"We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that? But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot." --Governor Rick Perry, April 15, 2009The above quote was uttered by Texas Governor Rick Perry while speaking at one of the tea-bagging rallies drummed up by Fox News and the Republican scream machine.
The crowd at the event was in fine fettle. Frequently, as the various speakers railed there were shouts of "Secede!" There was cheering. There was frantic waving of American flags. (Ignore the irony, people. The folks at these events aren't known for their deductive capabilities.)
Governor Perry is giving voice to the outrage that Fox News viewers have been convinced they feel over the direction President Obama and the Democratic majority in Congress are taking the nation. Ostensibly, they are outraged over the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the (admittedly huge) federal deficits and debt that will be wracked up by the Obama agenda.
A couple things...
First of all, I don't think that these fake patriots, these rigid-thought rednecks, are really all that fired up over budgetary problems or new taxes on the very robber barons who damn near ruined our financial system. They were silent as meek little lambs when Junior blew the Clinton surplus out of the water. And very few of them will pay a penny more in taxes under the Obama plan.
What they are actually pissed off about is that they lost the election. Their views, their beliefs were rejected by the voting public. They are being shunted aside, ignored while the country pushes forward. That, I can understand. I felt the same way back in 2003 when Junior Bush pushed for and then launched the illegal invasion of Iraq over the protests of myself and millions of others. It's even worse for them, though. Junior never had as many people behind him as do Obama and the Democrats. Tough break, fake patriots. Eat it.
Secondly, Governor Perry really ought to give some serious thought to whether or not he wants to continue with this line of rhetoric. Maybe someone can remind him that Texas actually did secede from the Union in 1861. Ken Burns made an excellent television documentary that can help educate the governor as to how it turned out last time. But aside from that, advocating secession and war upon the United States falls into a category of behavior that lawyers call "treason." Strict constitutional constructionists might also note that the punishment for treason is an old favorite of Texans... namely, death.
I've been to Texas, and I must say, the people down there are a genuinely friendly bunch of folks. I really do like them a lot. But I sure wouldn't mind if hucksters and fools like Tom Delay, Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Cornyn, Phil Gramm, and Junior were forever removed from our national consciousness. In fact, if it weren't for the price that I know African-Americans, gays, Hispanics and other minorities that live in the Old South would pay, I'm not sure I'd cry too hard if the Confederacy were to split off and go its own way.
It ain't gonna happen. The fake patriots are frightened and bewildered now that they've been so thoroughly disgraced and humiliated. But, when it comes right down to it, they'll go back to munching Popeye's Chicken and watching NASCAR on the teevee.
For a short while, they actually believed that they had ascended to political dominance, and that they would remain there, perhaps in perpetuity. But the national elections of 2006 and 2008 shattered that illusion. And now, they're reduced to spouting inflammatory rhetoric that would be laughable were it not so hateful.
Remember your history lessons, folks. In the early years of the Civil War, after Manassas, Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville, it seemed to many that the Confederacy might succeed in its rebellion. But then came Gettysburg... in the end, everyone comes to know Gettysburg.