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Ginni Thomas is adamant that she never brings up work to her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, when they are alone.
"I generally do not discuss with him my day-to-day work in politics, the topics I am working on, who I am calling, emailing, texting, or meeting," Ginni Thomas said during her testimony in front of the January 6 committee on Thursday.
She also insists it’s an “ironclad” rule that they don’t talk about cases in front of the Supreme Court. The two don’t have any biological children (I’m not judging here), but Clarence has a daughter from his previous marriage. Is she the constant focus of off-hours conversation between the two extremists?
I Google searched Ginni Thomas, Clarence Thomas, and the Washington Nationals baseball team. I didn’t find any images of them at any games or references them being fans of the club, like most Washingtonians. I did the same thing with Redskins/Commanders, and again nothing.
In March, Clarence was hospitalized for nearly a week with flu-like symptoms (I remember thinking the exact same thing that you are thinking now), so perhaps, since they are aging, they talk about their health issues?
I think you can see what I’m getting at here. If they don’t talk about their jobs, their work, the people they interact with during the day, sports, and children, then what on earth do these two people who have been married for 35 years talk about?
If you have been in a long-term relationship, you know there are moments during dinners, car trips, or phone conversations with your long-term partner where lulls in the conversation occur. It is an inevitability. So eight, maybe nine times out of 10, you resort to talking about your job, the people you work with, the work that you do, and any gossip at work that is so titillating, it’s bound to be the first thing you discuss.
The only way that you would be able to sympathize and relate to the predicament of the "nothing to talk about Thomases" is if you were a nun, living in a convent, under a vow of silence. I'm not buying Ginni's explanations. Not for a minute.
But first, let’s give Ginni the benefit of the doubt here. Clarence is no motormouth for sure. He rarely asks questions from the bench, and in his decades-long career on the court, offered an explanation only once, over 20 years ago in an interview with The New York Times. "When I was 16, I was sitting as the only black kid in my class, and I had grown up speaking a kind of a dialect ... called Geechee. Some people call it Gullah, and people praise it now. But they used to make fun of us back then. It's not standard English," the Supreme Court justice told the Times.
"So I learned that, and I just started developing the habit of listening. And it just got to be, I didn't ask questions in college or law school," he said. "For all those reasons and a few others, I just think that it's more in my nature to listen rather than to ask a bunch of questions.”
Poor Ginni — she seems to be left carrying the conversation with Clarence, and maybe that’s why he married her. Because, the public record shows, she just can’t keep her mouth shut.
"I know he was completely unaware of my texts with Mark Meadows until this committee leaked them to the press while he was in a hospital bed fighting an infection," she said Thursday. Clarence was in the hospital for a week. Undoubtedly, she visited her husband. And there was only one thing dominating the conservative news during the beginning of the year, and that was the supposed illegitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.
When there is a scandal, when there is bombshell news in the Beltway, when a president doesn’t concede an election, when he’s toying with the legislative and executive branches of government to help him overturn an election, you can be damn sure that all those involved in government who work and live in Washington were only talking about one thing: Donald Trump and the 2020 election and its aftermath.
And there was one prominent person in Washington who was up to her eyeballs in scheming, shouting and shoveling shit about the election and that was Ginni. She sent 29 desperate text messages to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Twenty-nine? She was begging him not to concede, to help “this great President,” and accusing the “left” of attempting the “greatest heist in our history.”
I’m envisioning Ginni at Clarence’s bedside while he fought his infection, with her phone at her nose, as the two of them, minds racing and pulses rising, clamoring and conversing about what Ginni should say to Mark Meadows that would make him stop, and say, “OK, Ginni wants the president to stay. She’s Clarence’s wife, so we must heed her hurried, hyperventilating texts.”
Clarence was perhaps slightly out of it with the drugs he was taking for that nasty infection, and Ginni ... well, Ginni is so far out of it that she is beyond left field.
And as Ginni breathlessly typed all those texts, doing far more work than Clarence was doing, his only recourse was to say, “Ginni, now what can I do?” “Well, Clarence,” Ginni suddenly intoned. “Why don’t you vote against rejecting challenges to the election when the case comes across your desk? You can say the ruling not to hear the argument is ‘befuddling” and ‘inexplicable.’ And use those words since I don’t use those melodramatic and psychotic words in my texts to Meadows, so no one will be able to say we’re in cahoots.”
If they weren’t behaving conspiratorially about the election, then the only other thing they have in common is their hatred for the LGBTQ+ community and their quest to rid the world of us. When Thomas voted to overturn Roe v. Wade (Rremember, he never talked about this with Ginni), he also put marriage equality in the crosshairs (remember, Ginni would have no idea that he was going to do this).
Surely, the two of them never talked about Thomas's dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, the marriage equality ruling, and his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down laws banning gay sex. In the Obergefell dissent, Thomas wrote that human dignity was not impaired by denial of marriage rights, internment camps, or slavery.
Clearly, Ginni had a hand in this diatribe, since she has spent her career as a lobbyist, lawyer, activist, or whatever she does, slamming our community. She has pushed hard for anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and worked as the White House liaison for the anti-LGBTQ+ Heritage Foundation.
In 2019, Trump met with “anti-LGBT activists led by Thomas in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. During the meeting, Trump was reportedly ‘listening quietly’ as members of the group denounced transgender people serving in the U.S. military,” The New York Times reported at the time.
There you go: Overthrowing democracy and putting LGBTQ+ people in internment camps certainly give Ginni and Clarence so much to talk about. And that some people in Washington listen to what they have to say out of their personal conversations is revolting.
Personally, I could care less about what these two people have to say to each other. They're both monsters, so at the end of the day, they deserve each other. My grandmother had a saying, “Empty barrels make the most noise.” If that’s true, then when they sit down for dinner, it must be tough for these two garrulous people to get a word in edgewise.
John Casey is editor at large at The Advocate.
Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, Equal Pride.