Weekly Obsession: You can leave, but you can’t take the Smokies

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 7:33pm

In a democracy, it was once said, oftentimes other people win.

That is a huge failure of the system.

But, hey, this is America, right? Other people have been winning for centuries; we go along with it and stick together.

Except, of course, for that one time when some of us opted out.

Outrage about a second term for Barack Obama intersected with the White House’s new petition initiative just at a time when the political media found itself entering a post-election news vacuum.

Voila! We’re hit with dozens of stories about tens of thousands of Americans using the president’s petition website to ask the feds to allow their state to secede. Because that worked out so well the last time it was tried.

To date, there are petitions asking for at least 48 states to slip the surly bonds of federalism and go it alone, like a gang of shiftless, angry teenagers taking a gap year to find themselves.

Of course, this reaction to losing an election is petulant and absurd, and even though several of the secession petitions have met the 25,000-signature threshold required to merit a White House response, none will be forthcoming.

Not shockingly, Tennessee is among the states with a petition. There’s no good way of checking the veracity of the signatories, but even at a glance, many of them are not from Tennessee, which means Joe C. of Billings, Mont., is either standing in solidarity with us or has just grown tired of having us around.

Either way, the points-and-clicks of thousands of people mean very little, and we won’t be seceding.

As Gov. Haslam put it, “I don’t think that’s a valid option for Tennessee.”

You don’t think it is, Governor? Incredibly, he didn’t name a task force to explore its validity before making such a squishy statement.

There are plenty of reasons why Tennessee wouldn’t make it on its own. For one thing, the last time it was tried, the state hung on for nine months before being occupied by the Yankees and having a military governor named to quash the rebellion.

In a practical sense, we’d have a hard time paying our bills. That oppressive yoke of the federal government sends back $1.27 for every $1 Tennesseans send to Washington.

That little funding gap would quickly turn into a chasm, because the feds would probably send a go-it-alone Tennessee an invoice for its portion of the national debt, like a fastidious roommate asking for all the outstanding rent, because it’s not his problem you want to move out six months early.

Then there’s the pesky problem of raising an army. Georgia’s been eyeing the Tennessee River for years, their waterlust enjoined by the power of the federal courts. Without that judicial protection, Chattanooga and its precious fluids would be overrun by manic, thirsty Peach Staters.

And what of the federal land here? You think Washington is going to be cool with just deeding over Great Smoky Mountains National Park with a quitclaim and a smile? The Department of Defense is coming in posthaste to repossess that nifty wind tunnel in Tullahoma, too.

And how will we occupy our weekends? The Titans play American football in the American Football Conference. The Volunteers aren’t close to competing for a national championship, but they are a lot closer than they would be if they weren’t located in the nation at all (although, presumably, they could declare themselves National Champions of the Republic of Tennessee, but they’ll have to beat Vandy first).

Seceding ain’t easy, friends.

All of these hypotheticals are absurd, because the idea itself is absurd. A collection of uber-patriots so patriotic they want to leave the country they love so much? That kind of logic would startle William of Ockham so dramatically, he’d cut himself shaving.

Rather than harkening back to the days of Isham Harris, Tennesseans would be better off — as always — listening to Andrew Jackson: “Our federal Union, it must be preserved.”

10 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 11/21/12 at 6:35

I have complete disregard for Barack Hussein Obama and the wretched failures in life thst re-elected him. However if anyone thinks I am going to leave my country club, and my home in a gated community and my vacation homes and trips around the world in order to protest against those that are envious of me, they have another think coming.

By: 742180 on 11/21/12 at 9:10

To discount the discontent in the United States as a bunch of illiterate malcontents is an oversight typical of today's left.
The Government in Washington no longer represents the interest of millions of Americans. They seem to have no intent to even consider the interest of millions of Americans.
I (we) fully realize that succession is probably not a viable option, BUT it is not out of the realm of possibilities. The Southern United States is not the south of 1862. There is little doubt that a Southern States of America could very easily become self supportive.

Just for fun lets say that a Civil War did become a reality. One thing would become apparent quite quickly, there would be no invasion of the North, rather there would be every effort to make them stay there (North) and wallow in their fate.

Stop making self serving assumptions that because a person wears bib overalls they are not capable or intelligent. Oh, I forgot it makes you feel superior, so just keep up with your insults and don't, don't look in the mirror.

By: yucchhii on 11/21/12 at 10:10

I don't understand.... There are some of us that see beyond the wall of BS that the politicians build in order to gain MORE control over YOU, and those of us that see through all that are TRYING to wake your ass up to see what WE see on the other side of that wall. BUT You are too convinced that there isn't any reason to look over there. You want to blame all the other voters for putting the same CRIMINAL in that office...when it don't matter what CRIMINAL gets in there...all their going to do is tell you what you want to hear and then grab you by the balls and squeeze and say "HA HA HA ...SUCKER!" C'MON PEOPLE, WAKE THE F#*k UP!!! YOUR VOTE DOES "NOT" COUNT!! If it did, why has this country "NOT" been straightened out yet over the years? You want to use the excuse when a new prez gets in office that he has to clean up the mess from the last prez....Lol, all they do is make the mess BIGGER!!! There is NO BS in that...be honest, do you REALLY SEE THIS COUNTRY GETTING BETTER? If your answer is yes, you better WAKE UP!!!

By: yogiman on 11/23/12 at 4:15

Barry 'the boy' usurped that office because of one reason. His skin. He is 'supposed' to be an "African-American". He is only "black" in his skin color like a life guard at the beach. He is Asian by heritage and that ain't African.

Like Rep. West, we need a re-count because they seem to have counted more votes than was cast by registered voters. West would have won his district but the GIs papers didn't arrive soon enough for them to vote. Late mail? Ask any GI or ex-GI if they got to vote when overseas. The mail always seemed to be late. Hell, why couldn't they send mail so those guys would get it in time to vote? And by the way, I believe he should be the first Negro President we have.

It may not be brought out until some time in history, but Obama will be known to be the first usurper in office, not the first Negro.

And a thought - if he pulls this "term" off, will he willingly leave the office as an actual president would do, or will he attempt a dictatorship takeover? Wait and see.

Tell me, if you've seen his "birth certificate" showing his race as African, when did African become a 'race' of people?

By: joe41 on 11/24/12 at 8:04

Sore losers always scream bloody murder. We have elected a President. Live with it or leave!!!!

By: Lealand419 on 11/24/12 at 11:13


To 742180: First off, do you want to "secede" or "succeed". You might want to check on the difference before mouthing off. Education seems to be one of the markers of being progressive (liberal).

Another point: Progressives had to endure 8 l-o-n-g years of W. Nobody seceded, and very few left for Canada. We stuck it out. Now it's your turn, conservatives. Buck up! and grow up. The USofA is supposed to be a democracy -- you win some, you lose some.

I know it must be scary to consider there's a new majority, an new coalition -- it is the new reality. Adapt or perish. We're not going back to the 1950s, or the 1860s.

By: Blip on 11/24/12 at 12:02

Thanks for the amusing article, J.R. Lind.

By: Ask01 on 11/24/12 at 12:27

If Texas wishes to secede, we should not only allow that, but hold the door for them.

Of course, all military forces, equipment, and supplies should be withdrawn and bases razed to prevent their being used against us.

Any industry with headquarters outside Texas should be required to relocate operations to the remaining 49 (50 if Puerto Rico steps up to replace the newly vacated star) states and taxes on foreign imports from the new Republic of Texas should be heavily taxed as should any products exported to them.

We need to also present Texas with a bill for it's portion of the national debt. While benefits paid into while citizens of the United States would still be owed those swept up in the secession, accrual of further Social Security and other benefits would cease as of the date of secession.

I use Texas because I like to pick on the state where people have undeservedly over inflated egos, but the same would probably be applied to any state trying to secede.

I do seriously doubt any state would be allowed to secede, and any which did would find themselves under military occupation with the ringleaders charged with a variety of offenses and given a fair trial before being hanged drawn and quartered, a nasty English punishment reserved for traitors and deserving of reinstatement in the event of such actions.

Don't mind me folks, I just wanted an opportunity to vent. I haven't had this many days off in a row in so long, I don't know what to do with myself.

Just thought I might draw out some trolls.

By: Lealand419 on 11/24/12 at 9:33

Thanks, Ask. Enjoyed your troll-baiting.

By: whitegravy on 11/29/12 at 2:34