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Ginni Thomas is not a liar

But it didn’t quite fit. Certainly, as a board member or adviser to various conservative groups, Thomas could have submitted an expense account to get reimbursed for her. Time subscription, or borrowed an identifier from her spouse, Clarence Thomas, whose access is presumably subsidized by the Supreme Court of the United States. She could have relied on other responsible news organizations, including POLITICO, which do not charge for political coverage.

All of this leads to a sad conclusion: Thomas has seen the full and credible media coverage making it clear that Donald Trump has no legitimate basis for his stolen election claims and simply doesn’t believe it. Good now.

Thomas’ fervent text messages to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and others urging vigorous efforts to halt Biden’s rise to the presidency and keep the incumbent in place have value probative for the House Select Committee on January 6 as it develops a timeline of events leading up to the deadly chaos on Capitol Hill.

Thomas’s texts, however, are much more revealing as psychological revelations – a jaw-dropping window into the mind of a Trump believer. In this sense, there are three distinct ways in which Thomas’s texts illuminate the larger historical moment.

One concerns the nature of the “big lie”. The phrase itself reflects a common mood among people, including journalists, alarmed by efforts to nullify an election. The hypothesis is that by refining the language — by stating in a stark and categorical way that Trump’s campaign claims are false — it will make it harder for those lies to gain traction. Many news outlets have visibly abandoned traditional pasty language like “disputed” or “disputed” in favor of phrases like “the Trump lie” in their election coverage. It’s a reasonable choice. But the effect of this cover saying as if it were isn’t particularly impressive.

Thomas shows that this has little effect on her – or on tens of millions of people like her. On the contrary, she is almost certainly more motivated in her beliefs because people she despises in the Democrats or the establishment media tell her the opposite is true.

Whatever one thinks of Ginni Thomas, the lyrics are the work of someone who believes she’s a truth-teller, not a liar. “Help this great president stand firm, Mark!!!,” Thomas wrote to Meadows. “You are the leader, with him, who defends American constitutional governance at the edge of the precipice. Most know that Biden and the left are attempting the greatest heist in our history. »

This leads to the second way that Thomas’s texts are a window not only into his mind, but into the minds of many. It is in the sincerity of her conviction that she aligns herself with the victim party.

A constant in my 30 years of covering national politics is how opposing supporters believe the same thing: Our side has the right ideas, but we’re just not tough enough. The other side wins because they are not burdened by conscience and are willing to be ruthless.

This notion is reflected in Thomas’ lyrics, both the “greatest heist in our history” and his plea for Meadows to “save us from the left that is bringing America down”.

But it’s obvious that this mindset is also the vehicle through which other players – including many who, unlike Thomas, truly know that the claims of a stolen election, as opposed to a lost election on their side , are false – manage to avoid damning self-assessment. that they are dishonest and unscrupulous people.

It is a psychological tool which, once used, has no logical end point. the Washington Post noted that Senator Ted Cruz, who threw himself wholeheartedly into the effort to challenge the election results, in a 2015 memoir assailed former Vice President Al Gore as a spoilsport” testy” for not quickly conceding defeat in the disputed 2000 election. He said then that pressuring the courts to rule on many issues relating to vote counting irregularities in Florida was an effort Democrats to “steal the presidency”. The hypocrisy seems so obvious that it is indisputable. I bet Cruz has no trouble living with himself arguing that he’s just playing the game like ambitious operators play the game.

This instinct has deep roots. Richard Nixon thought he lost the 1960 presidential election because the Republicans weren’t ruthless enough or didn’t play by the rules enough to compete with the Kennedy machine. “Play hard,” Nixon told henchman HR Haldeman, as captured on his own White House tapes, as he urged an illegal cover-up in the early days of the Watergate scandal in June 1972. “That’s how they play it, and that’s how we’re going to play.

This leads to a third point underscored by Ginni Thomas’ flamboyant return to the public spotlight: It is a mistake to imagine that our seething, remorseless politics is fundamentally about Trump. It has greatly amplified the veins of contempt that run deep into the past. There is a striking continuity of themes and even key characters.

Ginni Thomas, of course, was radicalized during her husband’s 1991 Supreme Court confirmation battle over the sexual harassment of Anita Hill. In his view, it showed how Democrats would do anything in pursuit of their agenda. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee was then Joe Biden. The committee’s chief counsel was Ron Klain, now White House chief of staff, then deep in deliberations about how to handle Hill’s allegations. He tweeted in 2018 that he believed his testimony against Clarence Thomas. One of the main columnists for this episode was journalist Jane Mayer. It is the same writer whose recent work for the New Yorker about Ginni Thomas’ political activism, and how it could inappropriately intersect with Clarence Thomas’ High Court role, made headlines earlier this year.

If sanitizing American politics of its chilling contempt was simply to expose that Donald Trump promotes lies about the election, or that Ginni Thomas naively falls in love with them, it would be simple. The real mania she invokes in the name of her distorted perceptions of reality shows that it is much more complicated.

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