Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kook Fringe Protest Unsurprisingly Draws Few Attendees

But read this article, and you'll be inclined to think that (a) Rick Perry is responsible for secessionist kooks and (b) this group is a huge part of the GOP.

Back in April, Perry flirted with the idea of secession when he told reporters after 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.

Perry's remark that "who knew" what might come of politicians ignoring the will of the people is neither "gobsmackingly 'out there'" nor was it an endorsement of secession. When Perry noted that Texas supposedly retained the right to secede, he was stating a view quite common here, not issuing a rally cry to secessionists.

But that's not how such words have been portrayed by the hysterical left. I can still recall when talk of secession was cool to the left. Certainly not "gobsmackingly 'out there.'" But I guess that was soooo 2004.