Friday, November 16, 2012

Secession? What, Again?

Since election day conservatives, angry and bitter that their efforts over the past four years to rid the country of the scary Black man in the White House have been for naught, have proven that while they are a petty and vindictive bunch, they're not particularly imaginative.  So far, since losing, they have regurgitated the same huffing, puffing, fact-free, sanity free rhetoric of 2008.  Claiming "voter fraud" cost their guy the election, calling for articles of impeachment, and their latest 2008 rerun...secession.

Didn't we do this dance already?

Back in 2009 during the height of the health care battle, Texas governor Rick Perry first floated the idea of secession to the fact free bubble of Fox News.
"We live an a great country.  America's a...Texas is a very unique state inside of that great country and there's no reason at all for us to even be talking about seceding.  But if Washington continues to force these programs on the states, if Washington continues to disregard the 10th Amendment, you know, who knows what happens.  There may be people standing up all across the country in tea-parties saying 'enough, alright'."
Now here we go again in 2012, only this time it would seem that Governor Perry has stepped back from the ledge, at least according to his press secretary.
"Gov. [Rick] Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it," his press secretary Catherine Frazier wrote in a statement. "But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government."
 
While it would seem that 2012's embarrassment to Republican governors everywhere has developed a modicum of sanity, his supporters and like minded people across the country clearly haven't.  Hundreds of thousands of disappointed, pissed off Republicans have taken to petitioning the White House to allow their states to secede from the union.  These petitions were created via the Obama administrations "We The People" initiative which was launched in 2011 to give people an opportunity to be heard.  In order for a petition to appear on the White House website it must receive at least 150 "signatures".  To get a response from the White House a petition must receive at least 25,000 signatures.  Six states have reached that threshold, with Texas coming in at number one as of this writing with over 100,000 signatures.
 
So to you folks horny for a Civil War do-over, let's say for the sake of argument that the rest of the country allows you to secede, and that the President doesn't charge you all with treason and send you to form your own sovereign nation at GITMO. What would happen to you so-called "rugged individualists" if the rest of America decided to simply call your very obvious bluff and allow you to form the United States of the Cray-Cray?

For starters, as loathe as you are to admit it, you're going to need some form of government. So, you'll need to think about the kind of government you want. Will it be a democracy, a parliament, a dictatorship, or will the "law of the West" suffice? In any event you'll also need to establish a department of homeland security, as well as your own military to protect you from the swarm of terrorists that will descend upon you like locusts.  Our military will be staying with us, thank you, along with our equipment, our weapons, and our nukes (which would be useless to you anyway since we'll also have the launch codes).  You'll also need a butt-load of new agencies to replace all those evil socialist government services that go away when the rest of America cuts you off.  You don't want to play with us in the sandbox?  You don't get to play with our toys. 

You'll need services to maintain your roads, your bridges, your railroads, your sewage systems, your power grids.  You know, all that stuff that sane Americans call infrastructure. You'll want some kind of Department of Transportation, as well as an FAA and NTSB, since we assume you're going to want to move around in your new nation.  You'll want to have some kind of emergency management system in place for when the next tornado or hurricane blows through the trailer-park.  Obviously you'll want to assure the safety of your food, your water, and your air, but since you loathe agencies like the FDA and EPA, you'll definitely need some form of a health care system, not to mention some form of welfare, and social security, because it would stand to reason that you're going to have sick people, poor people, and old people.  And while you shun science and technology, you're going to want your kids to at least know how to read, so you'll want a Department of Education too.

Perhaps the most important thing you'll need to think about is the kind of economic system you're going to establish.  In other words, what are you going to use for currency?  American money won't be any good in your new country, so how are your citizens going to pay for stuff?  Are you all going to just duke it out "Hunger Games" style and the last one standing gets it all?  And since whatever currency you do come up with will have roughly the value of Monopoly money outside of your sovereign nation of Teabaggistan and you'll have no credit rating to speak of, how are you going to trade with foreign countries like, for instance, the United States?  And how will you attract new business and investments to your new country, not to mention keep the ones you have from leaving in droves?  Oh, and since most of your manufacturing will likely be outsourced to the United States, you'll want to think of some kind of unemployment system for all of the lazy jobless folks you'll have to deal with.

So right off the bat, you're looking at instant poverty, instant bankruptcy, extreme unemployment, and instant third-world status.  Didn't really think this thing through, did you?  Wanna tell me again why secession is a good idea?

Meanwhile, those of us here back in Free America will benefit from an almost immediate dent in the national debt.  Take Texas (please!) and the Affordable Care Act.  By 2011 they had already taken in over $380 million in early grants and other aid from the law according to figures from the Department of Health and Human Services.  And when the rest of the law kicks in, they stand to get anywhere from $53 - $67 billion in aid by 2019 according to the Henry J. Kaiser foundation.  And lets not even mention the $17 billion the state received from the stimulus.  Imagine if the government didn't have to pay that kind of money out to support a bunch of ungrateful whack-jobs who want to rip the stars off the American flag. 

Then there are the House and Senate seats the seceding states would have to give up, and the resulting redistricting of the remaining states because of the population shift, not to mention all those Electoral College votes they'd be giving up, most of which would go to Blue states.  Hello, permanent Democrat majority, which would then be able to pass comprehensive Immigration reform.  That would be good thing for you secessionist since those of you caught here in "secular America" would be considered illegal immigrants and would have to either apply for citizenship or be deported.  We would also be able to pass Single Payer Health Care, Marriage Equality legislation, the American Jobs Act, Climate Change legislation, Equal Pay legislation, real Financial Reform, real Gun Control, etc., etc.  In addition, we could end this insipid "drug war" and legalize Marijuana (and tax the hell out of it), end the war in Afghanistan, overturn Citizens United, and if the opposing party (what's left of it) wants to block our efforts, make them actually filibuster.  In a sense, we here in "Free America" will actually have more freedom once all of the so-called "freedom loving" secessionists are gone.  The folks who make their money ginning up the cray-cray on the right know all of this, and seem to be desperate to put a stop to it.  Conservative blogger Erick Erickson of Red State wrote in his blog this past Tuesday...
We here at RedState are American citizens. We have no plans to secede from the union. If you do, good luck with that, but this is not the place for you.
Too many people have spent the past four years obsessed with birth certificates. Now they are obsessed with voter fraud conspiracies, talk of secession, and supposed election changing news stories if only we had known.
So let’s add dabblers in this latest nuttiness to birthers as a category of people we do not welcome at RedState. Our aim is to beat the Democrats, not beat a retreat to a Confederacy that Generals Grant and Sherman rent asunder well over a hundred years ago.
It really doesn't bode well for your movement when Erick Erickson and Rick Perry have to stage an intervention to talk you down from the ledge.  This whole secession movement isn't really about secession at all.  We know it will NEVER happen.  This is about a group of people who for the past four years have been butt-hurt over the fact that a Black man is running the country.  And now they have another four years to yell, scream, and run the gamut, talk of conspiracies, fraud, secession, and birth certificates, and continue to relegate themselves to the nation's children's table.  Meanwhile liberals like me can look forward to four more years of the most entertaining crazy we've seen in politics since...ever.  Grab the popcorn.

Politico - Rick Perry's Texas gets plenty of money from the feds: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/69072.html

CNN Politics - Rick Perry doesn't support secession petition on White House website: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/13/rick-perry-doesnt-support-secession-petition-on-white-house-website/

LATimes.com - White House receives secession pleas from all 50 states: http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-white-house-secession-50-states-20121114,0,4408092.story

RedState - Is It Time to Roll Up the Welcome Mat Here?: http://www.redstate.com/2012/11/13/is-it-time-to-roll-up-the-welcome-mat-here/