Just over a year ago, when the Toteboard was feeling in one of its half-outraged, half-prophetic moods, it traced the sordid political history of Clarence Thomas, that opportunistic political hack who, through some weird combination of luck and Faustian bargains, still finds himself ensconced on the Supreme Court. There’s little point in rehearsing the whole depressing story – Bush’s cynical appointment, the nominee’s history of sexual impropriety, his perjury during the hearings, his subsequent fascistic voting record – all of which has bequeathed to us a sitting SCOTUS justice with blatant conflicts of interest, incestuous ties to the worst elements of the far right, and a still-seething vendetta against “left-wing zealots,” “elite white women,” “paternalistic big-city whites,” and “light-skinned blacks.” And to boot, as the Toteboard so eloquently noted: “It’s a very real concern that Thomas is prone to distortions of reality, and perhaps even paranoid tendencies. And that’s really not good for the integrity and credibility of the court.”
Last year, Thomas’s scandal du jour concerned his wife Ginni’s “steaming cauldron of delirious conspiracies, theocratic phantasms, and unhinged apocalypticism,” ranging from her “good morning Anita Hill” cold-call to her affiliation with the Stop the Steal wing-nuts. With that camelback-crushing last straw, Jesse Wegman of the New York Times finally said what everyone with an ounce of sanity already knew: “Thomas has shown himself unwilling or unable to protect what remains of the court’s reputation from the appearance of extreme bias he and his wife have created. He would do the country a service by stepping down and making room for someone who won’t have that problem.”
And then, nothing happened.
And now, a year later, the Toteboard is shocked, shocked to find that new scandals seem to be emerging just about every day. Whether it’s more of Ginni’s shenanigans, or those paid luxury vacations and sleazy property deals – all sponsored by bad actors whose business interests periodically come before the court – it always comes back to the same place, i.e., Thomas flouting judicial ethics and turning SCOTUS into a hotbed of corruption and influence-peddling. For Thomas, that thin line between “appearance of impropriety” and “actual impropriety” has all but dissipated.
So here we go again, but perhaps with a little more momentum. More editorials complaining about the court’s loss of public confidence, more democratic representatives calling for new ethics policies, and of course, more of Clarence Doodle sitting with the smug confidence that his republican malefactors won’t lift a fucking finger as long as he remains their puppet.
That’s why the Toteboard’s conclusion from last year still rings true, now more than ever:
It is crucial that this demand (for Thomas’s removal) somehow find its way smack-dab into the epicenter of the political discourse, and the Toteboard encourages all of its readers to do what you can to get this message out there, and to keep it alive and charged. If you don’t forward this post to friends or share it on social media, then share the Times op-ed instead. Submit a letter to the editor of your local newspapers, post something on your neighborhood listserv, find a custom-made bumper-sticker or campaign-sign. And don’t stop there. Write to your representatives in the House and Senate, engage your clergy and religious community, and, if you have to, shout this message out from your rooftops. The Toteboard doesn’t harbor any illusions that Congress will come to its senses and impeach him – certainly not with republicans holding half the chips – but people can talk about it, and then more people, and then people who may have some power and influence. And then if this story stays on the front-page long enough, if it becomes a mainstay of news broadcasts, of press conferences, and of political gatherings, well then maybe, just maybe, something will happen. And just maybe, the American people will get the justice we all deserve.
So please, Toteboard readers,try to keep in mind how important it is that this sentiment not simply vanish into the ether. The country needs our outrage.