The texts between Ginni Thomas and Mark Meadows are downright bizarre. They should end careers

‘Release the Kraken and save us from the left’

Benedict Cosgrove
New York
Tuesday 29 March 2022 17:21
<p>Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a special correspondent for The Daily Caller, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Md</p>

Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a special correspondent for The Daily Caller, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Md

Text messages are tricky things. They are often more efficient than, say, a phone call (“Running late. See you in 10”) and more intimate than email, while their conversational nature can lull participants into a false sense of security. Texts might feel private, but they really aren’t — and they never, ever go away.

Which brings us to Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and conservative political activist, who, in the weeks after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump, engaged in a remarkable, extended text exchange with Mark Meadows. In more than two dozen conspiracy-fueled messages, Thomas urged the then-White House Chief of Staff to effectively spit in the faces of 80 million American voters and help overturn the election.

For his part, Meadows was not only receptive to Thomas’s anti-democratic fervor, but echoed and sometimes exceeded that fervor with creepily self-righteous declarations of his own.

Thomas’s texts are extraordinary for a number of reasons, not least for their audacity and the queasy combination of desperation and self-satisfaction that oozes from each and every one. “Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!” she wrote less than a week after the election. “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.” (Evidently, conspiracies are nothing without excessive reliance on exclamation points, tortured syntax, and arbitrary capitalization.)

In another text, on November 24, Thomas clumsily exclaimed that she “[could not] see Americans swallowing the obvious fraud. Just going with one more thing with no frickin’ consequences... the whole coup and now this ... we just cave to people wanting Biden to be anointed? Many of us can’t continue the GOP charade.” That same day, Meadows — as eager as Ginni Thomas, it seems, to entertain dreams of sedition — texted her back: “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.”

The texts go on and on like this, with Thomas alternately demanding and begging Meadows to help overturn the election — to “Release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down,” as she colorfully puts it — while parroting the pathetic “Stop the Steal” talking points that have been debunked, shredded, and obliterated again and again in courts all over the country.

And speaking of courts: Leaving aside the pressing concern about whether Justice Thomas should recuse himself from any cases that touch on issues around, say, the deadly January 6th MAGA riot at the Capitol (he should, especially since his wife has now reportedly been invited to appear before the committee investigating that riot), we are left with another question. It’s a question that seems thorny on its surface, but is actually quite simple at heart. Namely: Is it right for those of us who find Ginni Thomas’s political beliefs repugnant, detached from reality, and downright dangerous to judge her?

The answer, of course, is yes.

That Thomas was exercising her First Amendment right to question the legitimacy of the 2020 election is not up for debate. Along with all of the other Ginni Thomases out there, she has every right to embrace the Big Lie. She has every right to hope and believe that, as she texted to Meadows, members of “the Biden crime family” would eventually be “living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.” She has every right to her extremist, logically inconsistent, bizarro faith that GOP toadies and far-right goons — Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Marsha Blackburn, and the rest — are not threats to America, but are staunch defenders of liberty.Ginni Thomas has all of those rights, and more.

Happily, the First Amendment does not absolve people of the responsibilities, and the blowback, that come with exercising one’s freedom of expression. Those of us who still believe in the Constitution; in the battered, compromised, but still-sort-of-functioning rule of law; in the power of the ballot; in peaceful assembly rather than violent sedition — we have the right to call out Ginni Thomas’s and Mark Meadows’s texts as the alarming, coup-curious reveries they so clearly are.

Text messages are tricky things, all right. None of us would ever want our legacies defined by a few dozen texts sent off during a period of genuine dismay, anger, and fear, as Ginni Thomas’s clearly were. But for tens of millions of Americans who are sick of the endless — and intensifying — fringe-right attacks on our democracy, there’s a glimmer of hope that the Thomas and Meadows texts will be viewed as just that: the shared, disgraceful legacy of two powerful people who really should have known better.

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