Commentary

Ron DeSantis getting cozy with the wingnut alliance comprising Clarence, Ginny Thomas

The threat from the unchristian, book-readers, ‘transsexual fascists’

April 4, 2022 7:00 am

Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sits with his wife, conservative activist Virginia Thomas, while he waits to speak at the Heritage Foundation on Oct. 21, 2021, in Washington, D.C. Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images). Courtesy of the Louisiana Illuminator.

It must be love.

Ron DeSantis has a major man-crush on Clarence Thomas, calling him our “greatest living justice and one of the greatest public servants in America.”

We haven’t yet heard the famously reticent justice pour his heart out regarding Our Dear Governor but, according to Thomas’s wife, we know the two of them have been emailing back and forth “on various things of late.”

A view of the front portico of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. Credit: Getty Images

And Virginia Thomas obviously digs Ron’s show, so much that last year she invited him to speak at Groundswell, a group of unglued rightwingers convinced that America is being destroyed by the nonwhite, the unchristian, feminists, socialists, environmentalists, book-readers, and what she called “transsexual fascists.”

“We start and end each meeting with prayer,” she said, and hoped DeSantis would “pick us up and refocus us.”

Ron and Mrs. T. clearly got a thing going on, too.

If we lived in a nation in which integrity and decency mattered half as much as we claim they do, Clarence Thomas would have resigned from the U.S. Supreme Court and retired to Florida.

I’m sure the local heterosexual fascists would be thrilled.

Instead, he shows no sign of even recusing himself from cases in which he has a conflict of interest, such as anything to do with the attempted coup on Jan. 6.

As we now know from all the texts she fired off at Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is up to her pearls in cheerleading the insurrection.

Virginia 'Ginni' Thomas is up to her pearls in cheerleading the insurrection.

Yes, the spouse of a justice is allowed her or his own views, career, and political persuasion, but given how the Thomases constantly insist they are actually one being, each calling the other “my best friend,” it’s pretty reasonable to assume that he knew she was promoting “Stop the Steal.”

She joined the mob on the Ellipse, but insists she “got cold” and went home before Donald Trump took to urging his white nationalist rabble to “fight like hell” at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Deranged texts

She didn’t go kick in windows at the Capitol (that kind of thing can be injurious to one’s pantyhose), but she did her part by sending that slew of incendiary and increasingly deranged texts about magically “watermarked” ballots, castigating Republican congressmen for not taking to the streets, and exhorting Meadows to “Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!…You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.”

Trump supporters forced their way into the U.S. Senate Chamber on Jan 6, 2021. Lawmakers in session ran for their lives. Five people died as a result of the insurrection. Credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Meadows may have dabbled in a little heisting himself: The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations is looking into why he’s registered to vote in Virginia but also in the Tarheel State, where he listed a house trailer he never owned or lived in as his address.

Yet Justice Thomas not only failed to recuse himself from the Supreme Court case dealing with the release of Trump White House records, he was the lone dissenter.

Worse, Thomas is under no obligation to recuse himself from future Jan. 6 cases, even though his wife texted out delusional stuff assuring Meadows that Democrats, Deep Staters, and journalists would soon be rounded up by the Forces of Righteousness:

“Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc.) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.”

If the White House could just hold on, she suggested, a vast Trumpist army would appear and keep Hairpiece Hitler in power. “Do not concede,” she told Meadows.

Not rational

OK, your average MAGA is crazy as an outhouse rat and has all the impulse control of a teenager at an open-bar party. But Ginni Thomas, Washington insider, lawyer, wife of a Supreme Court justice, surely understands that you should at least look like you have a nodding acquaintance with rational behavior.

Except she ain’t rational.

Attorney Anita Hill testifying in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991. Credit: Wikipedia.

Remember that time she called law professor Anita Hill and demanded Hill apologize for “what you did with my husband”?

What Hill “did” was testify — reluctantly — to how Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, refused to take “no” for an answer, and tried to discuss his porn-watching habit with her, name-checking his favorite star, Long Dong Silver.

More recently, Mrs. T. acted as an unsolicited employment adviser for Donald Trump, constantly showing up at the White House to demand Trump fire those she deemed insufficiently loyal and hire people she favored, including a suspected spy, a guy who worries credit card companies are in league with socialists, and Frank Gaffney, a professional Islamophobe who thinks the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the United States government.

This lady needs help.

This lady needs help. And her husband needs to have a little chat with a legal ethicist, a kindly priest, or anybody who could make him see that, while he doesn’t have to recuse himself from cases in which his wife’s eruptions might figure, he ought to.

He should do it if for no other reason than to prove the justices aren’t all “partisan hacks,” as that partisan hack Amy Coney Barrett put it.

He won’t.

He doesn’t have to.

There’s no mechanism to make him. He knows he won’t be impeached. His fan club will continue to support him. And his whack-job wife will carry on undermining American democracy.

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Diane Roberts
Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts is an 8th-generation Floridian, born and bred in Tallahassee, which probably explains her unhealthy fascination with Florida politics. Educated at Florida State University and Oxford University in England, she has been writing for newspapers since 1983, when she began producing columns on the legislature for the Florida Flambeau. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and Flamingo. She has been a member of the Editorial Board of the St. Petersburg Times–back when that was the Tampa Bay Times’s name–and a long-time columnist for the paper in both its iterations. She was a commentator on NPR for 22 years and continues to contribute radio essays and opinion pieces to the BBC. Roberts is also the author of four books, most recently Dream State, an historical memoir of her Florida family, and Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America. She lives in Tallahassee, except for the times she runs off to Great Britain, desperate for a different government to satirize.

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