Well isn’t this special?
Nearly 20 years after sexual harassment allegations almost derailed Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court nomination, the justice’s wife telephoned Anita Hill, his principal accuser, to seek an apology.
“I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get past what happened so long ago,” Virginia Thomas said through a spokesman. Mrs. Thomas, a longtime conservative activist, has lately taken a more visible role by founding a tea-party group called Liberty Central.
Ms. Hill, now a professor at Brandeis University, said she didn’t take Mrs. Thomas’s Oct. 9 voicemail as conciliatory.
“I certainly thought the call was inappropriate,” Ms. Hill said through a Brandeis spokesman. “I have no intention of apologizing because I testified truthfully about my experience and I stand by that testimony.”
Ms. Hill said she initially assumed the call, which a Brandeis spokesman said came in at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday, was a prank. She notified campus security, Brandeis spokesman Charles Radin said, which in a routine procedure alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation….
“Good morning, Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas,” the message went. “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. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. Okay have a good day.”
In the first place, if that’s an olive branch in the hands of Virginia Thomas, it’s an olive branch about two inches in diameter, trimmed of leaves and twigs and suitable for use as a cudgel.
Second, it’s a pretty spineless way of approaching things. If you call someone at her office at 7:30 on a Saturday morning, you clearly don’t want a conversation. You’re hoping to plant your little timebomb and scurry away.
Third, the phone call is probably an exercise in crass publicity-seeking. According to Mrs. Thomas, her group, Liberty Central, was created to fight the tyranny of Barack Obama and “will be bigger than the Tea Party movement.” On the Liberty Central site, she describes herself as “a fan of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and Laura Ingraham and other talk radio hosts. She is intrigued by Glenn Beck and listening carefully. She also enjoys motor homing and watching ‘24′.”
The organization is funded through anonymous donations, made possible by the Citizens United decision in which Mrs. Thomas’ husband, Clarence, cast one of the five majority votes.