Our political Quote of the Day is more like “quotes” since Dick Polman gives us much to ponder and discuss as he looks at Texas Governor Rick Perry’s talk about secession from the United States, how it was received in a Republican party that in the past would have marginalized and condemned such talk, and what it suggests about today’s GOP.

Polman begins this way:

It’s no secret that the message-challenged Republicans are taking their message cues these days from the talk-radio windbags. But, as evidenced by last week’s episode in Texas, we are now clearly witnessing an entirely new phenomenon, in which an elected Republican leader actually morphs into a talk-radio windbag.

I speak, of course, about Texas governor Rick Perry, who showed up at a “tea party” last Wednesday and suggested that if Barack Obama’s Washington doesn’t stop being so oppressive, Texans might feel compelled to renounce their American citizenry and secede from the union. (What is this, 1861?)

Polman hits the nail on the head here. Perry’s talk is not just retro — but retro retro. It’s the retro talk not of what might come from your father or grandfather, but your great, great great (you get the idea)..He also notes how once these comments that seemed aimed at getting the choir to nod their heads in agreement got out beyond the choir and came under attack Perry — in the style of most 21st century political and broadcast demagogues — tried to finesse the words.

And then Polman puts into words what many non-liberal Democrats, independent voters and non-talk-radio political culture Republicans (which includes RINOS and non-RINOS) have begun to feel:

Every time you think that the GOP can’t sink any lower, it does. This is an elected chief executive of a major state, behaving in public the way Rush or Glenn behaves at the mike. Perry, we can assume, doesn’t truly believe that Texas would or should rebel against Obama by reverting to the Lone Star status it enjoyed prior to 1845. But he’s clearly comfortable pandering openly to the “right-wing extremists” (his terminology) who deem secession to be a fine idea; according to a new Rasmussen poll released Friday, 18 percent of Texans say that, if given the chance, they’d vote to secede.

The conservative talk shows and bloggers have been downright quiescent about Perry’s rebelliousness – which is fascinating, because somehow his remarks strike me as being a tad…what’s the word for it…unpatriotic. After all, isn’t the right always saying things like “my country, right or wrong”? Whatever happened to that? And how do you suppose the right would have reacted, during the Bush era, if a Democratic governor had protested the Iraq war by suggesting that the citizens of a blue state might want to secede from America? Fox News might have deemed such a remark to be even more important than whether Obama was wearing a flag pin.

One might also question whether the GOP’s image is enhanced by the spectacle of an elected Republican leader pandering to citizen stupidity. The Rasmussen poll reports that one of every three Texans thinks the state has the legal right to secede. Perry claims to think the same way; as he put it last week, “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.”

For those of us who once belonged to the Republican party at other times in our lives — and then proudly so — watching the modern day Republican party move closer and closer to what Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan (let’s not even mention Dwight Eisenhower) would consider unthinkable leaves our jaws agape many days when we hear of the latest verbal volley. (Goldwater did not like the religious right and in his golden years supported gay marriage.) It’s like the Republican party is morphing into a party of shock jocks and ardent shock jock fans. Those who point this out are often reviled…but, then, that’s indicative of the very problem and why the GOP risks being stuck in Vietnam-era derived hubris as the country and many thinking Republicans seek to move on into a new century.

Does truly Perry believe what he says? This isn’t a psychic’s site, but if you hazard an educated guess it would be: no. The political and economic consequences and complications would be huge. So why did he say it and why do some GOPers go on cable shows saying how Texas has the legal right to divide itself into five states so it sends five conservative Republicans to the Senate? It’s throwing red meat to the partisan crowd. But it also fans the flames of hatred against those Americans who perceive solutions to problems differently and prevailed in an election held in a democracy in which the side that doesn’t win is supposed to then offer better policies, get better organized and try and prevail — so others on the next losing side realize we’re all in this together when they regain power.

Polman writes:

Perry doesn’t really believe his own secessionist talk. He’s just calculating his own political needs. He’s facing a tough GOP gubernatorial primary next year – his opponent is Kay Bailey Hutchinson, the longtime senator – and to maximize his prospects of winning, he badly needs to bond with the right-wing extremist voters in his party. And if that means making himself the butt of jokes on late-night TV, so be it.

Ultimately, however, the Texas governor is further feeding the perception these days that the GOP is simply off its rocker. Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio lamented the other day, in remarks to The New York Times, that independent swing voters are turned off these days to the GOP, because “the more extreme the language, the less likely they are to pay attention. We sound like white noise in the background. It’s like a yipping Chihuahua.”

Give that governor a biscuit.

Can I finally use the word?

Ditto….

JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • jwest

    Joe,

    I’m just as confused with you as Polman’s readers are with him.

    What is it that you don’t understand about Perry’s comments? Let’s see if I get this straight:

    “And then Polman puts into words what many non-liberal Democrats, independent voters and non-talk-radio political culture Republicans (which includes RINOS and non-RINOS) have begun to feel:”

    In your and Polman’s opinion, Perry, whose only obstacle to reelection is a Republican primary in Texas, should concentrate on non-liberal Democrats, independents and RINOS. Correct?

  • HemmD

    I believe Perry should concentrate on legal reality and less on moral hypocrisy. If Perry does believe that Texas can secede, he does have the intellectual credentials to governor; and if he does believe Texas can rebel, then he is merely a political whore servicing the ignorant or crazy electorate.

    The fact that only 1/3 of Texans think they have the “right” to leave also means he’s only guaranteeing a minority at the poll. Maybe Perry should concentrate on Mathematics.

  • JSpencer

    If Perry wants a viable political future, then perhaps a little less reactionary posturing would be to his longterm advantage. Even in Texas, 75% of the people are against secession. If however, Perry wants to assist the republican party in becoming even more marginalized, then he should continue getting his talking points from Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, and similar ilk.

  • jwest

    HemmD

    Just for you and Joe, let’s go through this one more time.

    Slowly.

    Regardless of what Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman or anyone at the New York Times thinks, Rick Perry knows that Texas can’t secede from the union.

    Perry has a tough primary election coming up next year. He knows (along with everyone else in the world) that a democrat can’t win the governorship of Texas, so the election will be decided by the winner of the primary.

    The primary is decided by Republicans. Not just any republicans, but the hard core base of the republican party. There aren’t any liberal republicans, any independents and only a very few gay republicans voting in the primary.

    So, the best way for Perry to get reelected is to be a “political whore servicing the ignorant or crazy electorate”. Intimating that Texas may secede was a way of pumping up his base to that end.

    By the way, this happens on both sides. We just had a president elected by being a “political whore servicing the ignorant or crazy electorate”

  • HemmD

    jwest

    just to be clear,
    By the way, this happens on both sides. We just had a president elected by being a “political whore servicing the ignorant or crazy electorate”

    What particular servicing do you have in mind?

  • EEllis

    How about a discussion based on what the man actually said? He did not say Texas should, would, or could succeed. Just that if things kept going ?????? He was talking to a Texas crowd, and yes it is different than non-Texans think. We know Texas can’t succeed but sometimes the idea of Texas as it’s own country gets trotted out and indulge in a little fantasy before we go back to the real world. Texas are inordinantly proud of Texas and being Texan. That was what Perry was pandering to and it went over just fine with his crowd. This will not marginalize Him or Republicans in Texas. As far as I know Texas is what matters in a run for Texas Governor so folks, go pound sand. People are spouting off, showing their ignorance, and unless they are Texan, really working themselves up over something that has nothing to do with them.

  • CStanley

    Did that work to turn off the bold font?

    Apparently not. One more attempt.

  • CStanley

    EEllis: You’re right of course (Perry even explained this very clearly afterward in an interview) but that doesn’t fit with the “The GOP is toast because they’re all stark raving mad” theme.

  • mlhradio

    Gee, Eellis, I don’t know what Texas you are from, but it certainly does not match the Texas that I live in.

    If Perry wants to further turn himself into more of a laughingstock by appealing to the hardcore, frothing-at-the-mouth, reactionary extreme edge of the PartyOfNo, and distance himself from the majority of conservatives in Texas, so be it; continuing to edge towards the farthest right-wing reaches is not going to win him reelection in 2010, may even cost him the primary. Among conservatives I know, his name is usually met with a snort of derision rather than respect.

    Heh, who would have thought that Kinky Friedman may end up being the ‘sane’ candidate in 2010? (http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/columnists/jaime_castillo/Kinky_off_to_a_good_start_Perry_is_leading_in_wacky_statements.html)

  • JSpencer

    Of course this has to do with non-Texans. To the extent that we are a union (and last time I checked this was the case) we are allowed to have opinions on anything going on within it. Needless to say, we should all be concerned about advocacy of division and low standards by any policitian. By the way jwest, condescension doesn’t lend any weight to your argument, neither do offensive characterizations.

  • CStanley

    What is this weird revisionism of Goldwater as a moderate? On state’s rights, he was quite extreme- to the point that he was branded a racist for rejecting certain parts of the Civil Rights Act on that basis. And there’s the famous quote from him:
    “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

    Why in the world does Polman believe that Perry’s mild suggestion that continued erosion of the separation of powers between states and the federal government could eventually lead to secession would be ‘unthinkable’ to Goldwater? It sounds exactly like something he’d say.

    • HemmD

      CS

      “Why in the world does Polman believe that Perry’s mild suggestion that continued erosion of the separation of powers between states and the federal government could eventually lead to secession would be ‘unthinkable’ to Goldwater? It sounds exactly like something he’d say.”

      Are you channeling Barry Goldwater now? BG was an American by every fiber of his being.

      Try this quote from his acceptance speech:

      “Why the beauty of the very system we Republicans are pledged to restore and revitalize, the beauty of this Federal system of ours is in its reconciliation of diversity with unity. We must not see malice in honest differences of opinion, and no matter how great, so long as they are not inconsistent with the pledges we have given to each other in and through our Constitution.”

      Of course, you may have a different interpretation, but I think this quote means Barry was for the Constitution and not for implying secession.

  • HemmD

    jwest and EElis

    I frankly don’t care what you do in Texas politics. If your politicians wish to allude to seceding, fine. But clearly understand, your parochial little fantasies make you look like a backwater of political thought.

    Your logic then should advocate racism, anti-gay, or any other political fantasy if it gets you elected. At least in this case, 75% of Texans think this isn’t such a good idea, but they’re not real Texans either I suppose.

  • EEllis

    I love Kinky but if you are the least bit serious mlh the you are the nut not Perry. Do you live in Austin? Again if you look at what he said the only people frothing at the mouth are those in the press. This is Texas and if people here thought the national tax burden was too high it would come up. Repeatedly. Think what you will of those who do so but it would happen.

  • EEllis

    Hey Hemmed,

    What! Look no one with any sense thinks succession is a good idea or even possible. So? The idea of it is ingrained in Texas history and culture and some people enjoy the “idea” without taking it serious. So? And your logic of associating racism, homophobia, and god knows why you didn’t keep adding to the list, is nonsensical and asinine. One thing has nothing to do with the other and where did I indicate I would be other than against succession? Here’s an idea base comments on what is actually said by people and not the voices in your head.

    Also the thought of being in the forefront of political thought makes me want to vomit. What does “backwater of political thought” mean? Oh I get it, it’s about insulting and putting down anyone who disagrees or has a different viewpoint. Pseudointellectual garbage.

  • EEllis

    Barry wasn’t a Texan and Perry implied nothing but that the idea of succession would be brought up, and it would.

  • Speaking as yet another Texan, Perry looks like an idiot when he spouts stuff like that. And EEllis may not be bothered that the leader of his/her state is a national laughingstock, but I certainly cringed.

    No, of course he doesn’t actually think Texas will secede. But pandering at that level is pretty danged ridiculous.

  • CStanley

    Yes, Hemm, I do see a much different interpretation, particularly to this part of that quote:
    “We must not see malice in honest differences of opinion, and no matter how great, so long as they are not inconsistent with the pledges we have given to each other in and through our Constitution.”

    That part, ‘so long as they are not inconsistent with the pledges we have given to each other in and through our Constitution’ is another way to say exactly what Perry said.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that there was an element of pandering to extremists in the way Perry framed the statement, and I think that it was tone deaf of him to do this if he has national aspirations. So I’m not trying to say he won’t have a problem with this, but I do think that Goldwater was every bit as concerned with the turf battles between federal and state governance as Perry is saying he is.

  • AustinRoth

    “There’s a lot of different scenarios,” Perry said. “We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”

    “Later, answering news reporters’ questions, Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union, though he said he sees no reason why Texas should do that.”

    So, where exactly is the call to secede in that?

    • HemmD

      AR

      “Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union, though he said he sees no reason why Texas should do that.”
      “Later, answering news reporters’ questions, Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union, though he said he sees no reason why Texas should do that.”

      So, where exactly is the call to secede in that?”

      He said when Texas entered the union in 1845 it was with the understanding it could pull out. –

      http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D97J48IO2.html

      However, according to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas negotiated the power to divide into four additional states at some point if it wanted to but not the right to secede.

      So AR, as I said above, If Perry does believe that Texas can secede, he does not have the intellectual credentials to be governor; and if he does not believe Texas can rebel, then he is merely a political whore servicing the ignorant or crazy electorate. The crowd did chant secede repeatedly, so it wasn’t like my analysis comes from thin air.

      • AustinRoth

        HemmD – I see such a change in your tone after just a few weeks. You were someone who ‘seemed’ to be willing to have rational debates; now you are just another angry lefty, resorting to calling the Governor of Texas either an idiot or a whore for misstating a fact, and the people who attended a Tea party as ignorant or crazy. Typical closed minded, leftist, hating bullshit.

        Oh, and to be clear, it is to divide in to 4 additional states, plus a remaining Texas, so a total of 5 states.

        • HemmD

          AR

          I am sorry you over simplify my position.

          When McCain ran into the women at the town hall that said she didn’t trust Obama because he was an Arab, I applauded the man for correcting her ignorance. I believe leaders need to lead with the truth, not go along with the mob mentality that insults the facts. I believe that is an ethical way to live.

          I thought you believed that politicians regularly sell their position to the biggest constituency. Maybe I misunderstood your loathing of Pelosi et al. Are you honestly telling me that you wouldn’t have jumped on with both feet if Obama had implied that Illinois could secede during the past 8 years?

          Perry’s ‘mis-statement’ about the Texas agreement with the US when it became a state is fairly egregious. You would hope that Texan school kids are taught history as it happened, not as a politician only trying anything to swing his base would like to mis-remember it.

          As to my tone, I’ve not changed. I believe my above analysis is rational; if not, let me know which points you disagree with. Just like always.

          Additionally, my first entry on this subject was in reply to jwest.
          “And then Polman puts into words what many non-liberal Democrats, independent voters and non-talk-radio political culture Republicans (which includes RINOS and non-RINOS) have begun to feel:”

          My response was that I ” believe Perry should concentrate on legal reality and less on moral hypocrisy.”

          • AustinRoth

            HemmD – I pointed out the words I thought were out of character in my post.

            Yes, it was a stupid error, but frankly, a surprising number of Texans think that it does say that. They also think it was 8 states Texas could reform into. As it being taught in school, um, no. Covering the lack of a right to secede and the actual right to break into multiple states is not covered in Texas history at the high school level (actually, Texas history is a middle school class, if I remember correctly)

            And yep, you are right, I would have jumped all over Obama, so I am being a little unfair on that point. It was pandering, but I still say those who claimed he suggested that Texas would secede are overstating what he said.

          • HemmD

            As for me, I unfairly came across as over the top. The problem is simply that politicians who use common misconceptions to further their goals are prostituting what they know is true for what is politically expedient. “You give me or keep me in power, and I’ll entertain your fantasies,” is no way to provide solutions we both know are needed.

            In the past few days, the hot topics have been this one, handshakes, and bows over kisses. They’re great ‘hot button’ issues that assure that everybody gets pissed off, but that useless discourse is exactly the things we need to ignore. It’s as if politicians on both sides would rather have us have these rock fights among ourselves than rationally discuss problems. Wall Street regulations, what to do about our torture problem, and
            Where are solutions we can agree upon, are all subjects taking short shrift to these chest-beating rants.

          • “Covering the lack of a right to secede and the actual right to break into multiple states is not covered in Texas history at the high school level (actually, Texas history is a middle school class, if I remember correctly)”

            Actually, my Adorable Child studied this this very year (7th grade) — and yes, they did talk about the ability to break up into separate states. It might even have been in the textbook itself (I’ll have to look). Secession only came up in the context of the Civil War.

          • AustinRoth

            Thanks Polimom. I knew it was middle school, but didn’t remember a discussion around that topic at the time, although it was almost 10 years ago since my youngest was that age. We could have, and I just don’t remember it.

      • StockBoySF

        HemmD, “He said when Texas entered the union in 1845 it was with the understanding it could pull out. -”

        Well a lot of people say that but in the end they’re just screwed. Stuff happens. 🙂

  • EEllis

    Poli, I think for myself and don’t base my opinions on what other people will say.

  • EEllis

    There was none AR. Tempest in a Teapot being very apropos in this situation. He made a veiled reference to an inside joke and people are going nuts over it.

  • StockBoySF

    “The conservative talk shows and bloggers have been downright quiescent about Perry’s rebelliousness – which is fascinating, because somehow his remarks strike me as being a tad…what’s the word for it…unpatriotic. After all, isn’t the right always saying things like “my country, right or wrong”?”

    I don’t know why anyone is surprised at this… Palin after all stongly supported (even though she was not technically a member of) a pro-Alaska party which wants to secede from the US.

    But the very Republicans who are quick to denounce ANY comment or action that they PERCEIVE as unpatriotic when it comes to a Dem.

    Michelle Obama was soundly criticized FOR MONTHS as being unpatriotic for saying that this was the first time she felt REALLY proud to be an American… Obama (as the post pointed out) was criticized for not wearing a flag pin….

    Yet when Republicans do something which as far more egregious, such as the strong support of a political party which believe Alaska can secede or Texas might if things keep going the way they are in DC, they stay silent in their criticism.

    Also let’s not forget that many right wing people LOVED Palin because she was a woman. So Perry has to fight Kay for those women voters….

    As to the point that Perry is catering to Texas right wingers and those are the people whose votes he wants….. That may be true and he may win in the primary (and the general election).

    But it is also important to realize that EVERYONE hears Perry’s remarks, which only further reinforces that belief that the leaders of the GOP are off their rockers. It’s not some fringe group that says TX might secede, but a sitting governor.

    So it may be good short term politics to get him re-elected, but to the rest of the country, and long term, it’s nuts. Unless the country were heading to the right…

  • EEllis

    SB Please quit making stuff up and treating it as fact.

    • StockBoySF

      EEllis, what am I making up?

  • jwest said: ” Perry has a tough primary election coming up next year. He knows (along with everyone else in the world) that a democrat can’t win the governorship of Texas, so the election will be decided by the winner of the primary.”

    I suspect that’s correct, even though the governor who served just prior to George Bush was Ann Richards, a Democrat.

    However, while this post (and much of the commentary, including mine above) circles around Perry’s role in (de)maintreamed national Republican circles, there’s something to be said for the problem I think this creates for him here in Texas as well.

    Because you can bet your last dollar that Kay Bailey Hutchinson is going to use Perry’s pandering as a bludgeon — and that’s likely to serve her very well.

    jwest also said: “The primary is decided by Republicans. Not just any republicans, but the hard core base of the republican party. There aren’t any liberal republicans, any independents and only a very few gay republicans voting in the primary.”

    Nothing’s keeping people from voting as Republicans in the primary, regardless of party affiliation, and Hutchinson’s an astute politician. She’ll no doubt make sure the rest of the state views Perry’s remarks in the same light as the rest of the country.

  • JSpencer

    Good points StockBoy. Those folks in the reactionary wing of the republican party need to choose a story and stick to it. When they adhere or jettison standards based solely on partisan value, they only succeed in decreasing the already falling credibility of republicans as a whole. The sooner the R’s figure out these extremists are NOT helping thier party, the better off they will be. And speaking of the word, “succeed”? Some people need to get their terminology straight; “secede” and “succeed” aren’t quite the same thing. 😉

    • StockBoySF

      JSpencer, thanks. Good point about succeed v. secede….

  • StockBoySF

    Well maybe California can split itself up. There can be a North California (coastal), South California (costal) and everything else can go to Arizona. Oh wait…. that would mean the reds are controlling our drinking water from the mountains… Can’t have that. Never mind. 🙂

    But really… I don’t know how TX would be divided up, but part of TX is on the US/Mexico border…. I thought that was pretty blue….. Would all the new states from the old TX be red?

    • AustinRoth

      SB –

      No matter how they broke it up, probably 2 of the 5 resulting states would likely be Blue from the beginning.

      • StockBoySF

        AR, thanks for the answer on the resulting states if TX were broken up. That’s interesting to know, even if it would never happen. Thanks again!

  • CStanley

    Nothing’s keeping people from voting as Republicans in the primary, regardless of party affiliation, and Hutchinson’s an astute politician. She’ll no doubt make sure the rest of the state views Perry’s remarks in the same light as the rest of the country.

    So how is that not pandering as well? Instead of showing how she’d govern differently, she’d be trying to garner support among moderates based on an impression of Perry’s rhetoric.

    I’m so fed up with the acceptance of pandering to moderates (you can’t possibly vote for him, he said nasty things about a Democrat! He called people traitors!) while the very same moderates are saying that they’re fed up with pandering to the bases of the parties. Pandering is pandering- all of it is a political game that keeps voters from focusing on issues and policy.

    • “So how is that not pandering as well? Instead of showing how she’d govern differently, she’d be trying to garner support among moderates based on an impression of Perry’s rhetoric.”

      CStanley — I was actually thinking that Hutchinson would merely highlight the statement(s) themselves, and give them a bit more air locally. It really wouldn’t take much more than that, because contrary to how Texas is often portrayed (a caricature somewhat bolstered by at least one set of comments in this thread), most people here are not about to take up arms in pursuit of that Lone Star. It’s also true that, just like everywhere else, people are more concerned with the daily grind than political posturing at Tea Parties. Thus, Perry’s statements had far less local impact than one might think.

      Dunno that that’s necessarily pandering, so much as it is using the spotlight that will inevitably shine when the primary approaches.

      • CStanley

        I understand PM, but to me the very idea of moderates using the rhetoric of their opponents against them is a form of pandering to independent voters. I certainly understand that a lot of independents don’t like the pandering that goes on toward the base of each party, and particularly when it takes on a ridiculous or potentially dangerous tone. But I feel that far too many moderate independents are choosing to support politicians who criticize their opponents almost exclusively on that basis, and have an immediate affiliation toward such candidates independent of what the policy positions are. So I’m just pointing out that moderates, too, can be pandered to- by politicians who seek to portray themselves as ‘more reasonable’.

  • EEllis

    There is a bit in there about Texans right to change their govt.

  • Well I think it’s a great thing for the rest of us in America. I have never seen anything come out of Texas but ignorant white trash. Illiteracy in this country alone would have to go down by about 40% in the first day of getting rid of Texas. Let’s not forget every illegal I have meet was from Texas also. If you think about it that would take a big load off I.C.E. So I say go for it Texas see you later don’t let the fence hit you in the ass.

    • Why golly-gee-willikers, Donna-Marie! Cain’t thankye enuf fer postin’ that thar illuminatin’ commentary stuff. Wut a breth uv fresh ayr you is.

      (added: Yup! And every durned illegal I have meet, too. Or sumthin’ like that.)

  • TexasPride

    Donna-Marie claims both to have seen nothing but white trash come from Texas and to know illegals from Texas (are these white-trash illegals, or illegal white trash?), not to mention that illegals are from other countries, not Texas… Ok, I know what she meant. But Polimom makes a dern fine point, wut wif the olde-timey like talkin’ an all.

    Texas does indeed have the right to secede. So does every other polity in the world. There is the same right to secede that the Colonies had from England. If your government treats you badly enough, you can leave. They might try to stop you, but if they don’t (or if you can beat them in war) then you’re free. Independence cannot be codified.

    When Virginia, New York, and Rhode Island ratified the Constitution, they expressly reserved the right to resign from the Union if they believed their interests were not being served. No one saw that as a problem. Of course they could peaceably leave, because nothing in the Constitution permits the federal government to stop them.

    The only case on point is Texas v. White, and that was decided primarily by Justices that Lincoln appointed during and after the war, so it should be no surprise what they decided.

    I am a Texan, and I do not support secession (yet), but how can a people descendant from Revolutionaries colonial, Texan, and Southern, seriously question whether a State has the RIGHT to secede. By all means question its wisdom, its effectiveness to solve any or all problems, or even its sanity, but there is absolutely no way you convince me that George Washington was right, Stephen F. Austin was right, but Rick Perry is wrong. Independence transcends statutory or even Constitutional regulation.