In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the two-headed main character Zaphod Beeblebrox finds himself fed up with a particularly bewildering receptionist who does not appear to be making sense. “Don’t try to out-weird me, lady,” he growls. “I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.”
That pretty much pegs where I’m at today. In a land where Donald Trump was and could again be president, where a huge swath of the populace angrily denounces BandAid-level technology meant to thwart a murderous pandemic, and where a slap at the Oscars merits equal press ink with a civilian massacre in Europe, one must eat their Wheaties in triplicate and bank eight good hours of sleep before daring to reach the new and utterly terrifying threshold of modern-day “weird.”
Enter Ginni Thomas, wife of Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Please place your seat backs and tray tables in their proper positions, prepare for turbulence ahead, and oh God tell my mom I love her.
Ginni Thomas is not the first politically active spouse in the history of Washington D.C., but she is the first one I’ve come across who does a superlative impression of a mid-sermon Pentecostal minister with a live snake up her nose, preaching the Gospel of Trump.
According to a February report in The New York Times:
Ginni Thomas insists, in her council biography, that she and her husband operate in “separate professional lanes,” but those lanes in fact merge with notable frequency. For the three decades he has sat on the Supreme Court, they have worked in tandem from the bench and the political trenches to take aim at targets like Roe v. Wade and affirmative action.
Together they believe that “America is in a vicious battle for its founding principles,” as Ginni Thomas has put it. Her views, once seen as on the fringe, have come to dominate the Republican Party. And with Trump’s three appointments reshaping the Supreme Court, her husband finds himself at the center of a new conservative majority poised to shake the foundations of settled law. In a nation freighted with division and upheaval, the Thomases have found their moment.
Justice Thomas’s political leanings are so extremely freighted to the right that he makes the other conservatives on that court look like Che Guevara, and his wife is even farther out beyond the Oort Cloud than he is. Her true time to shine came when she hitched her wagon to Trump’s WE WUZ ROBBED train all the way to the steps of the Capitol Building on January 6 and beyond.
In the process, Ginni Thomas began keeping some very interesting company. Most noteworthy was Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, who began exchanging text messages with Thomas in the immediate aftermath of the election. Before getting into the subtext here, it is important to read some of the actual texts in their frothing apocalyptic Christian glory.
Thomas to Meadows, 11/10/21: “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.”
Meadows reply, 11/24/21: “This is a fight of good versus evil. Evil always looks like the victor until the King of Kings triumphs. Do not grow weary in well doing. The fight continues. I have staked my career on it. Well at least my time in DC on it.”
I but wait what? King of Kings? Was he referring to God or Trump? The fact that the question needs asking definitely meets the Beeblebrox Standard for Weird, and according to The Washington Post, there are at least 29 more just like these. “They didn’t just approach the election fight with religious zeal,” writes David French for The Atlantic, “they approached it with an absolute conviction that they enjoyed divine sanction. The merger of faith and partisanship was damaging enough, but the merger of faith with lawlessness … represented a profound perversion of the role of the Christian in the public square.”
The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack would like a word with Thomas about those 29 texts, among other things. “In a series of text exchanges with Meadows,” reports the Post, “Thomas sought to influence Trump’s strategy to overturn the election results and lobbied for lawyer Sidney Powell to be ‘the lead and the face’ of Trump’s legal team.”
Thomas’s repeated outreach to Meadows came at a period when Trump and his allies sought to enlist the Supreme Court to negate the results of the election, and “revelations of Clarence Thomas’s wife’s texts have drawn calls from Democrats urging him to recuse himself from cases related to the 2020 election,” according to The Post.
Recusal would be nice. Resignation in disgrace followed by ejection from public life would seem more appropriate. Modern Republicans have mastered the art of disdaining rules, traditions, laws and moral codes whenever doing so benefits “the cause.” The Thomases, working in tandem both inside and outside the Supreme Court to usurp the rule of law in the name of Jesus or Whatever, have taken the practice to its most extreme point to date.
Clarence Thomas has no place on the high court. Not after this.
Trump’s margin of victory in 2016 was the evangelical vote, represented in near-caricature fashion by Ginni Thomas. Trump has been hard at work keeping these voters in the fold, as they represent his most menacing weapons: the evangelical radicals with, paradoxically, Jesus in their eyes and hate in their hearts. Ginni Thomas and her connection to the doings of the highest court serve as tall warning: The Trump virus, like COVID, is everywhere.