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Hideous, awful: Clarence Thomas BLASTS Washington, D.C.

Published in Blog on May 13, 2024 by Jakob Fay

Originalist Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas pulled no punches as he lambasted the nation’s capital last week, branding the seat of American government as “a hideous place.”

“I think what you’re gonna find, and especially in Washington, [is] people pride themselves in being awful,” he said at a conference in Atlanta on Friday; he noted that he would rather spend time in places where people “don’t pride themselves in doing harmful things merely because they have the capacity to do it.”

The characteristically reticent conservative offered a rare window into his truest thoughts about the formidable city on the Potomac, expressing a healthy dose of disdain for the “nastiness” that has come to define the district. Not only have Thomas and his wife, Ginni, experienced what he called a relentless shelling of “lies,” but he also believes that Washington has amassed unconstitutional power, making it a prime target for the justice’s blistering rebuke.

“Being in Washington, you have to get used to, particularly, people who are reckless,” he said. “They don’t bomb you, necessarily, but they bomb your reputation or your good name or your honor. And that’s not a crime but they can do as much harm that way.”

Of course, Thomas’s federal judgeship was forged in the fires of D.C. cruelty, the victim of a notoriously vicious Senate confirmation hearing, which Thomas insisted at the time amounted to nothing more than a “high-tech lynching for uppity Blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas….” In famously vivid language, he opined that the attacks against him served as a “message that, unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the US Senate, rather than hung from a tree.”

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But more than 30 years later (the Senate confirmed the maligned judge’s appointment on October 15, 1991), the Thomases still face their share of scathing criticisms. For example, Howard Stern
compared “that lightweight Clarence Thomas” to “Darth Vader,” Hillary Clinton labeled him “a person of grievance,” and actor Samuel Jackson employed the derogatory term “Uncle Clarence” to disparage the justice.

Nevertheless, Thomas admitted that he has learned how not to respond to “nastiness with nastiness,” noting that while he “cannot prevent people from doing horrible things or saying horrible things,” he does have “some choices,” such as how he responds.

His unreserved censure of the capital city which he previously called “broken,” simply serves to show the American people the true condition of their federal government. Much like the departing lawmakers who recently christened Congress “dysfunctional,” “chaotic,” “challenging,” and “difficult,” Clarence Thomas contributes a fresh set of uncomplimentary adjectives — “hideous,” “awful,” “harmful,” “reckless” — to the growing list of well-deserved insults aimed squarely at Washington.

The writing is on the wall: how much more proof do we need? It’s time to rein in the federal government, and the only way to do it is through an Article V convention. Sign the Convention of States petition below to show your support.

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