes, "but I remembered how hard it had been for me to land a job after graduating from Yale." Hill got the job, and he has regretted hiring her ever since. Is it any wonder Clarence Thomas can't stand affirmative action?]

    Sounds Like (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 06:23:47 PM EST
    Dowd read his book.

    Fantasy or Confabulation? (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Peter G on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 09:06:49 PM EST
    "I remembered how hard it had been for me to land a job after graduating from Yale."  False.  Justice Thomas has apprently confused himself with Justice O'Connor, who in fact had difficulty (nigh unto impossibility) finding a job after graduating second in her class from Stanford Law (right behind her friend William Rehnquist).  After being offered various jobs as a secretrary or librarian with San Francisco and Los Angeles firms, she returned home to Arizona, where she was hired as an Assistant Attorney General.  Thomas, on the other hand, in fact was recruited, while still in law school (not after graduating), by fellow YLS alum John Danforth for an AAG job in Missouri, which he accepted.  I have no idea whether that first-job recruiting including any component of affirmative action, but I wouldn't be surprised, since it was 1974 at the time, not 1954.  

    Turn it around (1.00 / 2) (#3)
    by jarober on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 09:15:48 AM EST
    If a Republican treated any black man the way the Democrats treated Thomas during the hearings, there would have been a complete uproar.  You know this.  Your dislike of Thomas' policy positions simply blinds you to the fact that his political opponents acted horribly.

    About race? (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 09:33:10 AM EST
    I don't remember it being 'about race'. It was about sexual harassment at the workplace done by the then-head of the EEOC. It was about hypocrisy and criminal and unethical behavior.
    It did not make make African-Americans at my workplace defensive - it made the white males get very aware suddenly of their behavior to the point of making stupid jokes to make sure all the females weren't going to accuse them.
    It was only the republicans and Thomas who made it about race.
    Plus it took attention away from the litmus tests and the fact that Thomas was mediocre and not honest about his views.

    Actually, I think at my workplace it was (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 12:13:17 PM EST
    viewed as "about race," just as the O.J. Simpson criminal trial verdict was.  Neither should have been viewed that way, but that is what happened.

    Turn it around? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 09:49:56 AM EST
    Upside down and backwards is what you do best, after all.

    Add inside out... you'll graduate to the next level and become ppj.


    Can we change the verb (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by aj12754 on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 06:14:33 PM EST
    from graduate (which sounds like some kind of accomplishment) to something like descend or sink or bottom out?

    And your resume is better? (1.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 07:12:00 PM EST

    It would be impossible (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by aj12754 on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 10:15:58 PM EST
    for it to be worse.

    better than AJSC,,,,, wow (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 11:23:17 AM EST
    We know edger's isn't. (1.00 / 1) (#20)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 07:16:10 PM EST
    Hahahaha.... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 06:38:52 PM EST
    I didn't want to scare him away from bottoming out. ;-)

    I remember (none / 0) (#10)
    by Dulcinea on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 01:29:09 PM EST
    how badly Anita Hill was treated for telling the truth.  Jeffrey Toobin says the facts are with her testimony which is backed up by others in the know.  Of course, the Thomas enablers will have none of it.  Anyone as hateful and spiteful as Thomas should not be allowed to practice law.  

    It's all over. (1.00 / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 07:13:55 PM EST
    which is backed up by others in the know.

    Yep. That does it for me. No doubt anymore.
    (sarcasm alert)


    YYYAAAWWWNNNN (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by aj12754 on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 10:16:50 PM EST

    boredom alert


    Bored?? (1.00 / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 11:24:37 AM EST
    You need to sleep more... better yet, get on a high fish oil diet.

    Talk about a litmus test. (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 01:36:07 PM EST
    Not About Race? (1.00 / 2) (#6)
    by jarober on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 11:05:24 AM EST
    Next time Sharpton makes a fuss about some crime committed by a black guy, you remember that "it's not about race".

    Non Sequitur (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by squeaky on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 11:21:59 AM EST
    But accurate (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 07:14:30 PM EST
    When I think of Thomas and (1.00 / 1) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 07:08:40 PM EST
    Dowd and Rich..

    I am reminded of Cinderella and the two dwarfs.

    sounds like a personal problem (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by aj12754 on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 10:17:52 PM EST
    maybe you should see someone about that...

    maybe I should...there is supposed to be 7 (none / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 11:27:07 AM EST
    Wonder what happened to Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, Obama and Hillary??

    Holy Bat Cave DA....... (1.00 / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 11:32:15 AM EST
    Shari law is here..

    Well, we did have school class rooms in San Diego set and ran in accordance with Shari Law..

    And a state tech school in Minneapolis providing foot washing facilities per Shari law...

    The former is now out of business and the latter is under pressure...

    And Moslem cab drivers refusing to carry dogs and alcohol....

    And Moslem check out clerks refusing to touch pork

    In the meantime, DA and the Left just keeps moving along... there's nothing going on here...

    Here is what I wrote. (1.00 / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:37:47 AM EST
    The former is now out of business and the latter is under pressure...

    Thank you for agreeing with me.

    And Moslem cab drivers refusing to carry dogs and alcohol...

    Actually, they can't.

    Oh, really? What happens if they don't? Lose their license? How many have been lost?



    Sharia In NYC (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by squeaky on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 01:01:15 PM EST
    Oh well, sharia law has been in effect in NYC for as long as I can remember. No dogs unless they are in carriers are allowed in Taxi's or mass transit. Seeing eye dogs are given a waiver. No open alchol container in Taxi's, mass transit, or even on the streets.

    Those muslims are sneaky, somehow passing laws way before sharia law became the obsession of the bedwetter brigades.


    ring of truth (1.00 / 0) (#40)
    by diogenes on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 08:48:56 PM EST
    Maureen Dowd, like Herblock, Art Buchwald, and assorted other satirists, takes a kernel of truth and weave an article or cartoon around it.  People who see her years of condemnations of the Bushes as having content and her years of condemnations of the Clintons as being contentless have a touching faith in some politicians which is beyond cynical me.

    Maureen "Dowd" (none / 0) (#2)
    by dead dancer on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 09:15:42 AM EST

    When it was Hillary last week... (none / 0) (#31)
    by diogenes on Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 11:24:11 PM EST
    When Maureen Dowd took her usual acerbic route last week, no one here said that "it had the ring of truth to it".

    Maybe (none / 0) (#32)
    by glanton on Mon Oct 08, 2007 at 11:32:47 PM EST
    Because content matters?  

    Remember content?

    Stay alert, and stay with Fox.


    This line sums it all up: (none / 0) (#35)
    by Pancho on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 10:23:12 AM EST
    He still denies that he is the beneficiary of the very race-based preferences he deplores.

    Is every black person who is successful considered to be the product of affirmative action? Isn't it just a little bit possible that a black person can become successful without having that suspicion cast upon them?

    How would you like to be a hard working minority graduate of a top school and always have people think that you are an affirmative action case?

    The patronizing racism of the left has done more damage than the KKK could even dream of.

    Yeah, whats a few dozen (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 01:15:49 PM EST
    lynchings, castrations and church burnings compared to liberal patronization?

    Thomas was already "sucessful" by any measure before he joined the Supremes (post-Florence Ballard), the question is, was he the most qualified? Highly questionable.


    And, of course (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by jondee on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 01:19:27 PM EST
    Thomas wasnt trying to be a beneficiary when he made his "high tech lynching" remark. Not exploiting his ethnicity at all. Of course.

    Those things all happened and were horrible crimes (none / 0) (#39)
    by Pancho on Tue Oct 09, 2007 at 02:10:14 PM EST
    but now millions of blacks are being told that they cannot fend for themselves without help, or that they cannot achieve anything at all, because the racist powers that be are "keeping them down". That just isn't accurate and it is doing a tremendous amount of damage.

    The reality is that a sharp, black college graduate has a red carpet rolled out for him/her by corporate America.