"We Hate the United States": Secessionists Rally at TX Capitol
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Perhaps the most notable thing about the “Sovereignty or Secession” rally at the state Capitol on Monday was the absence of any remotely mainstream speakers. That little problem in presentation did not escape the event’s organizers from the Texas Nationalist Movement. In fact, several speakers bitterly complained that neither Gov. Rick Perry nor a single one of the 70-plus supporters of Rep. Brandon Creighton’s HCR 50, a resolution asserting Texas’ “sovereignty” from the federal government, made an appearance.
Back in April, Perry flirted with the idea of secession when he told reportersafter a Tax Day tea party event: “There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve [the Union]. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.”
Even for a governor who frequently plays to the more extreme elements in the Texas GOP, it was a gobsmackingly ‘out there’ remark. But it certainly did wonders for the secession crowd -- long a totally marginal and ridiculed group with about as much chance of capturing the mainstream imagination as the LaRouche cult.
The turnout for the rally wasn’t huge -- 200 would be a generous estimate -- but it was enough to show how much Perry has helped galvanize and embolden the right wing “hate America” fringe. After all, the governor of the second most populous state in the nation had suggested that secession was a possible solution to federal over-reach. Republican political leaders have helped bring “death panels” and the Obama birth certificate nonsense into acceptable discourse; Perry’s contribution has been bringing secession into the mix.
Daniel Miller, the leader of the Texas Nationalist Movement and the only speaker who had the slightest ability to make secession sound like anything other than just complete lunacy, recounted the April 15 tea party rally in Austin and what it meant to the secessionist movement.
“When [Perry] was giving a speech and the crowd began to shout what? – Secede! Secede! Secede! – that’s what they chanted. So they asked him afterward, What do you think? He said, Well we reserve that right; if things get so bad we reserve the right to leave. And I gotta tell you it’s the first solid thing he’s done in his administration that I can agree with in many, many years.”
So the secession leaders were a little peeved that they couldn’t get their good friends in the Texas GOP to show up. After all, Fox News is paying attention: Miller was a guest on the Glenn Beck Program on June 23, discussing the possibility of Texas seceding.
Though Perry and the “pro-sovereignty” legislators didn’t show for the rally, Miller said, “I want them to hear this loud and clear: It is time for them to take up that banner and it’s time for them to take the lead and if they do not, if they do not pick up that banner and carry it high, then we will.” Upon which Miller dashed out into the crowd, took hold of a “Come and Take It” flag, and continued his exhortations. Along with other speakers, he called for a special session of the Legislature—next week -- to take up the sovereignty-or-secession debate in earnest.
The organizers are trying to set up a time to deliver a petition to Perry demanding that Texas officials either “immediately move for the restoration of the complete and unadulterated Sovereignty of Texas, explicitly adhering to the 10th Amendment wording of the U.S. Constitution,” or “move immediately for complete Secession from the United States of America.”