The Universal Notebook: Doubting Thomases

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Right-wing lunacy is everywhere these days, from the Russian fools who believe Putin to the American morons who believe Trump.

We have QAnon crazies in the U.S. Congress who think Democrats eat babies and we have a member of the U.S. Supreme Court who is married to just such a Quackpot.

Edgar Allen BeemJustice Clarence Thomas was the least-qualified member of the Supreme Court until Brett Kavanaugh somehow got confirmed. What Thomas and Kavanaugh have in common, of course, is that credible women testified that Thomas and Kavanaugh had sexually harassed them. The U.S. Senate did not believe the women, so the two undeserving men took their lifelong seats on the most powerful court in the land.

In Thomas’ case, Anita Hill detailed how he had harassed her at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, describing how Thomas talked about his sex organs, group sex, rape, and women having sex with animals, and how he once asked her if she knew who put pubic hair on his can of Coca-Cola.

Add to that the fact that Thomas only had one year of judicial experience before being appointed to the SCOTUS and you have a man who never in this world should have been on the court. As if in confirmation of his lack of qualifications, Justice Thomas did not ask a single question from the bench for the first 10 years he was on the court.

It’s bad enough that Thomas has never been qualified, but now, in the wake of the Jan. 6 Republican insurrection, we discover that his wife Virginia Thomas is a Stop the Steal Trumper who repeatedly urged Trump toady Mark Meadows to fight to overturn the results of the free and fair 2020 election. 

Virginia Thomas embraces the QAnon conspiracy theory that Trump had watermarked ballots in order to expose voting irregularities.

“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,” she wrote to Meadows.

She also told Meadows, “Sounds like Sidney [Powell, one of Trump’s lawyers] and her team are getting inundated with evidence of fraud. Make a plan. Release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down.”

“Release the Kraken!” is a QAnon catchphrase for exposing voter fraud. More appropriately, it is also street slang for a large bowel movement after a long period of constipation.

So what does his wife’s lunacy have to do with Justice Thomas? Well, for one thing, in an 8-1 ruling, Clarence Thomas was the only member of the Supreme Court to side with Trump in his attempt to keep his White House communications secret.

And though Virginia Thomas says she doesn’t discuss her political ideas with her husband and he does not discuss court cases with her, it’s hard to believe that someone who holds such irrational ideas would have enough judgment and good sense to use discretion about discussing them with her husband.

It is also true that Virginia Thomas works for several far-right groups that lobby against issues like abortion and Obamacare that inevitability come before the Supreme Court.

At the very least, Justice Thomas must recuse himself from any cases that involve Trump or one of his wife’s pet projects. Better still, he should step down from the court before he embarrasses himself any further.

Release the Thomases!

Edgar Allen Beem has been writing The Universal Notebook weekly since 2003, first for The Forecaster and now for the Phoenix. He also writes the Art Seen feature.