Some Ironic (and Forgotten) Words from the Clarence Thomas Hearings

By Michael Brown Published on September 29, 2018

This past week was déjà vu time for everyone old enough to remember the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill controversy. But in the midst of many striking parallels between the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings in 1991 and 2018, we have largely overlooked a very telling, quite ironic comment from Justice Thomas.

But first, some of the parallels.

Then, As Today

Then, as today, there were two compelling stories.

Then, as today, there were two believable witnesses, a qualified male judge and a respected female professor.

Then, as today, there were charges of sexual impropriety.

Then, as today, there were concerns about political hit jobs.

Then, as today, the judge was a conservative nominated by a Republican president.

Then, as today, the woman was brought in by the Democrats.

Then, as today, the male judge was hailed as courageous for his impassioned denial of the charges against him.

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Then, as today, the female professor was credited with helping to empower women who had suffered sexual abuse and harassment.

Then, as today, the woman was reluctant to come forward and wanted to preserve her anonymity.

Then, as today, the woman’s anonymity was compromised by leaks to the media.

Then, as today, the judge was considered to be a virtually certain appointee until the charges were leaked.

Then, as today, the man felt his reputation had been tarnished for life.

Then, as today, the man denied the accusations “unequivocally and categorically.”

Then, as today, the Republicans and Democrats voted along party lines.

Then, as today, the hearings were brutal.

Then, as today, the judge and the professor received death threats.

“A Travesty … Disgusting”

In fact, it was John Sununu, President George Bush’s chief of staff and a supporter of Thomas, who knew that Bush’s picking of a “true conservative” would result in a “knock-down, drag-out, bloody-knuckles, grass-roots fight.”

Some Ironic (and Forgotten) Words from the Clarence Thomas HearingsYes, the parallels are beyond striking, as indicated by these comments from Thomas in 1991 when asked by Senator Joe Biden if Thomas had anything to say to the committee.

Thomas remarked, “I think that this today is a travesty. I think that it is disgusting. I think that this hearing should never occur in America,” referencing the “dirt” and “sleaze” that had been dug up (really, manufactured) against him “by staffers of members of this committee.”

He continued, “I think something is dreadfully wrong with this country when any person, any person in this free country would be subjected to this.”

Dreadfully wrong, indeed, and a sentiment echoed by Kavanaugh.

Lesson Not Learned

But here’s the sad irony of all this. We have not learned our lesson, and the hopes of Clarence Thomas were not realized.

It was Senator Orin Hatch who asked Thomas if he had expected to go through the particular hell he endured as a result of his nomination.

Thomas responded, “Senator, I expected it to be bad. And I expected the awful treatment throughout the process. … I expected to be a sitting duck for the interest groups. I expected them to attempt to kill me. And yes, I even expected personally attempts on my life. That’s just how much I expected.”

But, he added, “I did not expect this circus. I did not expect this charge against my name. I expected people to do anything, but not this.”

“I did not expect this circus. I did not expect this charge against my name. I expected people to do anything, but not this.”

And then the words that are so sadly ironic.

Thomas said, “And if by going through this, another nominee in the future, or another American, won’t have to go through it, then so be it [my emphasis]. But I did not expect this treatment. And I did not expect to lose my name, my reputation, my integrity to do public service.”

Tragically, we have not learned our lessons. We have not improved our conduct. We have not become more civil.

Healing, Restoring, Awakening

Quite the contrary.

Through the tidal wave of social media and endless news outlets, through our increasingly divisive politics, we are on the verge of tearing ourselves apart. And if the Thomas hearings could be likened to a “circus,” the Kavanaugh hearings can be likened to gladiatorial combat, with the bloodthirsty crowds cheering on. What in the world is coming next?

Recently, Rev. James Robison urged Bible believers to, “Release the powerful weight of [God’s] kingdom presence — right here, right now, for His glory and eternal kingdom purpose.”

Nothing other than divine intervention will do. Nothing less than a great awakening will work.

America needs the Lord. Desperately.

So I pray, “Heavenly Father, have mercy on us, and come and heal and restore our broken nation.”

Can I hear an Amen?




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  • Nick Stuart

    “Recently, Rev. James Robison urged Bible believers to, “Release the powerful weight of [God’s] kingdom presence — right here, right now, for His glory and eternal kingdom purpose.” Nothing other than divine intervention will do. Nothing less than a great awakening will work. America needs the Lord. Desperately. So I pray, “Heavenly Father, have mercy on us, and come and heal and restore our broken nation.” Can I hear an Amen?”

    Yes, Amen. May it be so.

    That said, Christians need to realize that we may be past a point of no return, like what is described in Ezekiel. We may be beyond the point of God graciously gifting us with a third Great Awakening. Like the nation of Israel, we may be headed for judgment.

    Huddling in our church buildings with the sound system cranked to 11 to drown out the sound of what’s happening outside, and swapping assurances that “If we just pray real hard, King Jesus will come to save the day” like we have been doing in Evangelicaldom for the past couple of decades is not going prepare us to get through what’s coming.

    • Anne

      Agreed, Nick. Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

    • Irene Neuner

      I agree in Amos it says, “As though a man escapes a lion only to meet a bear.” Any baby in the womb that escapes abortion will only be born into the a nation with 20 trillion dollars in debt.

  • NickRepublic

    Amen, though I disagree in one point: the democrats learned their lesson. Learned it abhorrently well.

  • Matthew Basiletti

    Amen. Prayer, and continuing admonition to our friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, acquaintances, to look up to The Living God in humility, and with penitent hearts.

  • K Hillmann

    Amen and Amen!

    “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” Ps 127:1
    Lord, come and build our house and watch over our city.

  • Denise Deli Stevanus

    2 Chronicles 7:14
    “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

  • Juan Garcia

    AMEN! I just wrote a essay for our church bulletin prompted by Robison’s article. What do we do? What Christians should always be doing: recognize who the real enemy is and and use our strongest weapon -prayer. Intense, impassioned prayer for both our allies and those who are being consumed by the enemy’s lies.

  • NellieIrene

    I don’t know who said this because I have been reading so much on Kavanaugh, I think it may have been Bill Whittle, but they said to remember what happened the last time a man was accused of sexual impropriety with no evidence to support it. He became one of the most reliable conservative jurists on the court.

    Kavanaugh has been said to be a moderate based on his appellate court decisions. Someone who is , in the mold of Kennedy, whom he clerked for and has now been nominated to replace. The left has put him through the ringer. Their motives clear. Could they have changed a moderate to a true conservative strict constructionist in the mold of Clarence Thomas?

    • Jim Walker

      This will epsiode make Kavanaugh to change from a moderate to true conservative.
      Its one thing to read about the horrendous actions from the left and another thing for you to actually experience the wrath.

  • tz1

    Kavanaugh is likely to lose by one vote. Doug Jones – the pro-abort, pro-militant gay vote.

    About a year ago, Roy Moore was similarly accused. 11th hour, after the primary and runoff. After a long career. Without any record of misconduct. A decades old allegation.

    What did YOU “christians” do? You crucified him and stayed home and let the evil Doug Jones win instead of even voting for Moore first and letting a real investigation happen.

    Who cares now if Moore was guilty or innocent? He wasn’t killed but he was ruined. And isn’t in the senate to vote for Kavanaugh.

    But you are happy that you kept to your principles and believed slanders so didn’t vote for the accused candidate so the objectively evil candidate got the seat.

    Why did they think they could get away with destroying Kavanaugh’s reputation with thin decades old allegations of recovered memories by a teenager?


    You were the ones that didn’t quite call for the crucifixion of Jesus but allowed Barabbas to be the one to win the contest because “the accusations were so serious!”.

    You sewed the wind. You and Kavanaugh are reaping the whirlwind.

    Maybe Moore was “kooky”, but does that mean you were right in allowing the slander to take hold even in your own hearts?

    And we have another week of slanders coming. Maybe there will be Moore accusations against Kavanaugh and you will say he should be rejected because “the allegations are so serious”.

    Sometimes I think the body of Christ more resembles a rotting, diseasaed ridden corpse than anytihng I would confuse for a healthy person.

    • Irene Neuner

      Our Evangelical Free Church, both in MO and KY seem to cow tow to the liberal media’s construction of injustices (forgetting abortion) such as amnesty for illegal immigrants or more open borders. It is upsetting to say the least. I don’t have cable tv so I watch Fox News rarely but even they seem to allow the liberals to decide on the narrative. Enough!

  • Jacob Miller

    Another similarity between Clarence Thomas and Kavanaugh:

    Both have MULTIPLE women accusing them – but the senate only allowed a “he said, she said”

    In in that case, the “he” always wins.

    • Patmos

      “Jacob Miller” is a troll account. Everyone ignore.

    • NellieIrene

      “he” should win when there is no evidence to support what “she said”.

    • Jim Walker

      I thought you are outta here already ?

    • PT

      To anyone who do agree to the views of the writer is considered a troll account. Such idiots in the comment section.

  • blouis117


  • PT

    These blogs are poison.

  • Nanita Staley

    That healing and re-building process began the day the righteous people of this nation decided to make a STAND (Ephesians 6:13-14) and elected Donald Trump to represent us and this great nation. Healing is a process. It does not happen overnight. But we will “get ‘er done” in God’s way and His timing.

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