Andrew Thomas finally has found the perfect home for his quasi-intellectual, right-wing screeds: The pro-national-sovereignty Selous Foundation.
This little-known, Washington-based think-tank, founded by a former Marine turned mercenary/pundit, operates from a hippie-ish office on Pennsylvania Avenue above a wig shop and sandwiched between a bar and a liquor store.
Thomas, the infamously disbarred Maricopa County Attorney and Harvard-educated political failure is running for Arizona governor, though we can think of plenty of reasons he should give up for the good of the state. Still, the guy needs an outlet for the gushing fountain of ultra-conservative ideas bouncing around in his brain -- and he also needs a job.
The donation-funded Selous (pronounced "Seh-loo," according to a receptionist who claims to work for both the foundation and a computer-rental firm in the same building), probably isn't paying Thomas for his diatribes, so we continue to wonder how Thomas, a married father of four, pays his bills.
Selous' rather short list of authors and contributors (some of whom haven't contributed anything) also includes Rachel Alexander, a Thomas acolyte whose blind devotion to her boss resulted in the (possibly permanent) suspension of her Arizona law license. We know Alexander must not be receiving fat checks for her text on the Selous site, since just a few months ago, Alexander was using her own conservative blog to beg for money to pay her cat's vet bill.
Andrew Thomas' essays on Selous remind us of what Mark Twain called the Book of Mormon: Chloroform in print.
And whether he actually believes what he writes, or can make anyone else believe him, is far from certain. Though one of Selous' main themes is states' rights, an issue Thomas often writes about extensively, his credentials as a Tenth Amendment supporter were thrown in doubt at a July meeting of local Republicans, according to something called the Tenth Amendment Center blog. Asked whether he would support Arizona laws that tried to nullify unconstitutional federal laws, Thomas reportedly replied, "no," and then explained how this country already had fought a civil war. "Not a very good argument, Mr. Thomas!" Adam Henriksen wrote.
We know, we know -- it's hard to believe Thomas isn't right wing enough for some folks.
But here's another shocker: Thomas' most recent Selous post seems to advocate the very thing Henriksen wants, the nullification of bad federal law and assertion of states' rights -- going so far as to imply that pro-marijuana laws are awesome!
That's right, you heard it here first: Andrew Thomas appears to support states that have passed medical-marijuana or legalization laws, calling such efforts "pragmatic victories." Here's what he says:
Yet nullification efforts today do enjoy some pragmatic victories. They focus public attention and bring political pressure on the federal government on certain issues, sometimes forcing federal authorities to back off. States that have passed medical-marijuana laws have done so in the face of a federal law that criminalizes marijuana possession and distribution. In response, the Obama administration has quietly instructed federal prosecutors not to bring cases against those who flout federal law in this area.
Though we appreciate the nod to the wishes of Arizona voters, Thomas' other Selous writings reveal his hardcore nature. For instance, Thomas warns of a "pervasive liberal misuse of higher education" to promote left-wing ideals he claims Americans don't want.
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Rather than work with Hispanics and Democrats on efforts to reform immigration laws, Republicans should stick to their tough, anti-amnesty approach. Instead, the party should coax Hispanics with GOP rhetoric Thomas claims they support, such as vigorous funding for national defense and "the need for deficit reduction as a way to provide for the needs of future generations, something that accords with love of family."
In another screed, "Sovereignty and Activist Judges," Thomas uses dubious statistics to back up his claim that the 1966 Miranda decision has meant that "one out of every four victims of a violent crime today does not receive justice."
Clearly, the disbarred Arizona official is one of Selous Foundation's most distinguished among the B-grade professors, Cuban activists, and grad students on the author list. For his troubles, we hope that he at least gets to stay at the Selous flophouse for free when he's in D.C. Looks like a fun place.