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Tilting at Windmills

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May 1, 2009

SECESSION ATTITUDES IN GEORGIA.... A couple of weeks ago, there were some disturbing poll numbers out of Texas relating to secession. A Rasmussen poll found that 18% of Texans were willing to admit that they liked the idea of breaking off from the United States. A related poll from Research 2000/DailyKos found 48% of Texas Republicans approving of the idea.

But how about other Southern states? A new Research 2000/DailyKos poll found surprisingly (and depressingly) high support for the idea in Georgia.

Note to the teabaggers: two-thirds of Republicans in one of the more conservative states in the nation love their country and don't want to secede.

This, of course, means that about a third of Georgia Republicans do want out of America, but you can't have everything.

Specifically, the pollster asked respondents in Georgia, "Do you think Georgia would be better off as an independent nation or as part of the United States of America?" About a third (35%) of Georgians overall expressed their support for "independent nation." Among Republicans in Georgia, the number was even higher, 43%.

The pollster also asked a similar question using different wording: "Would you approve or disapprove of Georgia leaving the United States?" This time, 18% of respondents in Georgia backed secession, including 32% of Republicans.

So, Georgia hasn't quite reached Texas-like levels, but it's in the ballpark. And with some Republicans in the state legislature stoking the secession fires, the numbers might still go up.

Steve Benen 1:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (63)

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Comments

I don't think these polls really mean a lot. These people obviously haven't thought it through. I've also thought at times that it would be cool to break off from the US, for leftish rather than rightish reasons, but I don't think I'd really want to sweat the details.

Posted by: Virginia on May 1, 2009 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

As with all things, if Democrats and/or progressives were to be in favor of secession - even 1% - the Republicans and their media machine would be screaming bloody murder from all corners.

Of course, IOKIYAR. If you're a Republican, something like this shows character, backbone.

Posted by: Terraformer on May 1, 2009 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Don't these lawmakers have anything better to do than to explore pointless succession arguments that are NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN? I mean, I don't live in Georgia or Texas, but I'd imagine that there are real problems to be tackled in those states.

All real problems solved? Then grab a broom and tidy-up! If you've got time to engage in pointless argument, then you're got time to clean...

Posted by: rusrus on May 1, 2009 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

If only I had know, my attitude may have been different!

Six years ago when rethugs and the reich-wing told me to 'love it or leave it', I did not know that they meant that I could take one or more states with me.

Posted by: SadOldVet on May 1, 2009 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

uhh..

do you all realize that chatter about succession is CRAZY TALK.

It's more sane to call Obama a socialist.

Posted by: hortron on May 1, 2009 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

What's alarming is the stupidity behind these responses. There seems to be a whole room full of false assumptions and dumb ideas behind every pronouncement Republicans make now, and it's starting to pull our public discourse even further into fantasy land. We only have two political parties with any power -- if one of them goes completely gaga, that's a bad thing for the country. We seem to be just about there.

Posted by: Qalice on May 1, 2009 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Succession mongering is intended to provoke a certain reaction ("You can't do that!!!!!"), but it does seem to backfire when conservatives threaten it. A lot of people view these states as chronically troublesome, and the response from the left has been "OK, how can we help facilitate your departure?" Sort of takes the thunder out if it. It's like the spoiled kid who throws a tantrum and threatens to 'run away,' but just can't bring himself to leave the boundaries of the back yard if there's no alarmed reaction from Mom and Dad.

Posted by: Varecia on May 1, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Being from Georgia - and having been born and lived here for much of my 62 years.... I have totally given up on the politics. I still vote and have had my Obama sticker on my car for over a year now - but the whole south is just too full of morons. (Now don't you "outsiders" repeat that or I will have to fight you over it.)

Posted by: John Bubba on May 1, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a Cobb County, Georgia liberal (Newt Gingrich was my congressman when he was the House Speaker, the Obama/Curious George t-shirt bar is just down the road, and we tried to get away with putting "Evolution: theory, not fact" stickers on our textbooks) in a conservative family. So, I have direct knowledge that these people are fucked up!

My Dad is actually proud of his Fox News addiction, hate-speech personality Neil Boortz is a local hero that my Mom quotes constantly, my brother-in-law insists that being a homosexual (which he concedes might not be a choice) is no excuse for having gay relationships, and my brother thinks that a national sales tax is the answer to all of our problems. In their minds, Clinton didn't respect the rule of law, but Bush did--but so what if he didn't since 9/11 changed everything and if we tortured Muslims, all the better.

I love my family, but I can't overstate how fucked up they are. These figures regarding secession come as no suprise to me--except that they seem low.

Posted by: CJ on May 1, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

perhaps the difference in numbers between secession for texas/georgia can be attributed to people who want texas out of the union based on its being the "home" of GWB.

if someone asked me whether i thought texas should secede, you can be damned sure i would answer in the affirmative.

i wouldn't notice if georgia left either.

Posted by: karen marie on May 1, 2009 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

It's nutty, but I still want to see the Constitutional issue on States leaving hashed out (one more time?) Not precedent like the Civil War/WBTS. (BTW, how could it be a "war between the States" once those states withdrew from the Union?! - curious lack of logical acumen, there.) I mean, wording of the COTUS. I know it says, States can't form new states using existing State land, but what about just quitting? Is it clear, FWIW?

Posted by: Neil B ☺ on May 1, 2009 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Is it ethical to even ask that question? Does asking it,in some sense, legitimize the idea? Is it unpatriotic to ask that question? The consequences of secession would be catastrophic for 10s of millions. Would the US tolerate nuclear armed crackpot regimes in North America? Would the US be so foolish as to just let them go?

We can all think of poll questions that should never be asked. This is one of those.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on May 1, 2009 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

If there are a substantial number of Georgia or Texas residents (or residents of any other state, for that matter) who no longer wish to be part of the United States, they are welcome to leave at any time. But they don't get to take part of the country with them.

I wish they would just go away, so maybe the media would ignore them in the manner they so richly deserve.

Posted by: David Bailey on May 1, 2009 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

If they want to go why would we stand in their way?

If Republicans and conservatives would voluntarily leave en masse, well, who can argue with that?

If they will all move to Alaska or Texas or Florida, or all three, I say let them secede!

Posted by: alan on May 1, 2009 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

The South Shall Rise Again! But don't make a lot of noise, and don't slam the oven door. It's very delicate and fragile, like a souffle.

Posted by: Wacky Librul on May 1, 2009 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, consider what a fantastic stimulus all that moving around the country would be?

A huge amount of money would be changing hands as Republicans fled to Dreamland and everyone else fled from Dreamland.

It could jump start the economy like nothing else.

Posted by: alan on May 1, 2009 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

terraformer has it exactly right. If 1/2 of 1% of dems favored seccession, the right would be apoplectic.

I say let them both go, they can also take Utah, Wyoming, Alabama and South Carolina with them. Heck, I'd even throw in Oklahoma for good measure.

Posted by: stlouisguy on May 1, 2009 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

It would be great if we could get them all to move to Australia or Brazil or some place they would fit right in like Afghanistan, but we would probably end up paying for it, as the blue states pay for the red states now anyway, so we are probably stuck being in some kind of proximity to them.

But a border fence, properly built and maintained, could be a great public works project.

Posted by: alan on May 1, 2009 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

All you have to do to these nutjobs is point out the COSTS of succession. No more US tax money for anything - schools, healthcare, trade, ....nada, nothing at all. No military, no interstate, no governmental say in anything at all related to national trade, taxes, schools, govt, --- ZERO. Just call their bluff and they will scamper like wienies. I say let Texas go and take Alaska with you - bye bye!

Posted by: wom45 on May 1, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

In other news, Texas requested massive amounts of Tamiflu from the federal government after the swine flu outbreak.

I guess there is something they need the government for, after all.

Oh, and they can have Georgia, but the peach trees are ours.

Posted by: Personal Failure on May 1, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with you, stlouisguy. Let'em go!

Posted by: CDW on May 1, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what I don't get: how the hell can anybody who supports secession reasonably claim to be conservative? After all, shouldn't conservatism mean that you're in favor of, I don't know, perhaps conserving something? Like the federal union?

It's like we said about BushCo.- they're not conservatives so much as radicals. Treasonous ones, in this case.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on May 1, 2009 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to be *that* guy, but folks, it's secession with an "e", not succession with a "u".

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on May 1, 2009 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well, while I wait for any bites on my Constitional query I can say to the secessionistas: don't let the door smack you on your pilonidal cyst cysts on the way out.

Posted by: Neil B ◄ on May 1, 2009 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

what does it say about the differences between the right and the left that when we on the left lose an election, our response is "i'm moving to canada" whereas the response on the right is secession

Posted by: ars on May 1, 2009 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

John Bubba:

I hear you, brother. The South is full of morons.

Before you want to fight, however, I'm a Southern boy myself, born in NC and spent all of my life in the South.

Now, though, I live in Minnesota. A nice, blue state--however, with wacky Bachmann--and soon-to-be-gone Coleman.

Might I suggest a relocation to a land of openness and acceptance. Come on up, the water's fine (when it's not frozen, that is). :)

Posted by: Terraformer on May 1, 2009 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

On one hand, this is crazy.

On the other, I heard plenty of lefties talking about wanting to move out of the country when Bush was re-elected. I dont think many did. Talking about secession is pretty similar. Yeah, they're mad, but it's not really serious.

Posted by: TG Chicago on May 1, 2009 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure that one can narrow the secessionist debate to just Southern wingnuts. Perhaps their numbers are larger, but it's really not a unique sentiment.Two quick Google searches for secession and California/Oregon were pretty productive.
http://www.petitiononline.com/casec/petition.html
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/07/322417.shtml

Posted by: Nat on May 1, 2009 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Brown's Pets. All talk and chest thumping, no courage.

Posted by: shortstop on May 1, 2009 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting to note that Texas has asked for and received more federal aid than any other state (13 times). So perhaps we can afford to let them go, we could just re-locate the military bases that we have there to some other state.

Posted by: JS on May 1, 2009 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Personally, I want to secede from them.

Imagine a Congress without Republicans. A Congress where Hilary Clinton is the Conservative leader.

Why would we not want them to secede?

Posted by: alan on May 1, 2009 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

If the Czechs and the Slovaks can do it, why can't we?

Posted by: alan on May 1, 2009 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Damn. Do we have to burn the place to the ground again? That would be a disaster!

Who would write "Gone With The Wind - Again" ??

If we found someone to write it, how could we even begin to film it? MGM doesn't have another obsolete back lot to burn, do they?

Posted by: G.Kerby on May 1, 2009 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Let any who wants to break off go ahead and do it. People answering these polls are too stupid to know what they're talking about. Give their "country" a few days of being cut off from all the support they get from the rest of the country and the yokels will realize that is was a bad idea.

I feel bad for the decent, semi-educated in these states who are being drug down with these publicity stunts.

Posted by: Caleb on May 1, 2009 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Being a Texas resident I will admit there are a bunch of idiots here. The thing I don't like is no one asks blue states about secession. As if they don't have anyone who watches Fox News or worships Rush. Almost all polls question are national, until they think of something crazy, then straight to Texas. If you think we are crazy now, start asking Texans about aliens.

Posted by: ScottW on May 1, 2009 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Not so long ago if you voiced any opinion contrary to or even questioning any of Bush's decisions, you were deemed un-American and invited to leave the country.

Now, if you hate America and want to secede... let me get this straight, it's patriotic backbone?

It's tragic, yet almost humorous, to imagine what would happen if Texas (or Georgia) seceded from the US and then suffered a terrorist attack. But then it's certain the secessionists have no imagination.

Posted by: Capt Kirk on May 1, 2009 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

And, Caleb, please! Some in Texas are actually more than "semi-educated". Just as some who transplant to Odessa from Connecticut are overly degreed idiots. There's an example, it's just on the tip of my tongue...some guy who went to Yale?

Posted by: Capt Kirk on May 1, 2009 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

If Texas or Georgia seceded and then suffered a terrorist attack they would immediately blame it on us and declare war.

Posted by: alan on May 1, 2009 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like it's already happened.

Posted by: dhodge on May 1, 2009 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a Cobb County, Georgia liberal as well. I live in East Cobb, the wealthy, hardcore GOP part of the county. My family is from here- luckily all Democrats except an idiot uncle and a sister I swear is adopted. Let me tell you, these GOPers are completely nuts! Even the poor ones who probably pay no income tax think a flat tax is the second coming of Jesus. They think all black people get welfare and all Hispanic people get welfare and free health care- evidently non-citizens can get what citizens can't just by showing up?

Inside the perimeter there are some good people and a fun city. Outside the perimeter there is a ring of suburbs with GOPers in a strip mall hell. Beyond that there is some beautiful country but keep an ear open for banjo music. And believe me, most people in Georgia interested in secession are interested because we have a black, liberal president.

Posted by: gttim on May 1, 2009 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

weren't the borders of dumbf**kistan determined in 2000 and 2004?

Posted by: racersave2003 on May 1, 2009 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

ScottW: Do you mean aliens like coming from the sky in a flying saucer or aliens coming across the border in a battered pickup truck? I hope it's the first option because that would be a lot more fun to hear about. ;)

Posted by: Curmudgeon on May 1, 2009 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Georgia and secession, again? That didn't work out so well, last time, did... hold on, I've got General WT Sherman on the other line.

Posted by: Ken on May 1, 2009 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

okay, i'll bite.

why are we keeping them from leaving again?

Posted by: just bill on May 1, 2009 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

ScottW Almost all polls question are national, until they think of something crazy, then straight to Texas.

As is pointed out to you regularly every couple of days, the Texas poll was not the result of "them" thinking of "something crazy, then [coming] straight to Texas." It was the direct result of your state's chief executive speaking positively about secession in multiple public appearances. (Similarly, the poll in GA followed, didn't lead, the secession bill in the state lege.)

Don't like it? Take it up with Goodhair and the Texas GOP. Quit blaming the rest of the country for paying attention to what your governor and fellow citizens started.

Posted by: shortstop on May 1, 2009 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to be *that* guy, but folks, it's secession with an "e", not succession with a "u".
Posted by: OhNoNotAgain

Oops. I actually know that when I'm not posting in a hurry...

Posted by: Varecia on May 1, 2009 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

GRRRR.
I'm in rural GA, and yeah, politics is way fucked up here. To some extent, I blame the former Democratic (but conservative) majority and it's inability to come to terms with the need to be a coalition of black, white, urban and suburban, and reach out to the growing hispanic population.
That, and it's possible to live completely inside a conservative media bubble here, where the Odious Neil Boortz holds sway with the Southern Baptists. And a lot of the South has been encouraged (and sometime you guys don't help) in the whole neoConfederate/Christianist/Fuckyew culture by years of bad politics and pop culture.

There are plenty of liberals, even here in the Georgia mountains (for I grew up and live not too far from where Deliverance was filmed and the novel was set...) I, for one, would fight to the death to keep my home in the Union.

Posted by: MR Bill on May 1, 2009 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

It's always troubling to see nominal progressives slant the truth.

The first question merely measures how well GAians think their state is doing as part of the US -- one third think not so good; the second question measures actual willingness to secede, which is less than 1/5th.

Posted by: Disputo on May 1, 2009 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

The last time these folks thought secession was a great idea, between 620,000 and 700,000 Americans died -- more than all other wars fought by Americans combined. Nevertheless, there's a real part of me wanting to say good riddance -- don't slam the door behind you. WTF do they think will happen to their economies? No federal tax dollars, no military bases, no military jobs for residents, no research dollars for UT or Rice or Emory, no CDC or FEMA or disaster relief. No farm subsidies. No government contracts. No space program. The first hurricane, they'd be toast.

Posted by: Stacy on May 1, 2009 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, I'm the third liberal Dem from Cobb Co. to post a comment here. I agree with my Cobb compatriots - there are plenty of leftish folks even here in this county, which is the bastion of conservatism in the metro Atlanta area. If it makes any of y'all not from this area feel better, NO ONE in my circle of friends/associates voted for McCain/Palin. I can't say that for my family - they're pretty much all of the FOX News/loony conservative stripe and mostly racist as well (of course that's probably redundant). Please don't write off the whole state. We're out here and I firmly believe we're growing in numbers.

Posted by: carolatl on May 1, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

I guess my Union ancestors didn't whack those morons hard enough during the March to the Sea.

They (my ancestors) should have ethnically cleanses Southern Treason Land when they had the chance.

Posted by: TCinLA on May 1, 2009 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

If Texas and Georgia left the Union they would then be foreign countries and the US Army would be made up of Real Americans and we could send it into those two foreign countries and give them the ass whipping they richly deserve.

Posted by: nonheroicvet on May 1, 2009 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, I'm the third liberal Dem from Cobb Co. to post a comment here.

Almost enough to start your own club. :)

Seriously, I'm one person from a blue state who is over-tired of the blue v. red crap perpetuated by both sides. I see little purpose in someone from a state with merely 49% morons bashing the entire population of a state with 51% morons. Unfortunately, I appear to be in the minority, at least on the liberal blogs.

Posted by: Disputo on May 1, 2009 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

Bring the good old bugle, boys, we'll sing another song;
Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along,
Sing it as we used to sing it, fifty thousand strong,
While we were marching through Georgia.
"Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the jubilee!
"Hurrah! Hurrah! The Flag that makes you free!"
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.
How the darkeys shouted when they heard the joyful sound!
How the turkeys gobbled which our commissary found!
How the sweet potatoes even started from the ground,
While we were marching through Georgia.
"Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the jubilee!
"Hurrah! Hurrah! The Flag that makes you free!"
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.
Yes, and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears,
When they saw the honored Flag they had not seen for years;
Hardly could they be restrained from breaking forth in cheers,
While we were marching though Georgia.
"Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the jubilee!
"Hurrah! Hurrah! The Flag that makes you free!"
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.
"Sherman's dashing Yankee boys will never reach the coast!"
So the saucy Rebels said, and 'twas a handsome boast;
Had they not forgot, alas! to reckon with the host,
While we were marching through Georgia.
"Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the jubilee!
"Hurrah! Hurrah! The Flag that makes you free!"
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.
So we made a thoroughfare for Freedom and her train,
Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main;
Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain,
While we were marching through Georgia.
"Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the jubilee!
"Hurrah! Hurrah! The Flag that makes you free!"
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.

Now the traitors to our cause have gone to Washington;
Thanks to them our Freedom's work is nearly all undone;
But with Uncle Billy we could put them on the run,
When we come marching from Georgia.
"Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the jubilee!
"Hurrah! Hurrah! The Flag that makes you free!"
So we'll sing the chorus from Savannah to the Hill,
When we come marching from Georgia.

Posted by: jefft452 on May 1, 2009 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia!

Ah, the grand old songs!

The county seats here in Illinois tend to hold copies of the official histories of the volunteer regiments that fought with Grant and Sherman. Some of them note that they marched 6000 miles in three years, from Missouri to Georgia and back up to Virginia to parade in Washington in 1865.

This time we'll have the interstate and better shoes.

Posted by: Midland on May 1, 2009 at 10:29 PM | PERMALINK

"This time we'll have the interstate and better shoes."

and flamethrowers

heat a peach

Posted by: jefft452 on May 1, 2009 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

God, how I wish the Texans would leave the union ! Then none of them would be elegible for national office !

Posted by: rbe1 on May 2, 2009 at 4:03 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry about the spelling error in my previous post, but think about it: aren't these poll results simply an accurate reflection of the fact that the union has long since become more mythical than real ?

Posted by: rbe1 on May 2, 2009 at 4:11 AM | PERMALINK

You're going to get at least 20% of any southern state in favour of Secession. Particularly one an American Army marched through and burned (but, by and large, did not murder nor rape white civilians).

They cling to the myth of an aggrieved south in the 'late unpleasantness' very hard down there. Confederate flags and all.

Remember also many maintain the war was fought about southern rights, NOT about freeing the slaves. History does not support that contention (John Brown, anyone?) but many cling to it.

You get these kinds of cultural things in any country that has been riven by bloodshed, or that has strong geographical differences.

It's irrelevant now that Segregation is ended HOWEVER it is particularly egregious and irritating when they accuse Vermonters, say, of being 'disloyal' because of their opposition to the Iraq war.

Posted by: valuethinker on May 2, 2009 at 4:51 AM | PERMALINK

They (my ancestors) should have ethnically cleanses Southern Treason Land when they had the chance.

WTF is the matter with you, saying something like this?

Posted by: shortstop on May 2, 2009 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

They (my ancestors) should have ethnically cleanses Southern Treason Land when they had the chance.
WTF is the matter with you, saying something like this?

The Constitution specifies the penalty for treason

TCinLA may be going a little too far
As for myself, I would have been satisfied if every person who wore a confederate uniform was hanged and all land and properties confiscated, their wives and children turned out to beg on the street without even the clothes on their backs

Posted by: jefft452 on May 2, 2009 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

Would you just stop taking these polls seriously? If they held a referendum and the percentages were even close to this, then I'd worry. Save the moral outrage and regional bashing for more important issues.

Posted by: yocoolz on May 2, 2009 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't they have to change the name? There alreasy being an independent country called Georgia and all?

Posted by: Krowe on May 2, 2009 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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