Sunday, March 14, 2010

Some folks are born to wave the flag

Clarence Thomas, long a darling of the authoritarian right, has a new issue, and I think (& hope) that it gets really ugly really soon. From today's LATimes:
As Virginia Thomas tells it in her soft-spoken, Midwestern cadence, the story of her involvement in the "tea party" movement is the tale of an average citizen in action.

"I am an ordinary citizen from Omaha, Neb., who just may have the chance to preserve liberty along with you and other people like you," she said at a recent panel discussion with tea party leaders in Washington. Thomas went on to count herself among those energized into action by President Obama's "hard-left agenda."

But Thomas is no ordinary activist.

She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.

Aside from the idiocy and hypocrisy of another well-funded astroturf "grass-roots" group, there is a real ethical problem brewing. The close of the article states it best:
But it would be up to Justice Thomas to decide whether to recuse himself. He could not be reached for comment.

As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, Liberty Central can raise unlimited amounts of corporate money and largely avoid disclosing its donors.

Because of a recent Supreme Court decision, Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, the group may also spend corporate money freely to advocate for or against candidates for office.

Justice Thomas was part of the 5-4 majority in that case.

Of course he won't recuse himself. On ethical issues, his hypocrisy is legendary and consistent. Fully availing himself of Affirmative Action when it furthers his career, he now criticizes it as his Conservatarian posture demands. He will take any action that's in his best interest, with no regard to appearance, propriety, or ethics.

And please, don't bring up Ed Rendell & his wife, a Circuit Court judge who has sought ethics and recusal advice when it seemed warranted. No, Justice Thomas and his activist wife are entitled Conservatives. In her case, she seems honest in her beliefs, albeit misdirected. But in his case, as evidenced by his testimony during his confirmation hearings (see Anita Hill & Roe v. Wade), he does what is expedient and what fits his personal agenda best. Truth and justice are simply victims of his arrogance.

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