Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 14, 2010

GINNI THOMAS WANTS YOU TO FIGHT TYRANNY (AND BUY A HAT).... I'm a very big believer in the idea that in politics, families are off limits. One can say what they will about those who volunteer to enter the political realm, but their spouses, kids, and families should be shielded altogether.

But when family members choose to enter the fray, their activism is subject to scrutiny, just like any other political player. And with that in mind, I found Rachel Maddow's segment last night on Ginni Thomas -- perhaps best known as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' wife -- pretty interesting. I was vaguely aware that Ginni Thomas was engaged in right-wing politics, but I didn't appreciate just how bizarre her activism really is.

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Also check out this unintentionally funny clip, in which Ginni Thomas and a colleague peddle various right-wing swag and tchotchkes -- including an odd foam hat.

Keep in mind, she's running around telling other right-wing activists that she believes "there's a war going on against tyranny," and she seems to be referring to the nation's elected Democratic leadership. In one recent speech, Ginni Thomas even suggested something horrible might happen to Washington, D.C. (prompting her and her husband to head to Texas). We're also, she's argued, "at risk of losing the country."

Rachel added, "Ginni Thomas is married to Clarence Thomas, who has a lifetime appointment as a justice of the United States Supreme Court. And other than that, we are noting that without comment."

Steve Benen 9:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (21)

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"she seems to be referring to the nation's elected Democratic leadership"

-Messy things; Democracy and Elections! Much, much better are lifetime appointments. . .

Posted by: DAY on September 14, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

So, the wife of the ultimate 'affirmative action' hire, whose husband has a job for life, is out bitching about government entitlement programs.
Sounds right to me. Very 'Right!'
Every dictionary ought to update its definition of "hypocricy" to show that synonyms should also include "Republican" and "Conservative."
Stuff THAT in your Funk and Wagnall!

Posted by: c u n d gulag on September 14, 2010 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Ummm . . . just how much is Ginni Thomas being paid for all these appearances and will her husband recuse himself when the corporate sponsors of these right wing astroturf groups come up in a SCOTUS case?

Posted by: SteveT on September 14, 2010 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

I always felt that the nomination of Thomas to the Supreme Court was almost meant as kind of a joke by George H. W. Bush - "hey, liberals, let's see you turn down THIS nominee! Ha ha!" But, it turns out the joke was on the American people. This guy has accomplished exactly ZERO as a Supreme Court justice, and has cemented his legacy as one of the worst justices ever. Nothing but a partisan hack.

Posted by: Patrick Star on September 14, 2010 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

"We've got to stop this tyranny....This is the biggest thing....this is war..."

What? What is she talking about? Does this woman ever have to sit down and answer questions like "What do you mean by tyranny?"

I suppose it's just good enough for her to rant on a corner about nonsense - albeit, on a corner with nice expensive A/V equipment - just to get folks upset about....what exactly?

People are being told that they are being oppressed by a tyrant who does....what?

It find it frightening. It is beginning to sound like the Interhamwe

And as the wife of a Supreme - how can it be? Isn't she the recipient of material gifts and services via Freedom Works? Isn't there some accountability in our tax laws?

Posted by: g on September 14, 2010 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

In Canada, judges must recuse themselves from cases in which they have or would appear to have a conflict of interest. As I understand it, Mrs. Thomas was working for Republican related activities at the time of Bush V Gore. I never understood why Thomas was not required to recuse himself from that case, why the other judges tolerated his failure to do so, and why there wasn't a call for his impeachment, but then Canada's Supreme Court seems to be much less political than USA's.

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on September 14, 2010 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Nice outfit Ginni.

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
— Sinclair Lewis (1935)

It only took 75 years.

Posted by: Oh my on September 14, 2010 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

I guess the $64 question is whether Mr. Justice Thomas agrees with all that. I'm not sure I really want to know.

Posted by: MattF on September 14, 2010 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

If Justice Thomas receives criticism over this, I'm sure he will acquit himself well.

Ginni Thomas, herself a lawyer, has founded the tea-party group Liberty Central. Ever notice this pattern? When people put "liberty" or "freedom" in their group's name, it means freedom for them but not necessarily for you.

Posted by: Jerry Elsea on September 14, 2010 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't say Justice Thomas has accomplished ZERO, Patrick. Thomas has done exactly what he was picked to do ... deliver a reliable vote for the Supreme Court's conservative wing, and occupy the Court's far rightward flank, with no chance of moderation or consideration in his views or rulings. Ever. Because this is an ideological war, and Thomas sees himself as a fortress.

And that's what Thomas views as his role, in his own crabbed and politicized view of the judiciary. It is sort of like playing a game of "keep away" in grade school gym class, except here the ball is the US Constitution.

Posted by: Bokonon on September 14, 2010 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

When I was a boy, it would have been illegal for her to be married to Clarence Thomas in Texas. Their miscegenation law was never repealed, it was just invalidated by Loving v. Virginia in 1967.

There are a bunch of her political allies who probably think that was activist judging forcing the federal boot on the necks of state's rights. Talk about "losing the country."


Posted by: biggerbox on September 14, 2010 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Another entropic #%$&. Just what America needed!

Posted by: Trollopoly on September 14, 2010 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

How sweet are our lives and how spoiled have we become that the current Democratic majority can be considered "tyrannical" by anyone? Maybe we should allow some crazed despot to assume control of the U.S. for, say, a decade or so* just so we can obtain a little perspective? You know, let's go with the whole works- clampdown on political rivals; the shut down of all forms of opposition press; tanks in our streets; mass arrests; the whole kit and caboodle.

*Details as to how we would return to our current tyrannical system would have to be worked out later

Posted by: Perspecticus on September 14, 2010 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

What I found unnerving is that her overall speaking style and content reminded me of Sarah Palin.

Posted by: GlenInBrooklyn on September 14, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Not much in politics scares me, not do most political figures scare me, but this woman does.

The wife of a sitting-for-life Supreme Court Justice who is as political as she is scares the living hell out of me.

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on September 14, 2010 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

It's scandalous, but it's actually less scandalous than the fact that Ginni had a job with the Bush transition team while her husband was voting on Bush v. Gore. (I was disappointed that Rachel didn't bring that up last night.)

Posted by: Tom Hilton on September 14, 2010 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Would I be a bigot for noticing that the wife of poor abused, discriminated-against victim of Libruls, Clare Thomas, is married to a blonde white woman?

As biggerbox observed, this used to be illegal. Until the Libruls (mainly Dems, but some Repubs, too) changed the laws.

... I'm still waiting to hear that "thank you" from the bench ...

Posted by: zandru on September 14, 2010 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

watching her infomercial for stuff made in china i was struck by "talk about someone who can't speak WITH a teleprompter."

Posted by: dj spellchecka on September 14, 2010 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Great, another fine representative from the state of Nebraska.

God, we have a lot of stupid people here.

Posted by: 2Manchu on September 14, 2010 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Soooo.....the Umpires best friend is playing for one of the teams.

Posted by: sceptic on September 14, 2010 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

With this sort of thing going on, Justice Thomas, if he has even the smallest shred of honor in him, should resign immediately.

Posted by: ironflange on September 14, 2010 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK



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