Guest Submission By Susan Salisbury
With all the smears now being spread about Herman Cain, I feel the need to share what happened to me more than 20 years ago when Clarence Thomas was nominated for the U. S. Supreme Court. When Clarence Thomas was appointed as chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, I was an attorney advisor to one of the other commissioners. At that time the EEOC was at 2401 E Street in Washington D. C. The building, part of the Watergate complex, had a fifth floor suite which was used exclusively by the commissioners and their staff. So we were a small group who saw each other nearly every day. During that time I saw Thomas several times a week. He was never rude in any way. He did, to be honest, seem sort of cold, distant, and excessively proper. I didn’t view myself as his friend.
Years later, when he was nominated, I was no longer at the Commission. I was working for a large corporation as corporate counsel. An attorney I had known several years before in San Francisco had tracked me down in another city and was working for another employer. She had something really important to talk to me about. She told me that she had heard from a mutual acquaintance that I had been sexually harassed by Clarence Thomas. I had never been harassed and had never said anything remotely like that to anyone I knew. So I was perplexed as to how she might have heard that. But as the conversation progressed, I realized what the real agenda was. After I had vigorously denied that anything like that had ever happened, she began to suggest to me that, if I would say that I had been harassed, I could change the course of history. She claimed that she thought I was hiding something because of embarrassment, but the real message was “just say you were and you will be famous and adored by the left.” The conversation continued in this vein, with her telling me how important it was to defeat Thomas because of the abortion issue and that the continuing viability of Roe v. Wade depended on my willingness to say that Thomas had harassed me. American women needed me, she claimed, to protect their rights. I finally had to hang up on her.
I don’t take any credit for being adamant in my refusal to lie. Had I been a weaker-willed person I might have given in. I was assured that I would be helped and supported if I testified against Thomas and I am certain that would have occurred. I am equally certain I was not alone. Some 200 women who had worked with Thomas over the years had called a reporter at the New York Times to tell the Times that they had never been harassed by Thomas and all, like me, were willing to testify on his behalf as to his character. There was a small summary story about all of us in the Times. Not interesting that so many women were willing to testify for him.
And it would have been easy, if I were so inclined, to lie. The way you do it credibly, is you take something that really did happen to you and you change the name. Most women have been the recipient of unwanted advances from men at one time or another. Just substitute names and you have a really credible sounding story full of details. Just as an example, one of the stories that Anita Hill told about Clarence Thomas tracked exactly something that was done to me by another male management employee of the EEOC. Someone with whom, I learned, she had close contact with when she was at the Commission. Did she take an incident that involved someone else and substitute Clarence Thomas’ name? I leave it to you to decide. But the details were unusual and lead me to think that’s what she did. I can’t prove it. But based on the blandishments that were made to me, I have to believe that she was subjected to prolonged sweet talk appealing to her liberal instincts and her confused emotions.
So when I hear these charges against Herman Cain, I find them very suspicious. It is too much like what was done to Clarence Thomas. And it was done by the same people who think that rape accusations by Juanita Broderick against Bill Clinton were no big thing. It is being done by people who think it is okay for a married president to engage in sexual acts with a 25-year old smitten intern. It is being done by people who achieved a legal ruling which states a chief executive (Bill Clinton when he was governor) dropping his drawers and asking a state employee to perform oral sex on him is really not sexual harassment. (That is the ruling the court made in the Paula Jones case when it dismissed her case without allowing her to have a trial of her claims).
Moreover, I see that this woman, Bialek, lived in the same building as David Axelrod, Obama’s advisor.
We conservatives cannot allow these charges to derail Cain’s campaign. We have seen one candidate, the one I favored, Sarah Palin, driven out of the presidential race by the leftist media onslaught. We have seen the Republican establishment, which is nothing but a bunch of RINOs whose campaign slogan appears to be: “We’ll do the same thing Obama would, but we’re white males and we will do it efficiently,” sit on their hands while scurrilous charges are made against a conservative favorite.
It is up to us to defend all conservatives against this kind of despicable smear. If we don’t we will never have a real conservative in a real position of power.