I wasn’t able to catch Larry King’s interview with Clarence Thomas’s ex-girlfriend, Lillian McEwen. I had prior commitments (how ’bout them Cowboys). But after reading reports all morning, I can see why her memoirs are stuck in the “manuscript” stage. There doesn’t seem to be any “there” there.
Perhaps the most interesting thing we learned is that Lillian McEwen would rather date a raving, porn-obsessed alcoholic than an angry, black conservative. Don’t get me wrong, I feel precisely the same way. But if this is all the “dirt” she’s got on Thomas, then it’s difficult to see how this materially impacts our understanding of the man.
And that’s assuming that everything she said is true….
Here’s the summary of McEwen’s interview from CNN:
She said when they first met, he might have been a “raving alcoholic” who used pornography to help fulfill sexual fantasies, but then gave up drinking and transformed into an angry, obsessive man who bullied his son.
So you are saying that if we get Thomas drunk he’d be more sympathetic? Calling all captains!
What’s really weird here is that it seems McEwen preferred drunk, porno Thomas to sober, angry Thomas:
According to McEwen, Thomas underwent a major personality change when he gave up alcohol that eventually caused her to leave the relationship.
“Clarence became not the person I knew when I first met him,” she said, adding that he “drank to excess” when they first met and might have been a “raving alcoholic” at that time. When he gave up alcohol, she said, he became “angry, short-tempered, asexual” and obsessive with ambition and what she called “weird things,” such as long runs in the dark before dawn.
Okay, so Lillian McEwen would rather date Charlie Sheen than Clarence Thomas. Fair enough.
Let’s pretend that McEwen is totally credible. And let’s pretend I don’t hate Thomas’s politics. Isn’t this a good story about Thomas? Man has a drinking problem, man has fascination with hyper-sexualized objectification of women. Man kicks drinking problem, deals with his sexual demons, starts exercising and focusing on his career. I mean, sober + ambitious + prick > alcoholic + masturbatory + loser when picking a Supreme Court justice. Right?
If anything she says speaks to Thomas’s ability to serve on the Court, it’s this:
To McEwen, his conservative rulings amount to a kind of revenge fueled by anger against liberals who he believes turned against him.
“His enemies are people who are active in civil rights, professors who have criticized him and anybody who disagrees with the conservative friends that he has such as Rush Limbaugh,” she said.
Wait, you’re telling me that sometimes SCOTUS justices are fueled by politics and personal issues, instead of faithfully following the law at every turn? Newsflash!
I mean, honestly, I don’t understand the people who think that Supreme Court justices are not like everybody else. They have friends, they have enemies, they are influenced by such things. They have political beliefs, they force those political beliefs on the rest of us from the bench. Conservative justices do this, liberal justices do this, it is the way of things.
Maybe that’s where I’m missing this story. If you believe that McEwen is credible and if you believe that members of the Court are “impartial,” then McEwen offers shocking insight into the mind of one Clarence Thomas.
But if you aren’t so naive, then McEwen really isn’t bringing the heat. Guys in my high school used to carry out personal vendettas from the bench all the time, it was no big deal.
I don’t know, I don’t like Thomas’s politics and I don’t like his personality. McEwen just isn’t really telling me anything new.