Sweet Virginia

By Miller, Lisa | Newsweek, October 18, 2010 | Go to article overview

Sweet Virginia


Miller, Lisa, Newsweek


Byline: Lisa Miller

The wife of Justice Clarence Thomas is a Tea Party activist. Together, they're the right's new power couple.

Justice Clarence Thomas probably had a ho-hum day on June 7, 2010. From time to time, the Supreme Court of the United States makes historic decisions, but on that day, it didn't. It handed down three noncontroversial rulings, and in all of them, Justice Thomas voted, non controversially, with the majority.

His wife, on the other hand, started the day in a blaze of publicity. Virginia Lamp Thomas, known to all as Ginni, appeared that morning on Sean Hannity's Fox show. Wearing a TV-red jacket, Thomas bantered with Hannity about the "tyranny" President Barack Obama and his party are inflicting on the country. Then Thomas, who had recently launched a nonprofit called Liberty Central, sounded a dire warning. "We are in a fight for our country's life," she said. "We've all got to do whatever we can." Channeling Tea Party rhetoric, she called on conservative voters to give money, sign petitions, and, in November, overthrow those who are turning "citizens" into "subjects."

It's like a Hollywood movie. One spouse goes off to work at the Supreme Court, that most august of institutions, where formality and discretion reign. The other puts on her power suit--and occasionally, a foam Lady Liberty crown--and enters the raucous, chaotic world of Tea Party politics and Fox News pontificating. Ever since Ginni Thomas launched Liberty Central with $550,000 in November 2009, she has become a rising star in the constellation of conservative pundits. According to its Web site, Liberty Central is a nonpartisan educational group devoted to reviving America's "Founding Principles--limited government, personal responsibility, individual liberty, free enterprise, and national security." It offers scorecards on politicians, a petition against tax increases, and testimonials about the benefits of grassroots activism. (Both Thomases declined to comment for this story.)

More modulated that your average Tea Partier, Ginni Thomas hits her talking points with the poise of someone at home in the world of conservative politics and policy--as she has been, for decades. A lawyer, former staffer for the Republican congressman Dick Armey, and a former director at the Heritage Foundation, she speaks of herself as a bridge between the Republican establishment and the crowds rallying out of anger and frustration.

Her overt disgust with Obama and Liberty's political tone have caused some on the left to wonder whether her new job puts her in conflict with her husband's claims to impartiality. "Before it's too late," warned the syndicated radio columnist Bill Press, "either Mr. Thomas or Mrs. Thomas should step aside and find another job." But barring the appearance of Clarence Thomas at a Tea Party rally, even reasonable critics can't find any ethical impropriety in Ginni's public role. "I may not agree with Ginni Thomas on any policy issue, but what she's doing seems--if I can't say utterly commendable one could certainly say utterly proper in a democracy," says David Garrow, a historian at Cambridge University. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sweet Virginia
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.