Will Cain’s Invoking Clarence Thomas Help Anita Hill?

Herman “You want a job, right?” Cain has been trying to wrap himself in the mantle of Clarence Thomas, whose false outrage was one of the better performances the Senate has ever seen.  But this re-opening of the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill controversy may backfire not just against Cain, but against Thomas as well, with Hill emerging as the winner.  The wheels of justice grind slowly….

Jane Meyer, who co-authored the book Strange Justice defending Hill, has a post “Cain and Thomas” up at newyorker.com.  She points out that allegations of sexual harassment are most damning when there is a pattern, which requires more than one accuser.  That’s why it was important to keep others from supporting Hill, to leave her twisting in the wind, uncorroborated, “nutty and slutty.”  Three other women were ready to back Hill up — Angela Wright, Sukari Harnett, and Rose Jourdain.

Meyer writes:  “No persuasive reason has ever been given for why these women should have been denied a chance to testify.  In the intervening twenty years…two former Senate aides, both Democrats, have admitted privately that their bosses knew that Thomas would have been unlikely to survive multiple accusers.  Facing this moment of decision, they flinched.”

No one flinched more shamefully than Joe Biden, who was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee at the time.

To the extent Cain forces us to re-examine the Thomas nomination in the light of what’s been revealed since, it’s an embarrassment for Thomas and Biden, and vindication for Hill.