Who Will Be The Vice-President Choice of the Democrat Nominee?

Each of the five leading candidates has different needs and therefore the answer to the question depends on the candidate. Some of the considerations typically in play are those that will give the nominee a balanced ticket. Someone who will help them reach particular voters they might otherwise have a hard time reaching. Once upon a time, geography was a critical factor and a running mate from the South might be helpful to a nominee from the Northeast. These days the swing states in the Midwest are considered crucial which might influence the pick. Let’s look at the current leading candidates and whom they might select?

#5 Kamala Harris

Kamala is currently languishing in 5th place after a brutal, seemingly coordinated attack against her that began once she took on Joe Biden during the first debate. She’ll need a breakout moment and a very strong finish in Iowa and victories in South Carolina and California to have a chance. She’s low on funds and it’s almost Hail Mary time in terms of winning the nomination. Should she win, however, who might give her balance and help her win a general election? Her choice would likely be male, neither Biden or Sanders are likely to agree to take the second spot. Booker would make the slate just a little too colorful. If she wins her choice will likely be Mayor Pete Buttigieg of Indiana.

#4 Pete Buttigieg

Mayor Pete is slowly but surely climbing up the polls, almost in striking distance of the three leaders; Biden, Warren, and Sanders. Buttigieg has youth in his favor, is articulate (they usually save that compliment for black people). Though he started out with very little name recognition, when people actually listen to him he typically makes a good impression.

While Sanders, Biden, and Warren, are all in their 70’s and might need to choose someone younger. He would run the risk of pointing to his youth as a negative by in effect bringing aboard a chaperone, pointing to one of his potential negatives. Because of local issues in South Bend involving the fatal shooting of a black man by a police officer. Pete needs help with black voters. His choice will be Kamala Harris.

#3 Bernie Sanders

Bernie’s choice of VP is extra critical seeing how he just had a heart attack. People have already been reminded the Vice-President is one heartbeat away from the Presidency with that incident. While by all accounts he gets along well with Elizabeth Warren, she’s almost the same age as he and they both appeal to the same general base of voters.

Sanders has struggled to attract black voters but is unlikely to choose Cory Booker or Kamala Harris. He needs to find someone seen as more conservative than he but pragmatic enough to accept his popular ideas. He’ll pick a woman for balance, but it will be Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota.

#2 Elizabeth Warren

Of the septuagenarians (people between 70–79) in the race, Elizabeth exudes energy and vitality. Still, her choice for VP will be someone more youthful, with a record of fighting for the consumer. They will have progressive bona fides yet be attractive to the mainstream Democrat voter.

Her choice will be male and although she could use some help with the black vote, it won’t be Cory Booker. She’ll be looking for someone to give a shot to her campaign and a shot at winning a state that will negate Trump possibly still winning Ohio or Wisconsin. Warren will pick Beto O’Rourke of Texas.

#1 Joe Biden

Biden more so than any of the others needs someone who can go on the attack. AssumingbTrump is still the 2020 Republican nominee given that Impeachment thing going on. Biden will face a blistering assault from Trump about Ukraine and any other topic he decides, truth notwithstanding.

Biden will need someone that can make the case that Trump is a criminal with the credentials to back it up. Politics make strange bedfellows and Biden will select the one voted least likely to be invited; Kamala Harris.

Feel free to disagree and post your VP picks and the reason you believe you’re right.

Joe Biden: He’s Fallen And He Can’t Get Up!

Let’s be clear, Joe Biden is still leading the polls among all the Democrat candidates for the 2020 Presidential election, but he’s fading. When he announced he was running for President back in late April. He had a thirty point lead over the next leading candidate, Bernie Sanders. Observers correctly noted that moment would be as good as it got for Biden and it was downhill from there. Instead of hitting the trail and hustling for votes. Biden campaigned by doing his version of the rope-a-dope. Ignoring his Democrat challengers and focusing on Donald Trump as if he were already in the general election.

Biden’s handlers were in effect hiding their candidate from the public, given Joe’s tendency to make gaffes. When they let him out of his pen, he promoted his ability to work well with others, using the example that he worked well with segregationalists in the Democrat Party to get things done. He also affirmed his support for the Hyde amendment banning the use of public funds for abortion, a position he had to back away from after he was attacked by the other candidates. He’s also had to apologize for his support of the 1994 Crime Bill which many point to as a leading cause of mass incarceration of black Americans.

The first Democrat debate, broken up into two days to accommodate twenty participants, exposed Joe Biden when he had to respond to direct confrontation in the form of California Senator Kamala Harris. She pointed out his opposition to school busing and his reply was the equivalent of a “States Rights” policy last used to support slavery. A worrisome sight for Biden supporters was the throng of black women that sought Harris out on stage after the debate.

Possibly the most significant portion of Biden’s base is the black vote he inherited from having served as Barack Obama’s Vice-President. Obama having been the nation’s first black President. Obama is still beloved by the majority of black voters and Biden brings up that connection every chance he gets including in his announcement video. In addition to being loyal, black voters are pragmatic, taking into consideration who has the best chance to win. Even with two black Senators in the race for President; Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. Black voters have generally been hesitant to support either despite a common race because of uncertainty they could win. The same sentiment pattern was true when Barack Obama ran against Hillary Clinton in 2007. Clinton had the majority of the black support until suddenly she didn’t. Barack Obama convinced black voters he could win. It remains to be seen if Harris or Booker can capture that lightning, but it’s happened before.

Since Biden’s dreadful debate appearance, he is suddenly seen as vulnerable and what was once thirty point lead had dropped to just a few points in recent polls. He should be worried about trends showing Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris gaining ground while Biden is moving the opposite direction. Recent dropouts from the campaign include Congressman Eric Swalwell and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. As hopes and money dry up in the next few months, several others can be expected to drop out, the greatest likelihood is those votes won’t accrue to Biden but to one of the other remaining candidates. Until such time as he wins the nomination, those likely to vote for Biden were already supporting him.

In one respect, Democrat voters know quite a bit about Joe Biden. He’s generally well-liked and it’s hard to overestimate the value of his association with Obama. Whoever can carry a large bloc of black voters within the Democrat Party has the easiest path to the nomination. Elizabeth Warren is struggling to catch fire with black voters and Mayor Pete Buttigieg has captured just 3% of black voters polled and is possibly heading backward due to local issues including the firing of a popular black police chief and a separate killing by police of a black man. The officer’s body camera was not turned on.

In another respect, the things Democrat voters learn about Biden they don’t already know, are more likely to hurt Biden than help him. Negative ads will include his support of the crime bill, his handling of the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings specifically his treatment of Anita Hill. They’ll highlight his negative comments about Barack Obama when running against him in an earlier bid for the Presidency. We’re not going to learn anything new and exciting about Joe Biden to make us want to vote for him.

Joe Biden ran for President in 1988, that bid was derailed by plagiarism charges and 2008 when he wasn’t a factor. He doesn’t have a history of being a great campaigner. This time he was spotted a thirty point lead. Two things are happening simultaneously; some of his competitors are gaining on him and he’s falling back towards them. Biden may still hang on to win, but he’s definitely falling, and he can’t get up.

Why Opposing School Busing Mostly Is Racist

Since Kamala Harris pointed out that Joe Biden worked with segregationists in the Democrat Party to oppose school busing, all hell has broken loose. Biden surrogates are walking a tightrope explaining why Biden was right then, taking a “states rights” position also used to justify slavery, not needing to apologize now. Biden is getting support from unlikely sources on the right, bringing up everything wrong with busing and why it was the policy was bad, and it wasn’t racist at all. They say people just wanted their children to go to school close to home and didn’t mind integration the least little bit. They’re half right.

People, black and white, did want their children to go to schools close to home. Unfortunately, white people generally didn’t want black people in their neighborhoods. Redlining was in place in major cities long before the Supreme Court theoretically ended school segregation in Brown v Board of Education in 1954. Black people couldn’t buy homes in white neighborhoods and nearby schools equaled segregation. While the Court basically said segregation is bad, they didn’t make any recommendations until the following year, waiting to absorb the negative reaction from Southern states. Over a hundred members of Congress formally objected to the decision, issuing the “Southern Manifesto” promising to do everything they could to fight school desegregation.

“This unwarranted exercise of power by the Court, contrary to the Constitution, is creating chaos and confusion in the States principally affected. It is destroying the amicable relations between the white and Negro races that have been created through 90 years of patient effort by the good people of both races. It has planted hatred and suspicion where there has been heretofore friendship and understanding.”

When the Court did address finally make its recommendations to accompany the original ruling. The infamously decided schools should be desegregated, “with all deliberate speed.” giving local school districts as long as they pleased to end segregation.

“[T]he cases are remanded to the District Courts to take such proceedings and enter such orders and decrees consistent with this opinion as are necessary and proper to admit to public schools on a racially nondiscriminatory basis with all deliberate speed the parties to these cases.” Earl Warren

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe wrote, “The forced busing of schoolchildren for purposes of racial desegregation was a wretched, wrongheaded policy. It failed in every respect and caused far more harm than good.” He doesn’t mention why busing was implemented in the first place. Almost twenty years after Brown v Board of Education, very little had been done to make changes. Schools were nearly as segregated as before, with no change in sight. People were sending their children to schools close to home. The neighborhoods were still segregated, so were the schools. In 1971, Swann v Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education found the Federal government could use busing as a tool to achieve racial parity. And so it began.

Many of the attacks on busing challenge the effectiveness and failure to significantly change the racial makeup of schools. What wasn’t accounted for was a white flight to the suburbs creating brand new segregated schools and white parents sending their kids to private schools. And because “all deliberate speed” was undefined, efforts to integrate schools were neither urgent or comprehensive. If school desegregation was failing, it was not so much a function of busing but a lack of will of the local school boards and the refusal to participate by a large percentage of white parents.

The students who were bused were definitely inconvenienced by the process, spending an additional hour or more out of their day getting to and from school. Time they never got back. It was also a time for socializing, doing homework, and sometimes acting up. In addition to riding on school buses, many children took public transportation at their families own cost to go outside their district. One of those children was me. The reason black parents were willing to disregard inconvenience and cost to send their children across town was the vast difference in the quality of the schools. Separate but equal was just a saying, never actually implemented in America.

The naysayers about school busing who decry the inconvenience, don’t mention that it was borne almost wholly by black and poor white students. White students weren’t nearly as often bussed to black schools because either the buildings were inferior and the schools closed or the districts were drawn to keep the historically black schools in the inner-city black. My city of Minneapolis had predominantly black Central High on the Southside and North High on the North. These schools had a lot of tradition and often had caring teachers who made an extra effort to help their students grow. Just as often, parents wanted their children to have what they perceived as a better chance and were grateful for the chance to send their kids to a different environment. Of course, the wealthy white parents had other options and often exercised them.

The title of this piece states that opposing forced school busing was mostly racist. The opposition mostly wasn’t about the inconvenience but due to a desire to maintain the status quo. It’s why the segregationists were opposed to it, why 101 members of Congress swore they would undo it. Why school boards failed to implement it. It wasn’t until the Federal government began filing lawsuits against local school boards, forcing them into Consent Decrees which often involved busing that they began to get serious. Not just in the South but all across the land; Orlando, Tulsa, Cincinnati, Chicago, Detroit, New York, and dozens of other major cities. Fighting for “neighborhood schools” sounded much better than fighting against your child sitting next to a black child in the classroom, playing together on athletic teams, and heaven forbid… attending the same prom.

Joe Biden joined with another segregationist, Jesse Helms, in supporting a bill to end Federal oversight of busing.

“I have become convinced that busing is a bankrupt concept,” Joe Biden

Edward Brooke, the only black member of the Senate at the time, called Biden’s amendment:

“The greatest symbolic defeat for civil rights since 1964.”

Of all those opposing school busing and calling it a failure, where is their record of suggesting a different path for achieving integration. Did they favor integration at all? Or was the racist segregationist system that the Supreme Court grudgingly said cannot stand… just fine?

The Long Knives Are Out For Kamala Harris

“Don’t start none, won’t be none!”

They would have left Kamala alone had she been content to stay in the middle of the pack; making no waves, hoping to be in the running for Vice-President once Joe Biden was officially the nominee. Why couldn’t she be satisfied with having raised her national profile, establishing herself as someone to be reckoned with… next time.

It was worrisome to the powers that be when 20,000 people showed up at the Oakland campaign rally which launched her bid to become President of the United States. Then delegate-rich California where she’s a popular Senator and former Attorney General moved up in the Primary process, advantage Harris. Then every time she appeared on television, like when she rattled William Barr during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Kamala Harris demonstrated she was going to be a force to be reckoned with. Something had to be done to impede her progress.

Bernie Sanders wasn’t wrong with his complaints the 2016 nomination was rigged to give Hillary Clinton an edge. Democrat Party big wigs had settled on Hillary early and made little pretense as they helped clear the field for her, stacking the deck in her favor. Many of the same faces are back, convinced the need to defeat Trump justifies behaving in the same manner as before. This time wanting a coronation of Joe Biden, while encouraging all the candidates to speak no evil during the process,

Things were going according to plan, Biden had a big lead in the polls and was mostly staying quiet, lest he commits one of the gaffes he’s notorious for. The key to his nomination was his ability to maintain his grip on black voters, particularly black women voters who associate Biden with fonder times when Barack Obama was in office. There were no worries about the first states; mostly white Iowa and New Hampshire.

It was South Carolina with its large black population that offered the first test of Biden’s staying power. Rep. James Clyburn used the first dagger while hosting his famous “fish fry” where over 20 of the Presidential candidates had a chance to mingle with the South Carolina Democrat elite. Clyburn had promised he wouldn’t make any early endorsements, which apparently didn’t prevent him from targeting Harris and Cory Booker for backhanded compliments, intended to drag them down. He said she, “hasn’t spelled out the policy stuff with her vision,” odd since his own candidate was spending much of his campaign in hiding.

“I thought she would be surging a little more than she is.”

The Democrat Party is full of has-been and would-be power brokers salivating at the chance to gain influence with a Biden presidency. Things will be normal, a well-established hierarchy will step into place; unwilling to accept the uncertainty of a newcomer like Sanders or Harris. Not beholden to them for getting where they got. Then the Democrat debates came to Miami and over two hours Harris exposed how vulnerable Biden was and had all eyez on her as Tupac might say. In a telling scene, when the debate was over, a throng of black women crowded around Harris while Biden had none. The call went out, time for those in waiting to earn their keep.

All the opposition research ever compiled against Harris was put into play. Republicans and Democrats alike went on the attack to put the pretender to the throne back in her place. Black Republican strategist Ali Alexander tweeted that Kamala “wasn’t really black” because her parents were from India and Jamaica.

“I’m so sick of people robbing American Blacks (like myself) of our history. It’s disgusting.”

His tweet was picked up and retweeted thousands of times by Russian bots, and of course, troll Donald Trump, Jr. who later deleted the retweet.

Attacks were made on Kamala’s record as a prosecutor and Attorney General of California. Biden alluded to it during the debate saying, “I was a defense attorney,” others now claiming she wasn’t the progressive prosecutor she claims to have been. Fellow Californian and former Senator Barbara Boxer on an interview on MSNBC quickly pointed out that Harris once feted Biden. Boxer had once endorsed Harris in her winning bid to replace her as Senator but she answered the Biden call.

Right-wing newspapers and blogs are unanimous in their aversion to the possibility of another black President, a woman at that.

“Kamala Harris’ Attack On Joe Biden May Have Backfired “— RedState

“Kamala Harris barked up wrong tree in attacking Biden on race” — Washington Examiner

“Kamala Harris’ Baggage Could Be Just as Big of a Problem as Biden’s” — Vice News

President Trump chimed in saying Kamala Harris got “too much credit” for her debate performance. Forces from all sides are aligning against her, and by all appearances, she can handle it. She didn’t back down against William Barr, not against Joe Biden, and the likes of Donald Trump Jr and his daddy won’t concern her either. Overcoming the smoke-filled rooms of the Democratic leadership may be a hurdle she didn’t anticipate. But the election season is long and much can still happen. The long knives are out, but if you come after the Queen, you best not miss.

Why the 2020 Presidential Election is all about Race (and Abortion).

A nerve was struck during Round 2 of the Democrat debates in Miami, FL when the issue of race was front and center. The prelude to the debate included former Vice-President Joe Biden demonstrating his ability to play well with others by citing his ability to get along with avowed segregationists in his own Party. Biden did his best impression of Donald Trump by refusing to apologize, doubling down by telling Cory Booker he should “know better” in his best “massa” voice.

The topic was bound to come up during the debate. Expectations were that Bernie Sanders would be on the attack but it was Kamala Harris who had Biden wobbly with the one-two punch of addressing how hurtful his comments were and attacking Biden’s position as a Senator opposing school busing ordered by the Federal government. Biden’s excuse could have been delivered by a Klansman when he basically invoked state’s rights, the primary justification for slavery.

These issues are likely to pass after a couple of news cycles but almost every issue influencing voters decisions is tied to race. I’ll concede there are voters who are focused on the issue of abortion where race isn’t part of the equation. Everything else… pretty much race.

Immigration on the Southern border is all about race. The concern is far more about the browning of America than the rule of law. Employers of undocumented immigrants are facing no substantial penalty because it’s understood that workers are required to make America run. The family separation policy would never have been attempted against white immigrants. Trump claims he inherited separation from Obama whose administration separated far fewer children under more humane conditions as a last result. Obama’s immigration policy didn’t have a running death count. Nor did he ban Muslims.

The voters who say their concern is all about the Supreme Court are mostly voting about race. Outside of abortion, the major issues the SCOTUS has dealt with involve race. Pure shame kept the majority of Justices from supporting the racist census question after e-mails came out showing the rationale was to hurt Hispanics and help Republicans. Because everyone knew the Court knew, they ducked the issue and sent it back to a lower court. That didn’t stop them the same day from allowing race-based Gerrymandering and redistricting as long as you pretend the motive is only political. In other words, it’s perfectly acceptable to disenfranchise millions of minorities as long as you don’t admit the real reason.

Public funding for charter schools is very close to a return to segregation, not that it ever completely went away. It used to be if the rich wanted to educate their children in an almost all-white environment, they at least had to pay for it. Now they want the very people they hope to exclude to help pay the freight.

There are millions of immigrants who were brought to America as young children who have never known another home. President Obama initiated the DACA program for “the Dreamers,” but Trump in his racist quest to undo everything Obama tried to end the program. The Supreme Court will take up whether Trump has that right during his next term. I won’t take any bets the court that saw nothing wrong with a Muslim Ban will support DACA.

When we get to the General Election, assuming Trump hasn’t actually shot someone on 5th Ave (the street where he allegedly raped E. Jean Carroll in Bergdorf’s Dept. Store) and is the Republican nominee. We can look forward to him leading chants about “Pocahontas” if Elizabeth Warren is the Democratic nominee. Trump isn’t in the same universe with Warren when it comes to intelligence so he’ll resort to racist taunts. If Kamala Harris is the nominee, the leader of the birther movement will no doubt come up with something to suggest her Jamaican background is suspect? Black Conservative Ali Alexander is already tweeting that Harris isn’t truly black and Russian bots are pumping that theme on Twitter.

Mayor Pete is fighting issues at home in South Bend, IN where a white policeman shot a black man with his body camera suspiciously turned off. His police department is 6% black in a city with a black population of 26%. He said he, “couldn’t get the job done.” There will be questions as to how hard he tried?

It’s hard to say what particular issue involving race will be enough to determine the outcome of the election. Biden entered the race with a large majority of black voters who associate him with former President, Barack Obama. Biden’s announcement video was basically an “I’m with him” statement that included a segment of Obama saying nice things about in. When Kamala Harris had him staggering, he pulled out the Obama card which won’t be enough to get him the nomination. Warren seems to have gotten past attacks on her and her claim of Native American heritage. In full disclosure, my family has always mentioned a Cherokee Indian heritage and while I have no proof, have no reason to doubt it. The one certainty is that 100% of the white supremacist crowd is with Trump. Not saying that all Trump backers are racists, but voting racists are Trump voters.

Joe Biden entered the race with a wide lead in the polls based on the overwhelming support of black voters. Joe thought his civil rights bona fides would protect him from attack from that direction. He may have forgotten his stance on the crime bill which led to an increase in the mass incarceration of black people and his treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. It’s not enough to claim lifetime support of civil rights if not reflected by the record. It will be interesting to watch the ebbs and flows of the election now the debates have begun and primary season nears. The one sure thing is that race will be the issue hiding behind most topics.

Joe Biden: His “Do No Harm” Approach To Campaigning

Joe Biden is sort of running for President. In his announcement video, he clung to the coattails of former President Barack Obama. Reminding us of the days when compared to the current occupant of the Oval Office, things were calm. Normalcy will be restored.

Biden’s announced strategy was to wait as long as possible to enter the race; watching as Sanders, Warren, Harris and over a dozen others announced their candidacy with some raising huge amounts of money and staking out their corners of the electorate. When Biden finally announced his entry, he took a commanding lead in the polls. His goal now seems to be to do nothing that will hurt that lead, take no strong positions, make few campaign appearances, stay above the fray.

In full disclosure, I’ve always liked Joe Biden. If he’s the ultimate nominee of the Democrat Party, I’ll vote for him in a heartbeat. He has some issues in his past like the Clarence Thomas Senate Confirmation Hearings and his support of the 1994 Crime Bill. He just made news with his half-hearted support of the Hyde Amendment which almost every other Democrat candidate has opposed. His position seemed to be, “I’m for it unless too many people are against it.” A politicians answer to a serious question.

Update: Joe Biden just changed his position on the Hyde Amendment. One can only wonder how strongly he believes in anything? Besides his desire to become President.

Whether or not you like Elizabeth Warren. She’s making clear, concise statements outlining her positions. She answers questions with a yes or no and then explains why she feels as she does. Other candidates are giving clear answers about Impeachment, health care for all. abortion laws, and more. Biden is speaking little and saying less.

In less than three weeks the debates begin in Miami. It’s likely that the other 19 candidates eligible for the debate stage will be coming for Joe. They’ll do it because they have to chip away at his lead and frankly, the more Joe speaks, the less popular he’ll become. He’ll be on the defense, trying to explain away his support of a bill that increased mass incarceration, his lack of support of Anita Hill and the witnesses he didn’t call in her support while Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. His answers thus far aren’t convincing and photo’s of him and Barack Obama (who hasn’t endorsed him) just won’t cut it.

Joe Biden has name recognition, he’ll have more money than any other Democrat, and he’s genuinely likable. What he’s not doing is taking firm positions, clearly enunciating his policies, or giving anyone a reason to vote for him other than his closeness to Obama (who hasn’t endorsed him).

What Joe has been able to count on up to this point is the overwhelming support of black voters and women. Among the dozens of candidates running against him are a couple of black candidates and several women. Hillary Clinton had a grasp on the black vote when running against Barack Obama until she didn’t. Black voters supported Hillary because they didn’t believe Obama could win. Once they got the idea he actually could, her loss of support was dramatic. If Kamala Harris wins her home state of California (which had 475 delegates in 2016). That may well be enough to convince voters of her viability. White women who voted for Trump in 2016, may finally be ready to support a woman, given what they got last time.

I don’t see a scenario where discontented Biden supporters flock to Bernie. Biden is a centrist and is betting that the majority of the Party is also. He’s ignoring the signs the PArty has moved to the left and is looking for a Progressive candidate to lead them. As a hedge, Biden is taking almost no positions at all, apparently believing that suggesting he’s with Obama (who hasn’t endorsed him) and not being Trump will be enough.

It would be nice if Biden didn’t back his way into the Democrat Nomination. The public should know what he believes and how strongly. The Republicans have been serious about installing their judges, obstructing votes, Gerrymandering, obliterating women’s rights, and supporting a racist immigration policy. Voters deserve to have someone willing to stand up to all of this, which begins by taking a stand on anything.

The Time Joe Biden Didn’t Listen To Anita Hill And We Ended Up With Clarence Thomas

She was asked to appear, when she did she spoke about his unwanted advances, his predilection for pornography and his love of the character, “Long Dong Silver.” He enjoyed scenes of women with animals, and rape scenes. He bragged about his own sexual prowess. He inquired to a group of workers, “Who put a pubic hair on my Coke can?”

On December 14, 2017, Joe Biden said, “I wish I had been able to do more for Anita Hill, I owe her an apology.” He was referring to the 1991 Senate Confirmation Hearings for Clarence Thomas who’d been nominated by George H.W. Bush for the Supreme Court.

Anita Hill had appeared as a witness in the nationally televised hearing, saying she’d been sexually harassed by Thomas when he was her supervisor at the Department of Education. In 1991, the President was a Republican but Democrats controlled the Senate. Joe Biden of Delaware was the Chairman of the Committee.

a a a a clarencee

Biden had never directly apologized to Hill before. He’d indicated he was sorry about the composition of the all-male panel that sat in judgment of her testimony. He claims he later supported campaigns of two women who ran for the Senate, in hopes we wouldn’t see that spectacle again. He’d said, “My one regret is that I wasn’t able to tone down the attacks on her by some of my Republican friends.” He also said, “As much as I tried to intervene, I did not have the power to gavel them out of order.” It took 26 years for Joe to acknowledge he owed an apology to Anita Hill, and I’m afraid it fell short.

a a a a claarence

The women that came forward recently to accuse Roy Moore of sexual harassment and in one case pedophilia, were right in thinking they would not have been believed 40 years ago. Not only was Anita Hill not believed by those who judged her testimony, it set a tone that women would not be believed, better to suffer silently and move on. There was a “high-tech lynching” during that hearing, not the one Clarence Thomas famously claimed but of Anita Hill, and Joe Biden allowed it.

a a a a clareence

Thomas testified first, and in what may have been the first usage of a Republican using the race card, set the tone that any attacks on him were because he was black. During the alternating questioning by Republicans and Democrats, the Republicans praised Thomas and when her turn came they buried Hill. Democrats were too passive to challenge Thomas credibility lest they be seen as attacking the poor black man. They stood idly by including Chairman Biden while they attacked Anita’s character and motives. She was, “a woman scorned.” She’d followed him from the Education Department to the EEOC, rather like the actresses who worked on more than one Harvey Weinstein film. She was allegedly upset because another woman had been promoted in her stead at the EEOC.

It may have been lost that Anita Hill didn’t volunteer to testify. NPR’s Nina Totenberg leaked a Judiciary Committee/FBI report which included Hill’s charges. She was asked to appear, when she did she spoke about his unwanted advances, his predilection for pornography and his love of the character, “Long Dong Silver.” He enjoyed scenes of women with animals, and rape scenes. He bragged about his own sexual prowess. He inquired to a group of workers, “Who put a pubic hair on my Coke can?”

There were witnesses who could have backed up Anita Hill’s claims. Angela Wright told Senate Judiciary Committee staff that Thomas, “often asked her for dates and asked about the size of my breasts.” He often discussed the anatomy of other women. He later claimed dissatisfaction with her work and fired her. Rose Jourdain backed up Wright’s comments and told of how Wright came to her office in tears after a discussion with Thomas. Sukari Hardnett said, “if you were young, black, female, reasonably attractive, and worked directly for Clarence Thomas, you knew full well you were being inspected and auditioned as a female.”

a a a a claaaa

None of these women testified before Congress. Biden says it was their choice and he had all three sign statements saying they chose not to testify. There is some dispute as to whether Biden coerced them not to testify or simply didn’t call them wanting to end the hearing. There is no dispute that each watched what Anita Hill had been subjected to while Biden did nothing.

Earlier when Thomas testified, he said, “This is not an opportunity to talk about difficult matters privately or in a closed environment. This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace. And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.” I submit it was Hill that was the victim there.

a a a a clarenceee

Joe Biden has gone on to do several things in support of women’s causes. He drafted the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and began the, “It’s on Us.” Campaign while Vice-President to target sexual assaults on college campuses. In 1991, Joe was making a national name for himself in Politics and even then, aspired to one day be President. His name was already in those types of conversations. At best he didn’t believe Anita Hill as he allowed her to be thrown to the wolves during the Senate hearing. At worst, he believed her, and it didn’t matter, then making a political judgment as to his best interests while sacrificing not only Anita Hill but generations of women who saw the public example of what happens when you speak out. Joe’s apology to Anita Hill is not only long overdue, it’s woefully insufficient.

In response to one of Joe’s earlier half-hearted general apologies. Anita Hill said, “I still don’t think it takes ownership of his role in what happened. And he also doesn’t understand that it wasn’t just that I felt it was not fair. It was that women were looking to the Senate Judiciary Committee and his leadership to really open the way to have these kinds of hearings. They should have been using best practices to show leadership on this issue on behalf of women’s equality. And they did just the opposite.”

I agree!