Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 23, 2009

TEXAS REPUBLICANS WEIGH IN ON SECESSION.... Last week, a statewide poll in Texas found that 75% of Texans would like to see their state remain in the U.S., while 18% would prefer to secede, and 7% aren't sure. Whether one considered those numbers encouraging or not was a subjective matter.

But that poll was of Texans in general. How about Texas Republicans? This was more obviously discouraging.

An equal number of Republicans think Texas would be better off as its own country as think it would be better off as part of the United States.

Forty-eight percent of Republicans said they favor secession, the same percentage that said they didn't in a Research 2000/DailyKos poll released Thursday.

More, a majority of Republicans -- 51 percent -- approve of Gov. Rick Perry's (R) recent comments that suggested Texas may need to leave the United States; 44 percent of Republicans disapproved of the remark.

Um, wow. Even as a Texan I find this shocking.

Granted, there were only 234 Republicans who participated in the poll, but the fact that they were split, right down the middle, on the question about staying in the United States is more than a little disturbing.

Indeed, the same poll found a much higher percentage of Texans who approve of the idea of secession that last week's poll. While Rasmussen pegged the number at 18%, the Research 2000/DailyKos poll put the overall, statewide number at 35%, nearly double Rasmussen's figure.

I can't say with any confidence which of the two polls better captures public attitudes in the state, but either way, what should be a fringe idea seems to have quite a bit of support in the Lone Star State.

Oh, and did I mention that some Texas legislators are considering issuing a "cease and desist" order to the federal government?

I've read the Texas Republican Party's platform. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Steve Benen 3:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (67)

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Comments

Let. Them. Go.

Posted by: Obama / Steelers / etc on April 23, 2009 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe texas could give them, say, a third of the state, and they could go seceed. It'd be great--they'd be a magnet for all the other wingnuts and they could drive around all day shooting at things and doubting evolution and within a generation they'd all be begging to be back in the US or dead. I'd prefer the latter

Posted by: Hc Carey on April 23, 2009 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

I for one hope that the Texas GOP keeps unleashing the crazy. Maybe they will drive away the independents. Of course, the Texas Democratic Party needs to do a lot of work just to become a viable party.

Posted by: ckelly on April 23, 2009 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

Having lived in Texas for 10 years and remembering the day I left as one of the best days of my life, I'm all for Texas seceding from the Union.

It's hard to think of a more effective way to improve the state of our Union.

Posted by: kim on April 23, 2009 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

"America -- love it or leave it."

Isn't that what right-wing patriots always say?

Why do half of Texas Republicans hate America?

Posted by: Kreniigh on April 23, 2009 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

What I find shocking is that anyone finds this shocking!

Fer gawds sake, it's the TEXAS GOP!!!

Posted by: Mike on April 23, 2009 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Texas: Home of the American Taliban!

Good fucking riddance. They say everything is bigger in Texas, well, I'd say they're right, in terms of assholes.

Posted by: citizen_pain on April 23, 2009 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

This is the Bush legacy.

Posted by: Danp on April 23, 2009 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Perry's riding high on this shit. I say keep it up fuckers. Texas will be blue very soon. Let them have west & north texas, from Austin down to the gulf is real texas.

Posted by: gapTOOTH on April 23, 2009 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK


We need a national holiday to celebrate General William Tecumseh Sherman, celebrated by re-enacting his 100-mile wide swath of destruction to the sea, maybe every 100-150 years, in order to physically intimidate conservatives, by making them realize that they can be killed too.

/Coulter

Posted by: anonymous on April 23, 2009 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Does that mean that we don't have to pay for their hurricanes and wild fires anymore? We won't have to pay for their schools, roads or the Bush Library. Maybe GW will have to pay for his own secret service. This could be a plus. I know quite a few very nice people from the lone star state, but most of them now live in California.

Posted by: Gracious on April 23, 2009 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

They might try a poll to find out what the rest of the country thinks. I suspect there would be overwhelming support for secession. I imagine goodbye parties breaking out up and down the land.

Posted by: wister on April 23, 2009 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

No taxes in Texas. Yee haw!

No federal monies. No defense contracts. No Interstate commerce.

Sounds like heaven (but I hope the idiots all rot in hell!).

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on April 23, 2009 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Just to keep things in balance, I think it's only fair to point out that Texas does have a few bright spots. For example, they have some of the best Permian-period fossil beds in the Western Hemisphere. I am hard-pressed, however, to find anything good that happened in Texas in the last 250 million years.

Actually, for one bit of good news from Texas, that asshat creationist dentist that heads the school standards board is catching hell in his reappointment hearings.

Posted by: Tim H on April 23, 2009 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

As a native Texan I advise that you take these polls with a grain of salt. We are raised from birth to revere Texas as a magical, exceptional place. We are taught from birth the myth that Texas can succeed if it chooses or can divide into as many as five states in order to support this exceptionalist point of view. Texans are also just perverse enough to tell a pollster that they support succession just to give an interesting answer and to give the non-Texans who read these polls something to talk about. Never forget that the statement, "Texas, it's like a whole other country." is both advertising and an accurate statement about how Texans see their state. So laugh if you feel moved to do so, but don't put too much stock in the accuracy of these poll numbers.

Posted by: shelleyq on April 23, 2009 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

On and on and on.

Remember, legally, any Texan is free to separate themselves from the United States if they wish. They just can't take Texas with them.

We'll find someone willing to clean it up and make it livable.

Posted by: Midland on April 23, 2009 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

From the poll...

Would Texas be better off as part of the US or as an independent nation?

All respondents: US 61%, Ind. 35%
Republicans (39% of total): US 48%, Ind. 48%
Non-Republicans (61% of total): US 69%, Ind. 27%

Do you approve of Gov. Perry's suggestion that Texas may have to leave the union?

All respondents: Yes 37%, No 58%
Republicans (39% of total): Yes 51%, No 44%
Non-Republicans (61`% of total): Yes 28%, No 67%

Posted by: KTinOhio on April 23, 2009 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

"what should be a fringe idea seems to have quite a bit of support in the Lone Star State." This message brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

Posted by: wheresthebeef on April 23, 2009 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

48% claim they favor secession, but 51% approve of Perry's hot air? The poll probably tapped into the fringe element, but I doubt these numbers are evidence of Republicans' intent to act; I think that extra 3% just shows that Texans love their 10-gallon, longhorn steer-sized piles of BS.

Posted by: stinger on April 23, 2009 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Would Texas be better off as part of the US or as an independent nation? -KTinOhio, citing the survey

Makes me curious what the responses from the rest of the country would be if they asked "Would the US be better off if Texas were an independent nation?"

Posted by: doubtful on April 23, 2009 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

234 republicans??? Riiight.

Just ask these same members if they'd prefer to have their own state where they could be in control and watch that number increase. It's not about states or seccession...it's about power and money and that is their own concern. Patriotism is just a cover.

These republican Texans need to just leave America and go form their own nation on some island the same size.

American treason and sedition id frowned upon in America.
Guaranteed if there were a republican pres these hypocrites would be singing a different tune. Maybe there will appear several Texas counties who don't want to be a part of Texas anymore. How about a new Texas 'badlands' where that pathetic ego maniac bad actor Chuck Norris could live out his tough guy fantasy as President/Sheriff...only without the cameras and extras. Perry is an opportunist, manipulating power hungry phony whose only concern is getting elected again.

Posted by: bjobotts on April 23, 2009 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

As a Californian I would happily support a motion to secede from the union. I am tired of being at the mercy of nincompoops from the rest of the country.

Posted by: PmP on April 23, 2009 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Or, what shelleyq said.

Posted by: stinger on April 23, 2009 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

The North lost the Civil War when the South surrendered.

Let's trade Texas for Cuba! They've got better music and better healthcare.

Posted by: chrenson on April 23, 2009 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

President Andrew Jackson's policy on nullification should be Obama's. Basically, he said he'd enforce federal laws at gunpoint, and nullifiers would be hung as traitors.

Posted by: JMG on April 23, 2009 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK


Nincompoops? Well, California did elect Schwarzenegger governor TWICE.
Serious-minded people don't do that.

Posted by: B on April 23, 2009 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Oh goodie -- no more oil or cattle subsidies to Texas! And we get back any federal land!

Now if we can get rid of all the other red states living off the federal teat, maybe we can turn the Bush deficit around!

Posted by: gradysu on April 23, 2009 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

It's time to buy all the crazy rightwing republicans (ie, most republicans) a one-way ticket
to the Republic of Texas. I'm willing to make a donation. Mark Sanford and Sarah Palin, are you reading this?

Posted by: MuddyLee on April 23, 2009 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Wonder how they'll like seeing tumbleweed blowing through Lackland, Laughlin, Randolph, Bliss, Hood, Sam Houston, and the dozen other Air Force, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard bases that the US government currently maintains in the state?

As someone who remembers Texans chuckling over bumper stickers that said "Drive fast. Freeze a Yankee." during the 70s oil crisis, I wouldn't be sorry to see them go. If for no other reason than that we would no longer have to put up with the Cowboys calling themselves "America's Team."

PS: Anyone know whether Texas gets more in federal revenue than it sends in taxes--or vice versa?

Posted by: Zak44 on April 23, 2009 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with shelleyq and think a large majority of these folks were simply engaging in a little Texas pride, and that they wouldn't actually support such a thing if it came to a real vote. And it's the exact same thing here with the folks suggesting that they'd be fine with Texas seceding. It's just a bunch of jokers trying to act tough and signifies nothing.

Besides that, losing Austin would be such a huge blow to America's coolness that I'm not sure how y'all would cope. So why don't you just shut your damn pieholes about wanting us gone and wait a few more years until we're a blue state again. Geez, you don't have to be such a-holes just because you're jealous. And if it bothers you so much to live in an inferior state, maybe you should move here and help make it blue a little faster. Not to Austin, of course, as we're already too crowded. But Corpus isn't a bad place and they vote for Dems there.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on April 23, 2009 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Take in those numbers, 75% vs 18% translates into a legislature that is 50% Stoopid (and there are the SuperStoopids like Hensarling). Now you can see why we Texas liberals feel a wee bit underrepresented.

Posted by: Capt Kirk on April 23, 2009 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

It appears from these limited poll results that about 1/2 of Texas Republicans are treasonous, but in a good way.

Posted by: robert on April 23, 2009 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

"These republican Texans need to just leave America and go form their own nation on some island the same size." -bjobotts

I would suggest the Garbage Island that I highlighted on my show yesterday!

Posted by: Oprah Winfrey on April 23, 2009 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Texas secession would be very bad for American music. Also football. Therefore it must be prevented at all costs.

Posted by: JMG on April 23, 2009 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I say we throw in Oklahoma to sweeten the deal.

Posted by: Nancy Beth on April 23, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

This is progress, folks.

After eight years of Texans—one in particular—harming all fifty states, now they just want to ruin one.

Praise be!


Posted by: tamiasmin on April 23, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

"a large majority of these folks were simply engaging in a little Texas pride"

Yeah, kinda the way David Duke engages in white pride...

Get over yourself, yahoo. We're not jealous, we're disgusted--and if you want to leave, the only dispute will be over who gets to hold the door for you.

Posted by: mauro on April 23, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

I love this state, but the fringe party insists on embarrassing us, daily.

I have to defend my state so here goes, posturing. Remember Bush at his peak, that is where we seem to be. It was embarrassing for the country as a whole and it certainly did not mean the US was the man Bush portrayed to the world. I am in Houston and the only talk of secession I have read was the Perry comment and like 5 posts here. I can easily believe our republican politicians hitting 50%, but what about our democratic politicians. The House only has a one person lead of R's to D's and the Senate is ~17 R's to 12 D's. Not that it matters.

I am not making excuses, but we aren't as goofy as the loud mouth republicans would like the world to believe. It would be nice if after every Texas post there wasn't a Bill O'Reilly like rant about how bad Texas sucks, I get it, really, 'don't let the door hit you on the way out' written 20 different ways is hard to miss.

But if that is really how you feel, shut the fuck up when there is talk of secession. Do you want us or not? If so quit ripping on us like we are all related to Bush & Cornyn, if you don't quit ripping on us for suggesting something you want. I have to defend my views daily here in Texas, it would be nice if I didn't have to defend them to my own god damn party every time an idiot from Texas does something really stupid.

I think it's crazy talk, but no crazier then idiots saying 'see-ya'. The only difference of course is a D or an R, and of course one is acceptable here and one isn't.

Posted by: ScottW on April 23, 2009 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

No one's ripping on Texas for wanting to go. Really. We'll help you pack and everything.

Posted by: mauro on April 23, 2009 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Can the rest of us decide if we want to even let Texas remain a state. I am not so sure we shouldn't push them out. Texans have not be so good for this country so far. I see no expectation that they will shape up - so ship them out.

Posted by: George on April 23, 2009 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

They can't stand the thought that we now have a President that is engaged, intelligent, admired at home and abroad, and is actively trying to clean up the mess their failed mess made.

Posted by: Saint Zak on April 23, 2009 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

While I would be delighted to see the back of their cowshit crusted boots once and for and for all, especially if they took Oklahoma with them, in reality such a thought has little more than smirk value.

Let us not forget that nearly 600,000 perished on both sides in the Civil War, a horrific number that needs to be remembered, lest anyone think this is just a rhetorical exercise.

The Supreme Court ruled after the Civil War that the United States is "an indestructible union of indestructible states." When we pledge allegiance (remember the Rightwingnuts who criticized Obama for not doing so?) we pledge allegiance to "one nation, indivisible."

So it needs to be said, clearly and loudly, that SECESSION IS TREASON, and anyone who advocates secession is, by definition, not just some Rightwingnut blowing steam out of his ass, but a TRAITOR to the United States of America. As someone who wore this country's uniform--and wore it with pride--I don't take that lightly.


Posted by: Chaim Rosemarin on April 23, 2009 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Are they the stupidist people on earth. if they don't like what they are paying in taxes now what do they think they will be paying if they need to establish their own military, their own treasury, their own form of government across the board. Or do they figure we will just let them piggy back on us.
Do they think that sitting smack dab next to Mexico that they will be left alone by the drug cartels that have practically taken over the boarder?
And why isn't anyone in the media asking that Moron Perry how much it would cost tha avg. texan to actually seceed. US fed taxes would look like a bargain if someone put the numbers together...

Posted by: Bethie on April 23, 2009 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not so sure that advocating secession is actually treason. That whole "freedom of speech" thing. That doesn't mean they don't look like a bunch of ass-faced monkeys. In chaps!

Posted by: chrenson on April 23, 2009 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Call their bluff and put it up for a vote. Of course secession is a parlor game and an expression of pride. Make Perry and the blowhards put some political capital into their bloviating and see what happens. It should be fun getting a bunch of wingers publicly commit to treason and sedition.

Posted by: danimal on April 23, 2009 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

How French of them. They seem to view the United States of America as something akin to the European Union.

Posted by: stoneman on April 23, 2009 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, do you seriously NOT understand that Republicans don't mean what they say, say what they mean, know what they're talking about, or care?

Posted by: Impeach Jay Bybee on April 23, 2009 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone talked to Mexico about this? How about a give-back?

Posted by: CJColucci on April 23, 2009 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

There were a couple of good women who came out of Texas, but unfortunately they're both dead. Can we rebury them here in the US of A when Texas secedes?

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 23, 2009 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Those of us the Bay Area have had to put up with Ditto Head ReThuglicans using the word "San Francisco" as an epithet for years.

You in Texas are just getting your toes wet.

Your governor is providing grist for the "Texas conservative" mill and sorry, but you can't blame us if he's making you a laughing stock.

Texas conservative, Texas conservative, Texas conservative.

A "Texas conservative" is one that HATES the United States and wants to leave it.

Perry is a Texas conservative, and it seems like most of the ReThuglican Party there are too.

Posted by: Cal Gal on April 23, 2009 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

If we could only go back in time to 1865.

Let the deep south (alabama, georgia, louisiana, mississippi, and texas) become their own country.

Give the freed slaves access to unclaimed lands.

What would the deep south be today?

I'm thinking a mixture of Mexico and Saudi Arabia -- only less educated.

Posted by: Anonny on April 23, 2009 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

If nothing else, Texas did give us Lyndon Johnson, without whom the Civil Rights Act '64 and the Voting Rights Act of '65 might not have passed (though it's possible they would have passed under Kennedy as well).
Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, too. (Then again, not sure it would have made any difference for them if Texas had been another country.)
Zak44 @ 4:21, most recent numbers I could find date to '04, in which year TX was actually a net tax-dollar loser, getting back 94¢ on the Federal tax dollar, much more than the 79¢ that both NY and CA got back that year, but much less than UT ($1.14), OK ($1.48), AL ($1.71), MS ($1.77), or champion NM ($2.00). Source:

http://www.taxfoundation.org/files/sr139.pdf

Posted by: smartalek on April 23, 2009 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

Since our country seems to exist for the benefit of Texas Republicans, their happiness should be our first concern. By all means go!!!

Posted by: nonheroicvet on April 23, 2009 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Besides that, losing Austin would be such a huge blow to America's coolness that I'm not sure how y'all would cope.

Cheh. This sentence is a liberal version of all the Texas blowharding and chest-thumping we've been making fun of here. Must y'all supersize every statement down there?

Austin is a fun town (despite the strip-mall feeling and bad architecture in too much of it), so we understand why you cling dearly to the notions that it's more important than it is and that it somehow redeems all of Texas. But it ain't all that, son, and a number of other cities have good music, decent eats and/or bats without being totally surrounded by crazy.

Posted by: shortstop on April 23, 2009 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

I say we throw in Oklahoma to sweeten the deal.
Posted by: Nancy Beth on April 23, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Speaking as a lifelong Okie...
I've been lookin for an excuse to move anyway, why the hell not?

Posted by: Cognitive Dissident on April 23, 2009 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Do you want us or not? If so quit ripping on us like we are all related to Bush & Cornyn, if you don't quit ripping on us for suggesting something you want.

As was pointed out to you just last week, your expectation that every progressive from every part of the U.S. is going to have the same perspective makes no sense whatsoever, commits the very sin of generalizing you keep bitching about, and has the effect of announcing that you can't stand any form of Texas criticism.

I have to defend my views daily here in Texas, it would be nice if I didn't have to defend them to my own god damn party every time an idiot from Texas does something really stupid.

As was also pointed out to you last week, the person doing something really stupid this time wasn't some random idiot. It was your governor. You don't think it's newsworthy when your chief executive gins up talk of secession and half the Texas GOP is all for it? Tough shit. Take it up with them. We're judging this by the whole country's standards, not by some magical Texas-gets-a-pass-on-idiocy-because-every-schoolchild-learns-this-stuff formula.

Man, some of you guys are thin-skinned down there. Not a week in my life goes by when I don't hear some non-Illinoisan expressing contempt for and mockery of Chicago politics, but you don't hear me whining like a baby that my state is being maligned and that I'm getting no support from fellow libs for my efforts to help clean up our system. Pull up your socks, boys and girls.

Posted by: shortstop on April 23, 2009 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

All Hat. No Cattle.

That defines The Feminized Great American Wimp.

Nothing will happen, as usual.

Posted by: Tim on April 23, 2009 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Why the exposure? she's the spawn of a famous person, and she's doing something quite unpredictable and noteworthy in dissing the GOP and denizens thereof. Plus she's young and blonde. And she had a blog that got some play during the campaign. I do believe all of that is more than adequate to make her at least a C-list celebrity, without any additional trimming. So to speak.

Posted by: LL on April 23, 2009 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Fine, but only if the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers get kicked out of the NFL and MLB, respectively.

Posted by: Jim in Ohio on April 23, 2009 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

If nothing else, Texas did give us Lyndon Johnson, without whom the Civil Rights Act '64 and the Voting Rights Act of '65 might not have passed (though it's possible they would have passed under Kennedy as well).

Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, too. (Then again, not sure it would have made any difference for them if Texas had been another country.)

Don't forget Willie Nelson and Bob Wills.

But keep the faith -- as time goes on, Texas will get bluer...just like Virginia did.

Posted by: Vincent on April 23, 2009 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

ScottW,

"But if that is really how you feel, shut the fuck up when there is talk of secession. Do you want us or not?"

I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't want *any* states seceding, which is why this talk is so childish and infuriating to those like myself.

Boo-hoo, Texas Republicans, your home guy is gone and your party lost big time in November. Suck it up like everyone else does and go about your normal business.

The Texas Republicans respond with "Nah, that would be too responsible. Instead, let's blow this motherfucker up and start over again."

I really feel for those like yourself that have to live there and put up with this type of thinking. I really do.

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on April 23, 2009 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

All ya'all aren't understandin'.

We'll fucking LEVEL the state. Just try us.

Posted by: anonymous on April 23, 2009 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder where Texas places itself in the World Economy? My state California places 7th before the recession. Really I see nothing wrong with them leaving since the only thing I find worth while in Texas is their sweet juice oranges which haven't shown up in the market here in a couple of years. BUt they should take Bushes and Chaney with them along with enron who sent our power grid into bankrupty. Of course California leaving the US might be OK. We supply lots of food, electronics and entertainment to the rest of the US. Also we could stop California from becoming over crowded with non-citizens. It was a serious thought when Bush won over Gore in that questionable race.

Posted by: Beverly on April 23, 2009 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

Goodbye, good riddance. Take more of the South with you, too, would you?

Posted by: clem on April 23, 2009 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

If Texas secedes, does this mean the Big XII conference goes back to being the Big 8?

Posted by: 2Manchu on April 23, 2009 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

How about we sell Texas to Mexico? Put the proceeds towards paying for individual healthcare for those remaining here in the good ol" U.S.of A!

Posted by: Bob/SoCal on April 23, 2009 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Give the Tex'Rs all the barren lands of West Texas. The landscape around Fort Bliss is a perfect match for the barren landscape that is the Republican party.

Posted by: kimilbush on April 24, 2009 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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