Krystal Kyle & Friends welcomes political scientist and journalist Corey Robin to the pod this week as a sharp analyst of conservative history and of the current firestorm surrounding Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his acceptance of decades’ worth of gifts from a right-wing billionaire. Harlan Crowe donates to the Republican Party; he’s also given Thomas use of his private jet, his yacht, and his private resort, where Thomas has hobnobbed with his wealthy friends. Seems like a textbook case of corruption. Right?
Corey’s take is more interesting and complex: per his interpretation, corruption is a limited way of framing the powerful relationship between Thomas and Crowe. Thomas is unapologetic about his conservative votes on the Court; the kind of inroads made between right-wing billionaires and political figures that he’s now being criticized for are very much in keeping with his political ideology. At hand is the multilayered, multi-decade story of Thomas’s using his political power on the Supreme Court to protect and entrench money’s influence in politics, turning to the constitutional right to free speech for help. It’s a fascinating account that does more than point out a quid pro quo; it is, in Corey’s words, a “teachable moment” for our politics.
We hope you’ll join us this week to get Corey’s insight and hear our discussion of his work. Paying subscribers can tune in Friday to get the full video conversation, while everyone else can check out the audio when it’s released Saturday on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Pandora, and more.
Hey Krystal and Kyle! Can you guys try to get Chris Williamson on your show? I think you guys would have a fascinating cultural discussion with him.