Is secession talk the new birtherism?

Influential conservative radio host Alex Jones wants to break up the United States of America because Barack Obama won the election. (Photo: Wikipedia)

In the days since Barack Obama won a second free, peaceful and fair election, capturing more than 50% of the popular vote again, a growing number of conservatives have called for their states to secede from the United States of America.

The drumbeat of secessionist talk has been pushed most actively by the Drudge website, the most influential right-wing news organization after Fox News, and a major shaper of opinion in hard-right circles.

The latest call to arms comes from conservative talk show host Alex Jones — linked to by Drudge — who last week insisted that the results of the election should be overturned by individuals and groups willing to destroy the fabric of our nation.

“America is already gone. We must recognize that, pull out the New World Order, prosecute the criminals that have hijacked the Republic that don’t flee, and then reconstitute the Republic,” Jones argued.  “But we must first separate or die to then rejoin.”

The hugely influential Republican leader Ron Paul, meanwhile, chimed in with the view that he’s not interested in pushing for secession right now, but “I call for the principle of secession being recognized.”

According to Paul, states can “voluntarily leave any time they want” and he considers the possible dissolution of our union to be a viable option that should remain on the table.

This follows on the heels of right-wing Americans who have hung our national flag upside down, raised nutty, fact-free allegations about ballot-stuffing and corruption, and begun an absurd bluster about impeaching a president elected earlier this month.

Secession talk has been described in words that range from “largely symbolic” to “treasonous.”  I think it’s both.

No one takes any of this seriously as an action item. Alabama and Texas won’t be leaving the union any time soon.

But it is a dangerous trend when tens of thousands of conservative Americans are radicalized and poorly informed to the point that they would destroy our nation because their side lost a single election.

The liberal version of this bitter childishness is talk of “moving to Canada,” which gets tossed around every time an Al Gore or a John Kerry is toppled.

But there is a substantive difference between lazy-minded people talking about quitting their country and crazy-minded people talking about destroying it.

I don’t think the Republican Party is solely responsible for radicalizing Americans who are so frightened of our modern society that they are (quite literally) buying up handguns and talking about a new secession movement.

But I do think the GOP has indulged and cultivated those fears — and attempted to capitalize on them.  2012 should be the year that party leaders reject that approach.

Some conservatives have already taken a stand.  Eric Erickson at the influential RedState blog wrote bluntly that he has “no plans to secede from the union.  If you do, good luck with that, but this is not the place for you.”

He goes on to say that “dabblers in this latest nuttiness” are unwelcome in his version of the conservative movement.

“Our aim is to beat the Democrats, not beat a retreat to a Confederacy that Generals Grant and Sherman rent asunder well over a hundred years ago.”

I think he’s right.  Republicans can be a clear-voiced party of the mainstream center-right.  Or they can be the party of the angry, desperate backward-looking fringe.

This month’s election suggests that they can’t be both.

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102 Comments on “Is secession talk the new birtherism?”

  1. The Original Larry says:

    It was you who injected the concept of racism into the debate about the 2012 secession movement. Stupid idea though it may be, it’s not about race. It’s also not about the Civil War (another concept you introduced), the causes of which were more complex than you think. In any case, I also made the statement “Racism is as abhorrent as slavery” but that doesn’t stop you from continuing to accuse me of it. I find it incredible that you continue to spout this nonsense.

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  2. Mervel says:

    Wj on the mandate the law says that the govt will determine if you are a religious “enough” group or not and thus can be exempt from violating your own beliefs by govt mandate. For example Catholic Charities has been determined by the govt to not be Catholoc enough because they serve all , but of course serving all is a core tenant of catholic social teaching, it really is unconstitutional, and very dangerous. However as I said I believe this will sort itself out, certainly it is not about succession or some other nutty thing. I think what I was addressing was what could be considered numerous unconstitutional actions by the federal govt. These actions including the wars are now totally owned by the president, it is disrespectful to him to say otherwise. Does that meen revolt? No, after what we have been through it should not be played around with!

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  3. Two Cents says:

    Obama did not introduce us to the Homeland Security Act, but he sure hasn’t made it go away either.
    Isn’t it time we secured our safety without having to forfiet freedoms, or is is all getting tooo complicated for the average crop of politicians?

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  4. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    Mr Doolittle, go and read the essays and editorials and history of the Souths positions prior to the war. The main issue that caused the war was economics, not slavery itself and certainly not racism since white indentured servants were part of the mix. That is not in anyway supporting slavery or racism to suggest you do that nor does it in any way support your theory that todays secessionist protest is at all based on racism or the laughable idea anyone wants a return to slavery. You’re simply barking up the wrong tree here guy.

    As far as Obama goes, yeah, when a guy spends a gazillion dollars obfuscating any attempt to look into his past, when his own grandmother claims he was born in Kenya, people ask questions. You seem to apply a different standard to Obama, one based on race at that. Because he’s black in skin tone, you seem to feel any question about his past is out of bounds. It’s not just where he was or wasn’t born, it’s Bill Ayers, Rev Wright, Frank Davis, Van Jones and Valerie Jarret and Janet Napolitano and Bernanke and Geitner and it’s all the disturbing stuff he wrote in his books and said at pressers. It’s “Forward”, it’s Obamacare, it’s promising the most transparent administration and delivering the most secretive. And it’s not just Obama, it’s the whole liberal/socialist agenda. If it was simply racism then why would Allen West, Condi Rice, Herman Cain, Marco Rubio and other non-lily whites be so very well supported by the right? Sorry man, but you are just repeating the mantra of the DNC.

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  5. Brian Mann says:

    Hi folks –

    Interesting conversation. I want to chime in once on this question of the Civil War and the slavery vs. economics vs. states’ rights question.

    In my view, there is very little factual basis for arguing that the war was about anything other than the desire by some factions in the South (and not a few in the North) to maintain the barbaric custom of enslaving other human beings.

    More importantly, there is no moral basis for doing so.

    In any conflict, there are naturally going to be complicating issues, various factors, and motivations that complicate easy narratives.

    I’m sure that some of the men fighting for the South were motivated primarily by territorial loyalty, rather than a desire to maintain the unambiguously evil foundations of their society.

    But it is the sickening foundations of the southern economy and society that should and must preoccupy anyone thinking about the war.

    The best analogy here is Nazism in World War 2.

    There were many Germans who supported the war effort whole-heartedly without consciously embracing genocide, torture and the other dark elements of fascism.

    But no one writing or thinking about that period of German history would dare to suggest that it was anything other than a chapter of madness and evil — one that required the strongest moral response.

    Similarly, America’s Civil War was part of a long, bitter struggle to end a sickening and immoral custom, one which had persisted well into the modern era.

    (By the mid-1800s, slavery was viewed as hopelessly primitive and immoral in most of the West.)

    So let’s be clear. People in the South kept human beings in the way that we now keep cattle. They bred them. They traded them. They killed them with impunity.

    They broke up families, committed rape, and devised an entire modern system of laws, bureaucracies and economic practices to support this savagery.

    And to defend that wholesale barbarism, southerners were willing to commit treason against their nation.

    This wasn’t a war over cotton, or banking systems, or states rights. It was a war with moral lines as clearly drawn as in any conflict in world history.

    Unraveling that bitter and toxic system of human slavery required enormous American sacrifice in lives and treasure.

    It’s one of the few conflicts where it’s clear that the outcome was worth the bitter price.

    –Brian, NCPR

    Hot debate. Like/Dislike Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  6. The Original Larry says:

    Nice work, Brian, I almost didn’t realize you were talking about me when you talked about not having a moral basis. You’re somewhat more skilled than Will at insulting people while trying not to appear to have done so, but you are no less offensive. You want to take a simplistic view of history, fine, but you shouldn’t try to enforce that view by insulting those who don’t agree with you or who step over your definition of political correctness. You don’t own the moral high ground any more than the North did during the Civil War era and you certainly can’t tell people what should and must preoccupy their thoughts. History is not a buffet where can you pick and choose only the items you like. Many people are able to understand (and discuss) the myriad causes of historical events without being apologists or deniers lacking a moral basis.

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  7. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    Larrys right. And more to the point, there is absolutely nothing in the slightest that is treasonous about protesting your govts actions and policies. Morals? Really, you want to talk about the lack of moral compass in the 1860′s American south and try and equate that with the secessionist protest today? So protesting in that way is morally wrong and treasonous but OWS, the Black Panthers, SEIU and a zillion others groups protesting in other more clearly violent ways is all good and pure? Sorry, that’s complete hypocrisy.

    FWIW, my family fought for the Union and I abhor the idea of slavery in any form. But that doesn’t mean the south was treasonous for attempting to separate to retain it’s economic base, which is what it was trying to do. To equate that action as a simple lack of morals is about like saying the people in Jersey that broke into stores or homes to find food and water after the recent hurricane lack morals. They were fighting for survival. Slavery wasn’t right, but I can no more accuse those people of treason than I can accuse some poor schlub who got drafted into Hitlers army of being a hardcore Nazi. And to further try and relate any of that to the secession protest, well that’s simply a desperate and rather stupid attempt to spin something into what it isn’t.

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  8. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    Also, before you make such ill informed statements as, “In my view, there is very little factual basis for arguing that the war was about anything other than the desire by some factions in the South (and not a few in the North) to maintain the barbaric custom of enslaving other human beings.”, you should probably do yourself a favor and read the writings of people like Robert E Lee and his contemporaries that were faced with making the choice between staying with the Union or siding with their States. In those days it wasn’t “The United States of America”. It was THESE United States of America. We weren’t really THE USA until sometime around the day of Teddy Roosevelt or maybe even Wilson. The thinking was different then and you cannot apply todays logic to the times if you don’t factor that in.

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  9. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Larry’s wrong. There is no need to take personal offense at something he himself decries. And it is good to allow a free flow of discussion on any topic but to say that talk of secession isn’t treasonous is just dead wrong. I don’t believe most of the talk is anything that should be prosecuted but it is treasonous. Maybe the test is, would it be treason if a Muslim said it.

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  10. Mervel says:

    I guess I don’t like secession talk even as a protest because it is weak. It’s saying we lost so we are leaving, or we want to leave. People have waited generations for change in this country and others lose one election and the want out? The cival war was about slavery as Brian stated but also economics but slavery WAS about economics, slavery made men rich and supported the southern economy. But regardless issues much larger than we face today. I still believe that more liberals are following this secession stuff than actual people doing it. It plays into the very effective marginalization campaign, much like the rights failed campaign to paint Obama as a socialist radical Muslim .

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  11. The Original Larry says:

    I take personal offense at being called a racist, an apologist for the Confederacy, a denier of racism and someone lacking a moral basis. Other than that, no problem.

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  12. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    If talk of secession is treasonous then any protest of gov’t policy is treason, simple as that. It has nothing whatsoever to do with race and everything to do with free speech. if a Muslim said it, it still wouldn’t be treasonous. It’s political speech, no more no less. Some who would label it as such would have fit in well with President Wilson imprisoning 80K Americans during WW1 for speaking out against the war or with President Roosevelt for interring and seizing the property of west coast Japanese Americans after Pearl harbor. You can’t have it both ways. Treason or sedition would be seeking unlawful means of removing a state from the union. That has not been done here.

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  13. Walker says:

    “Treason or sedition would be seeking unlawful means of removing a state from the union.”

    What lawful means of removing a state from the union exist?

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  14. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    Why couldn’t the US let a State go? I know it will never happen and can’t say I really want it to, but just why is it that it’s simply not allowed? What if, for some reason, a State wanted to secede? Why not let it? Say Maine, just as an example, wanted to become it’s own sovereign nation. What if it was put to public referendum and an overwhelming majority of people voted in favor, just as they do for statehood. What right does the US Gov’t have to prevent it? Why would it be illegal? If it was taken to the Supreme Court I wonder what they would say? Just looking at Wikipedia I find this- “The United States Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession unconstitutional while commenting that revolution or consent of the states could lead to a successful secession.” I also noted this interesting statement- A 2008 Zogby International poll revealed that 22% of Americans believed that “any state or region has the right to peaceably secede and become an independent republic.” That’s pretty interesting and kind of squashes the TREASON! cry. I also found another site that makes an interesting observation- “Bottom line: There is no law forbidding or allowing secession. If Texas or any other state decides to secede, the resulting peaceful separation or war will depend not on law, but on the will of whomever happens to be Commander-in-Chief at the time.” Kind of a scary thought IMO.

    We should also realize secession is not at all unusual in the US. Sections of States have seceded to become their own States in the past. I’d be really happy if we could take NY, LI and pretty much everything south of Saratoga and make it it’s own State.

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  15. Walker says:

    Arlo, what do you think the U.S. would be like today if Lincoln had said “OK, let ‘em go?” Surely that precedent would have led to other secessions. Seems to me we’d be lucky if we’d ended up no more fragmented than Europe is.

    So all these folk who claim to love the great United States of America would be content to see it fragmented into a dozen separate little nations? Weird!

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  16. Walker says:

    It’s interesting to note that when Bush got 62,040,610 votes in 2004, Conservatives said it gave him a mandate. But when Obama gets 64,385,262, Conservatives want to secede. Gives you some idea of where we’d be today if secession had been on the menu from the start.

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  17. mervel says:

    Conservatives don’t want to succeed, that is my point. Succession as a conservative concept is the same as Reverend Wright representing a Liberal concept or to say that Bill Ayers or other violent radicals represent a liberal view, they don’t. However it is politically expedient for Liberals to play up the succession joke, just as it was politically expedient for conservatives to play up the Bill Ayers-Reverend Wright radical, joke.

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  18. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    Good point Mervel. The libs just can’t wrap their heads around the idea of a protest they didn’t invent I guess.

    Walker, a lot of us who think the US used to be great are able to understand the concept or what these petitions mean. You can’t, I get it. As far as Lincoln letting them go, what if he had? What if after that Mexico and the Confederacy had united and formed a new country and The entire west coast was it’s own nation? What if cows could fly? Lincoln didn’t, the states are what they are and people are protesting. If a state wishes to secede, peacefully, why shouldn’t they? It’s a hypothetical question since no one really wants to secede other than a very few people.

    What gets my goat is that violent protests on Wall St were viewed pretty favorably here last year, but a petition to draw attention to another groups concerns are labeled treason. The OWS protests were far closer to treason than this.

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  19. The Original Larry says:

    Walker sees a Conservative (with a capital C, like it was a club with a membership card and a secret handshake) bogey-man behind every tree, or at least behind every idea he doesn’t like.

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  20. Walker says:

    Ah, they don’t really mean it? It’s just a joke, or a protest? Funny kind of protest.

    With Stickers, a Petition and Even a Middle Name, Secession Fever Hits Texas

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  21. The Original Larry says:

    After 80 years of creeping socialism, much (but not all) of which has been an abject failure, Americans are catching on to what other countries (Russia, China, eastern Europe) have known for some time: by and large, socialism does not work and will bankrupt countries that continue to practise it without restraint. The secession movement in 2012 is less a protest against Obama that it is against what he represents: an ill-advised doubling-down on a failed experiment. When East and West Germany reunited they did not choose to follow the East German economic model and that should tell us whatever we need to know about what works, what doesn’t and what people want. Before the outraged howling begins, let me say that a government with a social conscience and agenda is a good thing but every problem cannot be solved by throwing tax dollars at it. If that were the case there would be no poor people in the US given the untold trillions spent on the war on poverty.

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  22. mervel says:

    Right walker, you see this is a media event. 116,000 signatures in a state with 26 million people? Come on it is a side show being promoted mainly by Liberals. The Times article is disappointing, I mean did they point out that the two largest cities in Texas and all of South Texas voted for Obama? How would that fit with this little group who wants to succeed? But in Texas believe me it is a joke. Certainly in the second largest state in the Union you can come up with a couple of hundred thousand nuts; I don’t deny there are loonies who like to talk about succession on the Right, but no serious conservatives do, just like there are loonies on the left who like to talk about revolution and so forth. People just love to hate Texas, I don’t know what you are all are going to do when Texas goes blue? Who will Liberals find to fear then? Maybe just turn on conservative Democrats?

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  23. Brian Mann says:

    Mervel –

    Here’s the problem with your argument. Over the last four years, conservatives have in fact gone down these rabbit holes. It has shaped the right significantly. Birtherism, the idea that Obama is a radical Muslim, huge waves of people buying guns, Real public officials talking about their fear that Democrats will hand over the country to the United Nations, a huge media movement formed around the idea that Obama’s chief aim is to humble and humiliate America because of our colonial past, the notion that Democrats want to deliberately cripple capitalism. Groups talking about a national armageddon, and the need to rush out and buy gold. These are all, by some measures, a side show — but they weren’t created by the media. And together they have collectively shaped the right.

    If Republicans didn’t currently have a problem with radicalism (I’m not conflating radicalism with violence – just with ideas that are significantly outside the mainstream) then yes, this secession talk would be silly and trivial. But the GOP is struggling with a brand and message crisis. And in the current climate, having a bunch of “base” conservatives running around talking about breaking up the United States can’t be a good thing.

    –Brian, NCPR

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  24. Walker says:

    Larry, there is absolutely nothing about the U.S. that bears the slightest resemblance to East Germany in the 1980s.

    And your eighty year period includes the presidencies of Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, the hallowed Ronald Reagan, G.H.W. Bush and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named, a total of eleven terms, or 44 years of Republican administrations.

    So why now?

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  25. The Original Larry says:

    My point, Walker, which you always seem to miss or ignore is that when Germans had a definitive choice to make about the future of a reunited Germany they did not choose the socialist model. That tells me it wasn’t working and that people wanted a change. Also, please note that I said “creeping socialism” which indicates a gradual progression towards socialism. Why now? Because enough is enough and we have to stop wasting money on programs that interfere with personal freedom, don’t work, aren’t needed and don’t produce a benefit commensurate with their cost, that’s why.

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  26. Walker says:

    “…they did not choose the socialist model.”

    No, and neither have we.

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  27. The Original Larry says:

    We have been gradually embracing socialism since 1932; that is beyond debate. I can’t imagine anyone with a grip on history or current events would dispute it.

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  28. Walker says:

    Larry, here’s what I will grant you: for eighty years we’ve been taking baby steps towards something that bears a slight resemblance to socialism. We’ve also taken some pretty big steps away from socialism over a long time. I can’t imagine anyone with a grip on history or current events would dispute that.

    Everyone on your side is screaming about Obamacare, which is based almost entirely on private health insurance companies, and is a scheme originally devised by a conservative think tank.

    The Senate bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, bore similarities to prior healthcare reform proposals introduced by Republicans. In 1993 Senator John Chafee introduced the Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act which contained a “Universal Coverage” requirement with a penalty for non-compliance. Advocates for the 1993 bill which contained the “individual mandate” included prominent Republicans who today oppose the mandate, namely Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Robert Bennett (R-UT), and Christopher Bond (R-MO)…

    The idea that the Obama healthcare legislation was a “government takeover of healthcare”, pushed by the Tea Party movement and Congressional Republicans in 2010, earned this characterization of PPACA the “Lie of the Year for 2010″ by Politifact.Wikipedia: Obamacare

    Look, what percentage of the U.S. economy is state-owned?

    Tax rates, both on individuals and corporations, are at historic lows. And wealth concentration is presently at a high that hasn’t been seen since the Gilded Age, and which puts us on a par with your typical banana republic.

    Socialism?! Yah, right!

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  29. mervel says:

    Brian,

    I think it goes back to your thread on weeding out the crazies. They have an outsized influence in my opinion that is pumped up by both the true radicals on the far right and the media, which loves excitement, moderate Republican are boring or at least they don’t excite the media as much as talking about succession or Obama being a Muslim. To the degree that conservatives and the Republican Party can’t distance themselves from this bunch in a very distinct and strong way, I think they are in trouble.

    I would agree with you that it is not a good thing for the Republicans to have the party being portrayed, true or not, as having a bent toward civil war. I just think that this sort of thing has been talked about for a LONG time in a guise of play and fun, not seriously. I just don’t see any sort of deep popular support for seriously talking about succession among conservatives.

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  30. mervel says:

    Also maybe the majority wants socialism? If so, so be it. I would be against it, but you its not the end of the world as long as they have recognition of civil and individual liberty (which is sometimes a problem in socialist countries). There is nothing in the constitution which would prevent the ownership of industry by the government.

    Part of this is figuring out what works and what we want as a country.

    What I see happening in this country however is that we are moving from a politics of ideas to a politics of tribalism, and I find this very disturbing.

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  31. mervel says:

    Was the election simply about tallying what one group gets and what another group is forced to give up?

    I thought we were voting on a plan a set of ideas that may or may not work for the whole country?

    I think this is a problem on the left and on the right. Our economy and our system is not a zero sum game, we can all be made better off with the right set of opportunities and systems.

    I think this succession talk plays into the idea of one group taking from the other and that is all our politics really is however I also think elements of the Occupy movement had the same problem, politics was simply about taking from one group because they had too much, one group against the other and those with the most force simply takes from the other.

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  32. The Original Larry says:

    Walker,
    You seem intent on labeling the US a “banana republic” and if we keep on with these idiotic schemes, you’ll get your wish. Calling Obamacare “insurance” doesn’t make it insurance and if you knew the first thing about insurance you would know why not. I don’t care if Ronald Reagan thought it up, it’s an ill-conceived and un-workable scheme that will result in the collapse of the health insurance system and ultimatley, government dictated health care for all, with confiscatory taxation to pay for it. You see where government (Republicans AND Democrats) control has brought Social Security and Medicare and now you want to finish the job and let them screw up health insurance as well? Incidentally, the problem isn’t health insurance or lack thereof. It’s out-of-control costs and unnecessary treatments enabled by a government that approves and pays insane charges in the areas it already controls. Yeah, I know, it’s the rich who put us in this mess, right?

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  33. The Original Larry says:

    “There is nothing in the constitution which would prevent the ownership of industry by the government.”

    Thank god there’s enough there to slow them down. How’s Amtrak working out? And there are people who want to give those idiots even more control over our lives? They can’t run a railroad and they are going to provide health insurance for all? Where’s the free beer and pizza?

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  34. Walker says:

    “…politics was simply about taking from one group because they had too much, one group against the other and those with the most force simply takes from the other.”

    Mervel, what we have right now is a case of taking from the poor and middle class and giving to the rich. The wealthy pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than you do, thanks to the “conservative” movement started by Reagan. That’s why wealth has been concentrating in the hands of the top 1% for 30 years and counting. Where do you think the money that goes into corporate subsidies comes from and where does it end up? (Hint: it’s a reverse Robin Hood game.) And military spending? Goes right to corporations and their stockholders.

    Look, you must have seen it– if you ask Americans what they think our distribution of wealth should be, two-thurds of them will tell you that it should be pretty evenly distributed. If you ask them what they think it actually is, they’ll tell you that it’s a little less evenly distributed. But what it actually is is massively unevenly distributed. (See BBC Business: How Americans view wealth and inequality) And this is not how it was when Ozzie and Harriet ruled prime time– it has happened (and is still happening) since 1980.

    It’s not so much that the rich have too much, it is that they have been taking too much lately, by buying Congress, and doing a lot of slick marketing to make middle class people vote against their own best interests.

    It’s not about “Socialism”. We’re miles and miles from the dreaded “socialism.” East Germany we ain’t. It’s about government policies that actively stuff money into the pockets of rich people.

    It’s called advantaging the advantaged.

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  35. Walker says:

    Larry, do you know anything about the railroads of Europe? They must really suck, right?

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  36. Walker says:

    “…an ill-conceived and un-workable scheme that will result in the collapse of the health insurance system and ultimatley, government dictated health care for all, with confiscatory taxation to pay for it.”

    Bring it on!!!

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  37. Walker says:

    “Thank god there’s enough there to slow them down. How’s Amtrak working out?”

    Larry, for every Amtrak, there are dozens and dozens of failed, inept, corrupt, inefficient private companies getting rich at the expense of the middle class. Take Hostess, for example.

    Are you seriously going to suggest that there is any evidence that government wants to take over private enterprise?

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  38. The Original Larry says:

    Next time I want to take the train from Paris to Rome, I’ll ask Walker’s question. In the meantime, round trip Amtrak fare between Albany and NYC is about $150. Cost to drive: $50 +/- So really, how’s Amtrak working out?

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  39. The Original Larry says:

    Come on Walker, don’t be foolish. when was the last time someone held a loaded Twinkie to anyone’s head? The government wants to take over health insurance and is doing it.

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  40. Walker says:

    U.S. based global corporations outsourced 2.4 million jobs between 2000 and 2010 and laid off 2.9 million American workers.

    On July 17, 2012, Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked a measure that would have ended tax breaks for U.S. corporations that move jobs overseas.

    This is socialism for the rich.

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  41. Walker says:

    ” The government wants to take over health insurance and is doing it.”

    Don’t you be foolish, Larry. The government is regulating health insurance, while sending 36 million more customers their way. If Republicans would stop their obstructionism, it just might work. But our private health insurance “system” is horrendous, and if Obamacare fails and leads to a single-payer system, that’s even better.

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  42. The Original Larry says:

    Walker, the “blame the rich” thing is overdone, don’t you think? Same thing for your “evil corporation” mantra. Why not learn a new song? Tell me more about European railroads.

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  43. Walker says:

    Larry, Wikipedia Google will tell you everything you need to know about the European railway systems. A highlight: “France has an extensive and reliable rail system, allowing visitors to travel almost anywhere relatively cheap and easily.”

    And no, I don’t think that the “blame the rich” and “evil corporation” things are overdone at all. Quite the contrary– we need a whole lot more prosecution of corporate malfeasance. Let’s turn Elizabeth Warren loose!

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  44. mervel says:

    Well I certainly would favor policies that would not overly subsidize any particular group and right now indeed our government is involved in subsidizing different groups for simply political and not economic reasons.

    Certainly in your example Walker I think the wealthy could pay more in taxes, but that is a side issue, it won’t SOLVE any of our problems or issues with the debt or deficit, it will simply make us all feel better that those guys had to pay more, which is fine they should. But it is not a policy prescription it is simply correcting a fairness issue.

    I think it is totally overblown to say that wealthy people in the US are in large part wealthy because of some sort of tax or subsidy they got from the US government. The concentration of wealth has had a lot to do with the insanity on wall street and the amount that we pay our CEO’s in the US, the winner take all idea, it also has a lot to do with our public school system both primary and secondary. But I don’t know the answer, I think there is one but it will take some real analysis. I don’t think group politics helps.

    Right now in the US the national HIGH SCHOOL drop out rate is around 25%. So what are they ever going to do in a modern economy that is focused on science, technology, engineering and math? We can have all of the radical social policies we want, when you have fully 25% of your population untrained and unready to hold any higher paying job, you will always have income inequality.

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  45. mervel says:

    The US has a long history of succession though that is why it is so fascinating and a fun what if game. Beyond the confederacy, we have the Mormons out in the West, we have Texas of course going it alone, we have had early Black nationalists calling for a black homeland both here and or back in Africa, we have Native American tribes that still maintain some identity and legal separation from the US government (Native Americans we not US citizens until very late). I mean we had the US government still at war with several tribes right up until the start of the 20th century. I am sure there are more examples. So I think there is a long history of thinking about this in the US.

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  46. mervel says:

    Besides “Lone Star Beer” IS the “National Beer of Texas”. Its on their can.

    http://www.lonestarbeer.com/

    Texans have been having fun with this for a long time.

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  47. Arlo T. Ledbetter says:

    I don’t have time to address a of of the hyperbole posted since my last input, but I will ask this of Brian Mann- Are you also asking the Democrats to weed out their crazies? Do you even recognize the left has crazies? I haven’t seen any evidence of that at all.

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  48. The Original Larry says:

    Arlo,
    Of course the left has crazies, haven’t you been reading their posts?

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  49. Walker says:

    “…haven’t you been reading their posts?”

    Larry, the equivalent of right-wing crazies would be lefties screaming something like “let’s confiscate all their wealth and nationalize their factories!!!”

    Maybe that’s what you think you’re seeing here, but I sure haven’t seen it.

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  50. mervel says:

    Actually after the 2004 election several mainstream Left commentators on MSNBC were talking about the concept of succession, so it cuts both ways. The whole concept is nutty but is something both sides have engaged in. I think the Right gets into it more because it sounds kind of Red Dawn cool, going it alone etc, its a t.v. movie not real, but its still fun to gripe about and think about!

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