Turkey Day is done, finito, hasta la vista baby.
Families got together to over eat, watch football and argue with one another about every effin’ thing under the sun. And of course your sister Betty showed up with her husband, the yokel from Arkansas who signed a petition to secede from the union! “Go back to Arkansas and secede, you [expletives deleted]!”
That was about the time the half-eaten turkey leg went flying across the table and then Dad, shouting about states rights, punched Betty’s husband in the face with a bowl of sweet potatoes and ka-boom! Thanksgiving Dinner ends up where it has in the past: at the police station with half the family standing in front of a desk sergeant, promising not to get drunk and talk politics ever again. Like they did the year before.
Politics is never a good topic of conversation around the holiday table. Nor is religion, but when you gotta sit there and listen to that boob of a father-in-law talk about how his state Texas, the state he loves, the only state that matters in America, at some point you gotta ask him, somewhat sarcastically and barbed with as much venom as you can muster when his daughter, your wife, is sitting right next to you: “If Texas is so great, why do you live here in California?”
That’s about the time he gives you that steely-eyed look, that doesn’t really mean much because, as they say in Texas, he’s all hat and no cattle. Then he picks up his meat knife and points it at you and says, “Just wait. Once we secede from this socialist country run by that Kenyan fascist Obama, we can meet on the battlefield.”
“We? We who? And you really think Texas would secede and then declare war on the United States?”
So dad-in-law sits quietly for the rest of the meal, giving you that steely-eyed glare, pointing his fork or meat knife in your direction — just like he’s done year-after-year since you married his daughter … (sigh) … nobody ever said life would be one continuous road of golden bricks lined with roses and tulips, but Jesus, nobody gave him adequate warning about fathers-in-law. Not this one anyway.
Yep, that’s all over with for this year and dammit! You ain’t spending Christmas with the in-laws. One holiday a year is bad enough!
And Black Friday too. OMG! Where do all these crazy people come from?
It’s all over, and now we can get back to all the dust settling from the election. President Obama won and the Republicans lost seats in the House and Senate — and yet they claim they have a mandate to continue being obstructionists? There you go with the fantasies again, although Republicans across the land are denouncing Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge. They’re even abandoning John McCain and Lindsay Graham’s jihad against the likely nomination of Susan Rice to be Secretary of State.
Leaving secession as the only crazy talk left out there. The people talking that talk want us to take them seriously too. They signed petitions and everything. One of the first things President Obama did once he was inaugurated was set up an online petition system called “We The People.” If you get enough signatures on one the White House will review all petitions. So, as it turns out, there have been enough signatures from all 50 states to trigger a review — 675,000 signatures and counting. That’s almost .00225 percent of the population.
And wouldn’t you know it, some yahoos here in California have a qualified secession petition for We The People. You know you’ll never hear the end of it from your father-in-law.
But the question is: why would anyone want to secede from the United States? Obviously, they don’t like having Barack Obama as president. First of all, he’s Black. Let’s just get real here. No one has seriously wanted to secede from the Union since 1861 when the South, including Texas, seceded, starting the Civil War.
The South was so certain Abraham Lincoln was going to free the slaves, they seceded first before he had the chance. One hundred fifty-one years later, members from the Party of Lincoln want to secede from the Union because a Black man is president. And this Black man’s heritage isn’t even slave-born, but that don’t matter, all Blacks look alike to some White people.
Trying to say this current secession craze is not about the color of the man’s skin is like arguing the Civil War was fought over states rights and not slavery — as they say in Arkansas: that dog don’t hunt.
No one tried to secede when Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were re-elected and let me tell you, there were a lot of people in this nation opposed to all three. Righties were raging against Clinton from the moment he won his first election in 1992. In 1984 the Lefties were absolutely certain the world would end in one big nuclear holocaust after Reagan was re-elected.
And after Bush 43 was re-elected Alec Baldwin was going to move to Europe. He went to prime time on NBC instead.
Point is, secession wasn’t even brought up by anyone, not even the extremist Righties who thought Bill Clinton was evil incarnate. What’s different now? Barack Obama is not White. Like Clinton, Obama is a Democrat, which means the extremists on the Right (that the Republican Party stoked and encouraged with their birther and secret Muslim insanity) already hate the Democratic president on spec. Add to that Obama’s skin color and …
“Maw, we’s gonna hafta secede from the Union!”
“Would that mean we’d lose our food stamps and social security checks?”
And there’s the rub. Secession would mean losing everything the federal government provides for us, from Social Security and Medicare, to the federal highway system, air travel and railroad travel and the regulations that keep big business from trampling all over the populace.
One reason secession has some legs is the storyline during the 2012 presidential race that said “good” Americans were supporting the “bad” Americans who were all takers on the dole, robbing the makers of their hard-earned wealth through the socialist agenda of President Obama and the Dumbocrats.
Lazy, shiftless no goodniks who scammed the system so they could collect welfare and food stamps and drive around in Cadillacs all day. Or maybe Lincoln Navigators. You know what I’m talkin’ about.
Romney called them the “47 percent.”
These people were going to vote for Obama no matter what because they, “… are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it — that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them.”
You go, my White Brother! That stirred up the base but good! People knew it had to be true because, dammit, it stands to reason! Everybody knows that nearly half of all Americans don’t pay any federal income tax. They get earned income tax credits, child tax credits and every other damn thing. Of course, all Americans are entitled to claim most of those credits and most Americans do, it’s just that the working poor get paid so little that consequently the tax credits make up for the tax assessed to many of the working poor. Hence, 47 percent don’t pay any federal income tax.
But they do pay a lot of other taxes, like state and local taxes and sales tax to name the most common. And they pay “payroll taxes” that pay for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in particular.
So, part of Romney’s argument to be president is that he doesn’t think people are entitled to food, housing, health care and more and to get voters on his side he needs to have enough people associate that with, primarily, race. The reason being: a whole lot of White people who would vote for any White person before voting for a Black man collect some sort of government assistance.
Romney didn’t do that himself because there were plenty of people on the Right spreading that line for him. Newt Gingrich with his “welfare president” remark.
After losing the election Romney doubled down on that philosophy with his comments about the president giving his base “gifts” from the government. That drew a lot of criticism — from his fellow Republicans. Even Newt Gingrich, he of the “food stamp president” remarks, said Romney’s post-election comments were “nuts.” Governors Bobby Jindal and Chris Christie of Louisiana and New Jersey condemned Romney’s remarks.
That’s getting off into a tangent, but it is part of this secession narrative. These people who claim they want to leave the Union cite their belief, mistaken as it is, that the U.S. is turning into a European-style socialist country. It could be worse than France even.
There is nothing socialist about any of President Obama’s policies, so what else could get people so upset they want to pick up their toys and leave? The president is not only a Democrat, he is of African descent. And that’s pretty much it.
Then of course there are the yahoos who just started secession petitions just to get in on the act, riding the coattails of the first 20 states that jumped on it early.
The other day I was watching The Cycle on MSNBC and the token conservative on the panel, S.E. Cupp got her last two cents in for the day.
“As footage proves, I was unreserved in expressing my disappointment that President Obama won re-election. I have been a stalwart defender of the conservative principles he’s opposed and I’ve been critical of his failures,” Cupp said before ripping into the secessionists. “But I am also not a petulant child. That’s one way I describe the secessionist movement.”
Cupp told her fellow conservatives to stop acting like little children and put on their big-boy pants. It was a great rant. On this I agree with Cupp: “We didn’t say ‘We the People of the United States in order to form a more perfect union until we don’t like it anymore at which point we’ll take our toys and go home.’ This thing was built to last.”
You know S.E., maybe there is a future for the two of us … you staying on TV and me continuing to watch.
Yeah, 630,000 looks like a lot of people, until you place it in context: not quite point seven percent of the population is throwing a temper tantrum. Their guy didn’t win so they’re kicking and screaming in the check out line.
Secessionists, once you’re done huffing and puffing, go back home and collect your government checks. Your friends and neighbors happen to like Social Security and Medicare and they’re not about to give all that up (and everything else the federal government does for us) to start the Republic of Alabama.
But go ahead and put on your Teabagger hats and march around with protest signs that broadcast your illiteracy. That’s always entertaining.