Connecticut GOP Attorney General candidate Martha Dean supports nullification, the unconstitutional theory that states can invalidate federal laws that they don’t like. Moreover, after a blog post by the progressive Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC) called her out on her “dangerous and unconstitutional views,” CAC reports that Dean doubled-down. According to CAC, Dean herself responded to their blog post by copying and pasting an article by pro-Confederate activist Thomas Woods into a comment on their blog:
Dean’s choice to take policy guidance from Woods is both bizarre and ill-advised. Woods, one of the founders of the neo-Confederate League of the South, once published an article declaring the Confederacy to be “Christendom’s Last Stand.” In it, Woods endorses the view that the Civil War was a battle between “atheists, socialists, communists, red republicans, jacobins on the one side and the friends of order and regulated freedom on the other,” and he concludes that “[t]he real watershed from which we can trace many of the destructive trends that continue to ravage our civilization today, was the defeat of the Confederate States of America in 1865.”
Nor is this the first time that Dean aligned herself with the pro-Confederate Woods. In a recent debate, Dean actually read aloud from Woods’ recent book supporting nullification.
Yet, while Woods is clearly a fringe figure nostalgic for one of the most embarrassing episodes in American history, his views are sadly quite influential among today’s GOP. Woods has contributed dozens of articles to the Tenth Amendment Center, a pro-nullification group which pushes political candidates to sign a pledge promising to nullify federal laws — such as Social Security and Medicare — which don’t comply with their radical “tenther” view of the Constitution. U.S. House candidate Marty Lamb (R-MA) and Alabama GOP gubernatorial candidate Robert Bentley have both signed this pledge. Meanwhile, Governors Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Bobby Jindal (R-LA) put Woods’ ideas into practice by signing obviously unconstitutional laws claiming to nullify the Affordable Care Act, and Minnesota GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer is a eager to do the same.
Moreover, the Republican Party’s refusal to distance itself from a would-be Jefferson Davis such as Woods is par for their course. As Think Progress has documented, there is virtually no view too radical to find a home in today’s GOP.