The 2016 election is fast approaching. This is the cue for right wing Republicans to rev up the crazy machine.
On Monday evening we returned home from a trip to NYC over Thanksgiving weekend. I have to admit that I am grateful Donald Trump is the 24/7 media buzz for it distracted my friends, relatives and our son’s soon to be in-laws from giving us grief about Texas politics and its more than colorful (to be kind) Republican politicians. Or worse, being lectured about how evil and dangerous Ted Cruz is, as if we had actually voted for the jerk.
So though I managed to return to Houston without having to defend the state and finally not having to insist that not all of us are certifiable, my brief vacation from Texas politics abruptly ended when I turned on NPR. I had tuned in to Texas Standard. This is a very fine radio show, hosted by an award winning journalist, that covers current Texas politics and events. I tuned in just when the host announced the Texas GOP intends to enter secession on the party’s primary ballot.
It’s time for the looney tunes cartoon re-runs. An election is coming!
Here we go, straight back into whacko world. Again. Former Governor Rick Perry danced with secession when he ran for re-election in 2010. He also shot and killed a coyote while jogging. This was his way of ensuring his base that he was the true unshakeable conservative and a real tough guy. No one can mess with Rick Perry. For he played John Wayne and won.
And so when we think the GOP has lurched so far to the right that it is barely capable of governing, because most Republican politicians (borderline anarchists) are mostly anti-government, the Party goes a step further. The knee jerk default to feed the rabid right of the base is apparently a hard habit to break.
Tanya Robertson, State Republican Executive Committee member for Senate District 11, which covers parts of Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties, said she'll present the resolution at the committee's December 4 meeting in Austin, and that she already has support from a few other members.
Harris Co. (the Houston area) is the largest county in the state. Sections of Houston are fairly progressive with blue pockets, despite redistricting, and the city is among the most diverse in the U.S. It is, in fact, a global melting pot and a host to some of the world’s refugees.
Because of these demographics I find it puzzling why Ms. Robertson would find support for such an extreme measure.
"There's been a big groundswell of Texans that are getting into the Texas independence issue," she said, citing conversations she's had with constituents. "I believe conservatives in Texas should have a choice to voice their opinion."
Her constituents must be suburban tea party conservatives most of whom loath President Obama, simply because he is black, and most of whom consider government as intrusive and an evil force that robs us of our freedom. Of course the base has been listening to this batty rhetoric for years whether from hate talk radio shock jocks like Rush Limbaugh or from Republican candidates themselves. Meanwhile, back on the ranch, the reality is small government in Texas means a lot of foxes are guarding the state's henhouses. The state is pervaded by crony capitalism, thanks to G.W. Bush and Rick Perry’s long tenure as Governor. We also have George P. Bush, the Texas Land Commissioner, perfecting the fine art of crony capitalism as practiced by his uncle W. and daddy Jeb.
Naturally, trying to sound reasonable, the state’s GOP Chair does not think the resolution will fly but one can never be sure. Ms. Robertson is not backing down.
Still, Robertson will present the resolution to a 12-member resolutions committee, which will decide whether or not it will face the full 60-member assembly on December 5 for a vote on its placement on the March 1 ballot.
Robertson got the idea for the resolution from the Texas Nationalist Movement, a small secessionist group that has tried but so far failed to raise the necessary 75,000 signatures to put a non-binding secession vote on the March ballot. When she heard that news she thought she could help, though she isn't a member of the TNM.
She cited dissatisfaction with politicians in Washington D.C. and dismay with federal spending as reasons for a secession vote.
Well, since the GOP holds the majority in the U.S. Senate and House it would seem that voting against incumbents would solve the problem. But this is Texas in which many Republicans have been tricked and fooled into voting against their own interests. GOP politicians know when and how to blow the dog whistles while fear mongering about “baby killers.” Sometimes verses from the bible weave their way into the narratives as snake oil dealers work in a demonization of the GLBT community and public restrooms (men in dresses raping women in bathrooms). The politicians stir the toxic brew with more than a little help from “news” organizations such as Fox and radio hate talkers.
But we have another election to face in 2016 and as the President would say “we are in the silly season of elections.”
Silly or bat shit nuts?
The non-binding vote would essentially serve as an opinion survey of statewide Republicans. It would not compel the state to secede if approved.
Karl Voigtsberger, SREC member from senate district 8 near Fort Worth, said he is "fully supportive" of the resolution "just to find out where the majority of Texas Republican primary voters are on this topic."
Several polls have explored that notion before. A 2009 Rasmussen survey found 18 percent of Texas would opt to secede, while seven percent were undecided.
This whole thing is an exercise in lunacy. Texas is not going to secede and the majority of us know it.
Experts have said Texas would face an exceptionally difficult path to independence. Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled secession illegal in 1861, the federal government would be compelled to use force against any state's attempt to leave the union.
Maybe this is the deepest wish of the far right. A blazing gun battle with the evil doing feds. Once again, it’s time for the looney tunes cartoon shows all over again.
That’s all folks! Until next time, of course.
Oh wait. The TX Open Carry Law kicks in on January 1.
Wish us luck.