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Why You Should Care That Ginni Thomas Is Bonkers – Mother Jones

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Virginia Thomas at the funeral of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

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Imagine a Supreme Court justice influenced by QAnon. We’re not there yet – as far as we know – but recent revelations about Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, notable far-right agitator, tea party and wife of Judge Clarence Thomas, make that possibility not too far off.

Last week the Washington Post and CBS News published text messages exchanged between Ginni Thomas and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows following the November 2020 election, in which Thomas fervently urged Meadows to overturn the results to keep Donald Trump in power . The disclosure of these texts has reignited a long-running debate about Judge Thomas’ potential conflicts of interest related to his wife’s political work and his stubborn refusal to recuse himself from cases to which she might be connected. A recent example: In January, Clarence Thomas was the only judge to oppose a case in which the Supreme Court refused to support Donald Trump’s efforts to block the House committee investigating the assault. of January 6 to obtain documents from the White House related to his attempt to undermine the election. Given his wife’s role in the so-called Stop the Steal movement and her communications with the Trump White House about it, Judge Thomas might not have been an impartial arbiter in this dispute. Legal ethics experts have a lot to dissect here. But as serious as this subject is, the texts raise another troubling perspective: Ginni Thomas is absolutely bonkers.

The texts show that she was a real believer in Trump’s Big Lie conspiracy theory about the election. “The majority knows that Biden and the left are trying the biggest heist in our history,” she texted Meadows days after the election, when there was no evidence of such. theft (because there never would be) and that no opinion polls showed most Americans who concluded the election were rigged against Trump. In another text, she claimed that the dispute over the election (which Trump and his sect had ginned up) was a “fight of good against evil”. Her texts indicated that she believed the nonsensical con-lawyer Sidney Powell was peddling that foreign states (China! Venezuela!) were manipulating voting machines to alter the vote count.

A text from Thomas to Meadows shared a video promoting a QAnonish conspiracy theory claiming watermarks on ballots would show Biden received millions of fraudulent votes. This baseless claim was pushed on InfoWars, the conspiracy theory site of berserk Alex Jones, by a man named Steve Pieczenik, a longtime disinformation purveyor who claimed that the 2012 mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, was a staged “false flag operation.” Related to this particular BS, Thomas sent Meadows a quote she had taken from a right-wing website: -Biden crime family and voter fraud conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake streaming media reporters, etc.) are being arrested and detained for voter fraud right now and in the days to come, and will live in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.

Ginni Thomas has long been one of the leaders of the right, and it turns out she’s a lunatic. It’s not quite a news flash. Nine years ago, I revealed the existence of a new secret conservative group that Thomas had helped put together. Called Groundswell, it brought together a collection of right-wingers in Washington, D.C., for weekly meetings to cook up talking points, coordinate messages, and develop plans for “a 30-front war seeking to transform basically the nation,” according to a treasure trove of his documents I obtained. The group included a host of far-right extremists, including Frank Gaffney (who claimed Barack Obama was a secret Muslim); Ken Blackwell and Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council; Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch; tea fanatic Allen West, former congressman; Steve Bannon, then executive chairman of Breitbart News Network; Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who would become a Fox News presence; Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the influential Federalist Society; a handful of conservative journalists; and others. One of Senator Ted Cruz’s top aides was a Groundsweller.

Groundswell appeared to be set up to compete with the well-known Wednesday morning rallies of Tory advocates organized by Grover Norquist, the leader of Americans for Tax Reform. This collective included a wide cross-section of Republicans, including conservatives opposed to gay rights and abortion rights and those who favor them, as well as GOPers from different sides of the immigration reform debate. Groundswell, which came together at the same time as Norquist’s group, was an ideologically purer and more extreme version of the Norquist confab. The group has devised strategies to kill immigration reform, exaggerate the Benghazi controversy and counter the perception that the GOP exploits racism. On a Google Group page, Groundswellers often claimed that the GOP mob inside the Beltway was trying to sideline hardline conservatives and recruit, promote and support political candidates deemed less strident and more eligible. Their number one enemy in this regard was Republican strategist Karl Rove, and Groundswell tried to discredit him.

The documents indicated that Ginni Thomas was a guiding force for Groundswell, setting the agendas for its meetings and actively coordinating messaging among its attendees, and that the group held a dark, paranoid and Manichean view of American politics. A memo from Groundswell said that an “active radical left is dedicated to destroying [sic] those who oppose it” with “vicious and unprecedented tactics. We are in a real war; most conservatives are not prepared to fight. In one meeting, one attendee claimed that many government agencies (State Department, CIA, Pentagon, EPA and others) were conspiring with “extreme leftist groups” to undermine conservatives in the media.

In a post on a Google group page, Ginni Thomas encouraged Groundswell members to watch Agenda: Tear down America, a purported documentary that claims progressives (including Obama) seek “a brave new world” based on the “failed policies and ideologies of communism” and that an evil left is “deliberately destroying the greatest country in all of history of the world”. This film could have been produced by the John Birch Society. Taking up the atomic espionage cases of Alger Hiss and Rosenberg, he compares liberalism to communism and Hitler’s Nazism. The film alleges that the left deliberately seeks to impose communism on the United States and eradicate the “American family”. It’s that old bugaboo of the subversive enemy within: “America has an enemy who is about to fulfill his plan to destroy the greatest country in the history of the world.” The film’s website presents a wiring diagram of the leftist conspiracy to exterminate the United States, worthy of a tinfoil hat.

Ginni Thomas approved of this spiel. To see this film as an accurate representation of reality, one would have to be a paranoid crackpot unable to effectively and grimly assess the world. And there’s this: a person who believes such a sinister plot is afoot could probably justify almost anything. As this memo from Groundswell suggests, it’s a war, but only the Groundswellers are prepared for this battle. Under such circumstances – if you were fighting an evil force bent on annihilating the land you love – would you really care about the niceties like avoiding legal conflicts of interest?

In one of his Meadows texts, Thomas sent a terrible message: “The most important thing you can realize right now is that there are no rules in war.” This text also said: “This war is psychological. PSYOP. This means that the struggle is about defining reality – something Ginni Thomas is not strongly committed to – and in this clash she feels no need to abide by the rules or, perhaps, even the rules. laws.

There is a lot in the story of Ginni Thomas. The House Committee 1/6 asked that she come to discuss. And for so many years now, she and her husband have created the appearance of a serious conflict of interest. (A decade ago, she was lobbying against Obamacare when her spouse was clearly going to have to weigh in on the constitutionality of the health care law.) But now she’s certainly demonstrated that she’s a conspiratorial crackpot. What do they say of the tea party and the extreme right that they were led by a zealous madman? Undoubtedly, many Stop-the-Stealers don’t drink Trump’s Kool-Aid. They are using the false allegations of a fraudulent election as a stick against Joe Biden and the libs. Or maybe they suspect there was some bickering, but they’re not buying the complete craziness of My Pillow Guy. (The CIA used Italian military satellites to grab Tump’s votes!) Ginni Thomas, however, is all in. She is unbalanced. While it may be unfair to judge a judge by their spouse, it is hardly reassuring that a Supreme Court justice is literally in bed with a quasi-QAnon conspirator and adjudicating cases related to his passions.

“We are living in what feels like the end of America,” Thomas sent to Meadows. In the Thomas house, it is rather the end of rationality.

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