Ginni Thomas’ election conspiracy theories offer a ‘window into' a 'very distorted, very disturbed world’: conservative
CBS News and the Washington Post recently reported that far-right Republican activist Ginni Thomas, who is married to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, exchanged 29 text messages with former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows following the 2020 presidential election — texts in which she promoted the Big Lie and encouraged Meadows to aggressively pursue efforts to overturn the election results. Never Trump conservative Peter Wehner, in an article published by The Atlantic on March 30, warns that those texts speak volumes about the mindset of many MAGA Republicans.
"It\u2019s not simply that [Mark] Meadows and [Ginni] Thomas share an affinity for freakish conspiracy theories; it is that they believe we\u2019re engaged in a war without rules," @Peter_Wehner writes:http://on.theatln.tc/9rOL5ee— The Atlantic (@The Atlantic) 1648649733
The 61-year-old Wehner has a very right-wing resumé. He served in the administrations of three Republican presidents — Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — and was a speechwriter for Bill Bennett, former secretary of education in the Reagan Administration. These days, Wehner is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC), a conservative think tank.
But Wehner is a blistering critic of former President Donald Trump, who he believes has been terrible for the conservative movement in the United States. And he cites the Thomas/Meadows texts as a glaring example of Trump’s toxic influence on the Republican Party.
“It was, by any measure, an extraordinary and unsettling set of exchanges,” Wehner writes in his Atlantic article. “President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and the right-wing political activist Virginia ‘Ginni’ Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, texted each other at least 29 times in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. Their purpose was not to lament the result; it was to encourage efforts to overturn it.”
Wehner continues, “That would be worrisome enough, but what makes it doubly so is the arguments invoked, the sources cited, and the mindset revealed in these raw, unfiltered texts. They are a window into a very distorted, very disturbed world — a world of true believers, and a world that has largely influenced and defined the American right during the Trump era.”
The Never Trump conservative describes Ginni Thomas’ texts to Meadows as “fully marinated in QAnon conspiracy theories.”
“Thomas thought that the attorney Sidney Powell — who, at a December (2020) press conference, blamed Cuba, Venezuela, the Clinton Foundation, George Soros, and Antifa for making Trump votes disappear — should be ‘the lead and the face’ of Trump’s legal challenge,” Wehner notes. “Thomas believed that the ‘Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators’ were being arrested and detained for ballot fraud before being shipped to Guantánamo Bay for military tribunals. And she believed that Joe Biden and the left were ‘attempting the greatest Heist of our History.’”
Ginni Thomas, Wehner adds, expressed her “contempt” for then-Vice President Mike Pence when, in one of her texts to Meadows, she wrote, “Most of us are disgusted with the VP and are in listening mode to see where to fight with our teams. Those who attacked the Capitol are not representative of our great teams of patriots for DJT!!”
Those texts, according to Wehner, underscore a larger problem in the Trumpified GOP.
“To assume that the majority of Republicans hold all the same views that Thomas and Meadows expressed in their texts would be a mistake, but they don’t have to for there to be a problem,” Wehner argues. “Plenty of people on the right, although not as radical as Thomas and Meadows, share their basic attitudes, at least for now…. They disdain Republicans who don’t share their fervor, especially those who have spoken critically of Trump. They fear that America is on the edge of the abyss, and they view our politics as a battle between good and evil. They see themselves, too, as God’s instruments — his foot soldiers — in this great political-spiritual battle.”
Wehner warns that U.S. democracy is in trouble when many Republicans reject facts and live in the same “fearful, angry, imaginary world” as Ginni Thomas and Meadows.
“It’s difficult to sustain a democracy when there aren’t shared truths, when false perceptions become false gods,” Wehner laments. “And what becomes really dangerous is when people with power — of whatever party or ideology — don’t just enter a hall of mirrors, but try to force the rest of us to follow them there.”
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