New York Times columnist and former reporter Maureen Dowd offensively roped Clarence Thomas into her column on the arrest on sexual battery charges of Jeffrey Krusinski, the Air Force officer in charge of sexual assault prevention programs for the branch.
Krusinksi’s mug shot, showing scarlet scratches on his face, is a portrait in misery.
He knew his arrest on charges of groping a stranger would send the capital reeling and his career at the nearby Pentagon spiraling. The Air Force lieutenant colonel charged with sexual battery was the officer in charge of sexual assault prevention programs for the Air Force. (He had just finished his sexual assault victim training.)
There was a fox-in-the-henhouse echo of Clarence Thomas, who Anita Hill said sexually harassed her when he was the nation’s top enforcer of laws against workplace sexual harassment.
Thomas of course was not charged with anything. He was confronted by Hill with old charges of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court hearings in 1991. Dowd wouldn't let go of the offensive comparison.
During the Thomas-Hill hearings, many powerful men here -- even ones defending Hill publicly -- privately assumed that she was somehow complicit in encouraging Thomas’s vulgar behavior. Feminists ranted “they just don’t get it” so often that it became a grating cliché.
Yet, 22 years later, during another Senate hearing on Tuesday where the topic of sexual transgression flared, it became clear that, as the California Congresswoman Jackie Speier told me afterward, “people in authority just don’t get it.”
-- Clay Waters is Editor of the MRC's TimesWatch site.