Post-election Secessionist movement getting attention
We fought a Civil War over the issue, seemingly putting to rest the notion of states seceding from the Union. Indeed, counting the lives of both Northerners and Southerners, our Civil War was the costliest conflict in U.S. history, ahead of World War II.
But in the aftermath of the November 6th election, hundreds of thousands of Americans have signed petitions on the White House website for the Obama Administration to "peacefully grant" the states secession from the United States of America.
These are private citizens expressing their profound dismay with the course of the country, NOT a formal request from a governor or a state legislature.
(Although you'll recall Texas Governor Rick Perry seemed to endorse secessionist talk some years ago, only to backpedal. This time, Perry insists he doesn't favor Texas going its own way. Interestingly, Texas has some reverse history in this regard: By the terms of the treaty which bound Texas to the Union, Texas technically has the right to divide itself at any time into as many as five states. This right theoretically would give Texas the power to create eight more U.S. senators and four additional governors. However, modern courts would cite Article IV, Section 3, to the U.S. Constitution!)
Back to the modern secessionist movement: I'm waiting to see if all this discontent fuels any state legislature to consider the issue, let alone voting in favor. Then, Houston, we've got a problem!
Of course, such secessionist talk inevitably inspires a counter-reaction. Some petitioners on the White House site suggest the Obama White House deport or exile anyone who has signed a secessionist petition. Liberal enclaves in conservative states might petition to REMAIN in the Union.
Beware what you ask for. Canada never fought a civil war over provincial secession, but - as we know - French-speaking Quebec has made several attempts to secede. Heck, the provincial legislature in Quebec City is called the Assemblee nationale du Quebec, the Quebec National Assembly, and Quebec has been represented in some international gatherings of Francophone nations! Independence referenda have always fallen short. It seems counter-intuitive to see the Bloc Quebecois represented in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, even - at times - as the Official Opposition party.
I suspect any Canadian break-up would be one of the few in the world to be peaceful - just like the break-up of the former Czechoslovakia. (Although Quebec ultra-nationists provoked real violence in 1970. The Front de liberation du Quebec (FLQ) kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Richard Cross, and kidnapped and assassinated Quebec Labor Minister Pierre Laporte. Then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Powers Act, banning the FLQ and suspending some civil liberties.)
But the Canadian federal government has always insisted it would retain Canadian federal buildings and property on Quebec soil, and Quebec would have to forfeit its northern section to Canada, because Quebec received that resource-rich territory from the Northwest Territories (actually, today, that territory would probably revert to the indigenous territory recently carved out from the Northwest Territories, Nunavut!). Mohawk and Cree leaders in Quebec have insisted if the province ever seceded from Canada, the Mohawks would retain the legal right to split from Quebec. In fact, the Mohawk nation had a constitution predating not only the formation of Quebec but Canadian Confederation!
If the secessionist movement in the U.S. actually got serious, one can imagine native American "nations" asserting the right to secede from the states seceding!
Indeed, secession can inspire even more fragmentation. Following the break-up of the U.S.S.R., the Russians have drawn the line at a further break-up of the Russian Federation. Apart from Moscow's fears of Islamists within Russian borders, that's one of the reasons the war in Chechnya has been so fierce. Natural resources are another factor. And just like with the break-up of the now former Soviet Union, if Chechnya were allowed to secede, others would follow. Tatarstan, for example. (The Tatars are already sufficiently autonomous that they have their own international shortwave radio station, broadcasting to the world, which I've picked up!)
Anyway, here's The PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER's treatment of the secession story...
Liberals & progressives see a delicious irony in all this:
Although some of the "secessionists" live in "blue states", the greater proportion comes from many of the "red states" carried by Mitt Romney. And the "red states" tend to receive much more from the Feds in expenditures than those states pay in taxes, in contrast to the "blue states".
That prompted WASHINGTON POST columnist Dana Milbank to write a column entitled, "The Confederacy of Takers". That headline references the mantra from the Right since the election that the "takers" chose President Obama & the Democrats...
I had brought this up and offered my spin on this issue yesterday, so I've reposted it here so it would be in the proper place.
Apparently, now folks from 40 states, including Delaware (probably one of those Sussex County TEA party folks), have started a petition on the White House Petition web page to have their state peacefully secede from the US.
Do these people realize what they are actually requesting? I find this story interesting, because obviously there are some rather upset folks from both Blue and Red States who believe their life would be better outside of the US. It does seem rather extreme. However, its not a new feeling, Barbara Streisand numerous times said back when Republicans were winning elections that if Bush Jr. won, she'd leave the US, never did though.
In one sense, I could understand states like Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California making the request as they have a real beef with the Federal Government. Their states are being overrun by illegals crossing in from Mexico. These states have been begging the Feds to do something, and Washington has basically said, you states have no right to do anything about this, that is up to us the FEDS, and we choose to do nothing. Too bad if your state resources are over run, etc, etc. So I could understand where these folks might say, well after 30+ years of getting no real help from Uncle Sam, its time for us to do something, and the threat of secession is our only option to get the Feds to do something.
Of course we all know that Obama isn't going to just say, sure those states that got the required 25,000 signatures can force the other x million of folks in that state to secede.
The Delaware petition only has about 6100 signatures, so it has got a ways to go before it would have enough to even be given an answer, so I'd not lose a lot of sleep over wondering if the First State would become the Former First State making it possibly the smallest nation in both land area and population after the Vatican. We could become the Lion that Roared - heh heh. Gee, then we'd need a passport to go to Philly, Lancaster, Elkton, Ocean City MD, or Atlantic City. I wonder if Delaware became its own nation, would we finally get our own commercial TV station, an "international" Airport with real airlines flying to it - heh heh. There would be a passport check on each AMRTAK train, just outside of Newark, and again just outside of Claymont, both passport checks within about 15 minutes of the other. Think of the traffic backups on the Delaware Memorial Bridge each day as toll collectors would be checking passports of those sneaky folks from NJ who come to Delaware each day to work. Speaking of tolls, Delaware would also have to have its own currency, the Delaware, could be our equivalent to the US Dollar. Delaware would then need its own Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines to defend our borders from those "evil" Americans. Yea, Delaware is prime candidate to secede. This is so not going to happen, because it would be just plan stupid, but it was fun to speculate on the idea of the Nation of Delaware being a reality. Heck, we're almost too small to be a state, much less a nation. So again, I'd not lose any sleep worrying about Governor Jack Markell becoming a President Markell in a Delaware nation.
Also, note the article also mentions that someone has started a petition to have all those who sign these petitions to be deported.
Allan provided the main stream media coverage in his piece, this was posted yesterday.
These people want to "secede" from the United States? These are the same type of geniuses who lived in Guyana in the 1970s, obediently drank the Kool Aid, and waited for a rocket ship to rendezvous and take them to heaven.
The Koo Koo clock is chiming.
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 8:46am
Our president won this election through race, gender and economic wafare...he effectively divided our country in half. This was the man who was supposed to bring us together but instead he has strengthened the partisanship on both sides.
IMHO, those signing the petitions are trying to let the president know that he DID NOT receive a mandate in this election and that half of the states in this country DO NOT agree with his policies.
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 8:49am
teatime: weren't you also predicting the end of the world along with Harold Camping? Pot calling kettle...
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 9:08am
Meanwhile... liberals / progressives see an irony in all this: The greatest numbers of "secessionists" tend to come from the so-called "Red states", that receive - on average - far more from the Federal government in expenditures than they pay in taxes. I'm adding a post from columnist Dana Milbank about this angle.
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 9:43am
Mr. Loudell, Do you think these states really want to secede or do you think they are making it clear the prez was not given a "blanket mandate" this election (50% srongly oppose his policies). BTW, is it possible for the US govt to revoke citizenship for signing such a petition? Internet "stories" are circulating that the WH is threatening this penalty to signers...
I'm sure for some "secessionists", it's merely a symbolic act. Perhaps some - or a few - are deadly serious.
No one is going to revoke anyone's citizenship. The White House doesn't have the power to do that anymore than it has the power to grant secession. Not going to happen. Just like there was no chance the Fairness Doctrine would be restored for broadcasting, despite much paranoia!
By the way, the United States has gone through many periods as a "divided" nation. I would date our most recent division to the 1960's: The Vietnam War, the civil rights movement, etc., then accentuated by Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy". Then came Roe vs. Wade in 1973.
By the middle 1970's, we started to see ideologically driven people in both parties challenge the lawmakers inclined to compromise. I would date the hard conservative challenge to establishment Republicans to the time Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker cooperated with President Carter on the Panama Canal treaties. I would date the hard liberal challenge to more moderate Democrats to Ted Kennedy's run against Jimmy Carter. America's ideological divide came long before President Obama.
And if you steer a middle course as President, you get marginalized... as Jimmy Carter did. (Ironic Jimmy Carter is remembered in some circles as such a "liberal" today - probably because of his Middle-East pronouncements, and work to head off international confrontations, even with dictators! Because, at the time of his Presidency, some liberals / progressives saw him as a "quisling" within his own party!)
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 10:33am
Just went to the link EarlGrey provided, it shows 6400 signatures for the Delaware petition. I looked and most of those signatures are NOT from folks living in Delaware. I think of the 40 signatures I look at, only about 4 were from Delaware. The others were from other states, one from Elkton, MD, the others far from here. So what's with that? How can someone from another state sign a petition for another state to be seceded from the nation?
Let's see, if that's how it works, let's make a list of the states that cost all of us the most in tax dollars. Might as well "vote" them out of the nation.
As Allan pointed out above, most of the financially poor states tend to be Red (Hmmm... Does that mean the blue states have got the better idea on how to financially run a state or a nation? That ought to throw a cat out among the pigeons.)
From what I've read, Mississippi gets the most tax dollars from the "evil" Federal Government, so I guess if we're going to pick a state to get rid of, Mississippi should be #1. This could be a way to cut government spending and not raise taxes. So we should "UN-State" the states that are the biggest burden or drain on the Federal Treasury due to poor fiscal management, who are costing all of us more in tax dollars to Uncle Sam. That apparently tends to be Red States that hate the Federal Government and want no or very small government. That is ironic, when you think about it. You'd think, they'd just take the money, be glad to get it (as that infusion of Federal money helps to keep THEIR taxes lower), and keep their mouths shut and certainly not bash the Feds or bite the hand that's feeding them.
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 10:40am
I'm afraid there's a racial dimension, Mike from Delaware.
True, you have many poor whites living in the South, particularly in Appalachia.
But some of the states which are big Federal aid recipients have bigger African-American minority populations, and the secessionist talk comes from the white folks in those states! Obviously, a big red/blue divide WITHIN those states based on race.
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 10:54am
Maybe the fiscally resposible states should move their gold reserves from the Federal Reserve and put it in their own states.
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 11:00am
Here's an interesting article showing how Obamacare will "help" further divide our country in two.
@EarlGrey: It's true, Obama did not receive a mandate (whatever that means). Of course, I haven't heard Obama say he did. However, let's take a trip in the WayBack Machine, shall we?
"You asked, do I feel free. Let me put it to you this way: I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it."
George W. Bush, November 2004
Yet I didn't hear or see any Democrat-backed secession plans or petitions at the time. Yes, some Democrats said they would leave the country. As I recall, the resounding response to those individuals from people on the Right was, "Good, go, don't let the door hit you on the way out." Now the tables are turned, and the losers want to secede? They want to send a message about a lack of mandate? It seems they either have a short memory or a dish-it-but-can't-take-it mentality.
And a reminder, in that 2004 election, Bush only won 286 electoral votes. Obama just won 332. So of the two, which one likely actually DOES have a "mandate" or "political capital"?
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 11:26am
Shawn...I will say once again, I was not/am not a G.W.Bush fanboy but the Left was calling for riots if Obama lost this election. That sounds worse that "peaceful" secession (which is of course impossible).
Bush made a big mess too, he started the Patriot Act, TARP and the auto bailouts to name but a few collosal mistakes of BIG GOVERNMENT and "too big to fail" mentality.
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 11:37am
@Earl: I didn't claim you were a Bush fanboy. I was pointing out the hypocrisy of many of those calling for secession based on how things went a mere 8 years ago. You said it's your opinion that people who have signed the petition are just trying to send a message. I'm pointing out the one-sidedness of their complaints. To me it sounds a lot like "When we get our way, sit down and shut up. When you get your way, we're going to whine and call foul."
I would also point not all of the petition signers have been "peaceful" as you put it. Some have been calling for an out-and-out revolution, a rising up with arms. For all intents and purposes, a second Civil War.
But I'm not familiar with your mention of "the Left calling for riots if Obama lost". Could you please provide a link (and not to Fox News or Breitbart, please... a reputable news organization that isn't a mouthpiece against everything from the Left)?
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 12:02pm
First, I think those who have signed this petition are foolish...they have just opened themselves up for "data mining"....and oodles of new spam.
Second, yes I have heard those calling for a revolution and hope none of them do something stupid that will cause the rest of the nation to pay the penalty.
Third, no "news outlets" from the left reported on the riot threats...only breitbart, Fox and righties did...but below are the many tweets calling for riots.
Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, Prof. Cornel West and Michael Moore all called for riots...but again only the "righties" reported this so no news sources available from the left.
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 1:37pm
Please see the thread I just posted (above) from The NEW REPUBLIC: "Go Ahead and Secede, Texas. I Dare You"
Mike from Delaware
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 1:39pm
EarlGrey: Those are some scary posts on that Twitchy link. I know of a white guy who lives in Harlem and he came home to Delaware, after he voted, and didn't go back until the results came in, because the word up there too was if Romney wins, we're going to riot.
Yes, unfortunately, there are "nuts" on both sides. The Black Community tends to riot when they feel they've been shortchanged (Martin Luther King's assassination, Rodney King, etc.), and the Ultra-Right wing (Militia types - Red Necks, etc) tend to want to get out their guns too when they feel shortchanged.
The sad thing is the mainstream media ignore such stories when it's a minority community or group, but make much hay when the militia groups do something. NOTE: No media coveraqe on the Black Panther's voter intimidation thing in Philly. No arrests, etc. Second election in a row. Why isn't there more on this? The mainstream media aren't interested, but if it had been a white supremacist group doing the same thing, which is just as wrong and evil, the media would still be covering that story now a week after the elections demanding something be done. THAT's political correctness at it worse.
Allan: I guess that shouldn't surprise us that those Southern States which do have higher percentage of their population of Black citizens, would be getting more Fed money for Welfare programs, etc. As it is the South, and their ingrained attitudes towards blacks, would probably anger many of the White population there that THEIR tax dollars are being spent on those folks they really don't like or want in their state.
I'm afraid, that the white Southern attitude towards blacks probably hasn't completely changed; it's just not as openly expressed as it was in years gone by, because of the Feds forcing them to change. So that would also be another reason those states are Red and they hate the Federal government.
The sad thing is, those Southerners don't seem to realize that actually more white people get Welfare benefits, etc., than blacks as the whites are still a far larger percentage of the population than the black community. They're allowing their hate and prejudice to get in the way of the facts.
Gee, maybe Obama would be doing the nation a favor by letting those states secede. As long as that sort of attitude prevails, our nation will never get past its racial history and that is hurting America, both white and black.
The really sad thing is, many of those folks "claim" to be followers of Jesus Christ, and there is nowhere in the Bible where I see Jesus endorsing racial hatred. God created all of us and his Son Jesus Christ shed his blood for all of us on the Cross.
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 6:22pm
I think the current secessionist movement is a good academic exercise for the country. I don't plan to sign any petition as I too have data-mining concerns.
Yes, Allan, your recollection of history is correct. America was divided long before Obama - it's just that Obama's policies could be the final nail in the coffin. Notice I said COULD be, but not necessarily. America's resilience always seems to kick in at 11:59.
Wed, Nov 14, 2012 7:05pm
On a related note, I see the dictator-in-chief is now threatening congressional Republicans:
The secessionist movement people look very ignorant and misinformed, and while you're at it, why not put in Adam Sandler as secretary of defense?
The talk about the secessionist movement reminds me of my daughter when she was six-years-old. She had not touched her lunch and wanted to immediately eat the ice cream. Our daughter thought about it, went back to eating veggies, and got the ice cream she wanted.
The right-wing secessionists are just like that eight-year-old girl who stamps her feet, jumps up and down, because things haven't gone her/their way.
Thu, Nov 15, 2012 11:28pm
Secession is trendy after elections. Disgruntled losing party voters often organize such an effort. For the memory challenged, there was a secession movement in 2004 in response to the Bush win: http://www.salon.com/2004/11/17/states_2/
Teatime: Could it be these secessionists are just true patriots who love America and don't want it falling to communism?
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Nov 16, 2012 6:58pm
John Young: Thanks for the Salon link. That is interesting that a bunch of libs (besides Barbara Streisand) wanted to secede back when Bush Jr. won a second term. So its not just the "nutty right", but also the "nutty left" who act this way when they don't get their way in an election.
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