Almost thirty years after the fact, Anita Hill still holds Joe Biden responsible for not defending her enthusiastically enough in Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing. She pointedly refused to accept a very belated expression of regret from the former VP earlier this year, and to this day sounds bitter about her interactions with the Democratic frontrunner.
But would she vote for Biden if he ran against Trump? “Of course I could,” Hill tells NBC:
Anita Hill said she considers Joe Biden partly responsible for how she was treated during Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearings in 1991 — but she’s still open to voting for him for president. …
Hill said she does hold Biden responsible for how the hearings were handled because “I believe every chairman of any committee really is responsible for how a hearing is conducted.”
Asked if there was any “moral equivalency” between Biden and President Donald Trump, who’s denied allegations that he sexually assaulted more than a dozen women over the years, Hill said: “Absolutely not. I never said that and never intended to say that.”
When asked if she could conceive of voting for Biden if he is the Democratic nominee in 2020, Hill said, “Of course I could.”
There’s no moral equivalency? Biden has also been accused of sexual misconduct by four women after years of barely-concealed chatter about his weird handsiness with women and young girls. The accusations this year prompted Biden to issue an “I get it” video, followed by a series of incidents in which he laughed it off. Those allegations of sexual harassment go well beyond the accusations Hill leveled at Clarence Thomas, and had more witnesses to them, too.
Ah well, Hill’s not the only Democrat to give Biden a pass based on political affiliation. We can expect a lot more of that if Biden maintains his position as front-runner. Will it take the issue off the table in a general election for Trump? Probably not, although it will certainly be entertaining to see the media and Biden’s surrogates twist themselves into pretzels by claiming the moral high ground.
Speaking of sexual harassment, NBC gave Hill another easy layup by asking about Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were both teenagers:
Hill also weighed in on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, saying she “absolutely” identified with Christine Blasey Ford, who accused him of sexual assault, which Kavanaugh denied.
“She was in the same situation” with “intense pressure,” Hill said.
Hill’s referring to the hearing, but the similarities go beyond that too. Both women told shifting stories, had no evidence in support of the allegations, and demanded to be believed rather than corroborated. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee bungled both as well, although not likely in the manner in which Hill would argue. Dianne Feinstein hid Blasey Ford’s allegation from chair Chuck Grassley until it leaked and set off a media firestorm.
Of course, now that Hill says she can vote for Biden in the general election, she has made herself irrelevant to it. Her potential for damage to Biden was all that made her newsworthy in this election cycle. With that gone, Hill’s return from relative obscurity will not be long-lived.