Skip to comments.Will White House be forced to respond to Texas secession petition?
Posted on 11/13/2012 11:37:37 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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There are three common antisecession arguments, all of them bunk:
1. the no constitutional provision argument;
2. the Articles of Confederation perpetual union argument;
3. the mystical bonds, translegal union of lollipops and chocolate argument.
1 forgets that state powers are left undefined. It’s as if they never read the tenth amendment. Unless the people knew that’s what they agreed to, as by its being written down, secession would be a retained right of the states. Actually, not even then, because popular sovereignty us inalienable.
Which brings us to 2. Unlike the Constitution, its forerunner had language that sounds maybe antisecessionist. “Perpetual” usually means forever. I doubt the Founders were stupid enough to think it would last forever. In fact it lasted less than a decade, superceded illegally—according to its amendment process—by the Constitution, which makes no use of the word “perpetual.” Let’s say it did, though. Would that make secession impossible? No, for the same reason we were able to replace the Articles despite its putative perpetual status. That is, because the people are sovereign, supposedly, and sovereignty is inalienable.
3 is toughest to combat, mostly because it is not a real argument. It was one of Lincoln’s favorites, and according to it our nation was founded by the Declaration of Independence, and thereafter we are one and indivisible until the crack of doom. It fails for various obvious reasons, one of which is, hey, what if we hadn’t lost the War of 1812 and Canada had been incorporated into the union? Then you’d be saying Canadian territory is part of the mystical union, and without it the US would be like a man without a liver, or something. Or maybe there really is a mystically unbreakable nation, and it is England. After all, it had been around a lot longer than the hiccup between 1776 and 1860, from time immemorial.
Do perpetual unionists ever wonder why no one was prosecuted for the crime of secession? The Yanks were vindictive enough, and there were plans. Wouldn’t they have wanted the legal question settled for history, in a more official manner, I mean, than various combinations of the above three arguments outside a courtroom. FDR got his concentration camps greenlit by SCOTUS. Why didn’t Republicans get their rubber stamp in 1865 or after? Mist likely answer is they were not confident of outarguing Jeff Davis et al when rifles and grapeshot couldn’t decide it.
How about gold and silver?
Secession is not conducive to imperialism, no. But I’d ask what’s so important about international prestige and giant armies? What gad it gotten us, except ever more and more enemies and more burdens?
Hm, what an interesting -- in the grotesque sense -- set of premises here.
1 - The assumption that the state can unilaterally strip citizenship; this means that all rights and privileges attendant to citizenship are dependent upon the government.
2 - The assumption that political speech may be punished under laws which congress is prohibited from enacting.
3 - If not #2, then the assumption that a single person, the president, has that arbitrary power.
I hear ya. If Boehner is still in there, the chances for anything productive are diminished.
Kinda makes you want to sign up every lib you can think of don’t it?
(from a public pc and ip address)
And that is why a large percentage of your weapons should be hidden away, prior to confiscation. So you can tell them they were lost in a boating accident. Hidden areas in the home, or the extreme route of packing them in grease in tubes and burying them underground. They can be retrieved as needed.
Did you read the book: “Civil War 2”?
We can be what we are because we do carry some weight in the world. The American model or the American way of life carries a lot of conviction because of our position in the world.
Divide the country and half (or so) will immediately follow the European model. The rest will more gradually make its way in that direction, though some parts may end up under the sway of Asian or Latin American models.
Sure, it sounds nice to say "to hell with power or wealth, let's go for principle, even a much smaller territory," but split up the country and we'll start to look like a "failed state" and those principles won't even prevail in the smaller successor state that you might want.
None of this was specifically laid out in the Constitution though, so it's always going to be somebody's opinion, and that opinion could always be wrong (though people were ready to kill each other based on those opinions).
Even in The Federalist, the brilliant propaganda papers for ratification of the Constitution (largely written by Alexander Hamilton and James Madison), the United States are constantly referred to as the Confederacy and a confederate republic, as opposed to a single consolidated or monolithic state. Members of a confederacy are by definition free to withdraw from it.
Maybe our sense of the word "confederacy" has been affected by that 1860s Confederacy. It looks like they used the expression "confederate republic" to mean what we would call a "federal republic." We'd have to go back to look at the usage of the day.
Hamilton and Madison didn't believe the country was a unitary or "consolidated" republic, but they also didn't believe that it was a loose league or alliance of independent states. So whether the states were free to withdraw from the union wasn't absolutely clear.
Hamilton and Madison hoped secession would never happen, but they never denied that it was a right and a practical possibility. They envisioned the people taking arms against the federal government if it exceeded its delegated powers or invaded their rights, and they admitted that this would be justified. Secession, including the resort to arms, was the final remedy against tyranny. (This is the real point of the Second Amendment.)
That is the "right of rebellion" against tyranny. It might have been practiced by the states or by individuals or communities. That right didn't mean that states could withdraw from a constitutional government any time they wanted to for any reason they wanted to.
The Constitution itself is silent on the subject, but since secession was an established right, it didnt have to be reaffirmed. More telling still, even the bitterest opponents of the Constitution never accused it of denying the right of secession.
Three states ratified the Constitution with the provision that they could later secede if they chose; the other ten states accepted this condition as valid.
In so far as the Anti-Federalist thought the Constitution could become tyrannical, maybe they did think that it would remove some right of secession, or maybe secession wasn't something they were worried about. Those three states may have been asserting their right to revolution against a federal government turned tyrannical or their right to reassume their sovereignty if the union failed. I really can't say. I'd have to do more research on this.
The lesson of all the history is that unilateral secession doesn't work. It turns away from established channels and often leads to war. Even if you want to dissolve your ties with the country, it's best to work within the established framework (so long as it remains constitutional and democratic or republican) and not act as though one has the right to cut all ties just because one feels like it.
I submit that hegemony is the rarest of states. The Pax Romana or Pax Americana—which aren’t really paxes, since they are constantly at war to maintain their power—are exceptional. As are binary systems like the Cold War. Much commoner is the scramble for power represented by Europe from the Middle Ages to WWII, or simple anarchy.
“In the pure sense, it’s a rather flimsy charge to make”
If you were to charge the US with neocolonialism aside from the colonies which we officially possess—that us, for instance for building factories in other countries—which people often do, I’d balk. Because that’s lassoing a loaded term for new uses, which is a rhetorical dirty trick. But imperialism? Need I name that argument. First of all land empires are also empires, and you might have noticed we crawled westward after independence. Secondly annexing Hawaii, the Spanish-American War, securing the Panama Canal, and too many foreign adventures to mention were purely imperialistic in the old sense.
We only get to your World Police patrolling parameters by WWI, if then. The whole making the world safe for democracy was BS, of course. But that is when what has been called the Wilsonian vision, which you seem here to espouse, took form. I hardly need remind you it didn’t work, and led directly to another war and decades of warlike peace. As for the keeping people from plotting against us in their countries, that sounds more like regular old defense. Only two things: the more imperialistic we are the more we are plotted against, and we don’t need troops stationed around the world permanently to repel attacks on the homeland.
“when it isn’t the world’s imperial power...someone else will be.”
And what? They’ll invade us? Or they’ll hedge us in, dictate policy, and otherwise deprive us of whatever it is we’re supposed to gave gained from the current arrangement. Well, you know what else there’s “no going back” on? Globalism. That is, the international market order. Jesus wouldn’t sit down to break bread with the Devil, but he could trade with him. That’s the beauty if it. And thus new hegemony, wherever it is, won’t be able to stamp it out, any more than the Soviet Union did. Nor will it be any more self-sufficient than was Nazi Germany.
There’s that, then there’s the corruption if national defense. First it was just that, being able to retain the right of self-determination. And you don’t need an empire to do that. There’s the more porous concept of national security, which I guess is more about how we feel. Then there’s one of the most beloved concepts of the modern superstate: national interest. Suddenly anything that seems not to be ideal for any and all of our citizens’ purposes deemed worthy are defensible in the same manner in which we have a right to defend ourselves from enslavement. Which is perfect when you can’t explain how Iraq or Vietnam have anything to do with defense.
We do not need to project power abroad, much less get involved in wars, big or little, which only concern us through a game of telephone, i.e. because thus guy touched that guy who touched another guy who someday may rub up against me. You only think we need to because you’ve been forcefed myths about the Hun, the Nazis, the Naps, the Commies, etc. bent like supervillians on conquering the world. It may have been true of the commies, at least ideologically. But that could have been taken care of here, not everywhere on the globe.
Let me clue you in on a little known secret: our last war of true self-defense was in 1812, and that’s only ignoring our expansionist territorial ambitions.
“and those principles won’t even prevail in the smaller successor state”
But they don’t prevail now, so what do we lose? World prestige? Military power? Oh, no!/s
“None of this was specifically laid out in the Constitution though, so it’s always going to be somebody’s opinion, and that opinion could always be wrong”
Secessionists might be wrong, but for antisecessionists to be right, the way the Constitution works, it has to be specifically laid out. So we know they’re wrong, and if they want to push the issue we can always go back to the utter lack of legal justification for the veritable coup that toppled the Articles if Confederation.
They are going to need to re-instate the draft to deal with that many "enemies".
Thanks for the response.
U. S. premier global nation, bad idea...
China premier global nation, not so bad.
Not buying in. Thanks.
China is a parasitic economy living on borrowed time. It’s parasitic in the sense that its economy is almost entirely based on foreign trade. When the rest of the world is no longer able (or willing, when countries start setting up protectionist regimes and bolstering their own industries) to buy China’s goods, China will fold like a cheap suitcase, and will return to its normal state of internal disorder and poverty. If China is foolish enough to try the superpower game, it will burn itself out in short order. As for your other worries, well, China’s military prowess is trumped up by people (mostly of the neocon persuasion) who are nostalgic for the old Cold War and would love for us to have a new Cold War with a real enemy (Islamic fundamentalists don’t quite cut it for them).
Someone stated, “Obamas not going to go down in history as the man who let the country fall apart.”
No, he will not be accused of letting if FALL apart, he will be accused of causing it to implode. The results will be the same but the blame will be different.
“The lesson of all the history is that unilateral secession doesn’t work”
Yeah, there never was any such thing as the US. We’re still part if the British empire, working within their established channels, and the last 200-plus years was a fever dream.
By the way, I’ve often wondered whether the revolution was justified, or if unjustified nevertheless worth it, especially considering the Constitution failed (or we failed it, whatever). I do find it funny, though, that people talk like Tories without realizing it, and would die to defend a country the very existence of which it theoretically argues away.
Someone stated, “Obamas not going to go down in history as the man who let the country fall apart.”
No, he will not be accused of letting if FALL apart, he will be accused of causing it to implode. The results will be the same but the blame will be different.
Good luck with that. While you're at it, maybe you could restore the English throne to the rightful Stuart heir. I think it's Franz, King of Bavaria.
Sure. But more to the point, we'll come to be seen as a failed state that couldn't even hold itself together.
Some rump state isn't even going to be very convincing in what it believes or in its ability to pass on what the secessionists claim to believe to the next generation.
Give up Washington, DC, Gettysburg, Independence Hall, Plymouth Rock, probably Mt. Rushmore and Mt. Vernon, and what do you have left?
Of course secessionists are going to deny that, but the bravado covers a lot of insecurity about whether secession would really bring about the effects you think it would.
Just how much clout do you think we will have after our currency collapses? For that matter, given where Europe is headed, it doesn't look like there is going to be much of a "world stage" left in a few years.
Buck up folks. Obama is self-destructing before our very eyes.
You're delusional. Benghazi has its fall guy. By this time next month Petraeus will be blamed for dandruff and bad breath too.
During the building stage, I think you would have had more of a point. China now has most of our technology, and a domestic economy that can sustain at least some semblance of it’s current stance.
I’m not convinced that if we and every other nation pulled out at this point, China would go back to what it was.
I’m not totally convinced you’re wrong, but have serious doubts.
“Is there any other way to describe their cowardice?”
Yeah, Rick, there is.
Love to hear this loser’s opinion of our Founders. spit.
We did try to work through established channels. The British fired on our militia and a war started. After over a year of war, we declared our independence.
That's not what the secessionists of 1861 did. They were part of a democratically elected, constitutional government. They declared themselves seceded, formed an opposing country, seized property, and fired on US troops. They didn't work through the existing Constitution. They started the war.
Do you really not see the difference?
The debt we have today is very dangerous all by itself. What would happen if we faced a real crisis that required yet another massive increase in debt?
But even barring that, even if Romney had won and had a republican majority, the growth of the debt would take several years to get under control and it would require at least one generation to grow the economy to catch up with it. There is pretty much zero chance of us maintaining a responsible government for that long. It simply is no longer in our national character.
Now we have at least two more years before there is much of a chance of even starting the process. The staggering fact is that the debt will probably increase by 15 to 20% in that time alone and there is no guarantee republicans will win big enough to effect any kind of meaningful change either or would even if they can. And in all likelihood the economy will be stagnant or even shrink on top of all that.
The world has pretty much already written off the dollar as a stable currency already, and that is all that has let us get away with we are doing this long.
Wishful thinking has always been a bad response to reality. We are at the point where a lot of things have to break exactly the right way and the first of those has to be the very return to sanity that just keeps getting kicked down the road.
I don’t think succession gets us back on the right track. It further divides us as a nation.
No, wishful thinking won’t get us back on track, as long as succession is the result of it.
Wishful thinking that pushes us to devise new healthy strategies to get things back on track will.
I was trying not to open the can of worms about whether or not the war was fought over slavery.
I am opposed to slavery. If I said the states were right, it would appear to many that I am condoning that peculiar institution that ended in the South after the war.
If the South had won, that peculiar institution would have continued, for a time.
The lying leftists already spread the hideous falsehood that conservatives are racists, so why give them any more reason to buy into it?
“Both Hitler and Obama used domestic terrorists to launch their careers. Hitler had his Brown Shirts from his beer hall days, and Obama had people like Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and Rashid Khalidi.”
Hitler used false flag operations like the Reichstag fire and Gleiwitz incident to usurp power, Obama used Fast & Furious to undermine the Second Amendment.
Hitler used the Blomberg and Fritsch affairs to put his puppets at the top of Germany’s army.
I wonder what all of these recent American military scandals and resignations are about?
See my tagline.
Why would anyone want to secede? If you secede, you won't be able to vote for Sarah Palin when the GOP nominates her for president in 2016.
“Texas has 3 million on Medicare and 4.5 million on Medicaid.”
Yeah, and once the Republic of Texas passed new work-for-welfare laws that were backed up with stiff penalties for non-compliance (automatic deportation to the blue state of their choice is my personal favorite), then we could improve that little situation. :)
I’d be willing to bet my next Social Security check (electronically signed by Baraq Hussein Obama btw)
that Texas becomes a solid blue part of the USA before it becomes an independent republic)
Who is us? The half the nation that voted for more debt, more free stuff, less freedom? The half that is oblivious to the state of the nation?
There are two diametrically opposed philosophies driving the two sides. There is no one right track for both sides. One side wants freedom.
The other wants someone to take care of them and they don't care what it costs. They have already run far beyond what can ever be paid for and they are hankering for more. You will never sell your ideas to them, those ideas go against their most basic beliefs.
Are you even aware that Obamacare is forcing religious people to directly pay for abortions for their employees? The left says to take your moral objections to abortion stick it and pay up. There is no reasoning with that, no compromise.
So you want to be a great nation on the world stage? By 2016 the debt will be such that the future will be deciding between paying interest on it and entitlements. Defense? Forget it. And that is only if we don't trigger inflation, and interest rates don't go up. Then it will get ugly.
Lol. I won’t argue with that one. Then add another Republic of Texas law that says all people who became U.S. citizens within the past 3 (or so) years must be deported to the blue state of their choice and reapply for Texas citizenship. Meanwhile, we’ll dig a moat, build a huge concrete wall, and do whatever else it takes to keep illegal aliens out. Oh, and we’ll also tell France to go to hell.
(Please don’t take me seriously. Well, maybe just a little. Especially the part about the wall and moat. ;)
That would reset the center well to the right of the current republican party.
“Not to mention that voting will be limited to producers.”
Ohhhhhh... I like it!
There are two sides, but our side is never represented. Whose fault is that? I submit the RNC works against us continually. Thinks that’s going to change, if we break away?
We’ll still deal with that dynamic. We need to end that dynamic.
We had folks that didn’t go out and vote. We didn’t even get as many votes as we did in 2008. I’m not convinced that’s going to hold up over time. We may in fact see the vote swell to around the same amount as last time. We’ll see.
We’re making a lot of assumptions about what the actual make-up of our nation is, based on the votes of the adults who bothered to show up.
Less than 180,000 flipped votes in three states, and Romney could have been our president. And Romney never was one of us. We predicted the outcome in the April/May time frame.
We hoped Romney could pull it out, but we were kidding ourselves.
I don’t see the benefit of splitting off so we can become a shadow of our former existence.
I say win it all back. We can do it.
Why do you assume that everything will be exactly the same? There are plenty of solid red states that have the voting power to destroy the left. Currently the GOP straddles the fence so they can remain competitive for local offices in blue states.
Im not convinced thats going to hold up over time. We may in fact see the vote swell to around the same amount as last time.
Smells like wishful thinking to me. So what if it comes true? As I pointed out before, it is extremely unlikely you are even going to be able to meaningfully reign in the debt and spending and slow the rate of decline. Forget changing direction. You are engaging in recreational drug use if you believe that.
Were making a lot of assumptions about what the actual make-up of our nation is, based on the votes of the adults who bothered to show up.
Maybe you aren't remembering the Bush years when the vote did flip? Massive spending and increases in entitlements? Heck, we even wound up with a whole new entitlement program!
What magic dust are you going to sprinkle on the candidate and the electorate next time to change that?
I dont see the benefit of splitting off so we can become a shadow of our former existence.
Which existence would that be? The one where half the nation is on the dole? Where half the nation pays no taxes? Where we send soldiers to be little more than unarmed targets for people that hate us? Where in nation where we have boots on the ground Christians are still being martyred and women oppressed? I say win it all back. We can do it.
Put down the bong. Join reality.
In 1964, Goldwater lost by a massively lopsided margin.
We could have said that because of Johnson’s great society programs, the nation would never right itself.
Fact of the matter is, it could have been just as reasonable to say it back then.
Within three years, Johnson declared he wouldn’t run again, and the Democrats lost in 1968. In 1972, just eight short years after 1964, the Republicans won an election that was just as lopsided in reverse.
Hang in there. Keep your powder dry.
Who knows what’s about to transpire. The Democrat party could be so discredited by 2016, they won’t be able to get any candidate elected.
You are forgetting that the north did everything it could to provoke the southerners into war. Lincoln was quite relieved when the South fired first, because that was always his goal.
Well, according to dictionary.com, I stand corrected!
“I was trying not to open the can of worms about whether or not the war was fought over slavery”
We can argue over whether secession was about slavery. I tend to think we much overrate Southerners’ word on the matter, given his naturally politicians demagogue and how much easier it is to whip people into a frenzy over the specter of John Brown and blacks stealing jobs and commingling in white society and an inequitable tax code. I’ll nevertheless concede the point.
The war is a different matter. The North fought it for the union, and therefore it was nit about slavery, at least not for a couple years.
“If I said the states were right, it would appear to many that I am condoning that ‘peculiar institution’”
Many ignoramuses, but why bother about them?
“so why give them any mire reason to buy into it”
Diminishing returns? Seriously, though, because you shouldn’t let them dictate your arguments. You can’t argue out of fear. And you’ll only encourage them.
Firing on Ft. Sumter, etc. was an act if war. But not just any war. The North was by no means empowered to conquer the Confederacy and reintegrate secessionist stated because they stole federal property. Taking back the forts and demanding retribution and reparations, that’s what Sumter justified, if that. Not total war, unconditional surrender, and occupation which in a sense persists to this day.
As for the notion that the South invaded the North, lol. Who are you kidding? Even if we take your point about Bull Run on its face, that was only after the blockade of Southern ports, which SCOTUS later pinpointed as the start of the war, and Lincoln’s (unconstitutional) call for volunteers, not to defend Washington but obviously to crush the “insurrection.”
act if war = act of war
Okay, well then let’s us just say it was the war to keep slavery in the South war. The South wanted to keep slaves and they attacked the North because of it. So the issue was the South wanted to keep slaves.
It goes back to Buchanan. The president before Lincoln. In any case it was the South wanting to keep slaves.