by Carl, 11/13/2012, 9:15 PM

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.

12 Responses to “The Union Forever”

1. Geov spews:

Actually, someone named Scott Sunde wrote the post, not Joel.

2. Roger Rabbit spews:

From Joel’s article:

Perry’s press secretary issued this statement:

Gov. Perry … shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government. Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas, that are making tough decisions to live within their means, keep taxes low …. We cannot allow Washington’s tax and spend … mindset to jeopardize our children’s future, undermine our personal liberties and drive our nation down a dangerous path to greater dependence of government.

Isn’t this the same Gov. Perry who slashed his state’s firefighting budget by 85% and then went crawling to President Obama for $50 million of federal aid when Texas caught fire and was burning to ashes?

3. Roger Rabbit spews:

Here’s the real reason why Perry doesn’t want Texas to secede:

“Back in 2003, lobbyists under Perry’s direction went to Capitol Hill to lobby the Republican Congress for more than a billion dollars in federal deficit spending on ‘stimulus.’ And they won. A 2005 report by the Texas Office of State-Federal Relations boasted of ‘$1.2 billion in temporary state fiscal relief to Texas’ through Medicaid that Perry’s lobbying operation had secured. And that was just the beginning …”

http://swampland.time.com/2011/08/17/rick-perry-aggressively-pursued-federal-aid-he-now-decries/#ixzz2CAqlHc2L

4. Lee spews:

The petition to allow Texas to secede is now the highest volume petition on the White House petition site. Although that’s probably jokers like me who want the topic to be brought up so that people can be reminded that most of the red states would become significantly poorer if they left the union.

5. Michael spews:

93,226 people have signed the petition for Texas to secede, I’m guessing half of those people were people not from Texas saying yes please go…

3,294,440 people in Texas voted for Obama.

6. Carl spews:

@1, Thanks. Fixed.

7. Michael spews:

Alabama has 25,808 votes to secede and 793,620 votes for Obama. In 2005 Alabama got back $1.66 in federal spending for every dollar it sent to DC.

8. rhp6033 spews:

On the radio last night a number of people were saying “Hell, yea, let ‘em go”. “We subsidize them, many have almost third-world economies:, etc.

But the one thing they do have of value is the ports. Charleston, Pensacola, Mobile, New Orleans, and Galvaston carry a lot of freight to and from the U.S., and some (Mobile, New Orleans), are central to U.S. oil imports and exports. It’s no accident that the American Civil War began over control of the port of Charleston.

But more importantly, control of the mouth of the Mississippi means that U.S. heavy goods from states anywhere along the Mississipi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee rivers would be subject to whatever duties the yahoos in New Orleans & Mississipi decided to charge. It’s that very reason that during the American Civil War, a high priority for the Union forces was to control the Mississipi all the way to it’s estuaries. Not to split the Confederacy in half (although it had that effect), but primarily to open the Mississipi up for Union shipping.

9. wharfrat spews:

@8 I’m in favor of the sullen teenager approach: Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out son and, by the way, all that stuff we bought for you….just leave it here. Let ‘em go but we keep the river and all the stuff the rest of us paid for. If you want the stuff we are willing to sell, like old military bases and such, it won’t be the $1 transfer of ownership to Cowflop County, it will market value. Plus instant loss of US citizenship, removal of all US funds from the banking system, reapplication for Social Security and Medicare, but why give benefits to foreigners anyway. Texas could probably make it ok but Alabama, mississippi, and the rest would have to whore themselves to the Chinese.

While there is a tongue-in-cheek to this, I’m inclined to be a hard ass. I’ve lived in the inland NW and Rocky states and as a flaming lefty have had more than my share of guys from the Order, the Freemen, the Randy Weaverians, the Posse and their dad, the Birch Society. I would not shed a tear to see the entire South leave the US.

10. Chris Stefan spews:

I’ll point out that with some good party building both AZ and TX would turn purple if not blue. Turnout among democrats is poor in both states (especially TX). Furthermore there are a huge number of hispanics in both states who aren’t registered or who don’t turn out.

FL, NC, and VA are swing states as are CO and NV.

If the Democrats are smart they will party build in all 50 states and all 435 congressional districts. Viable local party organizations, registration drives, GOTV drives, having credible candidates on the ballot in every partisan election. While the majority of resources should continue to go where races are the most winnable we should at least put up table stakes over the entire map.

Frankly demographics are trending away from the GOP in many parts of the country and unless the party makes a major shift in direction (akin to what the Democrats did with the DLC and “third-way” types between 1984 and 1992) they are going to go the way of the Whigs.

However I don’t see their base allowing the party to do what it is going to need to in order to attract the votes of more young people, single women, working women, Hispanics, Asians, or “creative class” workers.

Even though I’m a partisan Democrat I don’t think it is healthy for either party to become too dominant. A viable opposition is needed to keep everyone honest.

Hopefully the remaining adults in the GOP can pull the part back from the demographic cliff they are walking over. Then again maybe they need to lose a few more elections before they come to their senses.

Which is all a long-winded way of saying “I agree with Carl”.

11. rhp6033 spews:

I’m wondering if Texas couldn’t be turned blue if they looked real hard at how they conduct voter registration laws there. The voter registration among minorities and hispanics (it’s hard to call hispanics a minority in Texas) don’t come close to matching national averages. And voter turnout in previous elections among all sectors have been abysmal (I haven’t seen the 2012 numbers yet).

Texas has a long history of depriving Hispanics of their rights, from courthouse fires that conveniently only burned land grants given by Spanish charters, to the use of the Texas Rangers as a glorified militia/KKK to keep Hispanics (and blacks) in their place.

Of course, the GOP is already fighting back – the USSC has agreed to hear a challenge to the Voting Rights Act this term. If successful, it would overturn the portion of the VRA which requires Justice Dept. Approval of any changes in voting laws in states with a history of discrimination in voting. A victory in the USSC would open the floodgates to all sorts of barriers being placed in front of prospective voters, especially anyone who might be inclined to vote Democratic.

12. Nolaguy spews:

The common reaction I see trending to the secession topic is, “Fine, let’em leave”. If that is indeed how most people feel, why not let a state do it? Do we force unhappy married couples to stay together? No, we let them divorce and go on their separate ways.

I’m not for or against, yet. But the US is a republic, with what is supposed to be strong states rights. If a state no longer sees the value of being a “United” state of the republic, why not just let them go? There are plenty of countries that are much smaller and with less resources than Texas or Louisiana, and they do just fine. And if they didn’t do well, who cares, they chose to leave the safety net of the the US.

Most of the states that that have submitted these secession petitions are “red states” too. If they left the US, that would only help the remaining USA vote in progressive federal politicians. Win-win?

Funny thought: United States creates a false-flag terrorist event created by “Texqeda”, so that they can invade texas to take control of their oil and gas refineries.

Funny thought 2: Texans, now with with no US citizenship, sneak back into the US and get SS, schooling, healthcare as “undocumented workers”