September 21, 2018

Anita Hill and Keith Ellison

“A lawyer for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, professor Christine Blasey Ford, told a U.S. Senate committee on Thursday that Ford would be prepared to testify next week if the terms are fair and her safety is ensured.” (Reuters)

The left deems Ford a credible witness and thinks her accusation should be taken seriously. The right does not believe the allegation should disqualify Kavanaugh, as there is not enough corroborating evidence on either side to definitively determine what occurred 35 years ago, and resists further delay of the confirmation process. (The Flip Side)

While the credibility of Ford’s accusation continues to be debated, the two sides are drawing very different comparisons to the current situation.

The left sees many parallels between Kavanaugh/Ford and the 1991 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. “During the televised hearings, which lasted three days, Anita F. Hill, who then taught at the University of Oklahoma’s law school, detailed allegations of workplace sexual harassment by Judge Thomas, who was her supervisor at two government agencies. And Judge Thomas forcefully denied the accusations, claiming they played into stereotypes of black men.” (New York Times)

The right is focused on Keith Ellison, Deputy Chair of the DNC and the Democratic nominee for Minnesota Attorney General, who has been accused of physical and emotional abuse. On Tuesday Karen Monahan, Ellison’s ex-girlfriend, shared medical records indicating she had told her doctor that Ellison was abusive while they dated in 2016. Another woman, Amy Alexander, previously accused Ellison of abuse in 2005 during an alleged affair. (Roll Call, Star Tribune)

See past issues

From the Left

The left believes Anita Hill was treated unfairly in 1991 and urges Congress to do better this time around.

From the Right

The right alleges hypocrisy in the disparate treatment of Kavanaugh and Ellison.

“More than a quarter century ago, a university professor named Anita Hill was abused, shamed, and ignored by the U.S. Senate—just for having the courage to go before the Judiciary Committee and describe how she’d been sexually harassed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas... Senators tempted to treat Ford unfairly ought to remember how their treatment of Hill helped lead to 1992 becoming the ‘Year of the Woman.’"

American Prospect

“Hill’s testimony was groundbreaking, even if it didn’t spark a full feminist revolution. This time around, our senators have a chance to demonstrate that things really have changed since 1991. And if they don’t, then the rest of us... must make them pay an electoral price so significant they won’t ever again think they can shunt women’s voices aside to clear the way for men ascending to power."

Vanity Fair

Anita Hill herself noted that “there is no way to redo 1991, but there are ways to do better." The Senate should “select a neutral investigative body with experience in sexual misconduct cases that will investigate the incident." Furthermore, it should “not rush these hearings... hastily appraising this situation would very likely lead to facts being overlooked that are necessary for the Senate and the public to evaluate."

New York Times

From the Right

The right alleges hypocrisy in the disparate treatment of Kavanaugh and Ellison.

“Monahan, an active Democrat, and her son seemingly have no motive to lie about Ellison’s behavior, and three friends of Monahan and her work supervisor also said she confided Ellison’s abuse to them at the time it is alleged to have happened. She has provided medical records showing that she discussed the alleged abuse (and her fear of retribution from Ellison, who is named in the medical record) with her physician and her work supervisor.”

National Review

“Unlike the allegation against Kavanaugh, these charges are recent, specific, and the alleger claims to have documentary proof of the abuse/assault, a video which she has thus far not released publicly. Furthermore, there is another on-the-record allegation of similar abuse in 2005, far more recently than the Kavanaugh allegation, when Ellison was not just an adult but a public figure and running for Congress."

Hot Air

“Over in Minnesota, the media have a full-blown scandal brewing for a high-ranking Democrat who is running for higher office as we speak. They have the ‘who,’ they have the ‘what,’ they have the ‘when’ and they have the ‘where,’ and they have evidence to back it all up. Sounds like the kind of story political reporters would kill for. So where is the coverage?"

Washington Times

On the bright side...

A night in a cottage made entirely of chocolate? Yours for just €50.

The Independent

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