A moar perfect union… FIRST!!!1!

English: A Toyota in San Antonio, Texas, with ...

English: A Toyota in San Antonio, Texas, with a rear bumper sticker that reads “Secede”, which refers to Governor Rick Perry’s speech during which he mentioned “the right of Texas to secede from the union” during a “tea party” in Austin in April of 2009.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/15/gov-rick-perry-texas-coul_n_187490.html I have blackened out the license plate to keep the vehicle’s owner anonymous. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know what is funnier: 90k people (many of them from outside Texas) signing a non-binding, relatively meaningless petition to have the state “secede from the Union”, or the media treating this as a serious event that demands attention, or people from Texas (a state of 25 million) expressing outrage and concern that this was a formal request that they have to reject otherwise it will somehow automatically happen.

Many a Facebook comment these past few days from Texas residents trying to find out who they have to contact to note that they disagree with the petition. The fact that it’s a petition on the White House website, which has a (self-imposed) rule to respond when the petition reaches 25k signers in 30 days, means little. The response can be “No, don’t be silly, and stop wasting our time.” There’s not even any sort of legal requirement for them to respond. Go ahead, create a petition on the website to force all secession proponents to “voluntarily self-deport”, go nuts. You might get on some FBI watch lists for your troubles, but trust me: you’ll be sorted under “LOL”, not under “Dangerous”.

How about fractal secession? People from Houston, Austin and El Paso have signed petitions on the same site asking to secede from Texas, if Texas gets to secede.

As to whether it’s the beginning of the process that would be required to actually secede… to be fair it’s not like there really *is* a formal one. The Supreme Court has rejected the argument that unilateral secession would be constitutional, but has noted that secession through revolution would… legal, I guess? Acceptable? It’s a weird situation when you ask whether the laws that govern a group of people apply to members of the group who want to leave. It’s not like the Constitution includes guidelines and directions for its own orderly dissolution.

However, even if ~600,000 or so signers of the various secession petitions are serious (and are indeed separate 600k individuals and not the same 5 people signing up every state on different computers), I’m not sure it’s terribly respectful of the democratic process to pretend that the entire Union can be dissolved based on the fact that a fifth of a percent of the population is angry that their guy didn’t get to be President. If angry online petitions from uninformed people had the force of law, Rush Limbaugh would be President of the Independent Patriotic Republic of Butthurtistan already.


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