"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, August 29, 2011

On the Topic of Conservatives Whose Intelligence Is Routinely Derided By Liberals

Walter Russell Mead is becoming one of my favorite bloggers.   Today he's writing about Clarence Thomas, and it's a doozy.   Mead takes as his jumping off point the recent article by Jeffrey Toobin in the New Yorker, and basically lays out why Thomas, far from being the dolt he's been made out to be by the MSM, is actually the intellectual leader of the Supreme Court's right wing:

There are few articles of faith as firmly fixed in the liberal canon as the belief that Clarence Thomas is, to put it as bluntly as many liberals do, a dunce and a worm.  Twenty years of married life have not erased the conventional liberal view of his character etched by Anita Hill’s testimony at his confirmation hearings.  Not only does the liberal mind perceive him as a disgusting lump of ungoverned sexual impulse; he is seen as an intellectual cipher.  Thomas’ silence during oral argument before the Supreme Court is taken as obvious evidence that he has nothing to say and is perhaps a bit intimidated by the verbal fireworks exchanged by the high profile lawyers and his more, ahem, ‘qualified’ colleagues.
At most liberals have long seen Thomas as the Sancho Panza to Justice Antonin Scalia’s Don Quixote, Tonto to his Lone Ranger.  No, says Toobin: the intellectual influence runs the other way.  Thomas is the consistently clear and purposeful theorist that history will remember as an intellectual pioneer; Scalia the less clear-minded colleague who is gradually following in Thomas’ tracks.
The point about Thomas' intellectual leadership is important, but I just want to make one point about Thomas' supposed sexual indiscretion, which was such a focal point of his confirmation hearings.   Starring Anita Hill, the Democrats in the Senate put on a show trial, accusing Thomas of the ugliest forms of sexual harassment.   Yet, as I've written before about other issues, it is often most revealing to try to see what isn't there.   The Thomas-Hill hearings were in 1991.   It's twenty years later.   What isn't there?  

Well, what isn't there is any evidence whatsoever that Thomas has ever indulged in any similar behavior in the twenty years since.   Not one whiff of scandal, not one hint of infidelity or indiscretion, not one moment of ungentlemanly conduct, nothing, zip, nada.   As anyone who has been around men who are womanizers can tell you, leopards don't often change their spots.   If Thomas was a vulgarian, a sexual harasser, a serial groper, or whatever else it was that the Left tried to paint him as, all human experience points to the conclusion that he would still be that person, that he wouldn't have changed, and that there would be evidence that he has continued the same predatory behavior.   But there isn't.   Again:  nothing, zip, nada.   It's like Big Foot.  If Sasquatch existed, it stands to reason that you'd see more examples of the species, roaming the Pacific Northwest woods.   Species don't occur in singletons; they evolve from hundreds, if not thousands, of generations.   But we don't see large populations of Sasquatches, do we?   My conclusion:   that Sasquatch was a hoax.

I reach a similar conclusion about Clarence Thomas and his supposed harassment of Anita Hill.   The incentive for Hill to lie to make herself part of the biggest story in town in 1991 was huge; she could make herself a hero to the Left.   And maybe she even convinced herself that her story was true over time; as a lawyer, believe me, it happens all the time.   But it wasn't true.   It was a hoax.   If Clarence Thomas was what they said he was, there would be more evidence.   But there isn't.  

And the fact that the Democratic Party went to the mattresses to label a successful black man as a sexual predator is a scandal of the first magnitude, a moral failure of supposed "liberals" that ought to shame them, but won't.   It's a sad commentary, but it appears that Clarence Thomas is having the last laugh.   He's 63.   God willing, he'll be on the Court for another 15-20 years.

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