In making sense of the recent outbreak of pearl-clutching articles in the leftist media about political involvement by Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, it is important to remember that issues raised by the left are never the real issues for the left. For the left, there is always a deeper strategic agenda that is hidden beneath the surface positions and rhetoric, an agenda that is grounded in a radically different view of a how society should be governed than the one reflected in the American Constitution.
The rhetorical veil over the left’s true agenda is often transparent, as when the left opens our borders to millions of new Democrat voters under a guise of welcoming people who just want a better life, when anyone with a functioning neocortex knows the Democrats would have already built a border wall if those illegal immigrants were going to vote Republican instead of Democrat. Or, under the thin cover story of preventing vote suppression, the left opposes every common-sense protection against election fraud, including such minimal precautions as having voters show identification to ensure that they are who they say they are and not voting in someone else’s name.
In their recent rash of attacks on Clarence and Ginni Thomas, the left’s surface narrative is that involvement by Ginni Thomas in conservative politics raises conflict-of-interest problems for Justice Thomas and that he should recuse himself when cases come before the Supreme Court that involve any issue on which his wife has ever taken a stand. Because Ginni Thomas is a respected advocate on a wide range of issues important to the conservative-leaning mainstream in American politics, that novel interpretation of the recusal standard would essentially silence Justice Thomas’s voice on any cases remotely connected to those issues.
And silencing Justice Thomas, who is one of the strongest defenders of Constitutional rule of law on the court, is clearly the left’s short-term goal here. But that goal is only part of a much larger strategy.
Close examination shows that the left’s narrative about the Thomases would have to be substantially stronger even to qualify as flimsy. Mark Paoletta, Daniel Greenfield, and Christian Adams, among others, have published detailed and devastating rebuttals to the left’s claims that Ginni Thomas’s political work in any way creates an ethical conflict for Justice Thomas, and they have exposed the raw political agenda beneath those claims. But suffice it to say here that the recusal standard applies if family members are involved in litigation before the court or are able to receive compensation depending on the outcome of the litigation. Family members of judges obviously do not lose the right to hold and express political opinions. Furthermore, there have been multiple instances of family members of judges being openly engaged in activity – including the provision of legal services – on behalf of liberal causes without triggering recusal demands from the left. Ginni Thomas does not practice law, and her networking and sharing opinions with other conservatives does not even come close to violating any reasonable interpretation of the recusal standard.
But only the Thomases have come under fire from the left.
In such cases, conservatives are often quick to accuse the left of applying a double standard or even being hypocritical in their selective outrage, and in one sense that accusation certainly fits here. Leftists who reflexively project sexism and racism onto every issue seem content to attack Ginni Thomas for speaking her own mind and Justice Thomas for daring to hold judicial views that the left deems impermissible for a black man to hold. Once we see the attacks on the Thomases in light of other tactics used by the left, however, it becomes clear that there are no double standards on the left. There is one, and only one, standard that guides the positions and rhetoric of the left, and that standard is that the left’s agenda must be advanced by any means necessary.
The ultimate goal of all left-wing tactics is to remove political power from the hands of voters and elected officials who respect the Constitution and its separation of governmental powers and to put all political power in the hands of “woke” activists who are insulated from electoral accountability. From the left-wing rioters who burn buildings and drag motorists from their cars to their better-dressed allies who prefer the sanitized label of “progressive,” the American left may march under different names, but they are all marching in the same direction, and they all see the American Constitution as an outmoded relic of an oppressive worldview and system that must be dismantled.
Where the Constitution recognizes the God-given rights of individuals, the left ignores the individual and sees only nameless, faceless members of demographic groups engaged in class struggle. Where the Constitution limits and separates the powers of government in order to protect the God-given rights of individuals from abuse at the hands of self-serving politicians, the left envisions a centralized power structure controlled by and for the “woke” elite who alone should wield the power to mold a new society in keeping with their preferences and interests.
Naturally, given the relative insulation of the federal bureaucracy and judiciary from direct accountability to the electorate, the left sees those institutions as primary vehicles for centralizing power. That is why the left has weaponized the bureaucracy of the federal government to harass and ruin those who question the left’s agenda. That is why the Democrats put Republican Supreme Court nominees who might put rule of law above the left’s agenda through a trial-by-fire of personal smears and attacks, and that is why Democrat nominees such as Ketanji Brown Jackson can leave a trail of questionable decisions friendly to extreme left-wing causes without raising the slightest concern from the left about judicial impartiality. It’s not impartiality that the left wants on the courts, but partiality that is politically correct.
But the left would have us believe that the Thomases are – clutch pearls here – politicizing the court.
Tim Daughtry is a conservative speaker and co-author of Waking the Sleeping Giant: How Mainstream Americans Can Beat Liberals at Their Own Game.