Secession and the Politics of Venting

The commentariat seems torn about those secession petitions at the White House's We the People website. On one hand, everyone understands that the chance that these will lead to an actual attempted secession is about as high as the chance that Joe Biden will be the first man on Mars. On the other hand, there is apparently a deeply felt need to vent at the petitioners anyway.

People keep saying secession was "settled in the 1860s." They're talking about West Virginia, right?

The editors of the Baton Rouge Advocate want you to know that they "don't take these secession petitions seriously," but they took them seriously enough to publish an editorial calling them "deeply unpatriotic" and a sign of "how sick our political discourse has become." An item in Time suggests that the movement is "just comic relief," then declares that there's a "seamy aspect" to it too. Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center reminds us that the petitions "carry no legal weight at all" and won't amount to more than "a collective blowing off of right-wing steam," but he still thinks it's important to note that some "white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Klan sympathizers" have endorsed the cause. (Salon evidently thinks this is significant news too, since it reprinted Potok's article.) A Huffington Post writer devoted an entire column to arguing against secession even as he declared repeatedly that it will never happen; the main point of the piece, as far as I can tell, is to fantasize about the horrors that would befall the separatists if they really did try to withdraw from the Union. Evidently the petitioners aren't the only people who need to blow off some steam.

For a more level-headed response, go to Erica Grieder. Secessionist rhetoric, she writes, is

a euphemism for more general frustration, rather than a serious suggestion. In fact, I would argue that it's precisely because secession is such a preposterous suggestion that it's safe to clown on about; that's why some people in Austin have started up their own petition to secede from Texas if Texas secedes from America. I'm sure you can find people here and there who are seriously pushing secession, of course, but I doubt a new secessionist movement is going to spring from an online petition on the White House's website.

Symbolic politics is better when you can drink it.These proposals are about as heartfelt as the secession chatter that greeted the reelection of George W. Bush, back in the dark days when Americans had to email Jesusland maps to each other rather than propose them in the utopian direct democracy that is the White House petition site. They are considerably less heartfelt than some of the notions that circulated in the Clinton years, when a resolution "proposing the dissolution of the federal government of the United States of America if certain conditions occur" managed to earn the endorsement of a committee in the Arizona state legislature. (At least six other states voted on versions of the same idea.) Those Clinton-era efforts didn't get anywhere either, but they at least involved an investment of time and resources greater than is required to put your name on an online petition. When you're trying to suss out the seriousness of a political movement, that's a pretty good baseline.

A great deal of politics takes place in an entirely symbolic realm. The Obama administration created the We the People site as a symbol of democratic participation. People who don't like Obama filed secession petitions as a symbol of their dissent. The articles blasting the petitioners fulfill a similar symbolic need. So does this post, probably, though I'm holding out hope that it's gonna change the world.

Elsewhere in Reason: My colleage J.D. Tuccille takes a look at some of the secessionists' grievances and finds that it's "hard to argue with those sentiments, though I might quibble with grammar and spelling."

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  • ||

    Yeah, because secession and political boundary redefinition never happens. Nope, never. That's why we all live within Macedonia.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    "Level-headed" people know it's not a "serious suggestion." Are you actually going to side with "white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Klan sympathizers"? What kind of a monster are you?!?

  • ||

    I've repeatedly told everyone that I'm the gayest monster since gay came to Gaytown, nicole. You know this.

  • ||

    Are you actually going to side with "white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Klan sympathizers"?

    Side with them on secession, or with them on their theories about race?

    Because the former is not a serious suggestion, but I certainly whole-heartedly endorse the latter.

    Or wait a minute...

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Clearly, you are not level-headed enough to decide what is or is not a serious suggestion.

  • CE||

    You left out neo-confederates, unpatriotic rabble rousers and anarchists.

  • T||

    Epi's not level-headed. That noggin definitely has a tilt to it.

  • ||

    The correct word is "jaunty".

  • nicole just can't even!||

    That's pretty fucking...well, you know this.

  • ||

    Now remember: I have no regard for human life, especially women, because they have the organs that I wish that I had! So I want to make a suit from them.

  • ||

    It isn't a tilt you fools, it's a mincing lilt.

    That describes literally every physical action he does.

  • ||

    JJ, you, of all people, should appreciate my ATHF references. Yet instead, you call me a sissy. That's why I like you.

  • nicole just can't even!||

    Oh, I appreciate them--in the 1(a) sense of "to grasp the nature, worth, quality, or significance of"--i.e., weak.

    I mean, jaunty. They are very jaunty.

  • ||

    I vote that you and I do it (again, only harder this time), then write our memoirs, and have Nicole read them and review them on her site.

  • ||

    ^^directed @ Epi, stupid refresh

  • ||

    nicole, you, of all people, should appreciate my weak references. Yet instead, you call me a fag. That's why I like you too.

  • ||

    Macedonia

    My son, ask for thyself another kingdom, for that which I leave is too small for thee.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    they took them seriously enough to publish an editorial calling them "deeply unpatriotic" and a sign of "how sick our political discourse has become."

    Nothing heals a political breach like force.

  • bendover||

    ??? Whatever happened to ... "dissent is the highest form of patriotism"

  • SugarFree||

    1/20/2009, when The Avatar of Light ascended to His Earthly Throne.

  • Randian||

    Descended, dude, descended. We're lucky that He even bothered to come down from Heaven.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I'm about fucking sick of hearing about patriotism. If patriotism means I have to lie back and accept whatever rights violations the government wants to throw my way, then I guess I'm not a patriot. I'm fine with that.

  • ||

    Just think of Christmas.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Think of England.
    Wait. Didn't we seceseed from them?
    (in league with white nationalists and new englanders even)

  • ||

    According to joe, you just made a rape joke.

  • GILMORE||

    No... Secede... not rapeseed

  • CE||

    The original American patriots seceded from England, and tarred and feathered political appointees for even the most minor of rights violations.

  • ||

    Hmmmm!

  • Hyperion||

    I really like this tar and feather thing. In the 2nd revolution, we simply must bring it back. I'm already picturing just how good some congress critters would look in their new attire.

    Shall the feathers be from free range chickens? And what about the tar. Must it meet the latest EPA guidelines?

  • ||

    If I may make a suggestion...

    Possibly NSFW d/t language.

  • Ska||

    Maybe you can use tree sap as warning to America's hat.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...but he still thinks it's important to note that some "white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Klan sympathizers" have endorsed the cause.

    I knew secession was really about racism.

  • SugarFree||

    I wish "white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Klan sympathizers" would endose Southern Poverty Law Center, so that the dipshits at SPLC would disappear in a puff of agonized paradox.

  • robc||

    Morris Dees is a scam artist.

    I will take UK's own Stephen Bright over him any day.

  • cryptarchy||

    This

  • Doctor Whom||

    Never underestimate the power of doublethink. Otherwise, radical feminism would have disappeared in a puff of agonized paradox the first time the radfems worked shoulder-to-shoulder with the socons.

  • ||

    There's no paradox. They all desire control over other people. They know it, you know it, I know it, they just don't want to say it out loud. Because for some reason there are a lot of people in the world who believe people's words over their actual actions.

  • sarcasmic||

    “Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein

  • anon||

    This quote is full of awesome.

  • Hyperion||

    It's going to disappear in a shroud of burquas once the radical Muslim hordes have completely subjugated the effeminated populations. Coming soon to the Eurotard Zone.

  • Flatulent Monkey||

    Crab People!

  • db||

  • db||

  • ||

    No, the first one's more interesting.

  • Bee Tagger||

    I would think that short of not being racist anymore, the thing you'd want from a racist is for them to leave the race alone.

  • ||

    Dog whistle.

  • Loki||

    Since the president is black, any act other than total submission to his benevolent will is racism. And to suggest otherwise is - you guessed it - RACIST!!!11!!!111!!

  • anon||

    But I've been bent over so long my back hurts...

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Then you've got a racist back.

  • OldMexican||

    A Huffington Post writer devoted an entire column to arguing against secession even as he declared repeatedly that it will never happen; the main point of the piece, as far as I can tell, is to fantasize about the horrors that would befall the separatists if they really did try to withdraw from the Union.

    "It will never happen so stop talking about such a dangerous thing that can lead to dismembering of people and boiling of children in cauldrons and dogs fucking cats!"

  • CE||

    Also, lower income taxes, a peaceful foreign policy, less militarism, and maybe even an end to Ponzi-style retirement schemes.

  • anon||

    I, for one, would be more than willing to butcher a few children/dogs/cats/anything else just to get back to the level of federal government we had pre-Woodrow Wilson.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There is something disturbing about condemning Americans who do not want to participate in the happy project of building the United States of ObamaLand.

    The Progressive response rings like, "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

    The Progressive prime directive is using the government to force social change. If the Progressives now have stupid, Christian, redneck victims right where they want them, why would they let them leave? Forcing those people to live as they're told is what being a Progressive is all about.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Ken Shultz,

    The Progressive response rings like, "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."

    It's actually "you can check in anytime..."

    But you're absolutely right. Alas, the argument is not owned exclusively by the Progressives.

  • Randian||

    It's actually "you can check in anytime..."

    No, it actually isn't.

  • tarran||

    No, it's check out. As in you can state your intention to leave, but can never physically exit the Hotel California.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think it means you can kill yourself, but you can never leave.

    And I think Old Mexican was implying that the words of the song could be changed to more accurately reflect the progressive take on this.

    But maybe I'm wrong. I've been wrong before, and I'll be wrong again.

  • Shit-Eating Aardvark||

    "I'll be wrong again."

    No you won't.

    *sterilize. sterilize. ster-i-lize.*

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Ken Schulz,

    And I think Old Mexican was implying that the words of the song could be changed to more accurately reflect the progressive take on this.

    Yeah, what you said.

  • Tonio||

    Ken is right. Check-out means to die.

  • Tman||

    About this whole "Send Biden to Mars" petition....where do I sign up for that one?

    I'd probably donate a few bucks to the cause too.

  • CE||

    I don't know about Biden, but anyone can sign up for a one-way ticket to Mars here:

    http://mars-one.com/en/

  • Hyperion||

    Throw in Hillary and I will double my donation.

  • Tman||

    I think this is the movement that will finally bring the country together.

    Biden/Hillary Mars Mission! For Science!

  • Ken Shultz||

    It's also interesting that Progressives seem to want to treat Americans who want to leave in much the same mode that anti-immigrant enthusiasts on the right want to treat foreigners trying to come here.

    It's just that one bunch says people shouldn't be allowed to come here unless it's okay with us, and the other group says that people shouldn't be allowed to leave unless it's okay with us.

    The anti-immigrant folks don't feel sorry for people who want to come here; the progressives don't feel sorry for people who want to leave; and I feel sorry for everybody that has to put up with either one or both of them.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    This is a very good point. At the heart of each seems to be the desire of some people to keep what is "theirs" even if they have no actual, legal title. In the first case, jobs and resources currently owned by nobody. In the second, resources that are in the possession and pockets of those who are trying to exit.

    In other words, it's a shakedown, coming and going.

  • Tim||

    Way to shit all over Greenhut's secession post.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I knew secession was really about racism.

    First Rule of Southern Poverty Law Club:

    It's always about RACISM

  • Pro Libertate||

    The right of secession is so core to our existence that it's quite telling that people today act like it's some criminal enterprise. Our predecessors explained quite eloquently and with great force of reason the principles behind the right of secession, and our system is based on the voluntary union of states.

    Without even the threat of secession, the states lost a huge check on federal power. Bad idea.

  • Tim||

    You know who else favored huge checks?

  • ||

    Ed McMahon?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Václav Havel?

  • ||

    Happy Gilmore?

  • GILMORE||

    im miserable. Leave me out of this.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Lovers of large Transylvanian women?

  • ||

    Garry Kasparov?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Tony Dow?

  • Voros McCracken||

    The Southern Poverty Law Center.

  • Entropy Void||

    Large Slovakian women?

  • ||

    You know, it's a good thing that all those mythical Eastern former Soviet Bloc countries didn't listen to all this eliminationist, separatist rhetoric. Why, there's no telling where they would be now without the smothering teat of Mother Russia. All those disgruntled Poles, those silly Estonians, and those nutty Ukrainians, the apples in the road. Not to mention those gormless Belorussians, and the knobheaded Czechsters, amoungst others, seriously, who would think they could actually declare autonomy from some overbearing, centralized power hub.

    Simply preposterous, the stuff of dreams and kittens, I tells ya, as I eat my beloved borshh.

  • Ted S.||

    You know, it's a good thing that all those mythical Eastern former Soviet Bloc countries didn't listen to all this eliminationist, separatist rhetoric.

    I presume you're referring to places like Transdnistria, Abkhazia, and Nagorno-Karabakh? :-)

  • CE||

    I would take these secession petitions seriously. Why keep 310 million people together, when they are clearly split into opposing philosophical camps, and the division is so neatly contiguous on the map? It's basically a no-brainer.

    The next step is for some to state to actually put secession to the people as a ballot measure. I'd vote for that in California, even if it meant getting stuck with all these liberals.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    What was the percentage Our Glorious Leader got in the most Red state and what did Romney get in the most Blue?
    Any seceding state would have a large minority concerned about continuing to live there.

  • robc||

    Romney: 72.75% in Utah
    Obama: 91.12% in DC...okay you said state... 66.57% in Vermont.

    States Romney won with less than 55% of the vote: AZ, MO, IN, NC, SC, GA, AK

    States Obama won with less than 55% of the vote: NV, OR, NM, CO, FL, IA, MN, WI, MI, OH, VA, PA, NH

  • robc||

    Okay, reverse those first two parts, I misread your post.

    Obama, 24.85% in Utah
    Romney, 30.97% in VT

  • ||

    Not VT, HI:

    Obama 70.6%
    Romney 27.8%

    Johnson 0.9%
    Stein 0.7%

  • R C Dean||

    Any seceding state would have a large minority concerned about continuing to live there.

    Apparently, there are plenty of people who are already not happy about living under their current government, so I'm not sure where that gets you.

    I'd love to see these "We won the election, so stuff it, christfags" types bitching and moaning about living in a state that just voted to leave the union. Oh, allofasudden collective democratic decisionmaking blows, huh?

  • CE||

    And they would be free to move to another state, presumably, With a different government, it might be more worthwhile to do so.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Our population has probably become to big to be an effective representative democracy.

    One of the things I picked up from the Zapatistas in Chiapas--who have for all intents and purposes broken away and remain free and autonomous in their territory--was their criticism of representative democracy.

    They don't really have representative democracy--things are small enough that everybody votes for themselves. You don't need representatives when the autonomous communities are that small.

    When you're talking about a nation of 350 million people? Fugetaboutit.

    The only thing that really gives the power of democracy to people in a nation of 350 million people is free markets. I get to represent myself in a market. There's no one else representing me. If we aren't gonna have free markets, then let's get rid of the dysfunctional representative democracy and start whittling down the size of the place.

    It's just too damn big. And why should people in Montana be subjected to what the people of New York want anyway? Why should the people of Alabama have to bend to what the people of California want?

  • ant1sthenes||

    It isn't really that neat, if you look at the county by county maps.

  • T o n y||

    It only looks contiguous because of the low-res graphical representations news outlets put up whose detail goes only to the state level.

    The real divide is urban vs. rural (with suburbs not surprisingly being swing areas). The more population density, the more "statist" people tend to be. The more rural, the more self-sufficient and anti-statist. I would hypothesize this to be a pattern the world over. Some states, particularly in the Northeast, have more people in big cities, while other states, particularly in the South and West, have more people in rural areas. Thus it's not that New York is a blue state, it's that urban dwellers outvote rural dwellers in that state. Upstate NY is as conservative as you like.

    The interesting question is to what extent should the values of people in cities be imposed on people in rural areas, and vice versa.

  • Shit-Eating Aardvark||

    ts/dr

  • CE||

    Texas has 6 of the 20 most populous cities in the US, but votes reliably Republican.

    (Houston 4, San Antonio 7, Dallas 9, Austin 13, Ft. Worth 16, El Paso 19)

  • ||

    Those big cities are Blue dots in a sea of Red, with the exception of the border areas:

    http://www.politico.com/2012-e.....se/2012/TX

  • Syd Henderson||

    Presidential vote is here

    http://www.politico.com/2012-e.....nt/2012/TX

    Romney carried Ft. Worth, while the rest went for Obama.

  • ||

    Secession might seem like a complete non-starter at the moment, but it's not that far-fetched given the (IMO) inevitable currency collapse within a matter of decades.

  • Zeezrom||

    SECDEE!

    But seriously, am I the only person here who would consider fighting on the side of the seceders if the feds were to go in with guns blazing?

  • anon||

    Get to the back of the line!

  • Loki||

    Nope. If Texas ever does secede I'm counting on my natural born status to get me in. Once in, I'd gladly take up arms if it came to it.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I went to high school across the street from the Battle of New Market battlefield.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_new_market

    That's the one where cadets from VMI, some as young as 15-years old, were sent into the charge to keep the Union army from pillaging the Southern end of the Shenandoah Valley.

    If the Union army came down the valley again specifically to attack civilians, would I stand up in their path?

    I've been asked that question before.

  • R C Dean||

    And? Your answer?

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think I would!

  • Redmanfms||

    You went to SVA? This explains much.....

    ....about your ignorance of the Founding.

    Mwahahahahaha

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I think one appeal of secession is the desire to create states that are built around cultural rather than geographical boundaries such as rivers and coordinates. Cascadia is a good example, although the more natural cultural boundaries would end at the Cascades and Canadian Rockies instead of the whole states. Of course, cultural boundaries can shift and change.

  • T||

    Isn't the first rule of secession club not to talk about succession club?

  • CE||

    An even better option than secession would be to let people choose which government to live under, even without moving. If MasterCard, Visa and Amex can split up the US for credit cards, and State Farm, All-State and Farmers for insurance, why not GOP, Democrats, and Libertarians for government? There would probably be an individual mandate against anarchy, but it would be a huge improvement.

    Want to live in a socialist workers paradise? Group together with like minded people and tax each other into happiness. Want to pay for a globe-encircling military empire and make sure no one does anything to displease the Almighty in any way? Join the neocon collective and control each others' lives and the rest of the world to boot. Want to be left alone as long as you don't rob or kill anyone? Join the LP.

  • sarcasmic||

    Governments are the last word in violence and thus a license to steal.
    Because of their very nature they cannot exist competitively. They can exist in a hierarchical manner, such as towns answering to states that answer to the feds, but not competitively.
    There is a word for when governments compete. It's called "war".

  • Loki||

    Yeah, unfortunately I don't think it will take very long for the competing governments to go to war with each other. Especially once the neocons and the socialist communes ran out of their own money, it wouldn't be long before they turn their gaze towards those selfish libertarians who get to keep their own money, but as a result have no military and therefore no ability to fight off the rapacious hordes of hippies and warboners.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Wait, libertarians won't have a military? I mean, the infantry will consist of every single libertarian, and the rich ones will have giant robots and shit.

  • T||

    Damn skippy. Free me of those pesky federal fireams laws and I'm gonna have me some fun toys.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If MasterCard, Visa and Amex can split up the US for credit cards, and State Farm, All-State and Farmers for insurance, why not GOP, Democrats, and Libertarians for government?"

    Again, forcing other people to do as they're told isn't a bug with Progressives--it's a feature!

    First we're going to take power, and then we're going to force people to do what we want them to do...

    Why wouldn't Progressives agree to let people live as they please? Because forcing them to live as their told is the whole reason for Progressives to exist.

  • Rasilio||

    Because this does not work.

    Inevitably one group will consider something to be a criminal act of aggression which another group does not and when a person who chooses to be governed under the group who does not have a problem with the act commits it against a person governed by the group who does how do you resolve the situation short of outright warfare between the groups?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, you could eliminate the feds, and instead have a combination of phyles and state governments, with states legally superior and tasked with mediation between phyles, but checked by their geographical restrictions on jurisdiction and generally having limited powers (whereas phyles could be national or multinational and would have whatever powers their members decided).

  • CE||

    No problem. If you commit a crime, the victim's jurisdiction has final authority. If there's no victim, there's no crime. If there are two contending parties (like say in a civil suit), you go to a neutral government's courts.

  • Rasilio||

    Group A considers abortion to be murder
    Group B does not

    The son of clients of Group A knocks up his girlfriend, whose parents are clients of Group B. Girlfriend decides to get an abortion over know ex boyfriend and his families wishes.

    Group A Clients want her prosecuted for murdering their grandchild.

    Group B Clients want her protected from such ridiculous nonsense.

    Both groups are obligated to carry out the will of their clients by the nature of their contracts but there is no room to negotiate or compromise.

    Group A can either go on a raid to kidnap/arrest girlfriend or lose their clients to Group C who also outlaws abortion but is more militant about it.

    Group B either fights off the kidnap/arrest attempt, with violence, or they lose their clients to Group D who is more millitantly pro life.

    repeat several hundred times a year until there is nothing left but open warfare between the various factions.

    The question is not if you commit a crime, the question is who gets to determine what is a crime in the first place.

  • toolkien||

    Well, if secession isn't allowed, what form does it take then?

    It's depressing that everything I saw for the future ten years ago is coming to pass.

    Venting? People had better hitch up their skivvies because things are going to be pretty uncivil relatively shortly.

    Last, people consent to be governed. That consent can be withdrawn. Even an age of nanotechnology and drones.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think it can be demonstrated, too, that when democracies prove ineffective at protecting people's rights, people don't always give up on their rights. They often just give up on democracy.

    Democracy won't protect your rights, but I will--isn't that how right-wing dictators usually justify themselves?

  • Shit-Eating Aardvark||

    Please name a "right-wing" dictator. Thanks.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Pinochet.

  • Whahappan?||

    I think it's much more accurate to say people acquiesce to being governed. I think very few actually consent, but our rulers don't care about consent, they've got the guns and the willingness to use them on peaceful dissenters who defy them, even passively.

  • GILMORE||

    Secessionists: "unpatriotic crackpots who refuse to live in the real world and who no level-headed person would ever take seriously... yet nevertheless remain a sign of the most evil, ugly, reprehensible side of the American character...the same one that massacred indians, lynched runaway slaves, and locked Japanese Americans in internment camps. The best way to deal with them is to mock them and dismiss them as completely illegitimate, while also waning our fellow enlightened citizens of their latent desire to destroy civilization"

    This sounds vaguely familiar. I bet the Koch brothers are involved in some way.

  • sarcasmic||

    This sounds vaguely familiar.

    It's the standard progressive liberal ad-hominem argument.

  • Shit-Eating Aardvark||

    It's also their history.

  • Zeb||

    Didn't the federal government do most of those things? And enforce fugitive slave laws?

  • GILMORE||

    i take secessionists seriously. i even joined some a few years back. "Christian Exodus" They wanted to mass migrate a whole lotta people to some low-pop state and declare it New Jerusalem or something. it was cool. they had made a flag and everything. i volunteered to run the navy, but then they worried it might be a landlocked state. then it got ugly when they started debating whether catholics or mormons could come. man, that was a fun chatroom.

    http://christianexodus.org/

  • GILMORE||

    I checked up on them, and apparently they've made progress!

    They finally picked South Carolina - (which is a real shocker, let me tell you! I was thinking more like Rhode Island. No one would even *notice* if it seceded!)...

    with Idaho as a Plan B!

    http://christianexodus.org/ind.....&Itemid=66

    And Panama as plan C. Although I don't think they aspeaka despanish.

    apparently the process of actually inundating the new Christian state with fellow like-minded zealots has been...well, slow.

    So the organizers have turned their attention to, "Personal Secession" now...

    http://christianexodus.org/ind.....&Itemid=15

    which strikes me as a tad 'revolution-lite', know what i mean? "Hey cletus, lets go burn the capitol down!..." (time passes) "Well, I know its a long walk"... (crickets)..."How bout this pile of leaves over here?".... "Oh, yeah, that *is* my cousin's yard".... "well, lets go back inside and grill some dogs then"

    "Personal Secession: Have your own little revolutionary insurrection in the comforts of your own home! And if you act now, you'll get this free set of mini-EZ-Burn Crosses (now with citronella!)"

    Its almost kind of sad. Its like they started off calling for Holy War, and now hawk self-help DVDs.

  • Zeb||

    If they went to Idaho, they'd have to allow Mormons.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Isn't personal secession a core Christian concept? Being in the world but not of it, and all?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The right of secession is so core to our existence that it's quite telling that people today act like it's some criminal enterprise.

    Dude, were you raised by... like... wolves, or something?

    THIS IS WHY NOBODY TAKE LIBERTARIANS SERIOUSLY

  • Pro Libertate||

    I know. I confess!

  • pmains||

    Instead of one large national economy, there would be individual state-level economies -- each of them too weak to compete in the global marketplace.

    How does this moron think that economies work? Oh, pity the poor Singaporeans and New Zealanders because they haven't reached the proper critical mass. Or the former Yugoslav states now that they no longer have a "national" economy to help them compete with stronger states.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Well, you have to understand that economic growth is something that happens becasue of government. The bigger the government, the more economic growth is possible...

    So, why would secessionists want to cut themselves off from all that growth?

  • ant1sthenes||

    When they say compete, they mean bully other nations into unfavorable arrangements. That takes a powerful military.

  • pmains||

    Oh, thank goodness. I was about to have an aneurysm brought on by my attempt to penetrate the herp derp smokescreen.

  • R C Dean||

    Lots of people are completely unable to think of anything except in political/authoritarian terms. Thus "state-level" economies that apparently compete, as a single bloc, with each other.

  • ||

    OT

    CNN is running a story about King county TX. The fewest Obama votes in the nation. Romney 139/Obama 5 (total population 286)

    I'm certain there will be followup stories about the districts in Ohio where Obama won 1200 to 0.

  • Pro Libertate||

    With populations of 950.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    The Phila Inquirer claims there was a whole swath of voting precincts in Phila. where the total vote was 19,600 for Obama and zero for Romney. Not even one legally blind voter pulled the wrong lever?

  • ||

    The ones where someone pulled the wrong lever didn't get counted among the unanimous precincts.

  • Redmanfms||

    Wait, wait, wait, tony with spaces told me in another thread that election fraud doesn't exist and that "this time around" it all favored Romney.......

  • ||

    "hard to argue with those sentiments, though I might quibble with grammar and spelling."

    Syntax, Tucille. It's syntax, not grammar.

  • Zeb||

    Thank you.

  • Pro Libertate||

    We are the priests
    Of the temples
    Of Syntax.

  • ||

    Temple of Syntax havin' the bake sale of the year

  • Pro Libertate||

    Don't cross the genres.

  • The Heresiarch||

    Syntax is a subset of grammar, just like morphology.

  • GILMORE||

    Ahh, syntax.

    Its both how I decoded the torah and allowed me to figure out the patterns of the stock market...

    ... AND its why States keep charging more for beer and smokes.

    Both cause me terrible headaches. Where's that drill again...?

  • 0x90||

    Who said it? (some contextual redaction, to avoid giving it away)

    " And [ somebody ] just loosely used the word everybody, which is very funny, in a country where 49 percent said, 'we've had this guy for four years, and we don't want him for another minute.' That's 49 percent. He has strength through the senate; that's where all the strength's gonna come from. But, he's -- the government's -- bankrupt, it can't do anything he's been talking about. He had a commission recommend options; none of their work is relevant to this deficit situation. But the big problem the country now has, which is going to produce a serious discussion of secession over the next twenty years, is that the segment of the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed by the people who don't pay for the federal government."

    "Did you say secession?"

    "Yes."

    "Are you calling for civil war?"

    "Not war, you can secede without firing a shot."

  • pmains||

    Michael Moore?

  • ||

    The McLaughlin Group. I'll have you know I Google Cheated, though.

  • T o n y||

    Conservatives are simply experiencing the same desperation liberals experienced during the eight long, painful Bush years. Many liberals said petulant things back then too.

    On the other hand, Obama hasn't really done anything, in reality, that should concern conservatives enough to cause a massive freakout. His more dubious actions are all things conservatives called you a traitor for not supporting when Bush did them. Everything else is a paranoid fabrication by fat people on the radio and TV.

    Nevertheless, suck it up fuckheads. The whole world nearly collapsed on your guys' watch. You did it to yourselves.

  • CE||

    From a libertarian perspective, W was the worst president of my lifetime. He was never "my guy".

  • Redmanfms||

    W was the worst until 0.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Conservatives are simply experiencing the same desperation liberals experienced during the eight long, painful Bush years. Many liberals said petulant things back then too.


    Do you think the desperation from conservatives is as warranted now as it was warranted for liberals back then? Or do you think it is only warranted when the president in turn is one you happen not to like?

    On the other hand, Obama hasn't really done anything, in reality, that should concern conservatives enough to cause a massive freakout.


    Does this mean that the idea of secession is invalid? Do you really think that secession is predicated on how harmless is the current president?

    Would you have joined a club where it would be necessary to shoot your way out of it?

    As for what Obama has done or not, the fact is that Obama is not the whole State. The whole bureaucracy is, all 3 trillion plus (in cost per year) of it.

  • T o n y||

    The question of secession was settled by the bloodiest war on US soil, and the question of state power being competitive with national power was settled by the ratification of the US Constitution.

    I might be another matter entirely if the paranoid ignorant throwbacks always calling for secession were concerned about something real.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    "Tabled," I think, but not "settled." Were the States, as a condition of being "reconstructed," required to agree to give up secession authority (not just repeal secession laws, which they WERE required to do)? Was any US Constitutional amendment ratified to prevent future secession? If not, then I would say that the Constitutional question remains open. No State wants to raise it seriously, for fear of being slapped down hard, as under Lincoln. But that's a long way from truly settling the issue. Ask Israel and the Gaza Palestinians.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Alt-text FTW!

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    I wonder if the Nation of Cascadia will go to war with the US over the State of Jefferson? I hope there is enough popcorn. This would be fun to watch.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    I think that promoting secession is indeed the very definition (or at least the definitive illustration) of "deeply unpatriotic." They used to have a word for this. Oh yes, I remember it now: "Duh!"

  • Robert Jordan||

    I promote secession!!
    I promote secession!!
    I promote secession!!

    And so does the Declaration of Independence: "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    I have no strong emotional attachment to a fifty-star flag. My America is the ideas in the declaration and the laws in the constitution. Those who oppose them are worthless and vile, and likewise those who support the enemies of each. I obscenity in the milk of the followers of an unconstitutional government that rules outside of law. Helen Thomas and a Chevy Volt upon you! Go on your bellies and eat dust. No Twinkies for you.

    This "America" is broken - mangled by the meddlings of too many morons.

    I eagerly await version 3.0 - looking for ways to make a buck in the transition.

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