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Today's Republican Party, Part VII: Harlan Crow Likes Clarence Thomas, and... Nazi Stuff?

As we note in the first item above, a screenplay that incorporated all of yesterday's news would never get made in Hollywood, because it just wouldn't seem plausible. To review:

  1. A Republican-controlled state legislature that humiliated itself on the national stage
  2. A Republican Congressman who is so desperate for attention he's starting the Congressional Investigations Roadshow
  3. A cadre of Republicans who think it would be swell to bomb Mexico
  4. A Republican governor willing to overturn a jury decision on orders from a TV entertainer
  5. A Republican former president going to court to force his former #2 to remain loyal
  6. A Republican congresswoman running for the hills following a huge "victory" for the Party

These are not generally the signs of a political organization that is in good, working order.

And now, the icing on the cake, as it were. Everyone knows, at this point, about Clarence Thomas' habit of accepting lavish vacations and other gifts from his "family friend" Harlan Crow. This would be the same family friend who did not become a family friend until after Thomas was seated on the highest court in the United States. Surely just a coincidence, right?

As it turns out, this is the story that just keeps giving. Crow is under the microscope, and it turns out he is quite an... interesting fellow. It would seem he has a thing for for Adolf Hitler memorabilia. This includes two original Hitler paintings, a signed copy of Mein Kampf and a large collection of Nazi uniforms and medallions and handkerchiefs. And just so the Hitler stuff isn't lonely, Crow also has a "Garden of Evil" featuring statues of notable totalitarian dictators. In addition to a Hitler statue, there's also Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Nicolae Ceausescu and Josip Broz Tito.

Crow's collection isn't exclusively made up of Nazi stuff. For example, the wall where one of the Hitler paintings hangs also has an original Norman Rockwell work, and an original by George W. Bush. Most people would say "one of these things is not like the others," though they may differ on exactly which one is the outlier, depending on their political sympathies. The billionaire says that he keeps the evil dictator stuff as a "historical nod to the facts of man's inhumanity to man." Maybe that's really what he thinks. Maybe not. Either way, it's very, very strange. You just can't make stuff like this up.

We are really, really hoping that today is not another day of GOP whackadoodlery, so we can do a much more standard post tomorrow. (Z)

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