Ginni Thomas: Reflected Infamy

Ginni Thomas is back in the news. This time, in a WaPo article about some emails she sent to Arizona lawmakers shortly after the 2020 election. She urged them to overturn the results yadda, yadda, yadda. It caused a firestorm on Twitter among those who only read headlines.

Thomas sent the messages via an online platform designed to make it easy to send prewritten form emails to multiple elected officials, according to a review of the emails, obtained under the state’s public-records law.

Maybe it was the word email that led to some unhinged reactions because of the whole HRC “but her emails” mishigas in 2016.

There were demands that she be prosecuted, placed in the stocks, beheaded then drawn and quartered. I made those last two up, but they capture the spirit of the craziness after this interesting but insignificant story landed. What Thomas did is the wingnut equivalent of signing a MoveOn petition. The easily outraged should try reading the entire article, not just the headline.

Here’s the deal. I take Ginni Thomas’ malefactions seriously. I’ve already written about them, but the only reason they’re worthy of coverage is who she’s married to. Clarence Thomas is an ethically challenged associate Supreme Court justice. He should have recused himself from the Trump executive privilege case but that doesn’t make his wife a major coup plotter instead of what she is: a lifelong member of the lunatic fringe.

I like George Conway’s take on the story:

In this particular circumstance, it’s probably not as bad as the text messages to Mark Meadows because these were form emails of a sort on a website designed to set up form emails. The notion you can have somebody that close to somebody important in public life advocating overthrowing an election is just scary. And it shows you where the Republican Party has come to. I mean, Ginni was always a little bit out there, and I think the rest of the party has gone, you know, basically over to her side…

The key language is “somebody that close to somebody important.” On her own, Ginni Thomas is just another wingnut howling at the moon. The only reason anyone cares is that she’s married to Clarence Thomas.

I usually refer to this sort of public relationship as reflected glory. The context calls for a different turn of phrase, reflected infamy.

Unless proven otherwise, Ginni Thomas is a minor player in the so called stop the steal movement. We only care because of who she’s married to, which gave her access to the Trump White House. Because of her text exchanges with Mark Meadows, she’s reflected infamy squared, not infamy. She’s a minor player in this tawdry drama.

Fulminating about form emails sent by Ginni Thomas is a waste of time. She’s just a bright shiny object that distracts attention from the real coup plotters. It’s like going to a circus in 1922 and focusing on the sideshow instead of the ringmaster. Ginni Thomas is the political equivalent of a sideshow freak.

It’s hard to argue against the proposition that Ginni Thomas is one of the world’s strangest people. She used to be in a religious cult, after all. She’s now a member of a political cult with former President* Pennywise as its unlikely messiah. Oy, just oy.

Repeat after me: Ginni Thomas is reflected infamy, not infamy.

The last word goes to The Rolling Stones: