Texas secessionists ecstatic . . . over what, they don’t know


Not sure how I got on the mailing list, but I’ll take it.

Texas bugs out on the U.S., by Paul Windle

Graphic for the New York Times, by Paul Windle

To those who commented here that the Texas secessionists are joking, and the petition means nothing at all, please note the e-mail I got today from Roxanna M.  Roxanna is the thoughtful person behind the petition AGAINST the Texas secession petition.  Heed what she says:

Hey friends!

I want to thank each of you again!  I’ve received so many emails, and I am going to be getting back to everyone, but I work two jobs so it will take me a bit.  But thank you all for your interest and your support.  It’s amazing.  There are a couple people, though, that have sent emails calling me some not-so-nice names.  I will not be responding to you, aside from this.  Thanks for being engaged and interested enough to respond, though.

I have had quite a few requests about how many signatures we have so far.  As of today this petition has 13,011 signatures. [Emphasis added here] I think we’re off to a pretty good start!  This is my first petition, so I am open to any suggestions or ideas any of you have.

I checked the “We the People” petition the day I sent out the other email, and yes, at that time the number was 117,889.  I checked it twice.  The number at that time was accurate.  It may be more now.  Unfortunately, my roommate also sends me random text messages when they get more signatures on the petition.  He was very excited when they hit 100,000.

Here’s where you can find the petition to secede:
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/peacefully-grant-state-texas-withdraw-united-states-america-and-create-its-own-new-government/BmdWCP8B

It’s actually at 118,203 as of today.

I honestly have no idea how they plan on Texas to go it alone.  There’s a lot of boasting about the our economy and how it’s the best, but I haven’t seen or heard a concrete plan as of yet.  I have heard hints that if Texas isn’t granted a peaceful secession then this could end up another Civil War.  I certainly hope not, and tend to ignore those comments, but things like that are being said.

I do not have a Facebook page for the petition.  I have posted links on Facebook, like on Formidable Republican Opposition’s page.  If anyone wants to start one, feel free!  Just let me know and I’ll send out an email with the link.  I’ve gone to a couple forums for Texas Democrats/Independents and posted links as well.  But, like I said, I’m new at this, and I work two jobs, so if any of you have ideas I’m happy to hear them.

I know that I made some grammar mistakes in the petition, and I apologize.  Unfortunately, once someone signed it (besides me), it wouldn’t let me revise it.  So yeah.  We’ll make do, hopefully.

For those of you who would like to read a bit on the secession petition:

Star-Telegram article
http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/11/20/4429851/a-peaceful-texas-secession-would.html

Examiner article with links of sites supporting Texas secession:
http://www.examiner.com/article/texas-secession-petition-response-white-house-deadline-nears-1

Any other questions, comments, concerns, just let me know.  You all are absolutely fantastic!  Thanks so much! [Note this is the petition AGAINST secession.]
http://signon.org/sign/texans-against-secession?mailing_id=7220&source=s.icn.em.cr&r_by=6253019

Many of those who signed and advocate Texas secession appear to lack an idea of scale, as well as any idea about how government works in a constitutional federal republic.

118,000 signatures from Texas?  Wholly apart from the not-really-joking suggestion that at least 50,000 of those come from Oklahoma, that’s less than the population of rural-to-suburban, southern Dallas County.  Duncanville, Desoto, Cedar Hill, and Lancaster, and all the unincorporated nodules at sea in the area, can’t get Dallas County to pay much attention to them, let alone Texas, let alone the U.S. Congress to consider letting such a tiny group secede.  Compare the 118,000 with more than 3 million Texans who voted for Obama, consider the most of the more-than 3 million who voted for Romney and consider themselves proud citizens of the U.S. who would never consider secession, and at least ten million other Texans who think secession is a stupid idea, and you get a clue as to how inconsequential 118,000 people can be.

Please consider the facts; as John Mashey suggests, and as Roxanna warns, let the secessionists make their case, and tally the costs and benefits.  It’s not a pleasant tally:

  • Gov. Rick Perry opposes the idea, dismisses it as silly and says to move on — he’s otherwise a rather randyesque maverick who loves to slam the federal government if it’ll get him a few votes or a case of beer, or a favor from a businessman.  Truth be told, Perry still thinks he can be president of the U.S., which would be impossible were Texas to secede, and even unlikely were secessionists to get any traction from the state government.
  • On straight up accounting, federal income taxes versus direct aid from the federal government to Texas, Texas is modestly a payer rather than a taker of federal largesse.  However, that accounting does not include the several Air Force Bases, Navy installations, major Army and Marine facilities, Houston’s NASA Control Center, and other federal establishments in the state.  Texas pays almost nothing for border protection, for example, while it costs billions just along the Texas-Mexico border; Texas cannot protect its own borders without the U.S.  Texas is an economic shell waiting to collapse, without the U.S.  That does not account for the several dozens of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Texas, who would have to move out, to stay domestic corporations.  This includes Exxon-Mobil, AT&T, Frito Lay, and dozens of others.
  • If anyone in the Texas Lege thinks it’s a good idea, they’ve got the good sense to keep quiet about it.  Texas needs federal money to balance its budget, and the Texas Constitution requires a balanced budget.  As a nation, Texas would have to borrow big time, probably spend into deficits (as responsible nations do from time to time) — that is not a popular idea among Texas conservatives, who would be the most likely supporters of secession.
  • With no one in the state government supporting the idea, 117,000 signatures on a petition is about the number of Texans Rick Perry snubs his nose at on a daily basis.  The Great State of Texas is not a signatory to any secession idea.  Congress won’t agree anyway, but especially Congress won’t act contrary to the State of Texas’s wishes.
  • While the First Amendment specifically protects American citizens’ right to petition for redress of grievances, there is no process set by which that is done on such issues, really.  Notice this petition is really just a letter of suggestion to the President, and not any requirement for any action.  Obama likes to listen to citizens (no comment on previous people holding his position, of course); this “We the People” process is a public outreach effort by the Obama administration.  Their promise is, if there is a serious issue, they’ll work to answer questions.  The informal process is, on any issue, serious or not, they’ll answer if there are more than 25,000 people who ask (“sign the petition”).  By gathering 117,000 signatures, those people have earned the right, under Obama’s magnanimity, for a letter.  That letter will probably say, “Sorry you’re disappointed, but we will continue to be the united states, in the United States of America.”
  • Were it a petition to Congress, there is still no requirement for any action. The Constitution forbade Congress from even discussing action against slavery for 20 years after the document became effective, Article II Section 9.  During that time, thousands of Americans petitioned Congress to end slavery.  Congress noted the receipt of those petitions somewhere, and did nothing.  After 1808, Congress received thousands of other petitions, and while taking note of them, rarely did anything about them.  We have a right to petition the government for redress of grievances, and that prevents us from being thrown into jail for pointing out the government is screwing up.  But that right ends with the petition.  There is no right of any response, nor are such petitions considered demands that government actually act.  Secessionists seem almost giddy that if they get a bunch of signatures, secession is a reality.  That’s some potent moonshine, but it’s no more than moonshine talking.

John Mashey suggested in another thread that secessionists should start running the numbers now.  They might learn from people who wanted the Iron Curtain to fall, for more than 40 years.  They seriously thought about how to fix things, and in much of Eastern Europe, once the oppressive communist regimes fell, serious people stepped up to make serious reforms in government, and some good stuff resulted — see the Czech Republic, Germany’s reunification, the economic boom and increased liberty in Poland, and the great increase in business in Estonia, for examples.  In sharp contrast, the Muslim Brotherhood complained about Egypt’s government for 50 years.  But when that government fell (not much thanks to the Muslim Brotherhood), it turned out they had not thought about how to actually run a nation; after more than a shaky year and a questionable election, the government is still wracked by demonstrations by nominal allies of the government, asking reforms of actions the former Muslim Brotherhood member President Morsi has already taken.

For good government to work, first, government must work.  Texas secessionists have not even thought through a secession process, let alone how to make things work afterward.

But Roxanna notes secessionists have given little thought to any serious next step, even of just getting a letter from President Obama.  Roxanna hasn’t seen any analysis, nor has anyone else.

Take Mashey’s suggestion, secessionists, and start running the numbers.  It will help you avoid disappointment soon, in the near-future, and perhaps for the rest of your life.

Yesterday Kathryn and I toured the National Memorial in Oklahoma City.  It is a grim, curt and hard reminder that political discontent can drive malcontents to horrific action.  Secessionists need to rein in their rabid nationalism before it destroys their patriotism.  Timothy McVeigh had a plan to try to cut things asunder, but nothing else other than ill-intent.

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9 Responses to Texas secessionists ecstatic . . . over what, they don’t know

  1. [...] Texas seces­sion­ists ecsta­tic … over what, they don’t know (tim​pano​gos​.word​press​.com) [...]

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  2. [...] “Texas secessionists ecstatic, over what they don’t know“ [...]

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  3. Jim says:

    Nick/James,

    It really is true that beauty and dumb are probably in the eye of the beholder. I choose Oklahoma for dumbest state in the union owing to the overwhelming choice of Oklahomans to elect Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn to the Senate. Inhofe’s moron-a-thon has been well-documented here and elsewhere. Coburn is best known as a “cut taxes and spending” firebrand (not unusual or necessarily ‘dumb’). But he has also said abortion should be punished with the death penalty and that homosexuals are probably the greatest threat to America ever. Too, Oklahoma Democrats — in more than one county — voted for Randall Terry in the Democratic primary over President Obama. Just a little slice of crazy from the fruited plain.

    You’re right though. There is lots and lots of dumb to go around. Kansas, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Idaho, Alaska, Indiana — it’s a pandemic. Even in reliably blue states, there are dangerous pockets of stupid. Up where you’re from — a GREAT state, imo — there’s Michelle Bachmann. Here in progressive Illinois, we have Randy Hultgren and Joe Walsh. (Governor Quinn and Rahm Emmanuel are no prizes either, in the interest if bipartisanship.)

    Pick your poison, I guess. But if you asked me to rank the states from dumbest to most intelligent — generally speaking — you’d find Oklahoma at the tippy-top. Probably Vermont or Rhode Island down at the bottom.

    Jim

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  4. [...] Texas secessionists ecstatic . . . over what, they don’t know (timpanogos.wordpress.com) [...]

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  5. JamesK says:

    Jim writes:
    For another, from the standpoint of the other 49, we wouldn’t need to pause any longer when someone asked an opinion about which was the consistently dumbest state in the Union. We’d simply default to Oklahoma. Wavering can be irritating. With Texas gone, what’s to waver about?

    You don’t think Kansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisana could give Oklahoma a run for its money when it comes to being the dumbest state in the union?

    And one benefit to the other 49 states if Texas left is that the Republicans would never see the inside of the White House in my lifetime. And they’d lose quite a few seats in the House….

    But then the way demographics are going that’s going to happen anyways.

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  6. Jim says:

    Ed,

    If Texas could and did secede (I know they legally can’t and actually won’t), what might be some of the positive outcomes both for Texas and for the remaining 49 states?

    For one thing, your golf courses would remain under the control of Texans. Surely you must understand — even if you are not a golfer — how disconcerting it would be to a serious duffer to have black, United Nations helicopters surveilling the 11th green. Concentration matters, Ed.

    For another, from the standpoint of the other 49, we wouldn’t need to pause any longer when someone asked an opinion about which was the consistently dumbest state in the Union. We’d simply default to Oklahoma. Wavering can be irritating. With Texas gone, what’s to waver about?

    Jim

    PS: You know I kid. I love Texas, not least because she gave us Bill Moyers and Molly Ivins. May their tribe increase.

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  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Bingo! You’re the guy giving false hope to all these nuts!

    We were in Oklahoma yesterday. You could almost feel the glee when people saw the Texas license plates, and I wondered how many of them signed the petition.

    Of course, now they call us “Baja Oklahoma.”

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  8. blueollie says:

    I admit that I signed the petition also…though I live in Illinois and don’t plan on leaving. :-) My grand “Texas Secession” plan has a tree like portion staying in the Union: it runs down I-35 and swallows up Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. It then dips down and swallows up the south/southwestern border up through the Big Bend area and continues to El Paso and swallows that up.

    The part from San Antonio sends out a “finger” that goes along I-10 to pick up Houston.

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