October 3, 2007

Clarence Thomas helps "a sister" -- Anita Hill.

In his memoir, "My Grandfather's Son," Clarence Thomas repeatedly states his opposition to affirmative action, particularly because he thinks it puts a stamp of inferiority on black achievement. But he portrays his own hiring of Anita Hill as affirmative action and uses it to stigmatize her as inferior.

As assistant secretary for civil rights in the Department of Education, he hires her because his friend (Gil Hardy) asks him to "help a sister" (page 140):
Not only did I feel I had an obligation to help my fellow blacks, but I remembered how hard it had been for me to land a job after graduating from Yale, and I didn't want to treat her as I'd been treated. I found a way to hire her without going throught the nearly impossible hiring process for political appointees. Her work wasn't outstanding, but I found it adequate.
Now, perhaps Thomas would say that wasn't affirmative action. And, in a way, he'd be right. It's not an openly declared policy designed to bring in minorities. It's the old boy network -- special treatment for people who know somebody who's already on the inside. Hire your friends. Or, more specifically: Hire your friends if they are the same race as you. Thomas makes no effort to justify his action. He only diminishes her -- she "wasn't outstanding" -- even as he admires his own feeling of "obligation to help my fellow blacks."

After President Reagan makes him the chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Clarence Thomas once again hires Anita Hill. Here's how he puts it:
Anita Hill immediately said that she wanted to go with me. I said I'd think about it... (page150)

... Gil Hardy intervened yet again. I said that I needed someone with experience in the field of employment discrimination, but Gil insisted that I should "give a sister a chance"... (page 152)

... I ... had to do something about Anita HIll, who'd been pestering Anna Jenkins, my interim secretary, as had Gil. I reluctantly brought her aboard, and the first thing she did was claim the largest office in my suite. She had no experience with employment law, so I also [hired two "outstanding young career employees"]. (page 154)
We all want a nice office. Thomas himself enthuses over his office. And many of us have the nerve to push for a job where we know we lack the experience but think if we get the spot, we'll work hard and figure out what to do. Thomas himself repeatedly takes jobs that way. And it's easy to slip in words like "pestering" when you mean to disparage a person who is only doing the normal thing under the circumstances. Of course, we know Hill is Thomas's nemesis, but there is nothing that she's doing here that is wrong. The wrong is coming from Thomas. He's hiring a person he thinks is unqualified because she's black and she's friends with his friend. He therefore denied a job to someone else, someone who deserved it. And he's the one assuming the position of chairman of a commission that is supposed to be about equal opportunity.

At page 171, Thomas unleashes a flood of criticism: Hill was "a growing nuisance" who was "nagging" him about writing a letter of recommendation. She "wasn't performing up to expectations and failed to finish her assignments on time," according to his chief of staff. She'd had "quarrels" with the staff and had stopped coming to morning meetings. She was "far too interested in my social calendar." She was "sullen and withdrawn." She sought a promotion on the ground that she'd attended Yale Law School, and when he promoted another woman, she "stormed" into his office and accused him of favoring the other woman because she had light black skin (as did the woman he was dating).
I found her accusation, her attitude, and her reasoning equally irritating, and told her so.
She responded that she was going to look for another job, and he writes a recommendation letter for her. I think that this is the same recommendation letter that she was "nagging" him about on page 171. The chronology is a little confusing here. How long did he drag his feet getting out a recommendation letter when Oral Roberts Law School was recruiting her to teach law? Writing a letter like this would have been a small, routine part of his job, but he makes it seem as though her seeking it presented a big problem -- or that it was untoward to expect much of him because his grandparents had died recently:
I would have been glad to supply it, but the death of my grandparents had made it hard for me to cope with even the most important of my duties at EEOC, much less write letters of recommendation.

72 comments:

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

All in all this Anita Hill thing still sounds to me like little more than the account of Potiphar's wife. If you don't know it, and have a bible, check out Genesis chapter 39.

She had the hots for him, and when he didn't go for it, she accused him of harassment because she knew it was a good way to punish him for not going her way.

Guys have to deal with this $#|+ from time to time in their lives.

Ann Althouse said...

But Bart, if that were so, why didn't he write that? There isn't one word about her sexual interest in him.

rhhardin said...

It sounds mostly like he's keeping Hill as a fallback babe possibility.

Perhaps spotting warning signs ; on the other hand she's a female.

Nagging would be a warning sign.

Sheepman said...

Dissing Anita Hill diminishes him. Even if all that he claims were true, it would be best for him to to leave it alone.

This weakens the favorable impression I got when I saw the 60 Minutes interview.

MadisonMan said...

Professor, I think your analysis of Thomas' behavior in hiring Hill at the EEOC is spot on.

...accused him of favoring the other woman because she had light black skin (as did the woman he was dating).

I am reminded of This

Henry said...

She sought a promotion on the ground that she'd attended Yale Law School

That's funny, in her recent New York Times Editorial, Hill used the same argument to claim that allegations of her mediocrity could not possibly be true.

Darkbloom said...

There is no reason to believe a single thing Clarence Thomas says about Anita Hill.

knoxwhirled said...

Dissing Anita Hill diminishes him. Even if all that he claims were true, it would be best for him to to leave it alone.

You're probably right. But if he's going to write the book, he almost has to address it, or there's kind of no point; it would be skipping over the thing everyone most expects an explanation for.

He at least is willing to make himself look uh, less than perfect in these situations with Hill. It sounds like there probably was some inappropriate interest--and some inappropriate ire--between them from the start. Not a good situation to put himself in.

I am surprised, actually, how forthcoming he is about his weaknesses. I'm not a big memoir reader, so I have no idea how it compares to most. (Not look-at-meeeee Liars' Club type memoirs, but serious ones.)

SteveR said...

There is no reason to believe a single thing Clarence Thomas says about Anita Hill.

And with that brilliant and insightful generalization we can therefore conclude that there is no reason to believe a single thing Anita Hill says about Clarence Thomas.

Hey I'm getting the hang of this, soon I can be an idiot.

Darkbloom said...

And with that brilliant and insightful generalization we can therefore conclude that there is no reason to believe a single thing Anita Hill says about Clarence Thomas.

Of course it's a generalization, and I don't mean it exactly. It's hyperbole. My point is that whether Anita Hill told the truth or lied in those hearings, we should approach Thomas's summary of Anita Hill with skepticism. (If she told the truth, she exposed him as a jerk. If she lied, she told horrible lies about him to the world and nearly derailed his Supreme Court appointment.)

So when he characterizes her now, to the degree that his characterization seems influenced by her behavior at the hearings, we should be suspicious. At least based on the professor's summary here (I haven't read the book), his assessment of her seems to lack balance, which makes you wonder how truthful it is.

Sheepman said...

...he almost has to address it
I agree that he needs to address the Anita Hill thing, but he should do it briefly and with class. Something along the lines of what he did in the 60 Minutes interview. As her former employer and as a sitting Supreme Court Justice it doesn't behoove him to replay petty details about her.

Zeb Quinn said...

But Bart, if that were so, why didn't he write that? There isn't one word about her sexual interest in him.

Because men sound incredibly egocentric and open themselves up to derisive ridicule when they say things like that. They're far better off just ignoring it.

I too say that what we got to see with Anita Hill was the living embodiment of William Congreve's hell hath no fury like the woman scorned. It's the only scenario that makes sense. It's a conclusion I reached after the 1991 hearings, and is only reinforced over time.

Anita Hill was a fraud and a tool used by the pro-aborts to derail Thomas's nomination.

rcocean said...

Thomas was smeared on National TV for almost a week by this character.

He has every right to tell his side the story after 15 years of silence. He even has the right to be negative toward someone who betrayed him, slandered him, and tried to destroy his lifetime chance to be on the SCOTUS.


All you out-of-touch white knights must be over 55. I suggest you get out in the real world and deal with real business women and those involved in politics. They're not damsels in distress, who need to be protected. And "Honor" is useless in dealing with them.

James said...

Forget Roe v. Wade, Bush v. Gore, and Korematsu v. US - Clarence Thomas writing this book just may be the worst decision ever made by a Supreme Court Justice

Trooper York said...

Now, there was a time
when they used to say
that behind ev'ry great man,
there had to be a great woman.
But oh, in these times of change,
you know that it's no longer true.
So we're comin' out of the kitchen,
'cause there's something we forgot to say to you.
We say, Sisters are doin' it for themselves,
standin' on their own two feet
and ringin' on their own bells.
We say, Sisters are doin' it
for themselves.
Now, this is a song to celebrate
the conscious liberation of the female state.
Mothers, daughters,
and their daughters too, woh yeah,
woman to woman,
we're singing with you, ooh, ooh.
The "inferior sex" has got a new exterior.
We got doctors, lawyers, politicians too,
ooh ooh ooh, ooh.
Ev'rybody, take a look around.
Can you see, can you see, can you see,
there's a woman right next to youou.
We say, Sisters are doin' it for themselves,
standin' on their own two feet
and ringin' on their own bells.
Sisters are doin' it
for themselves.
(Eurythmics)

cyrus pinkerton said...

This excerpt is from Clarence Thomas' statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, October 11, 1991:
------
LET ME DESCRIBE MY RELATIONSHIP WITH ANITA HILL.

IN 1981, AFTER I WENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AS AN ASSISTANT SECRETARY IN THE OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS, ONE OF MY CLOSEST FRIENDS, GIL HARDY, BROUGHT ANITA HILL TO MY ATTENTION. AS I REMEMBER, HE INDICATED THAT SHE WAS DISSATISFIED WITH HER LAW FIRM AND WANTED TO WORK IN GOVERNMENT. BASED PRIMARILY ON GIL'S RECOMMENDATION, I HIRED ANITA HILL.

DURING MY TENURE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, ANITA HILL WAS AN ATTORNEY ADVISOR WHO WORKED DIRECTLY WITH ME. SHE WORKED ON SPECIAL PROJECTS AS WELL AS DAY TO DAY MATTERS. AS I RECALL, SHE WAS ONE OF TWO PROFESSIONALS WORKING DIRECTLY WITH ME. AS A RESULT WE WORKED CLOSELY ON NUMEROUS MATTERS. I RECALL BEING PLEASED WITH HER WORK PRODUCT AND THE PROFESSIONAL BUT CORDIAL RELATIONSHIP WHICH WE ENJOYED AT WORK. I ALSO RECALL ENGAGING IN DISCUSSIONS ABOUT POLITICS AND CURRENT EVENTS.

UPON MY NOMINATION TO BECOME CHAIRMAN OF THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, ANITA HILL, TO THE BEST OF MY RECOLLECTION, ASSISTED ME IN THE NOMINATION AND CONFIRMATION PROCESS. AFTER MY CONFIRMATION, SHE AND DIANE HOLT, THEN MY SECRETARY, JOINED ME AT EEOC. I DO NOT RECALL THAT THERE WAS ANY QUESTION OR DOUBT THAT SHE WOULD BECOME A SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO ME AT EEOC, ALTHOUGH, AS A CAREER EMPLOYEE, SHE RETAINED THE OPTION OF REMAINING AT THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.

AT EEOC, OUR RELATIONSHIP WAS MORE DISTANT AND OUR CONTACTS LESS FREQUENT AS A RESULT OF THE INCREASED SIZE OF MY PERSONAL STAFF AND THE DRAMATIC INCREASE AND DIVERSITY OF MY DAY TO DAY RESPONSIBILITIES. UPON REFLECTION, I RECALL THAT SHE SEEMED TO HAVE SOME DIFFICULTY ADJUSTING TO THIS CHANGE IN HER ROLE. IN ANY CASE, OUR RELATIONSHIP REMAINED BOTH CORDIAL AND PROFESSIONAL. AT NO TIME DID I BECOME AWARE EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY THAT SHE FELT I HAD SAID OR DONE ANYTHING TO CHANCE THE CORDIAL NATURE OF OUR RELATIONSHIP. I DETECTED NOTHING FROM HER, OR FROM MY STAFF, OR FROM GIL HARDY, OUR MUTUAL FRIEND, WITH WHOM I MAINTAINED REGULAR CONTACT.

I AM CERTAIN THAT HAD ANY STATEMENT OR CONDUCT ON MY PART BEEN BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION, I WOULD REMEMBER IT CLEARLY BECAUSE OF THE NATURE AND SERIOUSNESS OF SUCH CONDUCT AS WELL AS MY ADAMANT OPPOSITION TO SEX DISCRIMINATION AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT. BUT THERE WERE NO SUCH STATEMENTS. IN THE SPRING OF 1993, MR. CHARLES KOTHE CONTACTED ME TO SPEAK AT THE LAW SCHOOL AT ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY IN TULSA, OKLAHOMA. ANITA HILL, WHO IS FROM OKLAHOMA, ACCOMPANIED ME. IT WAS NOT UNUSUAL THAT INDIVIDUALS ON MY STAFF WOULD TRAVEL WITH ME OCCASIONALLY. ANITA HILL ACCOMPANIED ME ON THAT TRIP PRIMARILY BECAUSE THIS WAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO COMBINE BUSINESS AND A VISIT HOME. AS I RECALL, DURING OUR VISIT AT ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY, MR. KOTHE MENTIONED TO ME THE POSSIBILITY OF APPROACHING ANITA HILL TO JOIN THE FACULTY AT ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL. I ENCOURAGED HIM TO DO SO AND NOTED T0 HIM, AS I RECALL, THAT ANITA HILL WOULD DO WELL IN TEACHING. I RECOMMENDED HER HIGHLY AND SHE EVENTUALLY WAS OFFERED A TEACHING POSITION.
------

Interestingly, Thomas' detailed memory of events seems to have "improved" since his testimony 16 years ago. Not only does he add "relevant" detail about his professional relationship with Anita Hill in his book, he also contradicts his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Consider a few examples of inconsistencies and contradictions between Thomas' book and his earlier sworn testimony:

1. First, when he discusses hiring Hill he writes

Not only did I feel I had an obligation to help my fellow blacks, but I remembered how hard it had been for me to land a job after graduating from Yale, and I didn't want to treat her as I'd been treated.

But, according to Thomas' testimony, Hill was already employed at the time (as an associate with the Washington, D.C., firm of Wald, Harkrader & Ross), so there's no evidence that Hill needed any help "land[ing] a job," as Thomas claims.

2. Thomas now claims that

[Hill's] work wasn't outstanding, but I found it adequate.

But that's not what his testimony 16 years ago says:

I recall being pleased with her work product...

In my experience, employers don't state that they are "pleased" with work that they regard as nothing more than "adequate."

3. In regard to hiring Hill to work with him at the EEOC, Thomas now writes:

Anita Hill immediately said that she wanted to go with me. I said I'd think about it...

But that's not consistent with his testimony from 1991:

I do not recall that there was any question or doubt that she would become a special assistant to me at EEOC.

4. Thomas now describes Hill's behavior at EEOC as "nagging" and writes that she was "a growing nuisance" and "far too interested in my social calendar."

But this isn't consistent with his Senate Judiciary Committee statement:

At EEOC, our relationship was more distand and our contacts less frequent...Our relationship remained both cordial and professional.

Thomas suffers from the same problem that afflicts other fabricators--they are unable to provide a consistent story because they find it difficult to remember all the fibs they've manufactured.

It's a shame that Thomas didn't choose to stick with his long established pattern of keeping his mouth shut. IMO, it would be far better for him to be thought an intellectual lightweight than a liar.

Andrew Shimmin said...

Thomas suffers from the same problem that afflicts other fabricators--they are unable to provide a consistent story because they find it difficult to remember all the fibs they've manufactured.

Right. Because they don't get the internet in his office. He couldn't have pulled up the transcript of his testimony, the same way you did.

Thomas's current story about hiring Hill contains the additional accusation that she was leaving her job at the firm because of sexual harassment there. Hill denies that, most recently in her NYT Op-Ed. But, his story about "giving a sister a chance" would make sense, if that were true. Actually, it doesn't even have to have been true--he just has to have believed it was. If helpful Gil Hardy had fed him the story and he believed it, that would lend credibility to his current explanation.

Any government official who isn't pleased with adequate work doesn't last long. It would be more consistent if he'd said "content," rather than "pleased," back then; but it's a thin reed.

Your third point I have no quarrel with. It's a small point, but is certainly inconsistent.

Your fourth point seems like splitting hairs. To "have some difficulty adjusting to this change in her role," must mean something. Not much, but the new accusation isn't much, either.

Luckyoldson said...

Thomas is nothing more than a hypocritical liar, and for people like Bart to use bible passages no less, to make the claim that "she had the hots for him," is beyond the pale.

His entire book reads like an extended "woe is me" offering to those who have always doubted his veracity and intelligence.

Luckyoldson said...

rcocean said..."Thomas was smeared on National TV for almost a week by this character."

No, she was asked to testify, under oath, by the Senate of the United States.

Henry said..."...Hill used the same argument to claim that allegations of her mediocrity could not possibly be true."

How "mediocre" could someone who graduated from Yale law school, then passed the D.C. bar exam (one of the toughest in the nation) be?

Trooper York said...

Beth Simon: I am not a retard. I go to school. So there.
(Riding the Bus with My Sister 2005 )
(Rosie O'Donnell's finest role)

Too many jims said...

Lucky,

My guess is that about half of Yale law grads who pass the D.C. bar are mediocre when compared to other Yale law grads who pass the D.C. bar.

Trooper York said...

[after watching a couple do a body shot in a bar]
Carla Tate: Normal couples don't do that. They're from college.
(The Other Sister 1999)

Roger said...

too many Jims: the dreaded Lake Wobegone syndrome strikes again--this time among Yale Law School grads who take the DC Bar exam.

cyrus pinkerton said...

Andrew,

In sworn testimony, Thomas described his relationship with Hill at EEOC as "both cordial and professional."

Now he claims that she was "far too interested in my social calendar." Would you describe that kind of behavior as "professional?" He also says that Hill had had "quarrels" with the staff. Again, is that what you'd characterize as "professional" behavior?

Thomas writes that Hill was "a growing nuisance," nagged him and stormed into his office. How is this consistent with a continuing "cordial and professional" relationship?

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

Thomas's confirmation hearings were not about anything other than abortion. The accusations, true or not, had no place being discussed at the 11th hour in front of a Congressional kangaroo court.

This is the destructive legacy of the Roe decision: it consumes an inordinate degree of the creative energy of the GOP and Democratic legislators, the Courts and the executive branch. It was an illegitimte decision, and keeping it in place requires that Justices favoring any other opinion than lockstep agreement with Roe must be destroyed.

I frankly no longer give a damn about whether Hill is or is not lying. At the time, I was a rabid supporter, and hated Thomas. His testimony was a desperate face-saving effort during a high-tech lynching.

He may indeed have colored the truth, even lied. Yet so did Anita hill and the Democrats for doing this. The whole sordid affair is an embarrassment to our system, and shows the unintended side effects of breaking the rules in our constitution, as Roe has done.

It, like Vietnam, has been dissolving our shared commitment to the US ever since.

Andrew Shimmin said...

"Far too interested," is problematic, but if he interpreted any interest as too much (which is plausible, though I don't believe it), it's not necessarily untrue that their relationship was, on balance, cordial and professional. If 2% of their interactions were, to his mind, unprofessional and irritating, should that outweigh the 98% that weren't?

That she was a growing nuisance could mean that the proportion of their cordial and professional relating decreased to 97%, without being untrue, or particularly contradicting his testimony. Attempting to describe any relationship in one sentence is almost certain to make the sentence inexact. No relationship is any two things, exclusively. At least none I've ever had.

I should probably say that I don't believe Thomas. I think he said some or all of what Hill said he did. So I think some substantial portion of their relationship was unprofessional. I'm not totally convinced they weren't still cordial, until the unprofessional parts were useful.

Trooper York said...

[Defeated by a gizmo from Batman's utility belt]
Joker: I swear by all that's funny never to be taken in by that unconstitutional device again
(Batman TV show)

Kirby Olson said...

Are there any redeeming features to Justice Thomas? I'm just curious if you find anything admirable in his book?

In today's paper there is a judgment against Isaiah Thomas the former Pistons' star who is now the coach of the Knicks.

11.5 million, which the team office must pay.

But at least Isaiah could play basketball in his day.

Does Justice Thomas have a track record otherwise that suggests he is at least occasionally capable of superior judgment?

His judgment in the Anita Hill case shows that he is at least occasionally totally bereft of common decency.

I'm just wondering if there is anything else to his character or if you want us to write him off as if this one incident (or set of incidents) characterizes the entirety of his personality, and the entirety of his lifetime, and is all that we need to know about him.

Do you feel that he should be impeached?

Trumpit said...

What is scary about the right-wing delusional sexist male commentators is the fact that they, some day, may be asked to be on a jury dealing with workplace sexual harassment. We all know how they'd decide in advance. They truly are a unreasonable, unreasoning, & pathetic bunch. With such creeps, it is hard to see how women got the right to birth control, the right to vote, or made any progress in society at all.

I wonder why these dudes hang out at a woman's blog, of all places, to spew their venom & sexist stereotypes about women? Perhaps Anna (Freud) Althouse has the answers, because, frankly, I'd be way too embarassed to be so baldfaced a sexist on a dignified lady's blog.

Trooper York said...

The Old Man: Women! They let 'em vote, smoke and drive - even put 'em in pants! And what happens? A Democrat for president!
(Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! 1965)

The Exalted said...

wait, so roe v wade made thomas harrass hill? (or caused hill to lie under oath against her former patron and soon to be supreme court justice)? amazing, as always, spot on.

this absurd statement alone destroys his credibility:


I would have been glad to supply it, but the death of my grandparents had made it hard for me to cope with even the most important of my duties at EEOC, much less write letters of recommendation.


i realize some of you basement dwellers may have never had the pleasure to write or request a letter of recommendation, but using deaths in the family as an excuse to not complete one or to harbor resentment at the request...well, amazing.

The Exalted said...

ann,

it was disgusting sexism when people defended the rather hapless garance, but when bart asserts out of nowhere that anita must have had the hots for clarence, you respond with understanding kindness.

awesome.

former law student said...

For those of you who have never had to grieve the loss of a parent, I can tell you that it makes it extremely difficult to focus on the day-to-day activities -- thoughts of the loved one fill your mind and your priorities shift.

So I can understand that he might not have been up to the task of supplying a letter of reference from a woman who "wasn't performing up to expectations and failed to finish her assignments on time," had "quarrels" with the staff, stopped coming to morning meetings, was "sullen and withdrawn," and thought she was entitled to a promotion on the ground that she'd attended Yale Law School.

Maybe this would have been a routine task for Ann; I wonder what she would have written. Personally I would have written something ambiguous, like "You'll be lucky if you could get Anita to work for you." But, in the Chinese phrase, Thomas obviously did not want to break her rice bowl. That's probably why he didn't go off on her during the Senate hearings. So he would have had to strain his brain to think of some of Hill's positive attributes to put down.

Luckyoldson said...

Sorry...I meant "Condi" in my previous post...

Luckyoldson said...

Too many jims said..."Lucky,
My guess is that about half of Yale law grads who pass the D.C. bar are mediocre when compared to other Yale law grads who pass the D.C. bar."

Pass that on to Yale. They can use it in their next promo for the university...that 1/2 of their graduates are considered no more than..."mediocre."

Duh.

Ralph said...

Clarice Feldman, commenting on Hillary at JOM: "She flunked the very easy DC Bar exam--what do you expect?"

Luckyoldson said...

ralph,
I never heard she flunked the bar exam, but here are some numbers relating to the "passage rates" of various states and Washington, D.C. certainly stacks up as 2nd to California, with has a notoriously difficult exam:

State Bar Passage Rates

State 2002 2001

California 45% 50%
D.C. 55% 59%
Florida 68% 71%
Illinois 72% 76%
Massachusetts 66% 69%
Michigan 74% 64%
New York 61% 65%
Pennsylvania 65% 67%
Texas 68% 74%
Virginia 64% 67%

Luckyoldson said...

Ralph,
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, you said Hillary, I thought you meant Anita...since this thread is about Clarence, etc. (Did Hillary also work with Clarence?)

I knew Hillary had flunked it, and she was evidently so mortified she kept it secret for many years.

So sorry, I get confused when people jump into I-Hate-The-Clintons-Speak.

Too many jims said...

Lucky,

I said that about half of Yale law grads who pass the DC bar are mediocre when compared to other Yale law grads who pass the D.C. bar. I suspect everyone at Yale law school doesn't doubt that unless they honestly believe that all of their students are equally good.

My point was that the class of people he was comparing her to was not "all lawyers" but rather a smaller subset of lawyers who were smart, motivated, and many of them educated at the best schools (and presumably most or all of them passed the DC bar). In light of that, it doesn't seem impossible that a Yale grad might be "mediocre".

That said, I am not saying that she was "mediocre". I just don't think "I went to Yale and passed the DC bar" is the best evidence of it. Better evidence, in my opinion, that Thomas thought she was more than mediocre is the fact that he took her on at EEOC after working with her previously. If she was less than competent and he took her with him, it reflects poorly on him and his judgment.

Luckyoldson said...

Too many jims,
I wasn't implying you said Anita was mediocre.

I do think it's hard to believe 1/2 of the graduates of the Yale law school would be considered mediocre.

I would suspect a vast majority are considered excellent in their field, but as we both know, there are always failures regardless of the university.

Ralph said...

Easy is certainly in the eye of the test-taker, and passing rates depend on the quality of the pool, also. Presumably, many people who take the DC bar do so to become government lawyers, no guarantee of quality or ambition.

I brought Hillary into it because that's who the comment was about. Take the braces off your brains, occasionally.

Luckyoldson said...

Ralhie,
I understand the comment was about Hillary...and I indicated my mistake.

The thread is about Clarence and his book, etc...so what is your point?

And I don't mean the one on top of your head.

*And what does your "easy" comment have to do with the "passage rates" I posted?

Henry said...

Lucky says "How "mediocre" could someone who graduated from Yale law school, then passed the D.C. bar exam (one of the toughest in the nation) be?"

I don't know if Hill is/was mediocre or not. But telling me where she went to college and what bar she passed just begs the question. I think it kind of funny that Hill did in her New York Times editorial the exact thing that Thomas disdains in the passage Ann quoted.

Whenever I see a mid-career professional flaunt their college degree, I'm bemused, not impressed. It just makes me wonder, is that the best you've got?

Former law student - "You'll be lucky if you could get Anita to work for you."

That's brilliant. I once had a fellow work for me who was very talented yet was totally unable to bring projects to completion. And his transcripts were great!

Roger said...

Compared to you, Lucky, a rock is smart--and much more articulate. Why don't you find one to crawl under; you are a tiresome little person.

Luckyoldson said...

Henry,
I understand your comments regarding people who discuss their degrees, etc., but exactly what is it that makes you think Anita Hill may be "mediocre?" Is it because she mentions it in her NYT's comments?

I think she does so in response to the Thomas' slam in his book, about her not being that good at what she does and implies she was rather lazy.

Joe said...

I do think it's hard to believe 1/2 of the graduates of the Yale law school would be considered mediocre.

I'd guess about a third are mediocre, a third suck and a third are good. That's being generous.

Once worked with an Ivy League grad who had top grades. He was the epitome of mediocre. Nice guy though.

Luckyoldson said...

Ohhhh, Roger...are you upset?

That's what I love about people like you: You love to w-h-i-n-e when someone disagrees or present alternative opinions.

Just like your heroes: Rush, Sean, Bill and Ann.

Suck off.

Luckyoldson said...

joe,
Where did YOU graduate from?

Revenant said...

The Wall Street Journal's "Best of the Web has some comments suggesting that the D.C. bar exam is one of the easiest in the nation, and you can in fact qualify for the D.C. bar automatically by taking a bar exam in another state (Texas and Alabama are cited as examples).

I'm not a lawyer, so I can't confirm that one way or the other. The D.C. bar exam has a relatively low rate of passage, but that could simply reflect an inferior grade of people taking it.

Joe said...

Where did YOU graduate from?

Don't see how that's relevant except that in my life experience I've found that there is little relationship between a person's capabilities and their alma mater.

It's also a mathematical given that graduates of Yale law school will be dispersed along a bell curve. Most bell curves can be roughly divided into three sections.

Based on my personal interaction with Ivy League grads and more distant interaction of watching them run government, I'm not impressed. (The worse contract I ever had written was by a graduate from a top law school. My eleven year old has better grammar. Yes, it was probably put together by an intern, but the problem was that he saw nothing wrong with it and tried billing me $2500.)

Revenant said...

After Googling around a bit, it appears that the OpinionJournal post was correct -- D.C. just requires the Multistate examination that almost every state bar requires. Nothing else.

So far from being "the hardest bar exam", the DC bar exam is in fact one of, if not THE, easiest exams in the nation. Add that to the list of Anita Hill's lies about her career, I guess.

Luckyoldson said...

Revenant said..."The D.C. bar exam has a relatively low rate of passage, but that could simply reflect an inferior grade of people taking it."

That must be it.

And based on that tidbit of information, and the people who pass the bar in the following states...

Mississippi 81% 87%
Montana 79% 89%
New Mexico 86% 87%
North Dakota 85% 91%
South Carolina 78% 82%
South Dakota 93% 92%

...are more intelligent?

Luckyoldson said...

Revenant said..."The D.C. bar exam has a relatively low rate of passage, but that could simply reflect an inferior grade of people taking it."

That must be it.

And based on that tidbit of information, and the people who pass the bar in the following states...

Mississippi 81% 87%
Montana 79% 89%
New Mexico 86% 87%
North Dakota 85% 91%
South Carolina 78% 82%
South Dakota 93% 92%

...are more intelligent?

Luckyoldson said...

Revenant said..."The D.C. bar exam has a relatively low rate of passage, but that could simply reflect an inferior grade of people taking it."

That must be it.

And based on that tidbit of information, and the people who pass the bar in the following states...

Mississippi 81% 87%
Montana 79% 89%
New Mexico 86% 87%
North Dakota 85% 91%
South Carolina 78% 82%
South Dakota 93% 92%

...are more intelligent?

Luckyoldson said...

Sorry...some kind computer glitch.

Henry said...

Lucky says to me: I understand your comments regarding people who discuss their degrees, etc.,

Lucky says to Joe: Joe, Where did YOU graduate from?

Apparently, Lucky, you don't understand.

And Lucky, reread my comment. The phrase I used is "allegations of her mediocrity", as in Thomas' allegations.

Roger said...

LOS: "suck off" Wow: Your masterful use of the English language continues to amaze us all. Surely you can do better than that--I feel slighted; Pogo, Rev, Sloan all get better invective.

I have often wondered why our hostess continues to abide you, but I am coming to realize you are the cyber equivalent of freak show maintained for our amusement--a genuine barking moonbat bereft of any value except for display purposes and to provide the rest of the commenters a window into the "mind" of some in the modern left.

Revenant said...

Pogo, Rev, Sloan all get better invective.

I like to think we've got seniority. :)

Joe said...

Roger, so you don't feel bad and recognizing that I don't quite have the gift of language as Lucky:

Revenant, Pogo and Sloan--you suck.

Luckyoldson said...

Roger said..."I have often wondered why our hostess continues to abide you..."

And the W-H-I-N-I-N-G continues.

If you can't muster up a relevant and intelligent response to my counterpoint, why not just admit it? Blathering on about "normal distibutions and all that" is nothing more than an avoidance of the issue; whether 1/2 of Yale's graduates are "mediocre"..which is a ridiculous statement at best.

As for your buddy, Joe's inane comment that, "Based on my personal interaction with Ivy League grads...I'm not impressed"...I have NO idea what that's supposed to mean. That Joe has extensive interactions with...Ivy League grads? And they're just not up to snuff?

Yeah...sure, Joe.

And again I ask: Joe...considering your assessment of the Ivy League...where did YOU graduate?

Luckyoldson said...

Revenant said..."I like to think we've got seniority."

The fact that you've been around for awhile doesn't mean you don't "suck."

It's just means you've been doing it longer.

Luckyoldson said...

Roger,
Why not try to come up with some new right wing terms for those with whom you disagree?

"...barking moonbat...modern left?"

Opposed to what...the traditional left?

Oh, wait...maybe you mean the colonial left?

How about this: Right around 70% of the American public.

rcocean said...

"What is scary about the right-wing delusional sexist male commentators... They truly are a unreasonable, unreasoning, & pathetic bunch. With such creeps... these dudes hang out at a woman's blog, of all places, to spew their venom & sexist stereotypes...(they are -edit) baldfaced and sexist."

Once again, "Trumpit", your satirical post had me in stitches. Your impersonation, and satire, of the typical illiterate left-wing KOS kid post was spot on.

"Dudes" was a nice touch.

Dumb it down a little more and you'll be able impersonate LOSer.

Luckyoldson said...

rcocean says: "Dumb it down a little more..."

And you'd certainly be the one who knows plenty about that...

And...the...W-H-I-N-I-N-G...continues.

Joe said...

Lucky, you really are clueless, so I'll help you:

"Based on my personal interaction with Ivy League grads"

This means that throughout my life, I have done business with and worked with and for people with degrees from Ivy League universities.

(Wow, it's now so much more clear.)

"I'm not impressed."

The promise of Ivy League schools is that an education from there is superior to one from elsewhere. The people I have interacted with Ivy League University degrees have not shown any greater degree of competence as from anywhere else, thus I'm not impressed. (Given the prestige and costs of these Universities, makes this disparity between reputation and actual performance even more glaring and makes me even less impressed.)

Where I graduated from makes no difference especially since I am working in a field that has nothing to do with my college degree; in part because of better pay and in part because I found I was pretty mediocre in the field of my college degree.

Luckyoldson said...

Joe said..."Based on my personal interaction with Ivy League grads."

Okay, I get it.

The Ivy League grads you know are unimpressive.

Kind of like...you-know-who?

blogging cockroach said...

joe,

you might as well have a conversation with an insect.

Luckyoldson said...

cockroach,
Are you slamming one of your relatives?

Blow me.

The Exalted said...

The promise of Ivy League schools is that an education from there is superior to one from elsewhere.

um, no. the real signal being sent is that they were ivy league material to begin with.

nobody seriously thinks that yale law teaches the law better than cardozo. its that the average graduate of yale law had 4.0 undergrad GPAs and 175 LSATs, while the average graduate of Cardozo had 3.0 undergrad GPAs and 160 LSATs.

Revenant said...

I don't often agree with Exalted, but he's pretty much right on the money on that one. The other big benefit, of course, is the contacts you make, both with other students and with the professors.

One note about this, though, is that if the real benefit of an Ivy law degree isn't the education itself, affirmative action programs for such schools are pointless. Worse than pointless, really, since they signal "he's a black guy who might very well NOT have had the 4.0 and 175 you'd expect from this school".

blogging cockroach said...

joe,

i think i am a much better conversationalist than some here.

and i'm an insect.  go figure.

some mammals here have the sense of humor of a maggot.
they pay as much attention as a Japanese beetle larva.
they're on a mission, like a dung beetle rolling a little ball.
they chirp the same thing over and over, like an irritating cricket.
they do nothing but buzz around and attack you, like a wasps' nest over the door.

it's been said that us arthropods are 'hard-wired and thick.'

but, really, who around here is hard-wired...

and who is thick....