In its war for America, the left never rests, sometimes falters but rarely allows itself to fail. It works tirelessly to “fundamentally transform the nation” and smashes anyone and anything that gets in its way.
Consider the pitched battle it has waged against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas over the past quarter-century. Instead of celebrating and honoring a black man who rose from grinding poverty in the segregated South to sit on the nation’s highest court, the left sees an existential threat: a black pro-life, pro-gun conservative who has spent his life crushing leftist orthodoxy. He must, therefore, not simply be opposed, but destroyed, regardless of how long it takes.
The left’s latest attack is “Confirmation,” a “dramatization” of his tumultuous 1991 confirmation hearings, premiering April 16 on HBO. Key players in the real-life drama, including Sens. Al Simpson and John Danforth as well as a White House lawyer on Judge Thomas’ team, Mark Paoletta, have called drafts of the script they had seen “dishonest” and a “seriously distorted” version of the actual events. Anita Hill, who accused Justice Thomas of sexual harassment, has re-emerged to refresh her egregious claims of victimhood. And Justice Thomas must endure yet another round of character assassination and ideological demonization.
In October 1991, the Senate Judiciary Committee was expecting an easy confirmation process for Justice Thomas, who as a top Reagan administration official, had been previously vetted by the FBI and confirmed by the Senate four times.
Once Ms. Hill’s charges were published, however, the committee was forced to extend the hearings to include a public discussion of her allegations. This, of course, was central to the left’s plan to torpedo his nomination, the way it succeeded in doing four years earlier to Judge Robert Bork. Once it had Judge Bork’s scalp, its appetite was whetted for another.
The inquiry into Ms. Hill’s charges became a defining moment for the Senate institutionally, for “women’s issues” culturally and for the abortion issue politically. Having created that synthetic moment, the left then followed its standard modus operandi: use a pretext, in this case “sexual harassment,” to smear and destroy. It tried to discredit a brilliant, accomplished and decent man in order to attack his conservative ideology, which it could not permit to be represented on the court by yet another justice.
As the hearings proceeded, an unflattering portrait of the accuser emerged. She appeared to be a woman of uneven temperament, with left-wing political biases, a history of cavalierly charging sexual harassment, and a reputation for dishonesty and dissembling. Once it became apparent that her story didn’t add up, the left tried to fuzz up the hearings with irrelevancies and chaos. At one point, Mr. Thomas, the best witness for his own defense, described the proceedings as “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks,” a brutally honest summation of his persecution as a pawn in a great power struggle.
On Oct. 14, the day before the vote, Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden stopped two of Justice Thomas’ witnesses outside the hearing room and told them that he believed him, not Ms. Hill.
The American people agreed with him. By a two-to-one margin in most polls, the public, which watched the hearings unfiltered by the liberal press machine, overwhelmingly believed Justice Thomas over Ms. Hill. They determined that she failed to provide evidence to support her claims, and they separated the facts of this particular case from sexual harassment as a general issue.
Mr. Thomas went on to be confirmed by the full Senate and continues to serve with distinction on the court.
The venom of the left’s assault lingers, however. The hearings triggered a national discussion about sexual harassment when they should have also alerted the American people of the extent to which people and institutions were being laid waste by the vicious ideological war waged by the left.
The leftists lost the battle over Justice Thomas, but they wasted little time before they regrouped and planned for future orchestrated clashes. The Thomas spectacle would presage their relentless battles against President George W. Bush, support for the fierce leftism of President Obama, and the radical activism of groups like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.
They fight a ceaseless war against the Constitution, free-market economic principles, traditional values, limited government and individual freedom. It is a war to destroy the very pillars of American exceptionalism and replace them with those of collectivism, command economics and rule by the privileged vanguard.
Justice Thomas happened to be caught in the ideological crossfire. The fact that leftists continue to attack him reminds us that their memories are long, their political ammunition is always fresh, and their battle never ends.
• Monica Crowley is editor of online opinion at The Washington Times.