Skip to comments.Right-wing coup: Deluded secessionists have already won (delusion alert!)
Posted on 10/09/2013 12:59:46 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat
Thanks to a confluence of three events, the S-word secession is once again in the air. In Washington, new questions are emerging about whether the United States can function as a unified nation after a partial government shutdown was engineered by a largely regional party one whose home territory looks eerily similar to the Confederacy. Adding to the questions about the viability of the post-Civil War union is the fact that the shutdown has been orchestrated by a Texas legislator whose state party stalwarts including its governor seem to support secession, to the point of taking concrete legislative steps to prepare for independence. On top of all that, in states across the country, incipient secession movements have sprung up only a few months after secession petitions flooded the White House website.
In his seminal book Better Off Without Em, Chuck Thompson marshals data to argue that America would benefit by letting the Republican Party and its strongholds formally secede from the country. Whether or not you end up agreeing with Thompson, the argument he forwards is compelling on the policy merits. It also raises an important but less-explored political question: Why would todays conservatives want to formally secede from a nation that gives them the privilege of governing the whole country, even though they remain in the electoral minority and even though their policy agenda is opposed by a majority of the country?
Partisans on both sides will inevitably deny this reality, because they see the world exclusively through a red-versus-blue prism. The reality-distorting effects of such a prism cast Democratic politicians as uniformly liberal, and therefore creates the illusion that Democratic Party control of the presidency and the U.S. Senate mean those institutions are similarly liberal. But such a partisan view obscures ideological conservatisms undeniable dominance of both parties and, thus, American politics.
Inside the Beltway, you can see this dominance in (among other things) the transpartisan support for the escalation of wars, the expansion of the surveillance state, the perpetuation of the Drug War and the preservation of corporate welfare. You can also see it in the annual budget fights that interminably shift to the right.
The last few months illustrate that point. Today, draconian sequestration-gutted budgets that were recently considered controversial are the new mainstream center. Indeed, to Democrats, the sequestration levels they once criticized as too harsh are now the new acceptable normal. At the same time, to Republicans, the sequestration levels they once could only dream of are now the overly Big Government that allegedly requires a full-on government shutdown to rein in.
Underscoring the rightward shift, that government shutdown is not coincidentally structured to keep funding conservatives priorities (the Military-Industrial Complex, the Surveillance State, etc.) while eviscerating liberal social programs. Meanwhile, the Heritage Foundations healthcare ideas championed by the Republican Partys most recent presidential nominee are now billed as a socialist plot, thus pushing the Overton Window even further to the right and marginalizing anything genuinely liberal like, say, single payer. Oh, and as all this is happening, popular liberal priorities like gun control cant get an up-or-down majority vote even after children are massacred.
Its the same story of conservative domination in many state legislatures, regardless of party control. On economics, the debates in both Republican and Democratic states are typically not about reducing corporate welfare and tax cuts and using the recovered cash to better fund the social safety net. Instead, whether in a red or blue legislature, it usually is a debate about how much more corporate welfare and tax cuts to hand out, and how much more the social safety net must be gutted. At the same time, the serious state-level gun control proposals are stymied despite their strong public support, and legislatures keep passing new restrictions on a womans right to choose, despite strong public opposition.
Whats news here is not that the right has a hammerlock on American politics, but that it has engineered such a hammerlock even as public opinion polls show America is moving to the left on issue after issue after issue, and even as national electoral results show America continuing to overwhelmingly vote against the Republican Partys ultraconservative agenda. This dichotomy between political power and public will represents far more than mere tolerance of a political minoritys rights in a republican democracy. It is more than even a tyranny of the conservative minority. It is nothing short of the conservative movement declaring independence from America yet still ruling the America it abandoned with the entitled arrogance of an occupying force.
None of this is an accident. It is the result of a preconceived strategy that relies on two sets of tools.
The first is the unprecedented use of the U.S. Senate filibuster and the creation of the so-called Hastert Rule. The former gives just 11 percent of the population enough Senate representation to stop anything (like, say, minimal gun control) that the other 89 percent may want. The latter basically does the same thing, only with U.S. House rules that prevent any bill from even being voted on unless it has the support of a majority of the House Republican Conference. This particularly empowers a tiny minority of conservative voters considering that the GOP Conference didnt even win a majority of votes for U.S. House in the last election.
How, you ask, did Republicans win the lower chamber but receive far fewer total votes for the U.S. House than Democrats? They employed the second set of tools: redistricting and the gerrymander.
As Mother Jones magazine documents, Republican legislatures in 2010 used the decennial practice of redrawing district lines to all but guarantee the GOP control of the House, irrespective of whether a majority of American voters actually cast their ballots for that. The result is exactly what President Obama described at his press conference yesterday when he said: Theres no competition and those folks are much more worried about a Tea Party challenger than they are about a general election where theyve got to complete against a Democrat or go after independent votes and in that environment, its a lot harder for them to compromise.
Why is it harder to compromise? Because a Republican in a gerrymandered district doesnt have to worry about a general election in which he gets painted as an extremist. In such a district where the primary winner is the automatic general election winner, that incumbent is mostly concerned with creating a voting record that appeases ultraconservative Republican primary voters and therefore prevents a primary challenger from calling him a moderate.
While it is true that none of this comprises a formal secession, it is also true that all of this together does indeed represent a genuine unofficial political secession by the right. Through the filibuster, conservatives now use the brinkmanship of threatened government shutdowns and debt defaults to successfully legislate their pro-militarism, anti-social-program agenda over the objections of everyone else. At the same time, through gerrymandering, conservatives have geographically walled themselves off in a way that prevents them from having to electorally answer to anyone but themselves.
They have, in other words, made a deliberate choice to secede into their own separate nation. Call it Conservastan.
This was a choice, of course, that the right didnt have to make. To start winning national elections and electoral mandates again, the conservative movement could have used redistricting to dilute Republican districts, make more Democratic districts potentially competitive, and then defeat Democrats in those competitive elections. That would have required the difficult work of broadening the movements agenda and expanding its electoral base, but if successful, it would have also led to actual mandate-worthy majorities and genuinely national governance for the long haul.
Instead, the right chose to use redistricting to create a whole separate political country for themselves. Inside this new country, the Fourth Estate check on power isnt an objective news media it is Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and right-wing media enforcing dogma against the perceived threat of ideological traitors. Inside this country, the Republican Party isnt interested in broadening its agenda; the incentive in Conservastan is for the party to continually narrow its agenda to intensify conservative fervor so that the gerrymandered districts that comprise Conservastan remain impenetrable GOP strongholds.
As a pure power grab, the strategy has been wildly successful. Not only does the conservative movements less populous breakaway country now control the political destiny of those of us still here in regular old America, it does so while making sure all of us in liberal America financially subsidize Conservastan.
Thus, we return to that first question: Why would any conservative want to formally secede from the union when the conservative movements undeclared political secession has been so incredibly successful for the right? If, say, you are a conservative living up the road from me in Northern Colorado, why would you want to formally secede when the conservative movements aggressive abuse of the state constitution and recall process allows your fellow Colorado conservatives to shape large portions of state policy without actually having to win statewide elections anymore? Why, too, would you want to give up such privilege and also give up subsidies that, according to the I-News Network, makes the rest of Colorado give you a net cash transfer of between about $60 million and $120 million or more a year?
These are the same kinds of questions you could ask of any of the secession campaigns across the country, and the fact that there are no politically rational answers is probably, in part, why many leaders of the conservative establishment do not openly support actual secession. They know that the filibuster and the gerrymander have already let them politically secede and yet still rule this country. They know they are still ruling because they see government shutdowns structured to protect conservative priorities and they see a Democratic president endorsing conservative healthcare, Social Security and national security ideas. And most important, they know their continuing rule doesnt have to involve any of the downsides of an official secession, even though a secession has already happened.
Ask your Democrat or RINO Congressman or woman to answer the following set of questions:
* Does the refusal of Commander in Chief Obama to pay for the Funeral expenses of HIS four dead Warriors rise to the level of an Impeachable Offense?
Generally, dereliction of duty refers to failure through negligence or obstinacy to perform ones legal or moral duty to a reasonable expectation. In other words, it means willful or negligent failure to perform assigned duties or performing them in a culpably inefficient manner. Dereliction of duty is a specific offense in military law. (Quote from USLegal.com).
Dereliction of duty is an Impeachable Offense, as stipulated in the US Constitution. Dereliction of duty is also a US Military offense subject to a US Military Courts Martial.
* Will our sorry Congressional RINOs do their usual kid gloves, boys will be boys approach to Obamas numerous violations of the US Constitution, or will they FINALLY draw up The Articles of Impeachment for B. Hussein Obama?
BTW, Congressman or woman, take your time, think it through as RINO Hunting Season begins 1-1-2014.
This RINO hunt has no bag limits, tents or caves - - - .
MAKE DC LISTEN: TELL YOUR SENATORS, ESPECIALLY THE DEMOCRATS !
State .... Senator .... Party .... Phone
AK Mark Begich D (202) 224-3004
AK Lisa Murkowski R (202) 224-6665
AL Jeff Sessions R (202) 224-4124
AL Richard C. Shelby R (202) 224-5744
AR John Boozman R (202) 224-4843
AR Mark L. Pryor D (202) 224-2353
AZ Jeff Flake R (202) 224-4521
AZ John McCain R (202) 224-2235
CA Barbara Boxer D (202) 224-3553
CA Dianne Feinstein D (202) 224-3841
CO Michael F. Bennet D (202) 224-5852
CO Mark Udall D (202) 224-5941
CT Richard Blumenthal D (202) 224-2823
CT Christopher Murphy D (202) 224-4041
DE Thomas R. Carper D (202) 224-2441
DE Christopher A. Coons D (202) 224-5042
FL Bill Nelson D (202) 224-5274
FL Marco Rubio R (202) 224-3041
GA Saxby Chambliss R (202) 224-3521
GA Johnny Isakson R (202) 224-3643
HI Mazie K. Hirono D (202) 224-6361
HI Brian Schatz D (202) 224-3934
IA Chuck Grassley R (202) 224-3744
IA Tom Harkin D (202) 224-3254
ID Mike Crapo R (202) 224-6142
ID James E. Risch R (202) 224-2752
IL Richard J. Durbin D (202) 224-2152
IL Mark Kirk R (202) 224-2854
IN Daniel Coats R (202) 224-5623
IN Joe Donnelly D (202) 224-4814
KS Jerry Moran R (202) 224-6521
KS Pat Roberts R (202) 224-4774
KY Mitch McConnell R (202) 224-2541
KY Rand Paul R (202) 224-4343
LA Mary L. Landrieu D (202) 224-5824
LA David Vitter R (202) 224-4623
MA Edward Markey D (202) 224-2742
MA Elizabeth Warren D (202) 224-4543
MD Benjamin L. Cardin D (202) 224-4524
MD Barbara A. Mikulski D (202) 224-4654
ME Susan M. Collins R (202) 224-2523
ME Angus S. King I (202) 224-5344
MI Carl Levin D (202) 224-6221
MI Debbie Stabenow D (202) 224-4822
MN Al Franken D (202) 224-5641
MN Amy Klobuchar D (202) 224-3244
MO Roy Blunt R (202) 224-5721
MO Claire McCaskill D (202) 224-6154
MS Thad Cochran R (202) 224-5054
MS Roger F. Wicker R (202) 224-6253
MT Max Baucus D (202) 224-2651
MT Jon Tester D (202) 224-2644
NC Richard Burr R (202) 224-3154
NC Kay R. Hagan D (202) 224-6342
ND Heidi Heitkamp D (202) 224-2043
ND John Hoeven R (202) 224-2551
NE Deb Fischer R (202) 224-6551
NE Mike Johanns R (202) 224-4224
NH Kelly Ayotte R (202) 224-3324
NH Jeanne Shaheen D (202) 224-2841
NJ Jeff Chiesa R (202) 224-3224
NJ Robert Menendez D (202) 224-4744
NM Martin Heinrich D (202) 224-5521
NM Tom Udall D (202) 224-6621
NV Dean Heller R (202) 224-6244
NV Harry Reid D (202) 224-3542
NY Kirsten E. Gillibrand D (202) 224-4451
NY Charles E. Schumer D (202) 224-6542
OH Sherrod Brown D (202) 224-2315
OH Rob Portman R (202) 224-3353
OK Tom Coburn R (202) 224-5754
OK James M. Inhofe R (202) 224-4721
OR Jeff Merkley D (202) 224-3753
OR Ron Wyden D (202) 224-5244
PA Robert P. Casey D (202) 224-6324
PA Patrick J. Toomey R (202) 224-4254
RI Jack Reed D (202) 224-4642
RI Sheldon Whitehouse D (202) 224-2921
SC Lindsey Graham R (202) 224-5972
SC Tim Scott R (202) 224-6121
SD Tim Johnson D (202) 224-5842
SD John Thune R (202) 224-2321
TN Lamar Alexander R (202) 224-4944
TN Bob Corker R (202) 224-3344
TX John Cornyn R (202) 224-2934
UT Orrin G. Hatch R (202) 224-5251
UT Mike Lee R (202) 224-5444
VA Tim Kaine D (202) 224-4024
VA Mark R. Warner D (202) 224-2023
VT Patrick J. Leahy D (202) 224-4242
VT Bernard Sanders I (202) 224-5141
WA Maria Cantwell D (202) 224-3441
WA Patty Murray D (202) 224-2621
WI Tammy Baldwin D (202) 224-5653
WI Ron Johnson R (202) 224-5323
WV Joe Manchin D (202) 224-3954
WV John D. Rockefeller D (202) 224-6472
WY John Barrasso R (202) 224-6441
WY Michael B. Enzi R (202) 224-3424
better that they should change the name to SALOON...which would be much more befitting of a source that offers what surely must have been the product of a drunken rage?
Ironically, “deluded” is the first word I think of whenever I pretty much anything by David Sirota.
The writer is delusional. And a fool to boot. Even so...I favor secession. The ‘United States’ are suffering from irreconcialble differences and a divorce is in order. The sooner the better.
Does the refusal of Commander in Chief Obama to pay for the Funeral expenses of HIS four dead Warriors rise to the level of an Impeachable Offense?
did you notice how qucikly obama “voted” for this..” after he voted” against it
given the rapid swing.....in responses Id say that the refusal would INDEED have been an impeachable offense.
someone a tad more concernd with his welfare than he is CAPABLE of being..tipped em off to this one... Im CERTAIN.
You’d never guess this A$$#@!E is a liberal!!!
I like the word secession, it conveys an idea and feeling of freedom and liberty.
Except the problem isn't blue states vs. red states. The problem is blue urban vs. red rural (with purple suburbs). Kinda hard to divorce this mess.
Someone ought to inform David Sirota that we have seen what complete Democrat control, as he indirectly argues for, means, it’s called Detroit, or Oakland, or any number of US cities controled by Democrats over the years.
Can northern and eastern California succeed from the state? Please?!
The UN troops who would subsequently be invited to take over the defense and policing of Socialist America would pose a very great danger to Free America. Secession would just give the villains the foothold on the North American continent they have long dreamed of.
Impeach. Articles of impeachment are being floated by constitutional scholars and (real) professors who have had enough of Obama trampling our Constitution and American values.
The end goal here is the complete delegitimation of conservatism to the point that is criminalized, and then the imposition of a one-party socialist state.
Bolshevik stooges such as the author of this piece deserve a response far sterner than an argument.
Judging from "Fast & Furious", the IRS scandal and the Park Service, it now seems apparent that the permanent government bureaucracy is identical to the Democratic Party.
Be very afraid.