Is Martha Dean Really Relying on Secessionist Tom Woods for Support?

By Brooke Obie, Online Communications Director

In an October 14 post, CAC responded to Connecticut Attorney General candidate Martha Dean’s remarkable assertion that the states have the power to disobey federal laws that the states believe the federal government has no constitutional authority to enact.  We were pleasantly surprised to see that Martha Dean (R) herself apparently commented on the post twice in the comments section of the blog.  Using the email address, a URL that leads to Dean’s law firm, and hyperlinking her comment to, her campaign website, “Martha Dean” said:

Less pleasant and more surprising was a subsequent post where Dean apparently took the time to repost comments from author Thomas Woods, who also took the time to comment on our blog:

First, as a rule, blog comments that accuse the opposing view of siding with Hitler are not typically the stuff of reasoned debate.  But what is truly surprising about her decision to visit Woods’ website and repost these comments in their entirety to our blog, is her willingness to even be associated with Mr. Woods, who has been harshly criticized as an antebellum South apologist, even by prominent members of the libertarian and conservative movements.

In a review of Woods’ book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History (or “PIG”), noted conservative think tank The Claremont Institute dismissed Woods and his book as: “just more wheezy propaganda from the Old Confederacy,” and called Woods’ argument that the Founders invented “a supposedly lawful ‘right’ to secession— a constitutional right to overthrow the Constitution”  “absurd on its face.”

Libertarian author Cathy Young also shredded Woods’ book in Reason Magazine, saying:
Much of the book’s first half is an apologia for the antebellum South and its cause in the War Between the States (Woods’ preferred term).

If you’re wondering whether there’s a larger context for Woods’ pleading, there is. Born and raised in the North, Woods is a co-founder of the League of the South, a neo-Confederate group, and has written frequently for its magazine The Southern Patriot.

In a 1997 article titled “Christendom’s Last Stand,” Woods proclaims the Confederacy’s defeat “the real watershed from which we can trace many of the destructive trends that continue to ravage our civilization today.”
More on the League of the South is available on the organization’s website.   The group’s objective is: “the secession and subsequent independence of the Southern States from this forced union and the formation of a Southern republic.”

The Claremont Institute’s review hits home the strongest point that Martha Dean apparently missed:
Though debunking him is fun, what’s really at stake is the conservative movement’s respectability and honor. As conservatives, we embarrass ourselves when we promote sloppy scholarship. We disgrace ourselves when we promote books, like PIG and others, that seek to discredit the principles of the American Founding.
While we couldn’t agree more, it seems Martha Dean either neglected to research before hitching her wagon to the discredited Thomas Woods, or her views on the Constitution are even more troubling than we originally believed.

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