Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sour Grapes and the Folly of Secession

Article first published as Sour Grapes and the Folly of Secession on Technorati.

Arizona is certainly a trendsetter, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons...

This week, hot on the heels of President Barack Obama's second term the local news reports that over 14,000 Arizona residents have signed a petition to ask "permission" to secede from the union.  The petition was started by the mysterious Nicholas M. of Gilbert, Az. 

Using the White House's We the People website a petition submitted by our Mr. "M" states...

 "The citizens of the great state of Arizona have the right to stand for their principles,” and  “That man is granted unalienable rights, which are not the dispensations of the government, but find their beginnings in God and come from God alone. These are the principles that our forefathers stood for, the principles upon which our Constitution is based, and those in which we firmly place our belief and resolve"

I'm not sure which constitution he's talking about. 

To hold up the U.S. Constitution won't work since it governs the body you're trying to leave.  To hold up a  state constitution is folly since the last state to have anything resembling a secession clause was Texas.  In fact one of the conditions of statehood is to specifically remove any secession language from the constitution of the prospective state.

Arizona isn't alone in its activism and apparently all  50 states have similar petitions in the wake of the election with some more successful than others.   

In Texas an equally mysterious character in the person of Micah H. has managed to collect over 100,000 signatures for his Texas secession petition

Strange how all these mysterious characters are suddenly starting petitions.  It's almost as though there was some type of organized effort.  Perhaps by a conservative group pre-occupied with politics and hot caffeinated beverages?

Petitions require only 25,000 signatures to receive an "official" response which upon meeting that threshold is likely to go something like this, "Thanks for your petition, we value your opinion but No"

Even Arizona's fiery state's rights advocate, Gov. Jan Brewer, has publicly stated she did not support the idea of secession.  Of course she doesn't.  Her distaste for the federal government may be obvious but no state can afford to lose its share of the Federal dole.

Unfortunately for the secessionists, they're not likely to find much support from other state governors either.  Setting aside the legal ramifications, state governments are far too dependent on federal funding to seriously entertain the idea of secession. 

When the South lost the Civil War (a secessionist movement)  it was due to a failing economy and flawed economic construct.   Perhaps it is the best example of the dangers of an extreme ideology overruling reason.   Apparently history has few lessons for a secessionist. 

So much for the bloodless revolution.