The Daily Banter

The Reality of Secession and Unicorns

I'm back with the big column. Today, the utter fantasy of the whiny secession movement.

I hate to disappoint the 675,000 whiny diaper babies calling for secession in the wake of the election but, sorry, no matter how hard they stomp their feet and pout and fling their feces at the electoral map, demands for secession might as well be demands for goblins and unicorns. They're equally as realistic.

Secession from the United States will never happen.


Not only is it illegal, but it's technically an act of treason as defined by the Constitution, and it was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Texas v. White. Furthermore, the secessionists aren't merely condemning the Obama administration, secession is by definition a categorical rejection of the United States and its Constitution, say nothing of the beloved Pledge of Allegiance, which specifically includes the word "indivisible" right after the word "God." I thought these things were sacrosanct to conservatives.

I'm not breaking any news here, but the red states tried this already and it failed miserably. [continued...]

  • bphoon

    Interesting perspective on “makers” vs “takers” when you consider how much federal money southern states tend to take in relative to the amount they pay in, “…from Nebraskans and Virginians and New Yorkers and Alaskans with their Eskimo poetry.”

    Add to the list of things the mythical New Confederacy will lose: the Gulf Coast oil industry. All those off-shore platforms are leased to the oil companies by the federal government. The refineries are owned by the oil companies. I’m pretty sure they won’t let something like a Civil War get in the way of their profits but even if they did try to accommodate the New Confederacy it would be a relatively simple act for the President to bring these under federal control as national security assets.

    I”m afraid I can see more than a few unhinged military members defecting but not enough to make a telling difference. If blow came to blow, their (at best) patchwork “army” would still face the most powerful military on the planet with it’s cyber war capability and unmanned drones, to name just two. I wonder how they’d feel getting blown up by some guy sitting in a control center at Nellis AFB, NV.

    That would, however, only come after crippling sanctions including a blockade on trade. In effect, the President could put them under a state of siege. How y’all like horse and dog meat, wingers?

    • MoeLarryAndJesus

      “How y’all like horse and dog meat, wingers?”

      ‘S okay on Christmas, but most days possum or squirrel will do.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    What’s really a shame is that all this talk about secession is motivated more by paranoid fantasy than by anything that’s actually happening in the real world.

    It’ll be an even bigger shame if they act on it. The GOP and the Fox/Drudge/talk radio paracosm has created a Frankenstein they can no longer control. I’ve been saying for some time that this improv act, creating a false reality for a cohort that, like any other, contains some mentally- and emotionally-unstable people, is the single most irresponsible collective act in U.S. history. G-d forbid anyone gets killed for it.

    [Or maybe I should say, G-d forbid anyone else gets killed for it, see: James David Adkisson.]

    • IrishGrrrl

      Graf, see my comment to Alopecia above…the propaganda in Civil War wasn’t much different…the “they’re coming to get you, to lay waste to your farm, pillage your belongings and rape your women”. Only difference is that the Southerners didn’t have the 24/7 news machine blaring that propaganda. Then again, what little news people did get was filtered through newspapers for the few that could read and through gossip. Talk about controlling the conversation!

      • GrafZeppelin127

        Right; the nature of the rhetoric was the same, but now the audience is larger and it gets repeated more often by more people in more places and has more opportunity to be heard.

        I doubt most ordinary people in the 1860s gave much of a shit about “States’ Rights” or whatever. They just wanted to work, make a living and lead normal lives, same as today. It’s like they say about the Vietnamese people during that war; most Vietnamese did not even know the difference between Communism and democracy, or even know which one they lived under, let alone prefer one over the other.

        If we have another Civil War in this country, and it’s fought over some stupid made-up paranoid fantasy bullshit that some TV and radio actors made up, it’ll be even more tragic than the first.

    • D_C_Wilson

      I think that’s why Ailes has dispatched Hannity to reign in the secessionists. They don’t mind breaking the economy to get that scary black man out of their White House, but cutting the pie in half would be unacceptable for business.

  • Brutlyhonest

    Nothing says “patriot” like wanting to secede. As far as I’m concerned, everyone who signed a petition to secede has revoked their citizenship and should be deported. Preferably to an actual fascist State.

    • IrishGrrrl

      Agreed! Only once they’ve been in a real fascist state will they truly understand just how far from that we and the Prez are in this country.

      • Brutlyhonest

        Indeed they will. Ans when they want to come back? Sorry, immigration is tightly controlled.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Problem is, I can’t think of a fascist state that I hate enough to inflict the teabaggers on them.

      • Brutlyhonest

        Send them to Pakistan. That place was shaped by their policies; remember when we called their dictator “president” and shoveled billions of dollars at him?

        For those that want a libertarian paradise, I suggest Somalia.

  • muselet

    For a couple of decades, some of the simpler folk in Northern California and Southern Oregon have been moaning about distant, unresponsive government in Sacramento and Salem, and have pushed for their areas to be merged into the new state of Jefferson. Which would, of course, be a paradise of freedom and liberty, a model for the rest of the nation and the world, blah blah blah standard glibertarian tommyrot. (I figure within a decade they and their eleven-fingered offspring would be living in a denuded landscape in the middle of an enormous Superfund site. The experiment would certainly not go well.)

    Nobody outside the region takes the would-be Jeffersonians seriously, and that’s as it should be. The difference between them and the would-be New Confederates is that they’re not threatening to revolt, at least not loudly enough for outsiders to hear.

    Both the Jeffersonians and the New Confederates have legitimate concerns—these are, after all, poor areas—but those legitimate concerns have mutated into seething resentment, which in turn makes them elect representatives who are so bonkers that nobody takes them seriously (and who never seem to get around to addressing the actual concerns of their constituents, who in turn become even more agitated).

    Which is a long-winded way of saying that I understand, at some level, the impulse to secede. It’s madness, but it’s not incomprehensible. Letting dissatisfied people blow off steam might be healthy both for them and for the nation, except AM talk radio and Fox News Channel and the rest of Righty media act as a positive feedback loop so dissatisfied people hear more and more outrageous claims from other dissatisfied people.

    I fully expect a large-scale, “lone wolf,” don’t-you-dare-call-this-terrorism attack during Barack Obama’s second term. I also fully expect Righty media to be even more adamant than they were after the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City that the government brought the attack on itself.

    What the solution to all this might be, I have not a clue. How does one go about dealing with people who call the Civil War either “The War Between the States” when they’re being polite or “The War of Northern Aggression” when they’re not?


    • Rob Yurkowski

      The problem is that a good solution to these problems is a Nobel Prize-worthy endeavour.

      • muselet

        Nobel Prize at least.


    • IrishGrrrl

      “their eleven-fingered offspring would be living in a denuded landscape in the middle of an enormous Superfund site”


      “I fully expect a large-scale, “lone wolf,” don’t-you-dare-call-this-terrorism attack”

      This is what I was referring to in my comment here, these angry, struggling single white males can and probably will pull off a lone wolf attack or small group revolt. And they can still do enormous damage.

      “The War of Northern Aggression”

      Veering slightly off topic but I am in processing of writing a book with my sister about a Southern ancestor who fought in the Civil War. In his letters there is nothing to indicate that he fought to preserve slavery or the southern way of life. But there is ton to suggest that he did feel/think the Northern Armies were marching into southern territory, taking and killing and generally subjugating southerners. He actually felt like he was defending his adopted home. So to some individuals at that time, that was the motive to fight against that supposed “aggression.” Nowadays, there’s no such excuse for ignorance. And the ones that use that phrase now are using it to cover up the real underpinnings of the conflict. So yeah, I agree with you about those asshats that use it now but back then it seemed very real to many small, non-slave holding farmers like my g-g-grandfather.

      • muselet

        I’m not surprised by your great-great-grandfather’s attitude. There were strangers tromping backward and forward across his state, taking food from—and sometimes shooting—the locals. Resentment would have been an entirely reasonable reaction, as would taking up arms, especially if one’s betters were blaming the North for the conflict.

        But to nurture a grievance for a century and a half? Especially considering that the Union didn’t burn the South to the ground and sow the earth with salt after the war was over?

        Veering even further off-topic, friends of my brother moved from Southern California to (if memory serves) North Carolina. Half-joking, I told my brother to tell them to keep in mind three things while living in the South: 1) barbecue is slow-cooked pork; 2) “you” is singular, “you all” is plural; and 3) it’s not the Civil War, it’s the War Between the States. Not too long after they moved, they had neighbors and coworkers over for a barbecue, at which they served steak; they were politely informed that barbecue was slow-cooked pork and that what they were hosting was a cookout.

        See what happens when people don’t believe me? ;^)


        • IrishGrrrl

          Lol, always listen to Alo!

          Re the way the South was treated after the war…While you are right about not sowing salt, Reconstruction was ugly and created a deep seated resentment. If Lincoln had lived Reconstruction would not have been that way. Perhaps we have Booth (sp?) to blame for the aftermath? I also think the country made a mistake by not really enforcing the Emancipation….we allowed the South to treat AA’s horrendously up until they stood up for themselves and forced us as a nation to face de facto racism. We allowed White Southerners to keep a good deal of their status at home while demonizing them elsewhere (even today Southerners are made fun of, if my accent gets thick, people notice and it’s not always a nice reaction). Maybe this created a psychological isolation, an environment that created the perfect conditions for the current resurgence of secession….

        • LeShan Jones

          If I may add my two cents to this discussion; the south never accepted that they lost, even in the 1860s. They instead constructed the myth of the lost cause in which they would claim that they were actually right, and that it was not slavery that started the war.
          Two worthwhile books on the post-war era are “The bloody shirt” by Stephen Budiansky, which looks at the campaign of terror tactics perpetrated by southerners in order to cause a reversal and was chiefly the reason why reconstruction failed. And also the book “The myth of the lost cause and civil war history” by Gary Gallagher and Alan Nolan; this book examines the origins and he perpetuation of the lost cause meme southerners have been clinging to for 150 years. Both books are great in helping to understand a little better how the south lost the shooting war, but won the peace that followed by forcing their viewpoint on the rest of the nation.

          Also, I have recently been stationed in FT Bragg NC (a US fort named after a Confederate general), I don’t think I’ve run up against anyone who calls it the war between the states, all I know is if I did find myself in such a situation, I would continue to say Civil War and refer to the confederates as rebels just to irk them. They can’t have it all their way after all; they lost (not to mention that it was the south that started the war to begin with…FT Sumter anyone?).
          BBQ on the other hand, they’re right about. A steak would just be grilled, not Qued

          • muselet

            Maybe the habit of not calling it the Civil War is dying out. If so, it’s not a moment too soon.

            And barbecue is one of the reasons I don’t advocate letting the Southeast secede.


  • KQµårk™

    The thing that irks me the most about these neo secessionists is how they spit on the face of the over 650,000 Americans that died deciding the Civil War.

    • BuffaloBuckeye

      This issue was settled about 150 years ago. Rather emphatically, as I understand.

    • D_C_Wilson

      What irks me that most is that they don’t seem to comprehend that the war is over and they lost!

  • nicole

    The blue states support the red states. FACT.

    Let the fools go!

    *Waves* buh bye, dolts……don’t let the damn door hitcha!

  • Rob Yurkowski

    I bet Puerto Rico feels like it’s a bit too fashionably late to the party.

    • D_C_Wilson

      I have to wonder why they decided now was a good time to strengthen their bonds with us crazies on the mainland.

  • Zen Diesel

    I couldn’t help but notice, the distinct sound of “dueling banjos” ringing in my ears as I read this post.

  • trgahan

    Funny/frustrating thing is, if progressives pulled something like this in 2004 in some consistently progressive state, say California or New York. There would be congressional investigations, a massive public shaming campaign by Fox, and whomever started the petition would likely be facing federal jail time for sedition.

    Remember what happened to people who questioned “a wartime president!”

  • IrishGrrrl

    “…were convinced that the initially unconvinced Abraham Lincoln would summarily free the slaves….”

    The irony being that if they hadn’t seceded, Lincoln might never have freed the slaves. The Confederates essentially made their own worst fears come to pass by “jumping the gun” (sorry, couldn’t help the pun). And it reminds me so much of what is happening to day on a variety of issues. Gun nuts are absolutely certain that the Pres is coming to take their guns when nothing could be further from the truth. That’s just one example…there are so many. They are so certain that he is evil. So very certain. It is delusion, just like it was back then.

    Although they didn’t have Fox News back then though. And how does that affect things? I mean if it took 85 years from the founding of the country for the slavery issue to drive a wedge into the population’s perception of the Union. By that point the South felt that they were certain enough of the Pres’ bad intentions to take the gamble to secede. Fox News has only been in business 26 years and look at the frenzy they’ve been able to whip up. Does the presence of a propaganda tool like Fox mean the country could be split in half the time it took before?

    The one saving grace is the country isn’t as physically and economically split as it was then. The industrialism of the North and the agriculturalism of the South was a pretty clear demarcation then–they didn’t have half their population disagreeing with the other, but all mixed together. As I said on my blog in re: this subject, the mass exodus of loyal Americans from seceding states would be a logistic nightmare. Probably the largest refugee crisis in the history of mankind. Another thought on that point….can you imagine how vulnerable we’d be to foreign invasion or attack if we were in the midst of that kind of population shift? I shudder to think of it. But I digress….

    Bob, I agree that secession would never succeed. I’m not so sure that people wouldn’t attempt it though and not peacefully. I have heard some people say they talk to other online about open rebellion and I think they have taken steps in furtherance, if you know what I mean. I worry that my anecdotal evidence is just the tip of the iceberg…one cell of thousands across the country, stocking up on weapons, supplies and beginning to form alliances. I know that sounds paranoid, but you might not talk to these kind of people every day like I do. They really, really believe they’re preparing for war and that their cause is just. Rebellion never starts with a realistic assessment. And as we’ve all noted many times before, logic isn’t their strong suit. So yeah secession in this day and age is as likely as Unicorns but those attempting it don’t see it that way and that lack of knowledge won’t stop them from trying something and hurting lots of people in the meantime.

    • Lazarus Durden

      They’re full of it IG. I’m around these people as well in East TN and besides possibility of the one lone nut most of them, 99.95%, are just full of shit. Because living off the land ala Red Dawn style is a world of difference than sitting in a tree stand for eight hours.

      It’s because they know in the back of their minds that once out of the tree stand they can get in their car and head back home to sleep in a warm bed. They can head to Wal-Mart to buy what they need. They can watch TV, play video games, and basically enjoy a first world existence while bitching and moaning.

      To give all that up: A/C, food whenever you want it, cold drinks, an actual roof over your head basically stability of existence to go out into the wilderness and fight for an ideal that has zero chance of succeeding is a whole other kettle of fish. No way, no how. These blowhards may think they’re tougher then granite but they’re so used to living in the first world they won’t give it up.

      Signing an online petition is one thing, putting that into action beyond wearing camouflage and stomping around the woods on a Saturday afternoon is another.

      • LeShan Jones

        Exactly right. These idiots never try to think before they act, much like the original confederates. I do believe they really beleive they could win a new civil war because they truly think the military would side with them and that liberals are wimps.

      • MrDHalen


        Their paintball revolution would get really real, real quick!!!

      • IrishGrrrl

        I don’t disagree with your assessment on the middle class armchair warriors. What worries me are the single males who are angry, blaming everyone but themselves for their crappy life, and has very few connections that would restrain them. There are more of these pathetic creatures out there than we think. They talk and plot online. Also I never said they’d be successful but they will cause grief. Look at what McVeigh did. One person, a whole lot of death and destruction. Too many of these yahoos actually think that McVeigh was a patsy or a hero….how effed up is that?

        • Lazarus Durden

          They’re the 0.05%. And we’ll always have them. They’d just find some other excuse. It’s a mental illness, but thankfully there’s not too many of them. Though if the GOP gets their way they’ll make it so they can purchase a nuclear bomb without so much as a background check.

  • Lazarus Durden

    I had a feeling you couldn’t pass this one up Bob. “Wait Civil War morons? *sigh* Joy! We can’t go bike riding today. Someone’s wrong on the internet… Again!”

  • eljefejeff

    Just when I thought they couldn’t be any whinier. Talk about victims. No personal responsibility. They’re frickin babies. Totally impulsive, don’t have a thought in their heads that lasts beyond 3 seconds from now, hell half of them think the world will end in their lifetime, no wonder they act like this.

  • Razor

    Once again, this shows that conservatives are guilty of all the things they accuse liberals of.

    They are “emotional,” “entitled,” “whining” “titty babies.” “WAAAAH! MY GUY DIDN’T WIN AND I’M NOT GOING TO GET EVERYTHING I WANT SO I’M GOING TO TAKE MY BALL AND GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!”

    A bunch of goddamn children.