By Gary Fouse
The immediate uproar from the left over John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate has, at least for me, brought back memories of the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. There are some very interesting comparisons to be made here, especially for those too young to remember the Thomas confirmation hearings. Thomas, a conservative Republican African-American, was nominated by President George Herbert Walker Bush in 1991 to become the second black Supreme Court justice succeeding Thurgood Marshall, a liberal icon of the Civil Rights era. That Thomas was conservative and a critic of affirmative action was a red flag in the eyes of liberals, especially black liberals. They saw in Thomas a rejection of the notion that African-Americans needed special treatment in order to succeed in a racist American society. To the liberals in the Democratic Party and various political activist groups, Thomas' nomination had to be defeated at all costs. First, they argued that he was unqualified for the position. Thomas, however, proved a feisty opponent as the confirmation hearings proceeded. He was making his opponents on the Judiciary Committee look like the small people they were.Then they dug up Anita Hill, who came to testify that, as a former employee of Thomas, he had pursued her for a relationship in inappropriate ways. In other words, Thomas had been guilty of sexual harassment. Thomas, for his part, denied the charges angrily as stories of pornography and inappropriate language and conduct were hurled at him-without proof. In the end, Hill's testimony could not be corroborated, and Thomas was confirmed after a humiliating process played out in front of a national TV audience. Since then, Thomas has served as a solid conservative on the Supreme Court, hated to this day by liberals and groups such as the NAACP. What was Clarence Thomas' crime? He was a black conservative. To this day, he shares the fate of all black conservatives in America-castigated and insulted as an "Uncle Tom" and a "sell-out". Ironically, one of Thomas' biggest thorns on the Judiciary Committee was Joe Biden, for whom Thomas had harsh words in his memoirs. Biden was the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who presided over the ugliest confirmation hearing in memory.(He voted against Thomas.)Now along comes Sarah Palin, right on the heels of Hillary Clinton's failed presidential campaign to become the first female president.
Unlike Hillary, however, Palin is a conservative. She is the embodiment of what so-called feminists profess they dream about-a woman who works hard and makes it on her own ability-independent of being the spouse or girlfriend of some powerful man. In reality, Palin is the woman's equivalent of Clarence Thomas. Her elevation to Vice-President is completely unacceptable to liberals and feminists. Never mind that she enjoys an approval rating among Alaskans at 80%. Never mind that the Republicans have accepted her enthusiastically. She is unacceptable to "them". Why? Several reasons. First, she is conservative-a Republican. (How dare the Republicans put the first female in the White House as VP-that's the "Democrat destiny".) Second, she is a family woman. Married-not to some rich, powerful man-but to a blue collar worker. She has five children-the last born in April with Downs Syndrome. This leads to perhaps the biggest objection. Palin chose to have the baby. She is anti-abortion.Therein lies the problem for Democrats, liberals and feminists: Palin's elevation, like that of Thomas before her, sends a message to women that they don't want women to hear. That message is about family, conservative values and life-as opposed to abortion. Thomas' message was and is that African-Americans or anybody else can make it in today's America through their talents and hard work. For the left, he was a figure that had to be stopped at any cost. Smear him, destroy him, destroy his family-whatever it takes.Now we see it repeating itself with Sarah Palin. From day one, the left has mounted a campaign to stop this woman by whatever means necessary. Like Thomas, they say she is unqualified by nature of her political experience (which is arguably at least equal to if not greater than Barack Obama). Now, in short order, we see the personal smears. First, it was the Daily Kos running with a wild rumor that Palin was not the real mother of her baby, Trig-rather it was her daughter, Bristol, 17, who was the real mother. Faced with that flying around the blogosphere and being repeated by the media, Palin announced that Bristol was pregnant and expecting in December.
So now, we watch the Democrats and their allies in the media spouting moral outrage. How could this Sarah Palin run for Vice President with a 17-year-old pregnant, unmarried daughter-plus a baby with Downs Syndrome? How could she? She is not a fit mother. Never mind that if Palin were a liberal Democrat, the left would be celebrating her as a modern-day WOMAN-especially if she aborted that baby. Since when did the left become the new "Moral majority" in this country? Since when did they become the guardians of our morals in the bedroom?The Palin saga is going to get much uglier. This is an all-out attempt to drive her from the ticket-to humiliate her and her family until she throws in the towel and withdraws. It is the same tactic that was used-and failed with Clarence Thomas-a good and decent man who refused to back down. I hope that Palin, whatever the sacrifice, will stand her ground. If she does, I think the American people will stand with her.