There’s an unseemly moment now looking at petitions for secession.* I don’t mean the secessionist talk. That’s a few assholes being assholes; it’s not a movement. If people are going to write about it, put it in some context. I mean way more people voted for Obama in states where those stupid petitions exist than will sign the petitions. Hell, he won some of the states.
And while I’m fine with calling this bullshit out, it’s unhelpful to just point and laugh, especially to imply that it says something about these states. I’m a 50 state strategy person, so it’s up to the Democrats to organize in Texas and in Alabama and in the Dakotas. Maybe the next election won’t make the difference, but we have a duty to keep pushing because there are plenty of people there who would never sign those sorts of petitions. Painting those states as a bunch of backwards yahoos sort of defeats that.
It discourages Democrats from trying and it shows an unseriousness to the people you’re trying to get to vote Democratic, and support liberal causes. It implies there’s nothing you can build on when there’s plenty. It looks back to the secession movements of, and before, the Civil War instead of forward.
So here’s some of the context I want in these stories: How many Obama voters live in those states compared to the number of people who signed the petitions? What are the efforts to reach out to those states? What are the demographics of the states?
Look, I know after the election there’s still a news hole to fill. And that ultimately this story doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. But this is the wrong way to write the story.
There are places that wrote it worse than Joel Connelly, but I’m linking to his piece because it’s a bit surprising that he’d take that position. I stand corrected. It was on Strange Bedfellows, but it wasn’t a Joel piece.