Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sovereignty, Secession, and the Nutty Right Wing

Many right-wingers rightfully ridiculed some celebrities on the left who threatened to move out of the United States if George W. Bush was elected President in 2000. But now, many righty politicians are doing things that are even more bizarre. Upset with the Democratic administration's policies, these nutty politicians are threatening to take their ball and go home. Last month, Texas Governor Rick Perry threw support behind HCR 50, a resolution in the Texas House of Representatives that asserts the state's sovereignty. (He also uses the oft-used, but false analogy of how to boil a frog).

Now, last Wednesday, the Oklahoma Senate has passed HCR 1028, a similar resolution to the one in Texas. How the Senate passes a resolution of the House seems odd to me. In any case, the verbiage of the resolution states that the Sooner State is "claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over certain powers; serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates; providing that certain federal legislation be prohibited or repealed; and directing distribution.”

The resolution, also passed the Oklahoma House 73-22 on May 4th. It does not require a signature from the Governor.

Kurt Hochenauer, creator of the political blog Okie Funk: Notes From The Outback, has a good analysis on his site. He correctly notes that if Oklahoma were to secede from the United States, it would lead to military confrontation, widespread poverty, and a mass exodus from the state. I would add that if Oklahoma wants to leave the US, it had better make doggone sure that Texas goes with it, otherwise it will be a landlocked nation surrounded by the U.S.

Hochenauer also has posted an audio clip from Montel Williams' radio program where he interviews Charles Key, the Oklahoma City Republican Representative who introduced the resolution in the House. Williams calls Key on the fact that Oklahoma pays $19-Billion in federal taxes, but receives $28 billion in federal funding per year. So Oklahoma, good luck with that.

I don't think that either state will actually secede over this, any more than Alec Baldwin left the US over the Bush presidency. But it does demonstrate the lack of rational thinking within the minds of some elected officials in red-state America.