Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The modern Republican Party still refers to itself as the "Party of Lincoln." Lincoln may have been one of the original founders of the Republican Party, but nothing could be further from the truth or present-day reality.
If Lincoln were alive today he would immediately recognize the modern GOP as his old nemesis: a mostly Southern regional political party constituted from what remains of the old Confederacy and still advocating "secession." I am certain Lincoln would be emotionally devastated to learn that 144 years to the day after he lost his life in the final act of a war to preserve the Union that "secession" would still be spoken of in this country, and that the Republican Party he founded to preserve the Union would now be the home of Neo-Confederate secessionists.
"Governor Goodhair" (God, I miss Molly Ivins) Rick Perry of Texas at a Tea Party Protest in Austin, Texas yesterday said "We've got a great union," and "There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it."
"But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."
This comes less than a week after Gov. Perry appeared with sponsors and supporters of a Texas House resolution affirming the state's claim of sovereignty under the 10th Amendment. Texas Gov. Rick Perry Contemplates Illegal Secession "I believe the federal government has become oppressive. It’s become oppressive in its size, its intrusion in the lives of its citizens, and its interference with the affaris of our state," Gov. Perry said.
Texans need to ask themselves a question. Do they side with those in Washington who are pursuing this unprecendented expansion of power, or do they believe in individual rights and responsibilities laid down in our foundational documents.
Where’re you gonna’ stand? With an ever-growing Washington bureaucracy, or are you going to stand with the people of this state who understand the importance of state’s rights.
Texans need to stand up. They need to be heard, because the state of affairs that we find ourselves in cannot continue indefinitely…
…We think it’s time to draw the line in the sand and tell Washington that no longer are we going to accept their oppressive hand in the state of Texas. That’s what this press conference, that’s what these Texans are standing up for. There is a point in time where you stand up and say enough is enough, and I think Americans, and Texans especially have reached that point.
The legislation itself (HCR-50) resolves "[t]hat all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed."
Governor Goodhair apparently is ignorant of recent Texas history. "About a decade ago, Texas was in a pretty ferocious fight with a separatist group called the Republic of Texas. It culminated in 1997 with a shootout with Texas state police (Texas Rangers) that resulted in a life imprisonment for its leader, Richard Keyes. The governor that led the fight against the separatists? George W. Bush. That tells you how big of a lunatic Perry is."
Here's a story from the 1997 showdown between the state and the Republic of Texas. h/t Mark Nickolas' Blog: Texas Gov Has No Clue About Texas History
In Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) the United States Supreme Court held in a 5-3 decision that the U.S. Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were "absolutely null."
But "it ain't just Texas," as Governor Goodhair might say.
The House of Representatives of the Arizona Legislature approved a similar resolution (HCR 2024) on April 14, 2009, the anniversary date of the assasination of Abraham Lincoln. My guess is that not one of them realized the significance or irony of their action. 32 members of the Arizona House (including some Democrats who ought to be ashamed of themselves) are co-sponsors of this "sovereignty" resolution.
So it is high time that the "Party of Lincoln" well consider the words of Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address on March 4, 1861, in which Lincoln addressed the question of secession at great length (excerpted highlights):
It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President under our National Constitution. During that period fifteen different and greatly distinguished citizens have in succession administered the executive branch of the Government. They have conducted it through many perils, and generally with great success. Yet, with all this scope of precedent, I now enter upon the same task for the brief constitutional term of four years under great and peculiar difficulty. A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted.
I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.
Again: If the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it—break it, so to speak—but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?
Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was "to form a more perfect Union."
But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.
It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.
I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and I shall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.
* * *
From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the Government must cease. There is no other alternative, for continuing the Government is acquiescence on one side or the other. If a minority in such case will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which in turn will divide and ruin them, for a minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority refuses to be controlled by such minority. For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy a year or two hence arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this.
Is there such perfect identity of interests among the States to compose a new union as to produce harmony only and prevent renewed secession?
Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible. The rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.
* * *
This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
* * *
The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people, and they have referred none upon him to fix terms for the separation of the States. The people themselves can do this if also they choose, but the Executive as such has nothing to do with it. His duty is to administer the present Government as it came to his hands and to transmit it unimpaired by him to his successor.
* * *
In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."
And so he did, preserving our Union forever.