Note: This first appeared in the Life, Under Construction newsletter emailed to subscribers on May 23. For subscription information, click the subscribe button.


Caesar’s Wife

“I thought my wife ought not even to be under suspicion.”
-Julius Caesar (quoted by Plutarch)*

Dear Readers,

I know you may find this hard to believe, The Lovely Doreen from Waukesha and I do not always agree.

I know what you’re thinking. “No way! Since you’re extremely persuasive, surely the Lovely Doreen agrees with you about everything!”

Sadly, no. Sometimes we don’t even agree on a movie to watch, let alone which politician deserves our votes.

A long, long time ago, in a more civilized age, I wrote a weekly column for the Waukesha Freeman. Since I was writing about state and local politicians, I did not endorse candidates in my columns. (Unless there are unique circumstances, writers and editorial pages should not endorse candidates.)

On the other hand, it was not fair to Doreen that she had to keep her political preferences hidden. She could tell candidates if she was supporting them, but she always made it clear that her political preferences were not necessarily my political preferences.

She could also put up any yard sign she wanted. The yard was hers. Still is. It was always funny to me when we had a yard sign in our yard for three months and I voted for another candidate.

The yard signs did create a few awkward moments. One candidate for local office was convinced I was being too mean towards him and actually counted the yard signs in my yard. He said they had to be mine because, according to his records, my wife didn’t vote. Turns out he “de-duped” his voter database and accidentally deleted my wife’s voting history.

On another occasion, I teased the candidates in a local race that they weren’t going door-to-door. When one of them showed up at my door, I was moving the yard sign for her opponent so I could cut the grass.

But most people understood that my wife has her own opinions and her own right to freely express herself.

The wife of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is not being given that courtesy. According to the Alitos, Martha-Ann Alito got into a verbal tiff with some of the neighbors after the January 6 Insurrection and that caused her to fly her American flag upside down to annoy them. A couple of years later, the story is being reported and there are demands for Justice Alito to recuse himself from any case involving former President Donald Trump and the January 6 Insurrection.

I must’ve missed when the Democrats and their feminist allies decided that women should submit themselves to their husbands’ will in all things. Because behind each demand for Alito’s recusal is the idea that Alito knew about the flag flying upside down, that he associated it with the January 6 attempt to violently overturn the 2020 presidential election, and that he gave his wife permission to do what she supposedly did.

According to the Democrats, apparently Justice Alito’s wife, like Caesar’s wife, should be above reproach and partisanship, and even above getting annoyed at the neighbors. So if the neighbor kids stray into the yard, is Mrs. Alito also banned from yelling, “Get off my lawn!”

To be fair, there is a difference in degree between a local writer such as moi and a Supreme Court Justice, but the principle is the same: “Obey” is only in the marriage vows in old TV shows.

Did she respond to her neighbors the correct way? Of course not. It’s terribly disrespectful to the country to fly the flag upside down in protest. But that lack of judgement is between Justice Alito and Mrs. Alito.

I also sympathize with Democrats who are very concerned about how the Supreme Court will rule in cases involving January 6 defendants, including Trump. But Democrats should reconsider the position they’ve taken regarding the actions of Alito’s wife, especially given the problematic family ties they have, from the porn-star payoff case and Judge Juan Merchan to the troubles of Hunter Biden.

I should also add that while Alito’s wife misusing a flag pole is not enough to force her husband to recuse himself, the same cannot be said for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife Virginia “Ginni” Thomas. Ginni Thomas was an actual participant in the behind-the-scenes discussions and planning leading up to the insurrection on January 6. Only a complete fool would suggest Justice Thomas, even if he was unaware of her activities, would be completely indifferent to them after the fact. How is Thomas supposed to be impartial when it comes to his wife’s political activities?

James Wigderson
Waukesha, WI

*from The Parallel Lives by Plutarch:

8 Caesar divorced Pompeia {his third wife – JW} at once, but when he was summoned to testify at the trial, he said he knew nothing about the matters with which Clodius was charged. 9 His statement appeared strange, and the prosecutor therefore asked, “Why, then, didst thou divorce thy wife?” “Because,” said Caesar, “I thought my wife ought not even to be under suspicion.”


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