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Posted by on Sep 23, 2011 in Politics | 7 comments

Rick Perry: Secessionist Rhetoric, Revisionist Politics

The other night, Rick Perry told Sean Hannity — who treated Perry the way he treats Sarah Palin, which is to say, the way Sasha Grey, in her former professional capacity, used to treat an erect penis — that he is not, in fact, a secessionist:

HANNITY: Some people said, well, you used the term once “secession.” That’s not anything — is that something you believe?

PERRY: No, and I never used that term, at all.

HANNITY: Then why was it reported so heavily?

PERRY: I have no idea to be real honest with you, because it was never a really factual piece of reporting. It was shouted out by an individual at an event — at a Tea Party, actually — and I said “listen, America is a great country. We have no reason why we would ever dissolve this union.”

Oh, okay then. End of story, right? Well, not so fast.

As ThinkProgress notes, he didn’t technically use the word “secession” the one time in question, in March 2009. (Who knows, he may have used it at other times.) But he did say this:

You know, when we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation. And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.

Now, it’s not clear just how serious he was being — TP has the clip and, at the end, you can hear laughter. But at a Tea Party event a month later, he said this:

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.

We 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 may come out of that. concludes that Parry never advocated secession: “Perry has carelessly commented that Texas has a unique right to secede from the union, having once been an independent republic. That’s a myth, historians say. But Perry never advocated secession.”

But that’s not really the point. No one is accusing Perry of being an ardent advocate for secession — obviously, he considers himself an American patriot. But he’s clearly wrong about Texas’s supposed right to secede, a case he has made on more than one occasion, and, as Steve Benen points out, “it’s entirely fair to say Perry dabbled in secessionist rhetoric, which in itself should be considered scandalous in the 21st century.”

Yes, but certainly not to the anti-government radicals so prevalent in the GOP, and clearly, before he became a national sensation, Perry was more than willing to engage in such dabbling. Now that he’s running for president, he’s just trying to whitewash himself, cleansing his past of embarrassing facts, but the record is the record. He can dabble in revisionism all he wants, but there’s no escaping it.

(Cross-posted from The Reaction.)

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  • Allen

    Texas is not exactly irrelevant, but a heck-of-a lot less relevant that Perry lets on. Texas is going nowhere and neither is Perry IMO.

  • DaGoat

    Maybe we should just move ThinkProgress over here and save contributors the trouble of linking.

    Perry is a poor candidate but jeez what a minor issue to get excited about.

  • casualobserver

    Hey, any off the wall tidbit about the opposition is worth writing about if the news about your side consists of things like this………….

    Bush administration officials had started the review of the Solyndra application in May 2008. They were anxious to approve the deal, because members of Congress were complaining that the loan guarantee program, signed into law in 2005, still had not given out its first award. But in the final weeks of the administration, (Bush Administration) Energy Department officials put the brakes on any loan commitment to Solyndra, partly out of concern that its costs made the price of manufacturing power capacity significantly higher than its competitors.

    The Obama administration, though, was determined to move ahead.

    * * * * * * * * *

    One of the Democratic party’s leading pollsters released a survey of 60 Republican-held battleground districts today painting an ominous picture for Congressional Democrats in 2012. The poll shows Democratic House candidates faring worse than they did in the 2010 midterms, being dragged down by an unpopular president who would lose to both Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

    President Obama’s job approval rating in the battleground districts is just 41 percent, and only inches up to 43 percent in the 30 more-competitive seats that are a little more Democratic. Both Perry and Romney hit a near-majority of 49 percent against Obama in the battlegrounds, suggesting that voters are more concerned with casting their ballot against Obama than caring about who the Republican nominee ends up being.

    The live-caller survey of 1,000 likely 2012 voters in 60 GOP battleground districts was conducted Sept. 14 through 19 with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

  • Allen


    You cannot hide from massive Republican anti-government rhetoric.

    Perry is anti-government.

    Anti-government means treason.

    Texas was once a treason state.

    We have much to fear from Perry.

  • This is an issue unworthy of TMV. It’s political hyperbole and nothing more. Kinda like anything Sarah Palin :-P.

  • ShannonLeee

    Hmm..we have a new illness…

    but the acronym is taken…

    can’t use PDS…



  • Quelcrist Falconer

    Texas was once a treason state.

    Actually twice a treason State, once against Mexico and once against the US and both times in defense of SLAVERY.

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