Facing South

Texas secessionists take the spotlight

Texas Governor Rick Perry's talk of secession last spring has fed the efforts of a group of Texas secessionists who say it's time for the governor to follow through.

At a "sovereignty or secession" rally last Saturday on the steps of the Texas state capitol, members of the Texas Nationalist Movement called on the governor and the state legislature to either support Texas sovereignty under the 10th amendment and or to put a referendum on the state ballot asking if Texas should leave the union.

While whipping up a crowd at an anti-tax "tea party" last April, Perry, who's running for re-election in 2009 against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, touted states' rights and flirted with the idea of secession. Perry's known for pandering to the far-right elements of the GOP, but his remarks last spring have in many ways moved the most marginal of far-right groups - what political observers are calling "fringe" elements - to center stage.

As the Texas Observer reported on their blog:

The turnout for the rally wasn't huge -- 200 would be a generous estimate -- but it was enough to show how much Perry has helped galvanize and embolden the right wing "hate America" fringe. After all, the governor of the second most populous state in the nation had suggested that secession was a possible solution to federal over-reach. Republican political leaders have helped bring "death panels" and the Obama birth certificate nonsense into acceptable discourse; Perry's contribution has been bringing secession into the mix.

Perry has voiced sympathy for secession and for HCR 50, a resolution asserting Texas "sovereignty" from the federal government under the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The resolution currently has over 70-plus legislative supporters and goes far in encouraging secessionists within the Texas Nationalist Movement that they have mainstream support.

Political observers say its dangerous for mainstream politicians to pander to extremist political fringe groups. In April, Media Matters reported that these Texas secessionist groups had former leaders responsible for numerous acts of domestic terrorism. "From bomb threats, to kidnapping, to planning attacks using biological weapons, the Texas Nationalist Movement has a long violent history that cannot be ignored," Media Matters Action Network Managing Director Ari Rabin-Havt said. "Governor Perry should be ashamed of his association with these domestic terrorists."

As Media Matters further explained:

Governor Perry should know better. The Texas Nationalist Movement is not a random group. In a 2005 article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, a spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center [SPLC] described the secession movement in Texas as "very hard-line anti-government groups whose views involve anti-government conspiracy theories." Their associates have been responsible for numerous acts and attempted acts of terrorism.

And yet Governor Perry encouraged their extremist views.

Of course Perry nor any of the lawmakers supporting HCR-50 showed up for Saturday's rally, which disappointed the crowd. But neither have Perry nor state lawmakers supporting the sovereignty bill made public moves to distance themselves from the secessionists.

You can see video from Saturday's rally below:


People Referenced:


re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

Ms. Evans: I sure wish you'd check your facts. Quoting the Texas Observer and Media Matters as valid "sources" makes abut as much sense as going to McDonald's to pick up a Jumbo Jack.
I have no problem with you or any other who disagrees with our goal of an independent Texas, but I do wish you'd at least base those opinions on facts, not slander. I'd be happy to discuss the subject with you or anyone else at any time.

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

Dave, that was a nice reply.
But who can take you seriously?

If you don't like America, then why don't you move to a very tiny country the size of Texas?
Maybe you could be king, or something?

Maybe you could open up a McDonald's that sells a "Jumbo Jacks", whatever the hell that is, and you can live happily ever after in YOUR own America?

Sorry Dave, I have to shoot straight here and call you what you are: a crazy bastard, and all of you who believe in this crazy non-sense.
Good luck with your bullshit... and lack of reasoning.

Meanwhile, we will trying to find some justice for the America that we have, not the one that we are imagining that we are going to have...

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

Dave you want to secede? Go for it bud. Its called treason. You and all the other traitors will hang...

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

Is this an op-ed piece? It's sure not reporting. It's rumor mongering at best.

"Political observers say its dangerous for mainstream politicians to pander to extremist political fringe groups."
You don't even bother to qualify this. You pick it up and run with it. "Right wing"? I think not. The VP of the movement is a liberal, and one of the other big people came out of the Green Party. There are Latinos and Blacks alongside the rest of the "fringe". Or don't you know that already?

"In April, Media Matters reported that these Texas secessionist groups had former leaders responsible for numerous acts of domestic terrorism"

Did you even bother to find out if this is true? Do you know the history of the movement? If you did, you'd find that many things happened among them, good, bad, and ugly--just like they do in your own family? Or should I lump you together with one or two of your family members who may have sold drugs or wound up in jail and say the entire family is like this? You are a bigot, Ms. Evans.

And, BJ--define "crazy nonsense". If it weren't for "crazy nonsense" you wouldn't have a country in the first place.

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

Great! Texas can go ahead and secede. It will become a third world country in no time flat. Even if Washington were to allow it, which it won't, all of the federal military installations would have to be paid for by Texas. All of the federal troops would be pulled. Tens of thousands of jobs would be lost, defense contracts would be sent to other states, hundreds of billions of dollars of economic devastation would ensue.

Here's the kicker, Mexico would retake Texas. La Invasora would swarm the border and Texas would be defenseless with inadeqaute State Guard and DPS troopers to stop it. If you fear immigrants now, just wait until Texas secedes and concedes soverignty to Mexico.

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

There is no constitutional way to leave the union, and economically and politically, it would be pretty messy. But Mexico conquering Texas? With 1/4th the population of Mexico, Texas's economic power is more or less is parity. Militarily it's only "threat" would be Mexico, and while it's current forces are not on parity (Mexico is in the top 20 in terms of world military power), one must remember that a fair part of the US military does in fact, come from Texas, and besides that, it has the Texas National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard, and the Texas State Guard. If you don't think that Texas could handle an asymmetric warfare situation, particularly one in which they'd see an attack coming from miles away, one merely has to look at the situation in Israel in 1967. The assumption that Texas would not make the affair far too expensive in time, treasure, and blood is foolhardy. This argument is an Appeal to Fear, and thus pretty worthless.

On Texas becoming a 3rd world country. The US has the second highest corporate tax rate among industrialized countries, and an astounding and growing national debt, whereas as of February of this year Texas was one of only 6 states not facing a budget deficit. Since a fair part of things that happen inside a state come out of state budgets, there's no reason to believe that it would change that much. A lean and well run Texas may well be a place where corporations move TO. Loosing a state with such a sizable high-tech industry (Dell, Intel, AMD, and others have manufacturing there) would be bad for the US.

Likewise, Media Matters. Come on, really? In the political spectrum test, you might as well be appealing to Pravda. I know finding a respectable media organization that isn't left wing might be challenging, but I imagine they'd kinda hate to see what a tiny anti-progressive state with a US-like starting point might do on it's own.

And a very small country the size of Texas? Texas is larger than France or Germany. Population wise it only has 24 million people... 1/3rd - 1/4th that of the countries mentioned, but that's nearly 1 in 10 people in the whole of the US.

Oran's Dictionary of the Law (1983) defines treason as: "...[a]...citizen's actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the [parent nation]." In many nations, it is also often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aided or involved by such an endeavour.

Doesn't qualify. Appeal to fear #2.

If Texas leaves, with 1/10th the population of the country and GDP that is greater than 6/7ths of the world's countries, it would make funding the great progressive experiment even harder. Which is fine by them, since they don't want anything to do with the great progressive experiment. Maybe if we get rid of the socialists in washington, the Texas secessionists would quiet down... and we'd actually be able to bring down the debt to the point where we can start making somewhat rational choices about what parts of that grand dream actually fit in with US sensibilities. And then, when we chunk the entire thing, we'll be better off. Simple.

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

Mexico could never take Texas. We all have guns.

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

It seems fairly simple to me. Are the folks supporting the secession movement willing to denounce the actions of the Texas Republic groups, who certainly have been guilty of violence?

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

I think us liberals should get away from fighting secession and states' rights, after all, CA medical marijuana and MA gay marriage depend on them as much if not more than southern racism. Of course states' rights means most of the South would return to Jim Crow, especially at private lunch counters, but not only could nonsouthern states advance greatly in a progressive direction, but one or two southern states could be saved and even advanced if liberal sunbelt migration could be concentrated into those one or two states by The Big Sort.
States' rights could also motivate people of color to relocate into a statewide majority in one southern state, which would be a giant advance.

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

Have any of you ever considered that a mass action of secession by states and localities against the U.S. regime would be the end of an empire that has killed millions around the world? It would also be the end of the domestic banking cartel/corporate-welfarist regime that has brought the economy to its present condition. Long Live the Texas Nationalist Movement!

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

I think everyone has missed the point. It is not about Mexico being a threat but about radical extremists misguiding people to assume that the Republic and Constitution of the USA doesn't matter. Texas can not yield to extremist views without serious damage to the American people as a whole. I doubt that American Veterans that served our Country from World War II until today would stand for such cowardice. I further doubt that Southerners from the former Confederate States of America would agree with this stupidity. If Texas becomes a lunatic state, then the World will be forced to liberate the people in a more direct way than the way we deal with the Rogue States such as North Korea.

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

Does Texas get significantly more cash from Washington than it pays in federal taxes? If not, Raphael Hythloday's prediction is laughable; if it does, we (non-Texans) should shut up and let them go!

By the way: BJ, a "Jumbo Jack" is a hamburger from Jack-in-the-Box; does that chain not exist where you are?

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

The idea of returning Texas to Mexico should be explored, since it would significantly improve living standards in two countries simultaneously.

re: Texas secessionists take the spotlight

Not in favor of secession, but since when are people who take the 9th and 10th Amendments of the Bill of Rights seriously "extremist political fringe groups" and "domestic terrorists"?