As it happens, I was on vacation during that frenzied week or so in the fall of 1991 when Clarence Thomas’s then-near-certain confirmation as an associate justice of the Supreme Court blew up when Anita Hill’s allegations against him became public. If I recall correctly, I watched Anita Hill’s testimony in an airport and Clarence Thomas’s testimony in a bar. Two things became very clear to me as I watched: 1) One of them was — had to be — lying, and 2) it damned well wasn’t Anita Hill.
So, lately, this whole bidness with Anthony Weiner has come up. I’ve made my feelings on that case in isolation pretty clear and have nothing more to say about it. However, Allan Brauer at Angry Black Lady has pointed out an interesting fact of timing: The Weiner story is coming out just as a number of congresscritters led by Weiner were looking into the fact that between 2003 and 2009, Thomas, on the annual income disclosure form Supreme Court justices must submit, had failed to disclose $680,000 or so that his wife, Ginni, had received from the Heritage Foundation and other conservative outfits with business before the high court. Thomas filed his 2010 documentation the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Stuff that government officials badly want to be overlooked by the media typically gets put out late on a Friday, often the Friday of a long weekend, in hopes that journalists who badly want to get out of the office will overlook it.
So far as I know, there is, at best, only circumstantial evidence that the Weiner story is fabricated (though apparently it wouldn’t have been very difficult, as stupid computer tricks go) and no directly probative evidence that it is false. At the same time, like Gibbs, I don’t believe in coincidence. It is entirely possible that the Weiner story is true AND that it is being made public at this particular time in order to draw attention away from Weiner’s probe of the Thomases’ unethical and potentially illegal behavior. And at this point, I’m not ruling out the possibility that the Weiner story was an utter fabrication intended to protect the Thomases. The Democrats lied us into a war in 1964, the Republicans in 2003; I put nothing past either party anymore.
UPDATE: Weiner ‘fesses up, apparently. Moronic, but it doesn’t get Clarence and Ginni off the hook.
‘NOTHER UPDATE: Restored AWOL link to Brauer’s original post.