Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Olbermann Takes Down Perry on Secession

Gov. Rick  “Goodhair” Perry (R-TX) of Texas is once more talking about Texas seceding from the United States (only a few weeks after requesting all that Tamiflu from the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT in the form of the Centers for Disease Control).  If the Obama administration were really the “oppressive” dictatorship that Perry claims, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents would already be visiting Perry about this since talk of secession meets dictionary definitions of “inciting to sedition,” carrying a 20 year sentence. 

Keith Olbermann let’s Perry have it about the stupidity of secession. If it DIDN’T cause a civil war and the other 49 states let Texas go, it would cost TEXAS billions–Keith lost track after $500 billion.  The transcript should be highlighted in the op-eds of every Texas newspaper to put a stop to all this talk of secession.

Think, Texans, and then write your newspapers, state legislators, and governor–and talk to GOP family members and friends.  I have family in Texas. I know the idea of Texas as an independent country (as it was for about 5 years) is highly romantic and appeals to Texans’ sense of independence and uniqueness.  But it is stupid.  These days, it costs MUCH to start up a modern republic.

Texans’ taxes would AT LEAST triple overnight as they had to get their own postal service, health services, army, navy, equivalent of the FBI, DEA, ATF (unless Perry plans to expand the Texas Rangers to handle it all).

The 1 billion in Pell Grants to educate people at Texas universities last year–gone.

Ft. Hood: Gone.  Maybe relocated to Arizona.

NASA: which employs over 200,000 in Houston DIRECTLY–gone. I’m sure Michigan would love those high tech jobs rebuilding Detroit.

The National Parks in Texas: Would have to be purchased from the U.S. at a fair-market price (we could pay some bills with that!) and the tourist $ for those parks (including the Alamo) would drop because of the Americans who would now need to get VISAs and passports to visit Texas.

All the revenue from the Dallas Cowboys as “America’s team:” Gone when the national networks no longer broadcast their games and they need passports to play anyone else in the NFL. 

No more hurricane relief from FEMA.  No more federal help with border security.

There would be no federal education dollars for Texas public schools.

Also, all demographics indicate that by 2020 Latinos will outnumber Anglos in TX. With the complete disaster of the years prior to that as the new “Republic of Texas,” maybe the new Latino majority will vote to join back to Mexico as the state of Tejas. (Of course, Tejas could be so messed up by then that Mejico would be reluctant to take  it back!)

Please Texans, we love your barbecue and Tex-Mex food. We love your music and rodeos.  We love Texans.  But no more talk of secession, okay? And no more polls showing that a majority of Texas Republicans think this is a good idea.  And shut Perry up!


May 16, 2009 - Posted by | U.S. politics


  1. Amen, brother!

    Comment by Ralph | May 16, 2009

  2. Succession??? Heck, maybe Gov. Perry would prefer to just rescind the Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo and give the Mexicans their land back in exchange for the $15 million the U.S. paid them for it in the first place. El gobernador esta practicando su español, ¿no?

    Comment by haitianministries | May 16, 2009

  3. While it is all political theater, let’s have some dorm-room seriousness here….

    Whether it is economically wise, I still would like to see some state secede (used to be Vermont wanted to) to uphold the principle of self-determination for people and states. The anti-federalists and later Jeffersonians were correct on this issue. Jackson and Lincoln not so much.

    We are a union of STATES. Germany is a state which is not in the union. They have a choice in the matter so should Vermont. This is also why I support the Senate and its two senators from Wyoming who have as much pull as California. And it is also why the electoral college is a constitutional must. States matter. They are not mere districts or regions of the nation.

    This charge of sedition is nonsense. The “Union” is not a theological necessity to be enforced by the gun (pace Jackson and Lincoln). You of all people should know that. Perry is not threatening violence to the other states or the federal government. Putting aside his partisan silliness, he is only threatening to exercise the liberty of Texans to govern themselves. If that is sedition, you need to question what kind of “powers” you are under the spell of and how you are letting them define the terms. Olbermann may do that, but you are supposed to support people’s exercise of their liberty, that is, if democracy is an implication of the gospel.

    And no, this has nothing to do with turning back civil rights, much less slavery. (End curmudgeonly constitutional rant.)

    Comment by james | May 18, 2009

  4. Sorry, James, but unless all other states agree, states do not have the right to secede. That was settled by a very bloody war, and the 12th and 13th Amendments.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | May 18, 2009

  5. First of all, I think the threat of secession is pretty ridiculous and one shouldn’t throw it around. Olbermann’s best point, in my opinion, is that whites in Texas will soon be outnumbered by Hispanics, which might lead to a union with Mexico. (Olbermann assumes without justification, however, that all Hispanics would want to join Mexico. Assuming that Texas wouldn’t suddenly become more economically depressed that Mexico–although one might argue that it would–even Hispanics might desire a friendship over a union.)

    That being said, I think james makes a number of good points, to which I would like to add. I apologize if they are repetitive.

    1. If the American colonies had the right to secede from the British Empire, then they have no right to force states to remain in union. That’s pretty hypocritical, especially considering that the very reason Perry threatens secession is due to the fact that he considers it “necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another” (the U.S. Declaration of Independence). It’s like the other 49 states are telling Texas that it can’t divorce them without a fight.

    2. Olbermann overlooks the fact that Texas “owns” its share of the federal government. He speaks of the national forest and NASA as if no tax dollars from Texas have ever contributed to either. Moreover, he overlooks the fact that Texas “owns” its share of national parks and agencies in other states. If a married couple divorces, both are entitled to a share of their collective wealth. Why would Texas not be allowed its share? (Perhaps a third party–Canada?–would arbitrate?)

    3. Concerning the “federal” money given to Texas: part of the reason that Perry would consider secession is this kind of spending. Just because they accept it doesn’t mean that they approve of it. (If you want to call them out on this, you might consider sending back your stimulus check.) And, again, they paid their share of what they got back. It’s not as if the federal government is Texas’s parent doling out an allowance. To the contrary, the federal government is funded by the states, including Texas. If a Texan is not happy with how the money is spent, I can understand why he or she would want to secede.

    4. While Olbermann may not have qualms with refusing secession with military might, I, as a Christian, do.

    5. Olbermann’s ad hominem attacks (e.g. “Governor Asshat”) are humorous but counterproductive.

    Comment by Stephen | May 18, 2009

  6. I do not think America had a right to secede from Britain. We just got away with it.
    You claim that Texas “owns ” its share of the federal govt. At best it rents it. But, in fact, out of ever federal tax dollar that comes from Texas, 64 cents are returned in the form of federal aid. (In fact, the “Blue” or Democratic states support the “Red” or Republican states. They pay the majority of tax dollars. Meanwhile the states that complain the most about taxes and welfare recipients HAVE the most welfare recipients and pay less in federal taxes.)

    If you accept money which you dissaprove, you are a hypocrite. And Perry didn’t just reluctantly approve federal money that he thinks is ill spent, he ACTIVELY SOUGHT IT whenever Texas needed it. If he really thought the federal govt. oppressive, he should never have requested Tamiflu from the CDC.

    The other 49 states ARE telling Texas that it cannot divorce them without a fight–or a messy, expensive settlement. That’s just reality. That’s how our government is set up.

    I, as a Christian, oppose all violence. So, I should oppose secession talk which could lead to it.

    I am not endorsing all of Olbermann’s language in posting his video.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | May 18, 2009

  7. Okay, Texas, if you leave, we’re all coming with you. I have no problem with the US Capitol being moved to say, Amarillo or maybe Luckenbach (“Obama, Willie and the boys…”) but I will NOT accept a USA without Texas. “That’s right, you’re not from Texas. Texas wants you anyway…”. My attitude is, “Don’t Mess with Texas… you’re where we want you and you ain’t goin’ no where without the rest of us”. Thanks, Michael, for giving me this chance to comment. Certainly, I know this talk of secession is just politics… but maybe it’s time we all tell our Texans how much we love them and their state. Maybe they’ll return the favor to us if we start acting as silly as their governor. Thanks!

    Comment by Tom | May 18, 2009

  8. Viva La Raza Michael…As for Olbermann he is a putz…:-)

    Comment by Paul | May 18, 2009

  9. Disagree on Olbermann, Paul. He’s sometimes over the top, but is an excellent counterweight to the rightwing echo machine in much of “mainstream media.” And he’s usually entertaining–and not afraid to take on Democrats, too.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | May 19, 2009

  10. A lot of what you speak of as government necessities I see as inefficient wastes of money that are aimed at solving problems with which the government was never meant to be concerned. The privatization of a lot of those services would be a good thing in my mind. I don’t find the federal government’s teat that mesmerizing.

    Comment by Stuart | May 20, 2009

  11. I invite you to move to Somalia, then. Weak central government that is very small. Low taxes. Lots of guns.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | May 20, 2009

  12. Smaller, weaker central government with empowered STATE governments is not Somalia. They lack government period except localized militia.

    If we had a true federal structure which respected states we wouldn’t be about to bail out California’s profligacy since we (the other 49) didn’t benefit from it or endorse it. But as with the auto industry, rust belt states, and unions we will get the “too big too fail” garbage.

    Comment by james | May 20, 2009

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