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Clarence Thomas and the Vast - Liberal - Conspiracy

Friday, March 11, 2011 - 12:00 PM

WNYC

As a conservative New Yorker, I am very often the only Republican many people know. People spot me across the room at a party and lurch toward me "so...what do you think of Sarah Palin now?" At poker games, acquaintances will bait me into long, complicated discussions about Social Security reform or other topics of the day - tired, I suppose, from talking about these issues with people who all already agree with them.

Patterns emerge in these conversations: Bush is stupid, Palin is stupid, Republicans win because Americans are stupid and Fox News instructs the stupid on what to believe. In the Bush years, it was Karl Rove calling the shots on what we should believe and what talking points we should spread. These days, it's those dastardly Koch brothers controlling our minds with their billions. Either way, it's always wide-reaching coordination that helps Republicans win.

When that line of attack would begin - that Republicans are super organized, with tight messaging, coordinated attacks and a top-down organization where we all follow the leader - I usually end up saying "I wish." As long as I've been around Republican politics, it has been a loosely-knit coalition of groups, people and media which may support similar goals but all too frequently find themselves unable to work together (see CPAC 2011).

Liberals, on the other hand, always seem all-too-willing to join together and do some dirty work in a very strategic way. Nothing is sacred from their attacks, not even the Supreme Court. Kenneth Vogel writes in Politico:

Liberal groups have launched an aggressive — and, at times, personal — attack on the court’s most conservative justices.

"In this [modern] context, it’s not so surprising that attacks on the justices would veer from the purely ideological into attempts to delegitimize the justices personally, to some extent," said Feldman, who clerked for retired liberal Justice David Souter but nonetheless drew fire from the left for a February New York Times op-ed in which he argued that the political engagement of Thomas and Scalia pales in comparison to their predecessors and could, in fact, help better inform their decisions.

The condemnation of the two justices seems "suspiciously partisan," Feldman wrote, while other legal scholars and court watchers from across the political spectrum have also dismissed the campaign as a stretch, at best, and dangerous, at worst.

In other words, a liberal argues that liberal attacks on the court are dangerous and is attacked by his fellow liberals for speaking this truth. Liberal groups such as Common Cause claim their concern is not partisan but in the interest of transparency and fairness of the court. Vogel provides examples of liberal complaints about Scalia and Thomas, such as their attendance at various dinners for conservative organizations and the work of their spouses, but points out that the same complaints can be made about the liberal judges on the court - yet are ignored.

The latest attack, trying to get Justice Thomas disbarred in Missouri is the same frivolous, politically-based attack coordinated by these liberal groups. Of course it's not the first time Justice Thomas has been unfairly attacked; the low blows include the questioning of his resume in the pages of the NY Times, that he does whatever Justice Scalia tells him to do, and, the old chestnut that he is a traitor to his race. The attacks add up. There are calls for Attorney General Eric Holder to probe threats made against Thomas. If only a wide net of conservative groups working together existed to protect Clarence Thomas from baseless, awful attacks by a network of liberal groups and media. I wish.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 BabyShe can be followed on Twitter.

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Comments [6]

Justin Krebs from NYC

Karol -

I'm just glad to know that from the inside you're as disorganized as we are.

-j

Mar. 14 2011 05:46 PM
Ralph from Mahopac, NY

Karol Markowicz like many Republicans has a short and selective memory concerning why use "L-word" folk view Republicans negatively. Thomas's competency came into question not by his voting record on the court, but right from the start when he was deemed unqualified by the ABA when he was nominated for office, and his non-existent leadership of the EOC.
As for the unity of Republicans; that is something they wear as a badge of honor from years of being in the minority. As far as the “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” we only have to look to the trumped up White Water investigations of a failed land deal where the Clintons lost money that took place the moment he took office, the lock step Republicans took when Gingrich broke the seniority system punishing those who weren’t ideologs, Karl Rove's boast of establishing a permanent majority, and who can forget the cherry of all conspiracies when with Bush v Gore The Supreme Court Intervened against the Constitution itself in how a state determines how to allocate its electoral votes in 2000 anointing Bush president.

Mar. 12 2011 07:51 PM
Sal Selugi

Stupid is as stupid does as they say! Thomas is like a box of chocolates-- you never know what you get ! Thomas is too lazy to develop questions ,so he never asks any.

Mar. 12 2011 02:29 PM
John P MacKenzie from Long Island City

Click on the link "that he does whatever Scalia tells him to do" and you'll find nothing remotely resembling a "low blow," or any reference to the argument that Thomas is a Scalia patsy. That was never the case and very few ever said it was. From the start of his Court service, Thomas has positioned himself to the right of everyone, including Scalia, whenever possible.

Mar. 12 2011 06:24 AM
Managing Editor from Omaha, NE

The victim mentality, and personal attacks on well known figures, you mention at the outset of this post is prevalent not just on the left, but on the right, far left, far right and across the center... they just manifest in different ways.

The activity of Thomas is, to my understanding, all legal... although he may have not reported some things correctly. This seems stupid, but I'm not sure it is enough to warrant disbarment.

Mar. 11 2011 10:29 PM
Gerard from Staten Island, New York

As the Politico article points out, this is just a preemptive strike by leftists and members of the Obama cheerleading squad to insulate Elana Kagen from calls to recuse herself when Obamacare makes its way to SCOTUS. It's a predictable tactic, but then again, when have leftists been original?

Mar. 11 2011 02:49 PM

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