Civil War in Texas

From Mother Jones:

It’s time for Ken Burns to dust off his Steenbeck. Rick Perry has decided to ease Texas into some kind of secessionist revolt. This was bravely put forth on the historic GOP Tea Bagging Day. So in “The Civil War 2.0” Ken can cast Perry as Jeff Davis, struggling mightily to represent his people, trying to maintain their way of life (through their winter of longing for the glory days of Bush) against the tyrannical onslaught of Yankee oppressors (led by Kay Bailey Hutchison as Lincoln). Cannon and rifles are ready and soon explode in a fusillade of tea! The war objective? Hard to tell, but there’s a governor’s race coming up. Here’s the latest poll: U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who has said she plans to run for governor in 2010, leads Perry 56 percent to 31 percent among likely Republican voters, according to a poll released Tuesday by Raleigh, N.C.-based Public Policy Polling.

6 comments… add one
  • Greg Rowe Apr 24, 2009 @ 3:20

    “And secession isn’t about legality rather it’s about political and economic imperative, regardless of whether a politician wants to erroneously find merit through historical documents.”

    Jim, you have, on several occasions in comments, at least implied that secession was about legality, but if you’re comfortable refuting your own argument, who am I to judge that? So, do you believe secession in 1861 followed the same pattern? If so, I’d be interested in hearing your take on whose “political and social imperative” was answered by secession at that time?

    As far as “whether a politician wants to erroneously find merit through historical documents,” I find it rather ludicrous that politicians seek to bend history to meet their own ends. Sure, you could argue it has happened throughout our history, but that’s the problem. No matter what side of this issue you come down on, people who use historical documents erroneously do everyone a disservice. Those in political power, from US president to local city council member, who use historical references, to me, have a greater imperative to “get it right” than the average person because people will believe something is true historically when in fact it is not. If we are to take these people seriously on other issues, they have a responsibility to represent history accurately, not bend it to political expediency.

    Let’s face it. Perry has an election to win next year. Historical accuracy? Why should that stand in the way of a campaign? (says he, with voice full of sarcasm)

  • Jim Apr 23, 2009 @ 18:21

    “I suspect that if Perry wins they’ll be dumped faster than an Enfield on the retreat to Appomattox.”

    The Official Records state that Confederate soldiers were ordered to stack arms after the army surrendered, which would have been difficult had they “dumped” them as they moved toward Appomattox.

    And secession isn’t about legality rather it’s about political and economic imperative, regardless of whether a politician wants to erroneously find merit through historical documents.

  • Greg Rowe Apr 22, 2009 @ 7:12

    You guys are probably correct, but I’ll say that Texas conservatives like myself (really, I’m more of a moderate) generally believe Perry is a political fool for making his com-ments last Wednesday.

    In one report from the AP during last week’s protests, an early story had him saying Texas, because of the Joint Resolution of 1845 (he called it the “Treaty of 1845”), *still* has the right to secede. (It was later removed from the AP story, but a YouTube video/audio clip of the press conference linked to on the “Mother Jones” site shows he did say this.) He perpetuated a common Texas myth that we can still leave the Union be-cause we were once a republic. I have looked at the documentary evidence of the J.R., the state Constitution of 1845, the Constitution of 1866 (which readmitted Texas to the Un-ion after the Civil War) and the Constitution of 1876 (the constitution written by the De-mocrats after they returned to power and the one we are still using today). None of these documents give Texas the legal right to do this. *It never existed!* The most we were ever able to do legally is divide ourselves into as many as five states if we wanted to, but even that was written out of later constitutions. I’m just angry that the governor of my state, basically, my boss, doesn’t know anymore than my middle schoolers about Texas history!

  • Kevin Levin Apr 22, 2009 @ 6:52

    James and Matt,

    I haven’t really given the whole Tea Party Protests and Perry’s secessionist rhetoric much thought. In reference to the former, the salient difference is that the colonists were protesting “no taxation, without representation” which clearly doesn’t apply today since we had an election in November. Perhaps Perry has a long-standing history of flirting with secession talk, but this seems more to do with local politics than anything about the Constitution.

  • James Bartek Apr 22, 2009 @ 6:13

    Typical, cynical, political pandering – nothing more. I have no doubt the “tea-baggers,” or neo-Confederates, or Long-Live-Texas crowd (it seems an amorphous bunch) to whom he addressed his remarks are genuinely outraged. About what, I’m not certain. Nor, probably, are they – but something tells me it’s not simply taxes. Though they’re looking for someone to champion them, I suspect that if Perry wins they’ll be dumped faster than an Enfield on the retreat to Appomattox. Frankly, if I was a tea-bagging, Confederate Texan I’d be more than a little annoyed by this dude’s blatant, self-serving manipulation of my strongly held convictions (ambiguous as they may be.) 🙂

    PS – They’re currently negotiating to cast Ron Paul as Alexander Stephens!

  • matt mckeon Apr 21, 2009 @ 18:38

    Perry is trying to nail down the vital psychotic wing of the Texas Republican Party.

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