Clarence & Ginni Thomas: Big Breasts + Big Bucks = Big Boobs
Welcome aboard the Ginni Thomas Express
Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, Clarence Thomas' wife, is perhaps the most politically involved spouse of a Supreme Court Justice in the history of the Supreme Court. And, while Ginni Thomas is devoting most of her time and energy to building Liberty Central, her relatively new organization, into a right-wing powerhouse, she recently took time out of her early-morning activities to revive an old story, thus bringing such vivid memories of pubic hair on a Coke can, and the acting chops of Long Dong Silver, back into the national consciousness.
Ginni Thomas' Tea Party-like organization, Liberty Central -- a 501(c)(4) organization actively promoting the candidacies of Tea Party-endorsed candidates -- was launched in 2009 with two unidentified gifts of $500,000 and $50,000, gifts that instantly made the group a political player. Liberty Central's stated mission is "to promote education, civil discourse, and activism focused on protecting the core founding principles of the United States."
While her recent early-morning telephone call to Anita Hill - ostensibly seeking Hill's apology for having supposedly wrongfully accused her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, of sexual harassment at his confirmation hearings 19 years ago - seemed civil enough, made national headlines for Ginni, and made her easy fodder for late-night television talk-show hosts, it probably did little for "protecting core founding principles of the United States."
Although anonymous donations helped launch Liberty Central, Ginni Thomas needed no introduction to conservative politics. As the New York Times' Jackie Calmes pointed out earlier this month, "For three decades, Mrs. Thomas has been a familiar figure among conservative activists in Washington -- since before she met her husband of 23 years, Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court. But this year she has emerged in her most politically prominent role yet: Mrs. Thomas is the founder and head of a new nonprofit group, Liberty Central, dedicated to opposing what she characterizes as the leftist `tyranny' of President Obama and Democrats in Congress ..." Calmes pointed out that Thomas' role in Liberty Central was "the most partisan role ever for a spouse of a justice on the nation's highest court."
According to the New York Times, Thomas told Fox News in April, at a Tea Party rally in Atlanta that her organization "will be bigger than the Tea Party movement." One of the ways Liberty Central might achieve that status will be by raking in huge amounts of money from undisclosed sources, an opportunity made available by "the ruling last January by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case, which eased restrictions on independent campaign spending by corporations and unions," a 5-4 decision that saw her husband voting with the majority. The Times noted that "Wealthy individuals and some corporations, emboldened by the ruling, are giving to such groups to influence the election but still hide their tracks."
Earlier this month, Liberty Central began spending some of its largesse on "its first ad campaign," the Times reported. "[T]he ads were limited to Web sites for the conservative talk-show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin -- suggesting an effort to build membership for Liberty Central, not elect candidates. The ads link to Liberty Central's Web site and a video of Mrs. Thomas soliciting 100,000 signatures against the `Obama tax increase' -- referring to the scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts on Dec. 31."
"It's shocking that you would have a Supreme Court justice sitting on a case that might implicate in a very fundamental way the interests of someone who might have contributed to his wife's organization," Deborah L. Rhode, law professor and director of the Stanford University Center on the Legal Profession, told The New York Times.
"The fact that we can't find that out is the first problem," she said, adding, "And how can the public form a judgment about propriety if it doesn't have the basic underlying facts?"
Long before the Citizens United decision, and her husband's, appointment to the Supreme Court, Ginni Thomas was a rising star within the conservative movement. On the Liberty Central website, a number of conservative leaders eagerly sing her praises: Edwin J. Feulner, President, The Heritage Foundation ("Liberty Central fills a vital role in connecting the grassroots with our Founders' principles."); Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University ("I support Liberty Central because I deeply share Virginia Thomas's vision of an America rededicated to its founding principles.... Liberty Central will rally us to this noblest of causes."); Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense ("Ginni Thomas has been a good friend for years.... I am impressed by the energy and enthusiasm Ginni Thomas brings to the cause of freedom and individual rights. Ginni can help channel the frustration felt by millions across America at the current course of our country."); Morton C. Blackwell, President, The Leadership Institute ("Ginni Thomas is a rising star among conservatives. She's a rare leader - highly principled, remarkably smart, and pleasantly persistent. She has everything it takes for her following to grow and grow."); Dr. Larry Arnn, President, Hillsdale College ("Virginia Thomas is an urgent and high-minded soul. She loves her country and wishes it good. She thinks its institutions, the original ones, are the key to the future. She is prepared to fight for that. She does so with vigor and effect.")
Reviving the spectre of a pubic hair on a Coke can and Long Dong Silver
While it is unclear whether it was her sense of urgency or high-mindedness that drove Ginni Thomas to telephone Brandeis University professor Anita Hill at work in mid-October, the act itself was surprising, bizarre and just plain weird.
This is what Hill heard on her voicemail:
"Good morning Anita Hill, it's Ginni Thomas. "I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK. Have a good day."
Hill reported the call to the campus police. "I initially thought it was a prank," Hill told ABC News. "And if it was, I thought the authorities should know about it."
Hill told ABC News: "Even if it wasn't a prank, it was in no way conciliatory for her to begin with the presumption that I did something wrong in 1991. I simply testified to the truth of my experience. For her to say otherwise is not extending an olive branch, it's accusatory."
She continued: "I don't apologize. I have no intention of apologizing, and I stand by my testimony in 1991."
During her 1991 Senate testimony, Hill claimed that Clarence Thomas often made sexual comments to her at work, and also frequently referenced scenes from hard-core pornographic films. Thomas told the committee that "If I used that kind of grotesque language with one person, it would seem to me that there would be traces of it throughout the employees who worked closely with me, or the other individuals who heard bits and pieces of it or various levels of it," Thomas indignantly responded to the committee.
For her troubles, Hill was labeled "nutty and slutty," by the early 1990s version of the right-wing hit machine.
When Ginni Thomas was contacted by Mark Matthews of ABC's affiliate KGO, she told him in a e-mail that she "did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get past what happened so long ago. That offer still stands, I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same. Certainly no offense was ever intended."
Why Ginni Thomas would make this strange call now, just weeks before an election she is so deeply involved in, is anybody's guess. Whatever the reasons, she succeeded in cracking open a creaky old window, and the relatively unknown Lillian McEwen, a former lawyer, prosecutor, administrative law judge for federal agencies, and an old flame of Clarence Thomas, is peeking through it; with a tell-all manuscript in hand.
In a Washington Post story (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/21/A R2010102106645.html) dated October 22, and headlined "Lillian McEwen breaks her 19-year silence about Justice Clarence Thomas," McEwen offered up some much belated corroborative information regarding Clarence Thomas' penchant for well-endowed females and his devotion to pornography.
McEwen has written a memoir which she is "shopping to publishers," the Washington Post reported. "He was always actively watching the women he worked with to see if they could be potential partners," McEwen said. "It was a hobby of his."
"He was obsessed with porn," McEwen said. "He would talk about what he had seen in magazines and films, if there was something worth noting." The Washington Post reported that "According to McEwen, Thomas would also tell her about women he encountered at work. He was partial to women with large breasts, she said. In an instance at work, Thomas was so impressed that he asked one woman her bra size, McEwen recalled him telling her."
Whatever damage Ginni Thomas may have done to her husband's already dubious reputation by calling Anita Hill, thus providing the vehicle for the media to resurface his pornography Jones and charges of his inappropriate sexual behavior, will not likely have any affect either on his career as a Justice, or her increasingly financially rewarding work as a conservative activist. She is too firmly planted in the conservative firmament to be dislodged by Lillian McEwen's revelations. The only thing that might affect either of their careers is another appearance by Mr. Long Dong Silver himself.
Clarence & Ginni Thomas: Big Breasts + Big Bucks = Big Boobs | 2 comments (2 topical, 0 hidden)
Clarence & Ginni Thomas: Big Breasts + Big Bucks = Big Boobs | 2 comments (2 topical, 0 hidden)