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November 12, 2012


Replies: 28

On the secession petitions

Lytrigian Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
People are freaking out over the petitions for various states to secede from the Union that have been posted to the White House's petition website. There are a number of very common misconceptions going around that I'd like to clear up here. I begin a thread on the Politics board with considerable trepidation, but I hope this will save me some typing later. I don't intend to talk about the merits of secession one way or another, only to address some factual matters.

Myth: If any petition receives more than 25,000 signatures, the government is obligated to respond/act on it.

Fact: The petition website was set up by the Obama administration in a PR bid to appear more "transparent" in its decision process. The only way they might be obliged to reply to any of these petitions in any way is if there had been some law enacted that says so. There is no such law. In reality, the 25,000 threshold for a response of some kind is purely a matter of the administration's own policy, which it is free to ignore. No action of any kind is required. Even when they do respond, it's often just an explanation of why they can't give out the information being asked for.

Myth: States are requesting secession.

Fact: Anyone with an Internet connection can open up a petition on this website, and anyone can "sign" it. That doesn't amount to a state actually requesting anything.

Attentive observers of the petitions will note that several states are represented that are firmly blue. How serious could it possibly be when secession is requested for Oregon, of all places?

Myth: States may secede whenever they want. Nothing in the Constitution prohibits it.

Fact: While many theorists have used the Constitution's silence on the matter to argue one way or another, the Supreme Court ruled on it a long time ago. 1868, to be exact, in the case of Texas v White. (Hmm. Texas. Coincidence?) States may not unilaterally secede, but the possibility is left open that they may do so with the permission of the other states. What amounts to "permission" is not specified. See [link] for a lengthy discussion.

Myth: The President may authorize a state's secession.

Fact: See above. The permission of the other states is necessary. Maybe even ALL the other states. The Executive Branch of the Federal Government has little or nothing to say about it.

Myth: This is unprecedented! Never since the Civil War has there been such unrest for secession!

Fact: Attentive readers of the link above will have observed two relevant items: First, that it was written in 2004. Second, that it was written on the occasion of a great deal of noise being made about possible secession. Only, it wasn't a Democrat who was just re-elected, it was the Republican George W. Bush, and it wasn't red Republicans who were doing all the yelling, it was blue Democrats! It's pretty clear that had this sort of petition website been available before, we'd have seen the exact same thing from the butthurt losers before. That we now have an official-looking forum like the petition website for them to whine on (but it's entirely unofficial!) is the only real difference.

If, after all that, you still want to panic over this stuff, go for it. I can't stop you.

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Devious Comments

JackMolotov3 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
thank you for posting this. I hope everyone just settles the fuck down.
DannimonDesigns Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
:laughing: Thats what I think about all the succession crap. Heck in Illinois, people are calling for Cook County to break away and form its own state because Chicago and Cook County are heavily democratic while the rest of Illinois is mostly Rural Republican, but its never gonna happen and neither will a bunch of states break away and form a new country or become countries of their own just because Obama was reelected.

Maybe instead of making petitions about succession, they should try to work with Democrats for the next 4 years and then try to find a presidential candidate that isnt a psychopath, if thats even possible.
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The real question is whether as many insane people had internet in 2004 :P

Seriously. Kony, SOPA (three months late), etc.
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
All these petitions will do is prove one thing. Democrats lose with more dignity than Republicans. I didn't see petition one back in 2004, let alone several. When the left doesn't get their way, they grin and bear it, because they know they will get another chance in a few years. The right, on the other hand, acts like it is the end of the world.
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
That's at least in part because this this petition website didn't exist in 2004, I think. The losers back then were still talking about the "S" word.
Dkalban Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Memnalar Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
This happened in 2004 and 2008 as well, and probably took some form before that. Here in Texas, this sort of crap is part of our "national" identity. Nevertheless, fun reading, thanks.
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I specifically mentioned 2004.
Memnalar Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
Yep, you did. I'm pretty good at not reading your posts. :)
ndifference Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Writer
My home state, Vermont, has been grumbling about seceding for as long as I can remember. Yadda yadda yadda.
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