As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Please Secede

In the old days they would call this sedition. And when I say "the old days," I mean last year when George Bush was President (h/t John Cole):

Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired up an anti-tax “tea party” Wednesday with his stance against the federal government and for states’ rights as some in his U.S. flag-waving audience shouted, “Secede!”

An animated Perry told the crowd at Austin City Hall — one of three tea parties he was attending across the state — that officials in Washington have abandoned the country’s founding principles of limited government. He said the federal government is strangling Americans with taxation, spending and debt.

Perry repeated his running theme that Texas’ economy is in relatively good shape compared with other states and with the “federal budget mess.” Many in the crowd held signs deriding President Barack Obama and the $786 billion federal economic stimulus package.

Perry called his supporters patriots. Later, answering news reporters’ questions, Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union, though he said he sees no reason why Texas should do that.

“There’s a lot of different scenarios,” Perry said. “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”

He's actually gone further, by endorsing a meaningless resolution affirming the 10th Amendment as a claim of "sovereignty" for Texas. And he gave a speech yesterday where he said "We think it's time to draw the line in the sand and tell Washington that no longer are we going to accept their oppressive hand in the state of Texas." Curiously, that time came only after these actions:

Governor Rick Perry, five days ago: Governor Perry Calls FEMA To Assist With Wildfires

Governor Rick Perry, last month: Governor Perry Calls For 1,000 Troops To Be Sent To Border

Governor Rick Perry, five months ago: Governor Perry Requests 18 Month Extension Of Federal Aid For Ike Debris Removal

I have to agree with Matt Yglesias in hoping that these states like Texas and others in the Deep South go right ahead and secede. They are a cancer on the public Treasury, taking more out of the government than they put in. So if they want to figure out how to manage their own affairs, I see no reason not to have a peaceable split. Matt provides this nugget:

Obviously, one advantage of large-scale secession of the most conservative states is that it would be a lot easier to pass progressive legislation. An aspect of Civil War history that people don’t tend to appreciate is that the temporary departure of the Dixie bloc of Senators allowed a huge flowering of legislative activity that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible. In addition to prosecuting the war, the Lincoln-era GOP took sweeping action on industrial policy, infrastructure, land reform, etc. much of which would have been extraordinarily difficult to accomplish had the southerners just stayed in their seats and used the considerable levers of obstruction that are available to legislative minorities.

I hope we wouldn't fight this impulse to rid the nation of this lead weight. Hopefully Emperor Perry could patriate wingnuts far and wide and get them the hell out of our hair for good. I wonder what it would look like 10 years later to see the entire Republic of Texas crawling on its knees and begging to get back in the US. Could be good for a laugh.

Fun fact: Rick Perry was once a Democrat who supported Al Gore for President in 1988!

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