Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I can't find any evidence that the woman has a book deal yet, but I have to assume that this bizarre act on the part of Clarence Thomas's wife, Ginni, was an attempt to generate a dramatic scene, infused with Christian sanctimony and self-righteousness, that could serve as the basis for a tear-jerking chapter in a memoir/polemic published by a right-wing or Christian-right publisher, one that would help push Mrs. T to the front ranks of right-wing female rabble-rousers (or at least sell a lot of copies and make the Thomases a lot of money):

Nearly 20 years after Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Justice Thomas's wife has called Ms. Hill, seeking an apology.

In a voice mail message left at 7:31 a.m. on Oct. 9, a Saturday, Virginia Thomas asked her husband's former aide-turned-adversary to make amends. Ms. Hill played the recording, from her voice mail at Brandeis University, for The New York Times.

"Good morning Anita Hill, it's Ginni Thomas," it said. "I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband."

Ms. Thomas went on: "So give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. O.K., have a good day." ...

This was all done on the Q.T.; Ginni Thomas never publicized the call, though, as the linked story notes, she's now acknowledged, through a publicist, that the call took place. (Um, do other Supreme Court justices' spouses have publicists? I mean, for personal issues?)

Hill insists she has nothing to apologize for.

Yup, this really seems like something you'd do if you were writing a book. You'd never mention it until you were shipping the book to media outlets, so that the revelation of the surprising confrontation could be a hook for the interview by Matt Lauer or Larry King's successor.

If I'm right, this is all of a piece with the rest of Ginni Thomas's recent professional life. According to the blog of Legal Times, in April 2009 Mrs. Thomas "left her job at the conservative Heritage Foundation to direct Washington operations for Hillsdale College, a Michigan college that was opening a D.C. center for constitutional studies." Then, a few months later, according to the Hillsdale Collegian, she announced she had big plans:

Virginia Thomas is switching job titles, lessening her role with the college and leaving more time for more personal entrepreneurial projects, the college announced this month....

Thomas' entrepreneurial plans include creating a Web site to help educate citizens about threats to their liberty, she said....

That "entrepreneurial" Web site, of course, was for Liberty Central, a group she formed, according to The New York Times, "in late 2009 with two gifts of $500,000 and $50,000, and because it is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit group, named for the applicable section of the federal tax code, she does not have to publicly disclose any contributors." The group began to get media attention -- The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the L.A. Times -- in March of this year.

But, um, she's still not a star in the wingnut firmament, is she?

So I think she was looking for a memoir hook. And it looks as if Anita Hill messed up her business plan.

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