The Case for Secession.

Michael Tomasky makes one:

Texas has been (in political terms, not necessarily cultural ones) a greasy white zit in the middle of America’s nose ever since Dwight Eisenhower warned the rest of us about crazy Texas millionaires in 1954. Today, it’s still Texas billionaires who finance insane right-wing smear campaigns on a regular basis.

This one state has done more than any other to retard progress in our recent history. The swift-boaters, much of the money to finance Reagan’s contra war, Karl Rove, the Bushes…all Texas.

If it left, those billionaires and Rove and the Bushes could run the new republic. Fine. Drive it into the ground instead of America. Secession would also produce 34 fewer Republican electoral votes, meaning either that a) no Republican would ever win a presidential election again or b) one might, but he or she would have to moderate his/her positions so much that they’d make Nelson Rockefeller look like Grover Norquist, in which case GOP rule wouldn’t be so hideous at all. And about 20 or so fewer wingnuts in the House of Representatives.

And Matt Yglesias co-signs:

… if Texas wants to leave the union we should probably just let them go and I’d say the same for other southern states that feel oppressed by our efforts to use federal tax money to help them take care of their unemployed citizens. Back during the Civil War, the cause of keeping the union together was intertwined with the cause of fighting the great evil of slavery. But assume we just welcome migrants from the Republic of Texas with open arms if they want to flee north, there’d be no comparable problem with letting Texas leave.

Obviously, one advantage of large-scale secession of the most conservative states is that it would be a lot easier to pass progressive legislation. An aspect of Civil War history that people don’t tend to appreciate is that the temporary departure of the Dixie bloc of Senators allowed a huge flowering of legislative activity that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible. In addition to prosecuting the war, the Lincoln-era GOP took sweeping action on industrial policy, infrastructure, land reform, etc. much of which would have been extraordinarily difficult to accomplish had the southerners just stayed in their seats and used the considerable levers of obstruction that are available to legislative minorities.

It could be that this is just crazy talk from a couple of slack-jawed Yankees. But I’ve got to admit that they make a convincing argument.

I love Texas and a number of Texans, but as long as I maintain a passport that’s honored in Houston, I’m open to the possibilities.

Of course, some of Gov. Rick Perry’s amped-up, asshat antics in recent days might have something to do with a March poll that shows him running behind – again – Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in next year’s GOP gubernatorial primary. Thus, his rhetoric is not as insane as it is predictable.
However, you’d figure that Southern conservatives renewing their cries about states’ rights is not what Michael Steele meant by “going beyond the cutting edge.”

5 thoughts on “The Case for Secession.

  1. shani-o April 17, 2009 at 11:18 am Reply

    Yikes. While the idea of Texas seceding is rather pleasing, and would probably be good for the country, our federal government is probably the only saving grace for the millions upon millions of people living there who aren’t billionaires. Of course, they could always emigrate. Hmm…

  2. Grump April 17, 2009 at 11:27 am Reply

    From a sports standpoint, should Texas secede, they could end up like Cuba losing alot of its prized athletes.

  3. quadmoniker April 17, 2009 at 12:36 pm Reply

    I have no problem with all of the South succeeding. The North could give automatic asylum to anyone who doesn’t want to, they’d just have to move to Missouri or something. And while you’re at it, I think Arkansas and Mississippi should go to. And Yglesias and Tomasky aren’t the first to come up with this idea. If you remember the anger you felt after the 2004 election, you’ll be happy to re-read

  4. Big Word April 17, 2009 at 1:08 pm Reply

    Hell no. Texas cannot leave the Union. I ain’t moving up north. Yeah the nightlife in big cities are awesome, but it’s too damned cold for too damned long up there.

    • blackink12 April 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm Reply

      I guess it depends on how far north you go, I suppose. I lived in Oklahoma City for almost a year, and I pretty much considered it a far northern suburb of Dallas.

      But really, Foreign Policy took a look at what might happen if Texas followed through on its plans to leave the Union. Here’s how that might work out, in a paragraph:

      “In short: the state of Texas would rapidly become direly impoverished, would need to be heavily armed, and would be wracked with existential domestic and foreign policy threats. It would probably make our failed states list in short order. Probably better to pay the damn taxes.”

      Yeah. This is all a bunch of hooey.

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