Quote Of The Day – Secession

Quote Of The Day – Secession


“Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that.”
– Texas Governor Rick Perry hinting at secession at a Tea Party rally today

And here’s the audio…

First off, he’s wrong. Texas never had an option to secede. They were granted the right to divide into five states, but not secede.

However, I would LOVE if Texas divided into five states…just so long as Austin and the area surrounding it for 50 miles was one of them. That would be a fantastic place to visit.

But getting back on track, do this thought experiment with me…imagine if a Democratic Governor would have said this during the Bush years.


  • http://stubbornfacts.us Simon

    I can think of four very good reasons why Texas can’t leave the union.

    I’m also surprised that a Democrat would be so ready to give the GOP eight extra votes in the Senate (“I would LOVE if Texas divided into five states…just so long as Austin and the area surrounding it for 50 miles was one of them”). 😉

  • Jack Edward Alexander

    I must be missing something with Simons’ link. However this Liberal is about to have a brain hemorrhage when thinking about 5 more GOP morons from Texas in congress. I say give them back to Mexico. Who needs them? Five states, indeed…

  • Alteran1

    Well, actually If it divided into five states it quite possibly add more democratic votes to the senate. The major urban areas, San Antonio (my hometown), Austion, Houston, etc (Not sure about Dallas) are fairly democratic. Also, that bastard Rick Perry gerrymandered all of our districts to give republicans a huge advantage in elections.

  • Alteran1

    sorry about typos

  • Kevin Jackson

    I’d love to say, “See Ya, Rick.” I can think of a whole group of other states he could take with him.

  • TerenceC

    Comments like that border on treason – and they should be treated as such. The Governor of a pivotal electoral state has no business getting into discussions like this. I guess it’s the only way he can stir the mega-church base down there. Perry is on the verge of being bounced out of office in next years election, so he’ll say anything at this point.

    I lived in Texas for a long time -(Blanco…45 miles from Austin and I agree the Austin/San Antonio corridor is an awesome place. Dallas Ft.Worth is lame, Houston is pretty nice) – and despite talk like Perry’s there is a huge number of people that don’t think like that at all. It’s unfortunate but Texas is one of those states with a nearly 50/50 population when it comes to the two party system – but right wing nuts seem to proliferate in that state and they do what ever they can to silence any opposition.

  • gerryf

    Perry is fighting and old game and best be careful. He assumes that an enflamed base will win him an election as long as he veers to the far right–that will work if the turnout is low.

    If a broad group of voters turns out, though, Perry gets a very dedicated 40 percent of the vote, while the other 60 percent scratches its head and wonders how the guy was elected in the first place.

  • J

    Um, actually, YOU’re wrong. Every state has the right to secede. It’s called the Tenth Amendment.

  • mike mcEachran

    Uh J – We already had a big fight about what the 10th Amendment means – it was this little event called the Civil War. Yeah, it turns out we decided it doesn’t mean states can cecede. So, yeah, you should look it up. I mean, I guess we could fight about it again, but that seems like a waste, right?

  • http://stubbornfacts.us Simon

    J, there is no right to secession in the Tenth Amendment, or anywhere else in the Constitution. That said, we need not, however (and I will not) get into an argument over a state’s de jure power to secede, because the fact of the matter is that the Civil War decisively settled the de facto question (whether the Union will permit it) in the negative. I happen to think that answer was correct, you’re welcome to think it was mistaken, but let’s not pretend that the question is still open.

  • kranky kritter

    Funny that this comes up today, because I heard a radio segment this am about the “patriots” who signed of the declaration of independence. The segment mentioned that England viewed the signers “traitors.” Perspective is everything, aint it?

    We love to talk about rights, but the bottom line in secession is not whether you have the right, but whether you have both the desire to do it and the means to make it stick. No state really has the means if the Union decides it won’t be allowed.

    Does anyone with more familiarity know the details of Texas joining the union? Isn’t it the case that when Warren said it “was an issue,” he could simply have meant that when Texas joined, some portion of the group negitiating the terms for joining tried to include some conditions that would have allowed them to bail.

    If Texas divided into fifths, can’t we presume that this would work like a gerrymander, in which the dominant party cut the pie to maximize its own representation? IOW, adding 8 GOP senators would be a foregone conclusion.

  • J

    If the Civil War was waged in contravention of the Constitution of the United States, then, no, I would not say that the matter was settled. You do realize that seven states seceded BEFORE Lincoln was president, right? James Buchanan did not intervene because he believed it would have been illegal.

    The Constitution says nothing on secession, this is true. And the 10th Amendment says that all rights not explicitly delegated to the Federal government are reserved for the states. That means that the Federal government has no legal right to forcibly maintain the Union. Several states included provisions for secession when they ratified the Constitution.

    Don’t change the topic to whether there is a “de facto” right of secession, because the original poster said “Texas never had an option to secede”, which is wrong.

  • kranky kritter

    Arguments about the 10th amendment are such a bore. Everyone has a different opinion about what it means, what it should mean,how it applies, and how much force it has today. Yet everyone thinks they are right.

    The bottom line to me is that if you are counting on your license to do something coming from its status as unenumerated, you’re on shaky ground.

  • Trescml

    James Buchanan also felt the states did not have the legal right secede. Given he felt that states didn’t have the right to secede but the government couldn’t do anything about it if a state did secede, it shows why he is considered to be one of the poorest Presidents in our history.

    The Supreme Court did address this in Texas V White and basically said that that the states didn’t have the right to unilaterally leave the Union. It did mention the possibility of a State being allowed to leave if it wanted to and the US wanted to let them as well. Given the fact this ruling was in 1869 I suspect that even that would be challenged in court.

    It is easy to write this movement off as right wing cranks, but South Carolina started taking about seceding even when Andrew Jackson was President. I agree with kranky kritter that the states don’t really have the means to stand on their own, and I hope this is a short lived movement.

  • Tim in Wisconsin

    Article 4, Sec. 3:

    “The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States.”

    If Congress doesn’t say you have the right to secede, then you don’t have the right to secede. No 10th Amendment issue here.

  • kranky kritter


    1) First, I would guess that article doesn’t mean that congress can make any rules it wants about properties and territories just because it thinks it needs to.

    2)Even if it does, you’ve still got it wrong. Because then it would mean that unless congress passes a rule that you can’t secede, then you can. That’s very different from your claim that you can’t do it unless congress says you can.

  • http://nykrindc.blogspot.com NYkrinDC

    Didn’t we settle this question in the 19th Century during the Civil War? I thought we pretty much said, NO, states don’t have the right to secede from the Union, and we’ll go to war if need be to maintain it.

  • http://www.poligazette.com Jason Arvak

    Several Democratic politicians and bloggers DID discuss secession during the Bush administration. There were few complaints about this from mainstream liberals and even a few cheers.

    Now that it is a Republican going over the top, of course, it is outrageous and intolerable. Double standards much?

  • Stephen Avila

    I think Governor Rick was just trying to stir up a discussion that would get people talking about him good or bad. Why else raise the issue and surely he knew that he was misstating the true position. If he didn’t know that the real right was to split into five states then how has he made it to Governor?