Joe Biden, Biden, Clarence Thomas discussed on Fresh Air


Then there were nine Amy Cockney, Barrett will ascend to the Supreme Court, changing the face of justice in the United States for decades to come. How the Skoda shift affects the case is being heard now and the repercussions down the line. All that plus your calls at +8778698253. I'm tansy No Vega, and that's next time on the takeaway weekday afternoons at three on 93.9 FM. This is fresh air, and if you're just joining us, we're talking about Joe Biden. My guest is Evan Osnos. He's a staff writer for the New Yorker, where he covers politics and foreign affairs. His new book is called Joe Biden. The Life the Run, and What matters now? One of the important things about Joe Biden's career in the Senate is that he served as the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In that role. He helped stop Robert Bork, who is very conservative and was an originalist. Stopped him from being confirmed. But a few years later when Clarence Thomas was facing his confirmation hearings, Biden Prevented. Women from coming forward to testify before the committee who would have supported Anita Hill and would who would have offered their own similar allegations that they were sexually harassed? Clarence Thomas. What's your understanding? Of why Biden did not allow those women to testify to the committee. Yeah, I think you're right to bring up both of those to confirmation hearings because they were sort of in his mind related, Joe Biden. The important fact was that Biden imagined himself in that period as being somebody who was a Democrat but who treated Republican seriously tried to maintain the standards of the Senate, which was that you give the other side credence. Aunt allow them to to have a serious hearing for their ideas and in the Bork nomination, Biden wouldn't describe it is him successfully preventing board from getting on the court so much as he would say that he conducted the process fairly enough that in the end, Bork was not successful in reaching the court. So then he gets into 1991 and the Clarence Thomas hearings and Biden was dealing with this very complicated set of Pressure's on him. On the one hand, he is a Democrat who came to office partly on his support for civil rights, who is contending with the candidacy the nomination of what would be the next African American member of the Supreme Court, and he felt some weight of history and making sure that that was a serious process. And then at the same time, of course, Clarence timeless. Clarence Thomas was facing very serious accusations of sexual harassment, and Biden tried to have it both ways. In some ways what he tried to do was Give was to try to pay respect to the Republican side of the process by allowing Republican senators to question Anita Hill very intensively harshly in some cases, and then he also Did not allow these other accusers to testify in person. They were allowed to testify in written form, which, ultimately, man, it didn't really have any impact on the proceedings. And Biden came to regret that. He said later that the mistake was that he gave Clarence Thomas more credence than he deserved and I think there was running through his mind at that time. This this sense that in the interests of trying to give a full hearing to the accusations against Thomas, he was afraid that he was going to be seen as somebody who was not allowing an African American nominee to receive a A full and fair hearing, and that led him into trouble and it's it's a mistake that he has expressed remorse about. But to be precise. He doesn't say that he that he made an error. What he says is that he wished Anita Hill had been treated better. And I think that's a key distinction because you know if we're trying to understand the ways in which Joe Biden is capable of self reflection, and what are the issues on which he has expressed his clear regret and nod He has not gone as far as Anita Hill wants him to in saying that he was In saying that he was wrong about handling that case. She's kind of reluctantly endorsed him. She has. I mean, they spoke before he was a candidate, and he expressed his. You know his his regret. Toe heard that that she had not had a more decent appearance in Congress in which people had treated her More fairly on DH. She does not think that his handling of that case should be disqualifying for a president. But she also wishes that he was more clear and emphatic in his apology to her. I expected the Trump campaign to try to make more of the unsubstantiated allegations involving Joe Biden's involvement in 100. Biden's business dealings in Ukraine. And you know Giuliani's accusation that Biden fired Ukraine's prosecutor. The prosecutor general to try to stop investigations into Hunter Biden and his involvement with the Ukrainian gas company Bere, Esma. Andi. There's the whole story that the New York Post printed totally unsubstantiated that Hunter Biden had dropped off his computer for repairs at a place in Wilmington, and it had incriminating information on it that was turned into The FBI and then to the New York Post. And even the person who wrote the story wanted their name taken off the story, so I don't know. What do you think? You think you expect the Trump Campaign to try to make more of it. And do you think the story just didn't stick for whatever reason? I mean, one reason would be that it doesn't appear to be true. But that doesn't mean there are plenty of un true stories that stick I think they've tried desperately to make it the an issue. Remember, that was Theis. You that got Donald Trump impeached? I mean, going back to even before this campaign was sort of in full flourish. Donald Trump was on the phone with Ukraine's leader. Seeking an attempt to try to get them to produce damaging information about the Biden family..

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