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What Is Ginni Thomas?
"Activist" is a euphemism for "silly woman with a powerful spouse."
1. An Open Secret
Here is a secret no one in Washington is willing to say out loud: Ginni Thomas is an idiot. The only reason she was texting the president’s chief of staff instead of being the angry cat lady on Facebook is because she married a man who got himself appointed to the Supreme Court.
The Thomases were never a duo of intellectual equals, or a power couple where each member had their own thing going on, and where the merger of the two was like Voltron coming together.
This isn’t James Carville and Mary Matalin. Or Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter. Or Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb. Or any number of other famous couples. Heck, this isn’t even Sonny and Cher.
No. The Thomases are more like Ivanka and Jared: The senior partner in the arrangement held a position of such high importance that their society scrabbled around to find something for the dimmer partner to do in order to make them feel important, too. In Jared’s case, that has been destroying newspapers, losing money on real estate, and being tasked with brokering peace in the Middle East.
For Ginni Thomas it has meant creating makework for her at various conservative “activist” groups and letting her participate in listservs with people who have real jobs.1
I got my hands on some of the widely circulated emails Mrs. Thomas sent to one of these listservs and they are illustrative of the level at which she operates. Some examples:
From: Ginni Thomas <vthomas@*****.co>
Date: Sun, Oct 30, 2016 at 7:57 AM
Subject: WOW - Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke!!!
Compelling man. IMHO.
Please consider helping more eyes and ears use this video interview to absorb what Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke is saying about Trump, America, the media and what is needed right now.
Thank you! Ginni
P.S. As the Democrats feign new outrage about what FBI Director James Comey did to the Clinton investigation on Friday, recall the seemingly FAR MORE flimsy and actual indictment by Lawrence Walsh of Caspar Weinburger 24 years ago today ... to no discernable Democrat outrage then... a last minute controversy many believe caused Bill Clinton to beat George Bush.2 Just sayin'.
From: Ginni <vthomas@*****.co>
Date: Sun, Oct 1, 2017 at 7:44 AM
Subject:Rush Limbaugh’s Bo Snerdley Takes On NFL Protests And White Privilege
Please listen to Rush Limbaugh's amazing call screener, James Golden, AKA "Bo Snerdley" on the NFL flap, white privilege and the Republican Congress!
Would love your help on social media with getting it heard by others too!
From: Ginni <vthomas@*****.co>
Date: Sun, Feb 11, 2018 at 8:01 PM
Subject: James O'Keefe: talks of the courage it takes to tell the truth today -- my FINAL Daily Caller interviewee!
With one amazing 34 year old warrior, James O'Keefe, I end a nearly 7 year old series of bringing leaders who offer hope, information and inspiration to you through The Daily Caller. James is the perfect exclamation mark to my tenure with The Daily Caller News Foundation. Please enjoy and circulate, as James should be prayed for, supported and encouraged by all of us! Buy his book too!
It has been a joy to interview hundreds of people for your consumption. I am using the next few weeks to explore some options to keep me busy! Let me know if you have suggestions, as I love connecting leaders in the movement and listening to the grassroots!
From: Ginni <vthomas@*****.co>
Date: Sun, Jan 21, 2018 at 2:50 PM
Subject: Please take time to listen to Joe diGenova about the weaponization of law enforcement and intelligence to protect HRC and destroy DJT
Beyond the #SchumerShutdown....Please take time to listen and pass on this compelling Joe diGenova video, which is going pretty dang viral today (from my standards)! A Facebook friend said this today:
Must See. Every American needs to be aware of its seriousness.
My friend and fellow Patriot, Ginni Lamp Thomas, exposes what is known, what is suspected with confidence, and what is likely and unlikely to be proven.
Folks, if this plays out as seems likely, this is WAY worse than Watergate even if a former president cannot be definitively connected to it:
Traffic today keeps the post up high where it gets natural traffic at Daily Caller, and THIS IS EDUCATIONAL!!
Everything about these emails—from the bizarre capitalization and punctuation,3 to the references to “Facebook friends,” to the obsession with talk radio and her genuflection before grifters like O’Keefe, Clarke, and diGenova shows that what we’re dealing with isn’t an intellectual, or even a smooth operator, but a Boomer with an internet connection, an important spouse, and too much time on her hands.
2. The Dilettante’s Ball
There’s nothing wrong with dilettantes. Some of the most interesting people I know are dilettantes. But generally speaking, the adults in government understand that dilettantes are supposed to be marginalized: You give them just enough access to the grownup table so that they think they’re prized for their inner worth—and so that their senior partners don’t feel disrespected—but not an inch more.
That’s the entire career of Ginni Thomas. Literally everyone in conservative Washington knows this about her. I’m sure her Washington friends will publicly testify to her being smart and effective.4 But in private, it’s a different story. I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard people in the various precincts of Conservatism Inc. laugh about the self-important preening, unserious dabbling, and incompetent hackery of Ginni Thomas over the years—in the wistful way a butler might indulge a wealthy child.
None of this means that everyone kissed up to Ginni with the explicit hope of getting access to her husband (although it’s hard to imagine that sort of thing never happened in Justice Thomas’s three decades on the bench). But hiring her for “consulting” or participating in a project with her was a way to signal that you were on the right team.
And of course, that’s one of the things that people in Conservatism Inc. never talk about in the open.
There’s been a lot of that over the last 25 years. I used to think this wasn’t a conservative problem so much as a Washington problem. That surely the left was filled with creeps and dilettantes and hangers-on, too. That liberals and Democrats had their own list of unmentionables.
Wasn’t that the entire lesson of the Clinton years? Here was this guy who treated women like crap—and maybe worse—but everyone on the left had to smile and look the other way because he held power and power must be tended, respected, and protected.
This isn’t to say “both sides.” I don’t have a scale. Maybe both sides have always been just as bad as the other. Maybe one was worse then and the other is worse now. I don’t know.
But I do know that one of the freedoms of being politically homeless is not having to pretend that Ginni Thomas is an activist, or an intellectual, or a personage of any rank. You can acknowledge that she’s just a 50th-percentile internet commenter who was given a fast-pass into #ThisTown because of her husband.
And while no one is going to push Clarence Thomas off the Court—sorry, he ain’t never going to be impeached—maybe the upshot of the current scandal is that the rest of America will finally understand what Ginni Thomas is.
3. What a Character!
It’s hard to know what to make of a guy like Don Young, who everyone seems to think was a bully and a sonofabitch, but also everyone seems to excuse:
One of the great stories of Capitol Hill folklore goes like this: Early in John A. Boehner’s career — back when he was a freshman congressman, long before he became Speaker of the House — he gave a floor speech railing against earmarks and suddenly found himself shoved up against the back wall of the House chamber with a 10-inch knife to his throat.
His assailant: The late Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska).
“He held this blade at my throat, screaming at me,” recalls Boehner, who says that he managed to tell off the Alaskan lawmaker with a curt expletive. “One of the prouder moments of my career.” . . .
Feisty and bullheaded — his office walls covered in mounted animal trophies and a 10-foot grizzly pelt — Young was a former riverboat captain willing to do anything to send money home to Alaska. Boehner’s sin that day on the House floor was attacking the pork barrel spending that secured Young’s job as Alaska’s lone congressman for 49 years, making him the longest-serving Republican in House history — despite his threats of violence, offensive comments and a corruption investigation.
I got to know Young in the 13 years I was a reporter for Alaskan public radio stations, including four as the Washington D.C. correspondent for the Alaska Public Radio Network. He routinely kicked me out of his office when I asked a question he didn’t like, whether I was quoting a critic or citing an investigation into one of his spending bills. He would yell and tower over me, or even worse, silently stare me down until he growled, “Get out.” . . .
Young could go from shoving you — in my case, literally — to bringing you in for a bear hug.
“Don Young worked with people on both sides of the aisle, and he respected people on both sides of the aisle,” Boehner said. . . .
In a twist Boehner said he couldn’t have imagined when he was pressed up against the House chamber wall, he ended up being Young’s best man when Young remarried in 2015 at the Capitol at the age of 82.
“He was as different as they came,” Boehner said, “but a good, solid member who did a whale of a job on behalf of Alaska.”
Read the whole thing. I’m not sure if it’s charming or horrifying.
But it seems to me that if we’re going to make it socially acceptable to deck guys when they act like a-holes, then there won’t be as many “characters” like Don Young around.
Maybe that’s a good thing?
In her defense, she has a law degree from Creighton (current U.S. News rank: #139) and held a couple low-level DC staffer jobs prior to her husband’s call-up.
Literally no one believes this. Not even Bush ‘92 campaign staffers. Clinton took over the polling lead in July and led the entire way from there. Except for a brief Bush bump in mid-October, the race was never close.
And I’m perfectly willing to believe that she’s a gentle soul and a wonderful human being. But this isn’t about whether or not she’s a good person.