Friday, April 17, 2009


From the Houston Chronicle blog Texas Politics:

Perry says Texas can leave the union if it wants to

Speaking with reporters after a tea party rally in Austin today, Gov. Rick Perry said Texas can leave the union if it wants to.

"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," Perry said. "My hope is that America and Washington in particular pays attention. 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, who knows what may come of that."

Just FYI, on Perry's 1845 statement, Texas came into the union with the ability to divide into five states, not withdraw. After seceding during the Civil War, Texas was allowed to re-enter the union after ratifying the 13th Amendment. The 13th Amendment banned slavery in the United States and any territory subject to its jurisdiction.

Texas v White, a U.S. Supreme Court case decided in 1869, said Texas cannot secede.

More here.

Not to mention the fact that the entire Civil War was about states not being able to secede.

Wow. This is pathetic. I'm all for cutting people some slack on a few details here and there as far as important history and civics issues are concerned, but this is extraordinarily basic stuff, third grade American history. Okay, to be fair, I didn't personally learn about my home state's unique ability to divide into five states at will until I was a college freshman, but the whole secession issue I've understood since 1975. When I was seven. How could Perry get it so wrong?

Well, my answer is that he's a moron, possibly stupider than Louisiana's current embarrassment-in-chief Bobby "Jesus" Jindal, but that's just my gut speaking: more likely, Perry, like many other right-wing Republicans, has learned to play fast and loose with facts, so "ability to split into five states" becomes "ability to secede." I guess that's close enough for the lunatic fringe. But for people who prefer reality, it's totally wrong, and when I say "people who prefer reality," I mean "everybody."

Call me old school, but shouldn't our leaders have a basic grasp of basic governmental issues? You know, a mastery equivalent to at least the third grade? I wonder how many elected officials throughout the land are as ignorant as Perry. This really is disturbing the more I think about it.