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Samuel and 'Mrs. Alito' are the new Clarence and Ginni Thomas

SCOTUS Justices with Wives Clarence Ginni Thomas Samuel Martha Alito
Drew Angerer/Getty Images; MIKE THEILER/AFP via Getty Images

In a contest for Washington’s most reprehensible couple, it’s a close call.

It used to be that prominent Washington so-called power-couples were actually respected. Ben Bradlee, who was editor of The Washington Post, and his wife, author and journalist Sally Quinn, reigned supreme as the most influential couple in Washington for several decades. A party or dinner at their home was among the most sought-after invitations in a city known for its social soirees.

A little-known fact about the couple is that they bought the infamous Grey Gardens house in the Hamptons, and with the demand of Edie Beale not to tear it down because it only needed a “coat of paint,” Bradlee and Quinn restored the home to its original luster.

Then there was Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Dole of Kansas, and his wife, Elizabeth Dole, who was a Cabinet secretary and eventually a senator herself. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom earlier this month. In the 1980 and ‘90s, while an invite to Bradlee and Quinn’s home was considered gold, it wasn’t a true power party unless the Doles were in the room.

Comity was the order of the day with the Doles. Bob Dole, when he first ran for president in 1988, famously said that AIDS should not be a campaign issue, when several Republican candidates said it should be discussed as a detrimental subject for liberal Democrats. ''To try to make this a Democratic or Republican issue is a loser,” he said. “It's a loser for the people involved, and it's a loser for the people we're trying to protect.” Dole’s point was that the people affected by AIDS should not be turned into a political football.

Elizabeth Dole, while President George H.W. Bush’s Labor secretary, worked with Sen. Ted Kennedy and my former boss, Democratic Pennsylvania Congressman Austin Murphy, to pass a raise in the minimum wage in 1989. She told Republicans in Congress not to “tamper” with the legislation. I was in the room when President Bush signed the bill into law. Can you imagine Republicans supporting that raise today?

Plus, I’m sure they were all great neighbors who were at the ready to provide a cup of sugar for those in need.

So here we are today. Sure, we have Pete and Chasten Buttigieg, and Elaine Chao and Mitch McConnell — the latter, begrudgingly, as they aren’t as bad as, say, Ted and Heidi Cruz. Because after the Cruzes, if you can believe it, the trajectory jerks downward.

Of course, I’m talking about Clarence and Ginni Thomas, and now the newcomers to the scene, Samuel and “Mrs.” Alito. Her first name is Martha, but she ain’t no Martha Washington, so let’s continue to demean her by calling her “Mrs.” as Mr. Alito calls her.

If Clarence and Ginni are abhorrent, then Sam and “Mrs.” are diabolical; yet they have some things in common. The four of them are sanctimonious to the core. They are also arrogant, obtuse, corrupt, lawless, and self-righteous. I will stop there since I’m trying to maintain a word count on this column.

But in all seriousness, it’s hard to imagine how Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn and Bob and Elizabeth Dole would feel about the Thomases and Alitos. The justices and their missuses have destroyed decorum and civility, have fueled dissension, and are stripping us of our rights. To be in the company of these four is not something to be proud of. Only narrow-minded bigots, homophobes, misogynists, insurrectionists, and evil religious zealots would dare to be caught at a party — or uprising — with them.

Say all you want about Ginni’s obsession with overturning the election. She also took a cue from the stalker in Netflix’s Baby Reindeer by flooding the inbox of Mark Meadows, Donald Trump’s chief of staff. In her crazed state, I’m sure she was adding, at the bottom of those emails and texts, “Sent frm me iFone” like Martha did in Baby Reindeer.

And speaking of Martha, we all know by now that “Mrs. Alito” is equally obsessed — but her preoccupation is with flying flags that don’t honor the sovereignty of our country. The “Mrs.” flags dishonor democracy, calling for “Stop the Steal” and for Christianity to be the order of the day for our government. With the upside-down American flag hanging from their main home and the “Appeal to Heaven” flag waving in front of their beach house, a casual observer of both residences might think an insurrectionist lived on the properties. And they’d be right.

Their neighbors were certainly bothered by their overt flag overtures. And not since the days of Gladys Kravitz on the 1960s sitcom Bewitched have we seen a neighbor as nosy and intrusive as Martha.

It is obscene and galling to think that a Supreme Court justice would be brazen enough to flaunt their extremism. Accepting free trips with luxury accommodations from a Nazi sympathizer is despicable, and flying those flags isn’t scraping the bottom of the barrel, it’s slashing a hole right through it.

Even beyond the flags, Alito’s behavior has been abhorrent. There are the silly excuses he gave for a free luxury fishing expedition he went on in Alaska with right-wing money men. And let’s be real. Alito leaked a draft of the Dobbs decision a month before it was announced. He hollered about not doing it. He was the only one of the nine yapping a denial. Me think thou doth protest too much.

And to hear him speak at right-wing colleges and organizations, he sounds like a surrogate for Mike Johnson, the speaker, who also doth protest too much — about gays, primarily. Alito and now his wife just do as they please, court ethics be damned.

Finally, you mean to tell me that Alito never discussed an upside-down flag outside his home, or a Christian nationalist flag outside his beach house with Mrs. Alito? It was like Clarence Thomas saying that he and his wife never discussed his work. I wrote a satirical piece about what Clarence and Ginni do talk about in their private moments. The four of them think we are a bunch of idiots.

The worst part about all of this is that Samuel, and “Mrs.” Alito, is likely to fly right through any reprimand or sanction regarding hoisting those flags. Alito would rather tear down his vaunted flagpole than recuse himself from Trump’s immunity case and the insurrectionists' cases before the court. Don’t think for a minute that the wimpy Chief Justice John Roberts will do anything to ban Alito’s bantering banners.

Taking their cues from Clarence and Ginni, the Alitos have now usurped them as Washington’s most detested couple. Sam and the “Mrs.” will just keep doing what they’re doing because they have not a shred of decency or anyone to stop them.

Furthermore, on Wednesday, Alito threw his wife under the bus yet again, saying she’s a flag lover, has her own mind, and that — of course — he’s not going to recuse himself. I have a seven-letter word I’m thinking about that perfectly describes “Mr. Alito.”

Given their — not just her — love of flags, Samuel and “Mrs.” Alito will most likely have a Flag Day party next month on June 14 at their beach house. What fanatical fun! If you’re extremist enough to be on the guest list, a Three Percenters, Confederate, or Kekistan flag would make a great present for Samuel and the “Mrs.”

John Casey is a senior editor at The Advocate.

Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.

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John Casey

John Casey is senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. The columns include interviews with Sam Altman, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Colman Domingo, Jennifer Coolidge, Kelly Ripa and Mark Counselos, Jamie Lee Curtis, Shirley MacLaine, Nancy Pelosi, Tony Fauci, Leon Panetta, John Brennan, and many others. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the Nobel Prize-winning UN IPCC, and with four of the largest retailers in the U.S.
John Casey is senior editor of The Advocate, writing columns about political, societal, and topical issues with leading newsmakers of the day. The columns include interviews with Sam Altman, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Colman Domingo, Jennifer Coolidge, Kelly Ripa and Mark Counselos, Jamie Lee Curtis, Shirley MacLaine, Nancy Pelosi, Tony Fauci, Leon Panetta, John Brennan, and many others. John spent 30 years working as a PR professional on Capitol Hill, Hollywood, the Nobel Prize-winning UN IPCC, and with four of the largest retailers in the U.S.