I rarely write about the spouses or children of prominent people. They tend to enter and exit the news quickly after a scrape with the law or other minor disaster. It’s all a part of not kicking down. Like everything else in the Trump era GOP that’s changed because of the egregious misconduct of Trumpers and Trumpettes alike. Hence this post about Ginni and Clarence Thomas.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the latest Woodward-Costa scoop in the WaPo:
“Virginia Thomas, a conservative activist married to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, repeatedly pressed White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to pursue unrelenting efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in a series of urgent text exchanges in the critical weeks after the vote, according to copies of the messages obtained by The Washington Post and CBS News.”
This is the third major story about the Thomases this year following ones in the New Yorker and the NYT Magazine. The title of Jane Mayer’s New Yorker piece in January was prescient: Is Ginni Thomas A Threat To The Supreme Court? If she wasn’t then, she certainly is now.
People like Ginni Thomas are why I no longer call right-wingers conservatives. There’s nothing conservative about urging the White House Chief of Staff to foment a coup. That’s radical wingnuttery. They don’t want to conserve anything; they want to blow shit up.
It turns out that Ginni Thomas was a busy woman in the days leading up to the Dipshit Insurrection. She was also urging members of Congress to take to the streets in support of Trump’s efforts to thwart what Thomas called the “Biden crime family.”
At least it inspired a decent benign earworm:
I used the word holy deliberately in the Bat meme. Ginni Thomas thinks her pro-Trump activities are inspired by God. That’s right, like the Blues Brothers, she’s on a mission from God. She is seriously deluded as is her pal, Mark Meadows. Their holy cause is full of holes, which makes it unholy if you catch my drift.
Ginni Thomas comes by her extremism honestly as indicated in this 2018 Tweet by the “father of separated at birth” Kurt Andersen.
She grew up across the street from me in Omaha. My parents, Goldwater Republicans, always disparaged her parents as “John Birchers.” Which is to say, the right-wing conspiracy nut didn’t fall far from the tree. https://t.co/OWjDJWOe1T
— Kurt Andersen (@KBAndersen) November 11, 2018
That’s right, she was screaming voter fraud in 2018. Anyone surprised? I thought not.
The only reason we care about this Nebraska nutter is that she’s married to a Supreme Court Justice. It strains credulity to believe that the Thomases don’t discuss her activities. He has said that they share values and opinions. It’s impossible to believe that her views didn’t infect his dissent in the Trump executive privilege case.
That brings me to the post title, Clarence’s Choice: Recusal Or Resignation. I realize there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that Justice Thomas will do the right thing and resign with Joe Biden in the White House. He should, however, recuse himself from ANY cases involving the 1/6 Committee and the Dipshit Insurrection.
I used the word “should” because I know he won’t. Additionally, the rules of ethics applying to the rest of the federal judiciary do NOT apply to SCOTUS. I am not making this up. We’re expected to trust them to do the right thing. Unfortunately, recusal is rare in the rarified atmosphere of the Supreme Court. They expect others to respect their rulings but are unwilling to play by the rules themselves.
Chief Justice Roberts can do something about the high court’s ethics problems. He seems to be the only right-wing Supreme to care about the Court’s legitimacy. He can impose the rules of ethics on his fellow justices. It’s unclear if he’s willing to do so. Roberts has been co-existing with two men accused of sexual assault, after all.
There are calls for Clarence Thomas’ impeachment because of his spouse’s misconduct. Even if he *has* committed impeachable offenses, the last thing Democrats should do in an election year is engage in another principled but doomed impeachment effort. In this case, Republicans could spin it as sexist. Blatant hypocrisy is what they do best.
I almost started this post with a meditation on glory versus reflected glory. But Clarence Thomas is an odd case, his glory was forever tarnished back in 1991. In 2022, it’s further tarnished by the antics of his extremist wife. If he had a shred of decency, he’d resign in shame, but he didn’t do that in 1991, so why would he now? How long until he calls this another high-tech lynching?
The last word is so obvious that I’m obliged to go there: