GINNI THOMAS WANTS YOU TO FIGHT TYRANNY (AND BUY A HAT)…. I’m a very big believer in the idea that in politics, families are off limits. One can say what they will about those who volunteer to enter the political realm, but their spouses, kids, and families should be shielded altogether.

But when family members choose to enter the fray, their activism is subject to scrutiny, just like any other political player. And with that in mind, I found Rachel Maddow’s segment last night on Ginni Thomas — perhaps best known as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife — pretty interesting. I was vaguely aware that Ginni Thomas was engaged in right-wing politics, but I didn’t appreciate just how bizarre her activism really is.

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Also check out this unintentionally funny clip, in which Ginni Thomas and a colleague peddle various right-wing swag and tchotchkes — including an odd foam hat.

Keep in mind, she’s running around telling other right-wing activists that she believes “there’s a war going on against tyranny,” and she seems to be referring to the nation’s elected Democratic leadership. In one recent speech, Ginni Thomas even suggested something horrible might happen to Washington, D.C. (prompting her and her husband to head to Texas). We’re also, she’s argued, “at risk of losing the country.”

Rachel added, “Ginni Thomas is married to Clarence Thomas, who has a lifetime appointment as a justice of the United States Supreme Court. And other than that, we are noting that without comment.”

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.