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June 23, 2011

The Inverted World of Clarence Thomas

By: Aaron Datesman

Earl Warren.jpg

It's boring to enumerate all of the ways that the Democratic Party reminds me of the Washington Wizards, but at the very top of my personal list is the decades-long failure to impeach Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. I was reminded of this by-now rather pedestrian situation by a recent story on Democracy Now! It's perfectly unsurprising, except for a detail at the end (italicized by me) which absolutely twists my mind into a pretzel.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is coming under increased scrutiny after the New York Times revealed new details about his close ties to Dallas real estate magnate Harlan Crow, a prominent Republican millionaire. A company controlled by Crow is bankrolling Thomas’s pet project—a nonprofit museum in Thomas’s hometown of Pin Point, Georgia. In addition, Crow provided $500,000 to allow Thomas’s wife to start a Tea Party group, and he once gave Thomas a $19,000 Bible that belonged to Frederick Douglass.

It causes me physical pain in the space between my eyes to place Clarence Thomas and Frederick Douglass in adjacent mental cells. I think this might be why:

Douglass: Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.
Thomas: Good manners will open doors that the best education will not.

I'm sure that Thomas self-identifies with the fiery orator, abolitionist, and former slave. In the actual world, the situation is exactly inverted: I think it's no exaggeration to say that Thomas exploited his skin color to willingly become a slave.

Perhaps he reads the Bible in the mirror.

— Aaron Datesman

Posted at June 23, 2011 11:24 PM

I remember those signs, up and down Hw301 in Florida. Ah, the memories, the "Good Ole Dayz". A judge with GENEROUS millionaire friends, some things never change

Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 24, 2011 02:14 AM

To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid; you must also be well-mannered. — Voltaire

Posted by: Butch in Waukegan at June 24, 2011 02:44 AM

Don't you mean the Washington Generals, who always lost to the Harlem Globetrotters? The Wizards may be pathetic, but they do win once in awhile.

Posted by: CDT at June 24, 2011 04:08 PM

@CDT - Oh, yeah. A good demonstration of my knowledge of sports, that was. Thanks.

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at June 24, 2011 04:43 PM

Clarence Thomas is cynical about everything but money and self-interest, so he's the perfect person to have been appointed with one of the most cynical lies ever--that he was the most qualified person to be on the Supreme Court.

Seriously, Thomas doesn't give a shit about Frederick Douglas, ideas, or much else. Scalia is hateful, but his cynicism is subordinate to his crazed right-wing ideology, which is with him much more genuine.

Posted by: N E at June 25, 2011 07:59 AM

In specific places like the one you mention here, the toxins of power have corrupted the judicial branch of government too.

It is just that corruption is out of the closet walking the street big time because accountability went the way of the dinosaurs.

Posted by: Dredd at June 25, 2011 07:13 PM

I think most people read the Bible in the mirror, or with the intellectual depth of a fourteen year old.

Posted by: Amandasaurus at June 26, 2011 02:28 PM


Posted by: Mike Meyer at June 26, 2011 08:53 PM

...and that goddamned Tea Party. Grassroots my ass.

Posted by: Amandasaurus at June 27, 2011 03:07 PM

Come on, the Koch brothers are grassroots!

Posted by: N E at June 27, 2011 07:46 PM