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When I heard that the chairman of the Texas Republican Party wanted to secede from the union, I had the same thought as when then-Gov. Rick Perry floated the idea in 2009. What can we do to give them a nudge?
I wrote a column back then suggesting a new federal law prohibiting oversized belt buckles. I think we should do whatever we can to turn all that big talk into action.
The Brits can have Brexit. Why can’t the Texans have Texit?
Both then and now, the sudden desire to flee the union followed a presidential election that didn’t go their way. Kind of like when Lincoln beat Douglas in 1860.
Perry was speaking at a Tea Party meeting shortly after the election of Barack Obama when he said, “When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic. We were a stand-alone nation. And the deal was we can leave anytime we want. So, we’re kind of thinking about that again.”
What a tease. I was already dreaming of life without Texas when Perry claimed he was misquoted or taken out of context or didn’t really mean it.
I’d pretty much given up on the idea until this year, when the election of Joe Biden brought a similar reaction from some of our more rebellious neighbors to the east.
First, Texas led an effort to overturn the results in four other states, arguing they should be able to dictate how those elections were run.
It was the second lawsuit seeking to overturn the election that was rejected unanimously and without comment by the Supreme Court.
Which was, of course, the result everybody expected. I was a bit disappointed. If we get to tell other states how they should run their election, I’ve got something to say about the number of ballot drop-off locations in Houston (one).
It’s fair to say Texas Republican Party Chairman Allen West was more than just a bit disappointed. But unlike Perry, he wasn’t planning to go it alone.
“Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a union of states that will abide by the Constitution,” West said.
Alas, there were no takers for this new union of states. Not even Oklahoma. And now West claims he never meant to suggest what he obviously meant to suggest.
“I am still trying to find when I said anything about secession,” he whined.
If these guys keep this up, I’m going to start thinking they aren’t serious the next time somebody starts blustering on about how great things are going to be in the new Republic of Texas.
There is a mythology Texans are in love with that suggests they are independent and apart from the rest of us. The Lone Star State. They don’t need or want any outsiders telling them what to do. “Don’t mess with Texas!”
Shouldn’t that work both ways? Is it OK for them to mess with Pennsylvania?
Now, I’ll admit that I haven’t really thought this all the way through, and there may be some complications to Texas becoming its own country that I haven’t fully considered. But this doesn’t seem to be a time for careful consideration. And, wiser men than I apparently think it’s a good idea.
So, I say if they want to go, we should let them. There’s nothing in Texas that’s worth fighting a war over.
Walter Rubel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.