It's a day ending in 'y' so once again Texas is talking about seceding from the union. According to several reports circulating today, the Texas Nationalist Movement is claiming that 22 counties in Texas passed secession items at their conventions recently, with the goal of bringing a vote on the measure to the state's Republican Party Convention in May. So, with that in mind, we figured it was a good time to bring back this "open letter" from four years ago. Swap out dumb-as-a-stump governor Rick Perry for nut-job conspiracy theorist governor Greg Abbott -- and move my daughter, thankfully, from Texas to California -- and the message still holds up pretty nicely. And that message is this: please, secede, Texas. You won't be missed. (For reasons why, feel free to go here and here and here and here and here.)
So word has it you're talking about seceding from the United States and, I guess, forming your own country. I wish I could react with shock, but the truth is we've heard this kind of thing before; we hear rumbles of it every time something happens politically on a national scale that rattles your ironically fragile sense of independence and sends you into a Texas-sized panic. It usually amounts to nothing more than petulant whining disguised as a lot of cock-grabbing bravado and bluster, but this time you've managed to quickly amass enough signatures calling for secession in the wake of last week's Obama victory -- more than 80,000 -- that the White House has no choice but to respond to your "request." Let me save you the suspense and the delusion that this little tantrum is going to be the least bit effective: the answer's gonna be "no."
And that's a shame. Because I think I speak for a good portion of the United States when I say that frankly I'd be thrilled to see you go. I'm a full-on supporter of the Independent Republic of Texastan. There's honestly nothing I'd enjoy more than watching you split off from the rest of us and take a shot at creating your own Jesus-blowing conservative-libertarian utopia. I mean, with your legendary ingenuity, creativity, and all-around smarts, your experiment wouldn't possibly become a post-apocalyptic Road Warrior hellscape in a matter of weeks, right?
A couple of years back, your governor, pretend shit-kicker and Sears mannequin haircut-cultivator Rick Perry, talked about the possibility of your seceding from the U.S. and going your own way. You didn't hear anyone complain about it then, did you? This time, it's worth noting, Perry isn't on board with your plans. He's already made it clear that he has no intention of supporting secession -- a move I consider more of a threat than reassurance -- and to everyone with a brain, that is everyone not you guys, it should be obvious why.
The reality is that for all your bombast and thoroughly misplaced pride in your state and its supposed self-reliance, Texas happily gobbled up a total of $259,196,392,892 in federal money -- including grants and contracts -- just this past year, making it possibly the most hypocritical of the eight or so red states that bitch about the government, shriek about makers-vs.-takers, but sit comfortably atop the list of areas drawing the most federal funds while not paying for it with comparable taxes. In other words -- you couldn't survive without the United States government to help prop up your fat asses. And still, this is how you repay all that largess, since you sure as hell aren't ever going to be able to repay it with cash: by acting like a dumb teenager who threatens to run away from the home provided by his parents every time something happens that makes him all angry.
Look, Texas, you have the highest percentage of uninsured children in the nation. You're dead last when it comes to the number of people with a high school diploma. You have the dirtiest air in the country. You rank 49th in the number of low-income residents covered by Medicaid. You're 46th in the number of people who regularly visit the dentist. You're 47th in the nation in literacy, 49th in verbal SAT scores and 46th in math scores. In 2011 you took more money in federal aid than any other state to teach abstinence education and yet you still have the third-highest teen pregnancy rate in America. I know you're dumb but are you starting to see the picture?
Apparently not, because here you are, with people like Lubbock judge and conspiratorial yokel stereotype Tom Head warning about how the U.N. was going to invade Texas if Obama won and promising that he'd stand in defiance of the invasion along with the local sheriff. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman actually responded to that lunacy by basically calling it just that. Then there's Hardin County Republican Party Treasurer Peter Morrison, who just a couple of days ago said that you “must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity." He then joined in the calls for your secession and wondered aloud why Texas couldn't just sign some kind of free-trade agreement that would be beneficial to both you and the rest of the now-Texasless United States.
Sure thing. We can send you food, water, medical supplies for the kids who are dying in droves and every form of technology still being produced within the United States borders and by our partners around the globe. You can make sure we never run out of big hats, roadside kitsch and rusted F-150 truck parts.
One more thing to keep in mind, Texas: secession is treason. And while I know you pride yourselves on the number of guns you own, unless you've got access to tactical nukes, a Navy and a shitload of Hellfire-equipped drones, I don't think you're going to come out on the winning end of a confrontation with the U.S. military. Also, being that my 4-year-old daughter lives in Dallas these days, I'd rather not have to figure out a way to get her out from behind enemy lines via some kind of underground railroad for people with more than seven working brain cells while 5,000-pound JDAMs are turning places like Beaumont into glass. I'd do it if I had to -- hell, I'd even be willing to get her mom out if it came to that -- but it's not exactly an ideal situation.
So look, while I know it makes you feel better to swing your limp dick around and make histrionic threats nobody gives a crap about every time there's a political victory for progress in this country -- and while I really would love to see the overall IQ of the United States increase sharply overnight -- you're basically just making a lot of noise for nothing. You're never gonna get what you want. Unfortunately, you're stuck with the United States. And even more unfortunately, we're stuck with you.
Now Shut the Fuck Up and Sit Down,