The Methods in the Mendacity of Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Frank Cocozzelli printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 07:24:14 AM EST
Catholic Right activist Thomas E. Woods, Jr., was upset when I described him as a neo-Confederate. But his ongoing involvement with neo-Confederate organizations as well as the ideas expressed in his writing earned him that descriptor. It is one which will undoubtedly be fairly applied until such time as he publicly disassociates himself from neo-Confederate groups and publicly changes his mind about the value of neo-Confederate ideas.

This post is the second of three brief replies to Woods's critique of my series. In this piece I will focus on how he avoids responsibility for his own views.

First, let me acknowledge that I provided an opening for Woods to misrepresent something I had written via my own imprecision in  "Thomas E. Woods, Jr. And the Right to Oppress".  Here is the paragraph in my post with the key sentence highlighted in italics:

 

Woods' omissions are all-too-convenient. First, in response to the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (declaring the Alien and Sedition Acts unconstitutional) nine other states expressed either disapproval or outright rejection of the Resolutions. Secondly, Jefferson was always an anti-Federalist. Beyond that, Madison would conclude that determining unconstitutionality was to be decided by the federal courts. For Madison, nullification was a means of registering protest, not acting upon it.

Woods wasted no time in twisting this into a self-serving deflection. "For some reason," Woods declared, "central to his argument is his claim that Thomas Jefferson was an Antifederalist. He was not."

Sometimes the use of the capital letter of a written word changes its meaning. For example, when I used the term "anti-Federalist" I used a capital letter "F" as in the Federalist political party of which George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams were members (it was President John Adams who signed the Alien and Sedition Acts into law; more on that issue in a second). I should have fully explained this, and not relied on a capital "F".

Yet my error does not justify Woods' claim that that I was describing Jefferson as an "antifederalist" -- slyly employing a lower case letter "f" in the word, federalist. This writing of "federalist" describes a political philosophy, not a political party, as Woods almost certainly well knows.

Did I argue that the Alien and Sedition Acts were justified, as Woods suggests? Of course not; nor did I argue that nullification is ever the proper remedy for an individual state in reacting to a federal piece of legislation - no matter who is president of United States.  Instead, I was arguing for the proper Constitutional process of registering complaint on such ill-conceived legislation. To suggest otherwise is intellectually dishonest.  

So while I am sorry that I provided Woods with an opportunity to divert his readers away from my main point -- the invalidity of nullification -- we can thank Woods for revealing to us some of the methods of his mendacity.  (We can include in the latter his failure to provide a link to my piece so that reader could see for themselves what I had to say.)

So, back to our story. Was Jefferson a federalist?  To the extent that he supported the U.S. Constitution, yes. But Jefferson was also a man of contradictions. While being wary of larger government as President, for example, he also transacted the Louisiana Purchase -- clearly a strong exercise of federal power. But beyond that, he was not a federalist in the same sense as Federalist Party members George Washington and Alexander Hamilton; two men who understood that confederation was not a sturdy enough form of government to withstand the arbitrary passions that have destroyed many societies throughout history.

What Woods is actually advocating is giving factions the power to hold popular government hostage.  Factionalism does not arise out of the Enlightenment ideal of reason and the pursuit of rational self-interest (as opposed to the unfettered laissez-faire self-interest favored by conservatives and those further Right).  Instead, it rears its ugly, destructive head when unchecked emotion controls group actions. Indeed, the contemporary Religious Right is increasingly resorting to factionalism to get its way; much like a child throwing a tantrum when it is told they cannot do something destructive to others.




Display:
Does Woods know his American history at all, or did he pull it straight from David Barton's pseudohistories? The Religious Right does indeed rely on factionalism to get its own way, and sadly many of our bishops are following them in order to be able to dictate their beliefs to the public. As economic and material conditions continue to worsen for many in the United States, we will see the Religious Right continue to feed off the anger that comes from it and continue to scapegoat people who are in no way responsible for it. I sometimes feel that I am watching the same historical processes that occurred in post World War I Germany, and it frightens me.

by khughes1963 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 at 09:48:31 AM EST
I a huge fan of his view and I feel that they are doing a wonderful thing in making sure all these are carried out as promised to the people. Not much people do that , so I feel they are people who are willing to make sure things are done.    sell citi thank you points

by dona on Thu Feb 18, 2016 at 07:39:57 AM EST
Parent


To them and they use it to its fullest extent to show that their lens they view it through is better and correct to any other. They believe it and you should too by their reckoning.

by Nightgaunt on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 10:21:04 PM EST


WWW Talk To Action


Cognitive Dissonance & Dominionism Denial
There is new research on why people are averse to hearing or learning about the views of ideological opponents. Based on evaluation of five......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
Will the Air Force Do Anything To Rein In Its Dynamic Duo of Gay-Bashing, Misogynistic Bloggers?
"I always get nervous when I see female pastors/chaplains. Here is why everyone should as well: "First, women are not called to be pastors,......
By Chris Rodda (2 comments)
The Legacy of Big Oil
The media is ablaze with the upcoming publication of David Grann's book, Killers of the Flower Moon. The shocking non fiction account of the......
By wilkyjr (0 comments)
Gimme That Old Time Dominionism Denial
Over the years, I have written a great deal here and in other venues about the explicitly theocratic movement called dominionism -- which has......
By Frederick Clarkson (4 comments)
History Advisor to Members of Congress Completely Twists Jefferson's Words to Support Muslim Ban
Pseudo-historian David Barton, best known for his misquoting of our country's founders to promote the notion that America was founded as a Christian nation,......
By Chris Rodda (5 comments)
"Christian Fighter Pilot" Calls First Lesbian Air Force Academy Commandant a Liar
In a new post on his "Christian Fighter Pilot" blog titled "BGen Kristin Goodwin and the USAFA Honor Code," Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan......
By Chris Rodda (0 comments)
Catholic Right Leader Unapologetic about Call for 'Death to Liberal Professors' -- UPDATED
Today, Donald Trump appointed C-FAM Executive Vice President Lisa Correnti to the US Delegation To UN Commission On Status Of Women. (C-FAM is a......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Controlling Information
     Yesterday I listened to Russ Limbaugh.  Rush advised listeners it would be best that they not listen to CNN,MSNBC, ABC, CBS and......
By wilkyjr (4 comments)
Is Bannon Fifth-Columning the Pope?
In December 2016 I wrote about how White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who likes to flash his Catholic credentials when it comes to......
By Frank Cocozzelli (3 comments)
Ross Douthat's Hackery on the Seemingly Incongruous Alliance of Bannon & Burke
Conservative Catholic writer Ross Douthat has dissembled again. This time, in a February 15, 2017 New York Times op-ed titled The Trump Era's Catholic......
By Frank Cocozzelli (2 comments)
`So-Called Patriots' Attack The Rule Of Law
Every so often, right-wing commentator Pat Buchanan lurches out of the far-right fever swamp where he has resided for the past 50 years to......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek......
By Frederick Clarkson (6 comments)
The Legacy of George Wallace
"One need not accept any of those views to agree that they had appealed to real concerns of real people, not to mindless, unreasoning......
By wilkyjr (6 comments)
Betsy DeVos's Mudsill View of Public Education
My Talk to Action colleague Rachel Tabachnick has been doing yeoman's work in explaining Betsy DeVos's long-term strategy for decimating universal public education. If......
By Frank Cocozzelli (7 comments)
Prince and DeVos Families at Intersection of Radical Free Market Privatizers and Religious Right
This post from 2011 surfaces important information about President-Elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. -- FC Erik Prince, Brother of Betsy......
By Rachel Tabachnick (21 comments)

Respect for Others? or Political Correctness?
The term "political correctness" as used by Conservatives and Republicans has often puzzled me: what exactly do they mean by it? After reading Chip Berlin's piece here-- http://www.talk2action.org/story/2016/7/21/04356/9417 I thought about what he explained......
MTOLincoln (4 comments)
Fear
What I'm feeling now is fear.  I swear that it seems my nightmares are coming true with this new "president".  I'm also frustrated because so many people are not connecting all the dots! I've......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
"America - love it or LEAVE!"
I've been hearing that and similar sentiments fairly frequently in the last few days - far FAR more often than ever before.  Hearing about "consequences for burning the flag (actions) from Trump is chilling!......
ArchaeoBob (6 comments)
"Faked!" Meme
Keep your eyes and ears open for a possible move to try to discredit the people openly opposing Trump and the bigots, especially people who have experienced terrorism from the "Right"  (Christian Terrorism is......
ArchaeoBob (8 comments)
More aggressive proselytizing
My wife told me today of an experience she had this last week, where she was proselytized by a McDonald's employee while in the store. ......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
See if you recognize names on this list
This comes from the local newspaper, which was conservative before and took a hard right turn after it was sold. Hint: Sarah Palin's name is on it!  (It's also connected to Trump.) ......
ArchaeoBob (3 comments)
Unions: A Labor Day Discussion
This is a revision of an article which I posted on my personal board and also on Dailykos. I had an interesting discussion on a discussion board concerning Unions. I tried to piece it......
Xulon (4 comments)
Extremely obnoxious protesters at WitchsFest NYC: connected to NAR?
In July of this year, some extremely loud, obnoxious Christian-identified protesters showed up at WitchsFest, an annual Pagan street fair here in NYC.  Here's an account of the protest by Pagan writer Heather Greene......
Diane Vera (3 comments)
Capitalism and the Attack on the Imago Dei
I joined this site today, having been linked here by Crooksandliars' Blog Roundup. I thought I'd put up something I put up previously on my Wordpress blog and also at the DailyKos. As will......
Xulon (2 comments)
History of attitudes towards poverty and the churches.
Jesus is said to have stated that "The Poor will always be with you" and some Christians have used that to refuse to try to help the poor, because "they will always be with......
ArchaeoBob (13 comments)
Alternate economy medical treatment
Dogemperor wrote several times about the alternate economy structure that dominionists have built.  Well, it's actually made the news.  Pretty good article, although it doesn't get into how bad people could be (have been)......
ArchaeoBob (5 comments)
Evidence violence is more common than believed
Think I've been making things up about experiencing Christian Terrorism or exaggerating, or that it was an isolated incident?  I suggest you read this article (linked below in body), which is about our great......
ArchaeoBob (7 comments)
Central Florida Sheriff Preached Sermon in Uniform
If anyone has been following the craziness in Polk County Florida, they know that some really strange and troubling things have happened here.  We've had multiple separation of church and state lawsuits going at......
ArchaeoBob (2 comments)
Demon Mammon?
An anthropologist from outer space might be forgiven for concluding that the god of this world is Mammon. (Or, rather, The Market, as depicted by John McMurtry in his book The Cancer Stage of......
daerie (2 comments)
Anti-Sharia Fever in Texas: This is How It Starts
The mayor of a mid-size Texan city has emerged in recent months as the newest face of Islamophobia. Aligning herself with extremists hostile to Islam, Mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas has helped......
JSanford (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.