Lindsey Graham’s quest to avoid testifying before a Fulton County grand jury hit Clarence Thomas’ desk at SCOTUS. I’m not sure which version of Stay, Thomas had in mind, but he issued a temporary stay of Graham’s subpoena. The key word is temporary but social media exploded with indignation. I get it but of all the things to be indignant about, this is in the middle of the pile.
The Incredible Mr. Lindsey’s motive is more likely than not to avoid taking the Fifth before a grand jury. It’s one thing for a parade of Trumpers to do so and an entirely different matter for a sitting United States senator. It’s uncertain what he knows about the coup plot or what motivated the Georgia phone call. We won’t know until he testifies under oath. It will happen. The full court is unlikely to side with the human pilot fish. Remember: they rejected Trump’s last appeal out of hand.
I have some unsolicited advice for Fulton County DA Fani Willis: grant Graham immunity and force him to testify. She has the power. Besides, there’s a good chance that the Incredible Mr. Lindsey’s resistance is performative for the benefit of a certain former president*.
It’s Trump world, Senator Graham just lives in it; make that cowers in it.
The real reason to be indignant over Clarence’s order was best expressed by our old pal Larry Tribe:
Justice Thomas violated 28 USC 455, requiring any "justice" to recuse when his or her "impartiality might reasonably be questioned" or his or her "spouse is known by the justice to have an interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome" https://t.co/QPfCGCefLA
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) October 24, 2022
It all comes back to Ginni Thomas. Dig this headline on an opinion piece by Lucan Truscott IV at the National Memo: Coup Plotters’ Love Quadrangle: Ginni And Clarence And John — And Lindsey!
Other than the exclamation point, it’s perfect. Lindsey and Clarence sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G right next to G-I-N-N-I.
In other SCOTUS news, Sam the Sham Alito is back in the news in a NYT oped by John Aloysius Farrell. That headline works too so why not quote it: Alito Assured Ted Kennedy in 2005 of Respect for Roe v. Wade, Diary Says.
Kennedy did not believe Alito and voted against confirming him. In some ways, it’s worse to lie to a senator in private than in public. That’s Runaround Sue Collins’ line about Justice Bro and the Roe/Casey line of cases. Unlike Kennedy, she was gullible and voted for the beer-loving accused rapist.
FYI, Farrell is the author of great biographies of Richard Nixon and Tip O’Neill, so his Ted Kennedy book is bound to be a winner. Farrell sat for an interview with our old pal Lawrence O’Donnell last night:
I seem to have a thing for Lawrences or Laurences regardless of how their name is spelled. Both O’Donnell and Tribe are wicked awesome, after all.
A quick note about the post title and featured image. I first called the senior senator from Secessionville, the Incredible Mr. Lindsey after Steve Schmidt compared him to a pilot fish:
…essentially what he is in American politics is what, in the aquatic world, would be a pilot fish: a smaller fish that hovers about a larger predator, like a shark, living off of its detritus.
Like Don Knotts, Lindsey Graham is a born sidekick. He was tolerable when he was McCain’s sidekick but intolerable when the Impeached Insult Comedian became his shark of choice. Don Knott’s most famous role was as Barney Fife the ineffectual deputy on the Andy Griffith Show. Sheriff Taylor allowed Barney to carry an unloaded gun so he wouldn’t shoot himself in the foot.
In contrast, Trump has weaponized the Incredible Mr. Lindsey to shoot off his mouth in support of the shark from Queens as he did during the Kavanaugh and KBJ confirmation hearings. Someone needs to take Graham’s bullets away. Where have you gone, Andy Taylor?
Let’s circle back to the Thomas stay. The last word goes to Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons followed by Jackson Browne: