FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2022
Lost Child, invested with power: We start today with text messages sent by Ginni Thomas in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential campaign.
Ginni Thomas is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. There seems to be no doubt about the authenticity of the text messages, which are being widely discussed.
This morning, a front-page report in the New York Times quotes some of the texts. The front-page report begins as shown. We highlight one key point:
HAKIM ET AL (3/25/22): In the weeks between the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent a barrage of text messages imploring President Donald J. Trump’s chief of staff to take steps to overturn the vote, according to a person with knowledge of the texts.
In one message sent in the days after the election, she urged the chief of staff, Mark Meadows, to “release the Kraken and save us from the left taking America down,” invoking a slogan popular on the right that refers to a web of conspiracy theories that Trump supporters believed would overturn the election.
In another, she wrote: “I can’t see Americans swallowing the obvious fraud. Just going with one more thing with no frickin consequences.” She added: “We just cave to people wanting Biden to be anointed? Many of us can’t continue the GOP charade.”
Question: Did Ginni Thomas really believe that Candidate Biden's apparent victory in the 2020 election was actually the result of an "obvious fraud?"
(Also this: If she really did believe that, is it accurate to say that she was urging Meadows to "overturn the vote?")
Ignore that second journalistic point. Let's focus instead on the question of belief.
Did Ginni Thomas really believe that the 2020 election had been built upon fraud? In all honesty, it isn't clear that there was anything Thomas wasn't prepared to believe. Later, Hakim and two other reporters quote another text message:
HAKIM ET AL: In one text exchange right after the election, she tells Mr. Meadow that he needs to listen to Steve Pieczenik, a onetime State Department consultant who has appeared on Alex Jones’s Infowars to claim, among other things, that the Sandy Hook school massacre was a false-flag operation.
She also quoted language circulating on pro-Trump sites that said, “Biden crime family & ballot fraud co-conspirators (elected officials, bureaucrats, social media censorship mongers, fake stream media reporters, etc) are being arrested & detained for ballot fraud right now & over coming days, & will be living in barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.” She added: “I hope this is true.”
If we can believe the Times' reporting, Thomas vouched for someone who was crazy enough to have claimed that Sandy Hook was a false-flag operation.
Astonishingly, she also thought it might be true that members of "the Biden crime family" were being arrested even as she texted Meadows. Also, that they might be transferred to "barges off GITMO to face military tribunals for sedition.”
Did Ginni Thomas really believe that? If so, what wasn't this highly-placed person able to believe?
The revelation of such text messages creates a rare and spectacular "teachable moment" in the annals of anthropology. We're given a chance to take a long, deeply instructive look at The Things We Human Beings Are Able to Believe.
Anthropological insight can also be served by watching Tucker Carlson—by watching Tucker Carlson himself, but also by watching the predictable way our failing liberal / progressive tribe reacts to the various things he says, to the bait he lays out.
Is it true that our liberal world is a failing world? Briefly, we'll cite a frightening passage from a recent guest essay in the New York Times, frightening headline included:
While Democrats Debate ‘Latinx,’ Latinos Head to the G.O.P.
...From Hispanics’ 71 percent support for President Barack Obama in 2012 to 66 percent for Hillary Clinton and 59 percent for Joe Biden in 2020, Democrats find themselves slowly but measurably losing hold of Latinos, the fastest-growing segment of the electorate. As Latino voters grow in number in key battleground states, they are increasingly rejecting the minority construct promulgated by the media, academia and Democratic politicians and consultants.
The party that is able to express the values of a multiethnic working class will be the majority party for the next generation. As we continue to watch the country’s culture war increasingly divided by education levels, it is quite likely that Latino voters will continue to trend, even if marginally, into the ranks of Republican voters. The country stands on the precipice of a significant political shift.
The essay was written by Mike Madrid, "an expert in Latino voting trends" and a member of "the board of directors of the League of Minority Voters."
Correctly or otherwise, Madrid paints a frightening picture of where presidential politics may be heading as Carlson engages in his nightly hysterics. Also, as we liberals continue to infuse this pitiable "Lost Boy of La Jolla" with tons of political power.
We'll guess that Carlson was never crazy enough to believe that the Biden crime family was, perhaps, about to be sent to the barges. That said, it's blindingly obvious that he is, in psychiatric and anthropological terms, a deeply failed "lost boy."
Yes, that's a technical term, and the use of such terms can create journalistic complication. But Carlson is completely unable, on a nightly basis, to hide the extent of his inner damage, to disguise his obvious profile.
Consider a relatively minor example—an example he offered last night.
We didn't watch Carlson's program last night, but we've read the carefully proofread transcript of his opening monologue.
(By way of contrast, MSNBC's most recent error-strewn transcripts are those from the TV shows the channel aired on Tuesday, March 15 [sic].)
Carlson went on, at considerable length, expressing the view that Senator Cory Booker is one of the world's biggest phonies. He portrayed Booker as "a faker" and "a fraud"—as another "Jussie Smollett."
Over the years, observers have taught that story flat and round. By Carlson's remarkable standards, his denunciation of Booker comes in fairly low on the scale.
His deep sense of grievance does briefly appear when he throws Greta Thunberg into the mix—when he can't even stop himself from mocking an astonishing teenage girl.
That said, this lost child's endless sense of grievance cuts all the way to the bone. Viewed on a nightly basis, it isn't normal in any way—and inevitably, his sense of grievance leads him, on a nightly basis, to make such statements as this:
CARLSON (3/24/22): It's just so funny. If you were to take a survey of the people most likely to give you a moral lecture about your own moral shortcomings, they would be the people whose personal lives could withstand the lightest scrutiny, if you know what we mean. That is a very consistent standard.
Anyway, no one has used language like that to describe opponents of Ketanji Jackson, even though she let, to restate, industrial scale pedophiles out of jail with three-month jail sentences. Nor has anyone subjected her to questions about her high school drinking habits. Remember that?
For the record, we're prepared to guess that Judge Jackson had very few, if any, "high school drinking habits." You'll have to peruse the Carlson transcript to see where that comment led.
More relevant is this lost boy's perpetual complaint about being given moral lectures. He's extremely sensitive about such matters, and it leads him to mock high-achieving ("white") teenage girls who know their subject much better than he does.
Also, to make the kinds of inaccurate factual claims we've chosen to highlight above.
We're sorry, Virginia and Greta, but no! As a judge, Ketanji Jackson didn't "let industrial scale pedophiles out of jail with three-month jail sentences."
There was one (1) defendant to whom she gave a three-month sentence. He was a high school student at the time he committed the crime to which he pled guilty. That said, he wasn't an "industrial scale" offender, and it isn't clear that he was a pedophile at all.
If anything, we'd argue that Judge Jackson's sentence in that one case may have been too harsh. But we'll discuss that matter tomorrow, when we'll focus on the remarkable way Judge Jackson kept refusing to explain why she gave that one (1) three-month sentence to that one (1) teenaged boy.
Carlson was once a teenaged boy himself. During that period, he attended Collège du Léman, a Swiss boarding school, but managed to get kicked out.
Carlson was born Tucker McNear Carlson in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, on May 16, 1969...
In 1976, Carlson's parents divorced after the nine-year marriage reportedly "turned sour." Carlson's father was granted custody of Tucker and his brother. Carlson's mother left the family when he was six, wanting to pursue a "bohemian" lifestyle.
When Carlson was in first grade, his father moved Tucker and his brother to the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, and raised them there. Carlson attended La Jolla Country Day School and grew up in a home overlooking the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club.
According to the leading authority on the subject, Carlson's mother left the family when Carlson was 6 years old. A childhood of material affluence followed—but, according to a profile in the New Yorker, he never saw his mother again:
SANNEH (4/3/17): His father, Richard Carlson, couldn’t afford college, so he enlisted in the Marines, and then forged an eventful career in journalism, working in California as a reporter and as a television anchor. (In a 1976 local-news report, he outed the tennis player Renée Richards, who had recently transitioned from male to female.) Tucker Carlson grew up with his brother in La Jolla, nurturing a rebellious streak that he never turned against his father, perhaps because his father shared it, and perhaps because he had no one else. His mother, a bohemian, left the family when he was six and ultimately settled in France; the boys never saw her again. “Totally bizarre situation—which I never talk about, because it was actually not really part of my life at all,” Carlson says.
If we can trust the New Yorker's reporting, Carlson never saw his mother again. Beyond that, you can read the remarkable quote, in which Carlson says that this passing event "was actually not really part of my life at all."
It was never really part of his life. That's why he doesn't discuss it!
Richard Carlson, the gonzo reporter, "outed" Renée Richards. This might suggest that Carlson, like Donald J. Trump, had the misfortune of being raised by a father with unfortunate social attitudes.
That said, we rarely watch the shrieking, screeching Carlson these days without thinking of the 6-year-old boy whose mother ran away.
Night after night, his performance is journalistically clownlike, as it was back on March 9. But as he screeches. shrieks, declaims and yells, we think we may be seeing the 6-year-old boy whose mother went to France.
Given Carlson's notoriety and influence, it's amazing how little attention has been paid to his remarkable two-generation family story.
The father went from an orphanage to the head of PBS, with a stint as a "gonzo reporter" along the way.
The son descended from La Jolla Country Day to the pathetic place in which he now sits, a place in which he tortures elementary facts every night and ridicules brilliant teenaged girls who have inspired the world and who never got kicked out of anything on their road to this brilliance.
Carlson sprinkled in quite a few valid points last night. It isn't especially hard to do. Our failing tribe is almost as pathetic and hopeless as Carlson's failing tribe is.
(For the record, Carlson's valid points are almost always undermined by his subsequent shrieking and screeching.)
Over There, on the extreme, Ginni Thomas apparently thought that the Bidens might be on their way to the barges. Over Here, we keep performing in the ways which—if Mike Madrid knows what he's talking about—may be paving the way toward an electoral future full of winners like Trump.
We already got him elected once. If Madrid knows what he's talking about, we may get there again.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our tribe just isn't real sharp. When we attack Carlson as a liar and as a racist, we're only building him up.
It seems to us that he's a Lost Boy; all major experts agree. He shrieks and screeches, night after night, in a type of primal wail.
Is it possible that this flailing figure is Richard Carlson's abandoned boy? Our own tribe—unforgiving, heartless, roboticized, dumb—just keeps taking the bait, and reciting the scripts, as we head down the road to perdition.
Tomorrow: Why wouldn't Judge Jackson explain?