The new secessionists: What would Abe Lincoln say?
November 14, 2012By Dick Polman
How perversely ironic: Secession fever has broken out among the election's sore losers - in the same week that a new Abraham Lincoln movie opens nationwide.
Have you been following this story (although sideshow is probably a better word)? A White House website has been flooded with hundreds of thousands of signatures from people who want their state to secede from the union rather than submit to the tyranny of Barack Obama.
In their words, they want "to withdraw from the United States and create our own NEW government."
Naturally, a disporportionate number of signees live in five southern states - Texas, Louisana, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama - which is highly amusing, given the fact that Dixie folks normally consider themselves to be very patriotic, to the point where they insist that America's critics should "love it or leave it." Yet here they are (a few of them, anyway), declaring themselves ready to leave America - all because they can't accept the results of an election. I'm tempted to tell Texas that it's fine with us if they secede, as long as they give us Austin.
I'm not particuarly impressed by the nationwide number of signatures (roughly half a million, at last counting). This is America after all, the home of wild and crazy expressiveness, and you could probably find half a million people to sign a petition naming dog food as the national cuisine. And I can only shake my head at the folly of those secessionist Louisianans and Alabamans, whose states take in a lot more federal aid than they pay out in federal taxes; if Louisiana and Alabama ever left the union, they'd wind up as bad off as they did after they bailed on Abe.
Ah yes, Abe. The marquee figure in Spielberg's new movie. What would Abe say about these sore-loser signees?
Probably the same thing that he said back in March 1861, when the secession threats were serious: "No State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union." And probably the same thing that he said in a speech four months later: "(Secession) presents to the whole family of man, the question, whether a constitutional republic, or a democracy - a government of the people, by the same people - can, or cannot, maintain its territorial integrity, against its own domestic foes. It presents the question, whether discontented individuals, too few in numbers to control administration...can always, upon the pretenses made in this case, or any other pretenses, break up their government."
Discontented individuals...you got that right, Abe. They oughta just suck it up and accept the majority electoral verdict of their fellow Americans. But what Abe is probably saying right now, if he has the cosmic capacity to read the new secession petitions, is this:
"Hang on, folks - didn't we already settle these issues a long time ago? At a blood cost of 750,000 American lives?"
Speaking of the electoral verdict, I want to highlight one of our closest, most exciting, races. With almost all the votes counted here's where it stands:
John McCain 59,934,814
Mitt Romney 59,140,591
Yes, folks, despite all the talk this year, all the convention wisdom, about how Republican enthusiasm was supposedly sky high, the stunning truth is that - barring a last-ditch Mitt-mentum miracle - Romney will wind up with even fewer votes than the '08 loser, who supposedly ran when Republican spirits were at rock bottom.
The secessionist wannabees might want to ponder that one.
But they shouldn't have to ponder for long, because the big reason for the GOP defeat - indeed, the third straight election that the GOP popular vote has fallen - is glaringly obvious:
In racially diverse 21st-century America, a virtually all-white party simply can't win.
Take a look at the bottom graph. Obama's winning coalition was 56 percent white, 44 percent non-white. Romney's losing coalition was 89 percent white, 11 percent non-white. Case closed, end of story.
I suppose I have to say something about the scandal du jour, the sex and e-flirt roundelay starring David Petraeus, the commander in Afghanistan, two women, and an FBI guy who sends shirtless photos. So here it is:
We never could've guessed that running the global war on terror would require more horny note-passing than a seventh-grade homeroom class.
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