GOP still pissed at Jeffords

An image of the former Republican senator found in a GOP club urinal. Plus: Clarence Thomas is the antichrist!

Published June 26, 2001 8:25PM (EDT)

Big buzz

You might want to smell that bottle of Jim Jeffords beer before you drink it.

Roll Call's Ed Henry reports an image of Vermont's independent senator was being used for target practice inside the men's urinal at Capitol Hill Club, a gathering place for Republicans adjacent to Republican National Committee headquarters.

"Although several folks apparently got a kick out of taking aim at the photo of a man they now detest because of his decision to bolt the GOP, a peeved member of the club ripped the photo out of the urinal, fearing it would be seen as yet another symbol of the party's alleged intolerance," Henry reports.

Jeffords spokesman Erik Smulson added: "This is not the kind of thing that the senator cares about at all. I just wouldn't want to be the person who had to pull the photograph out of there."


Anger management

It's not often that a hot political story emanates from Hawaii, but the good people at the American Civil Liberties Union have taken care of that little problem for us. The Honolulu Weekly reports the local ACLU chapter refused to invite Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to debate ACLU national president Nadine Strossen at the upcoming Davis Levin First Amendment Conference.

Attorney Daphne Barbee-Wooten wrote a letter to the subcommittee planning the event opposing Thomas' appearance. "Faye Kennedy, Eric Ferrer and I are the only African-Americans in the Hawai`i ACLU chapter. We strongly object to ACLU bringing and sponsoring Clarence Thomas to Hawai`i," she wrote. "Bringing Clarence Thomas sends a message that the Hawai`i ACLU promotes and honors black Uncle Toms who turn their back on civil rights."

When the subcommittee rejected Barbee-Wooten's request, the Weekly reports, she demanded an "affirmative-action investigation" into the "racial insensitivity" of the six-member subcommittee.

Ferrer followed up, stating that Thomas is "an anti-Christ, a Hitler, and it's like having a serial murderer debate the value of life." Former ACLU president Roger Fonseca made a similar comparison, saying, "If not Hitler, he is a Goebbels."

But the assault didn't stop there. Barbee-Wooten added, "I have the inside scoop on [Thomas]. Anita Hill wasn't the only one. When he came [to Hawaii for a visit], he went to strip clubs ... He's married to a white person."

God forbid -- a white person!

Posters at got some practice exercising their own rights to free speech in this thread. "Clarence Thomas cleaned his ears last week, and what he scraped out of there with a Q-Tip has more integrity than 100 liberals and 1,000 members of the ACLU," writes one poster.

Writes another: "ACLU is the Anti-Christ Lawyers Union in a constant quest to make evil good and good evil. And they are doing this very successfully."

Even libs at were critical of the group. "I recently received a pitch letter from the ACLU, and although I was thinking of joining before it, I have definitely made up my mind to not do so now," writes one Plastic poster. "While the organization's name sounds nice and lofty, the ACLU is little but a shill for the DNC."

But some thought that while the ACLU members may have crossed the line a tad, their comments were essentially right on. "After listening to 8 years of viciously (some would say obsessively) personal attacks on the Clintons, it never ceases to amaze me how sensitive the Conservatives have suddenly become regarding criticism of their own leaders. Clarence Thomas is certainly not a 'Hitler,' and whether or not he is an asshole is anyone's guess. However, to say that he is a fraud who is lacking in intellectual capacity seems to be right on the mark."

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By Anthony York

Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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