For once, World News Daily, a popular right-wing hysteria website, gets a headline right: "Secession Madness!"
The folks who hate Barack Hussein Obama more than they love America are progressing in their grief over the President's and real Americans' victory on Election Day. They're moving on from the first stage of grief, denial, to the second stage, anger. (Only bargaining, depression, and acceptance to go! Tough it out, kids!) They aren't mad enough to move to Nunavat, but they are mad enough to call for secession and the destruction of the Union.
The White House petition website has seen angry anti-Obama Web lackeys pepper its site with petitions to allow most states in the Union to peacefully secede. The South Dakota secession petition blandly calls for the Obama Administration to "Peacefully grant the State of South Dakota withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government." In typical Teabagger fashion, the agitators cite the Declaration of Independence, but then fail to demonstrate the Founding Fathers' "decent respect to the opinions of mankind" which "requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." These secessionists aren't giving reasons; they are just venting childish rage stoked by the for-profit wingnut media machine.
There are some unpatriotic characters in South Dakota who think secession is a good idea. But the petition signers are mostly from elsewhere. A quick non-random count of the most recent several hundred signatories shows about 7% say they are from South Dakota. The other 93% could be blue-staters saying, "South Dakota? Good riddance! We're tired of subsidizing you!"
The petition signers are also one whisper shy of prosecution for treason. "Peacefully" is a key word here, since federal law frowns mightily on advocating the violent overthrow or destruction of the United States government. Here's a reminder of some possible penalties for you folks who think secession is a parlor game:
- 18 USC § 2381 - Treason: "Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States."
- 18 USC § 2382 Misprision of Treason: "Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States and having knowledge of the commission of any treason against them, conceals and does not, as soon as may be, disclose and make known the same to the President or to some judge of the United States, or to the governor or to some judge or justice of a particular State, is guilty of misprision of treason and shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than seven years, or both."
- 18 USC § 2383 Rebellion or insurrection: "Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States."
- 18 USC § 2384 Seditious Conspiracy: "If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both."
- 18 USC § 2385 Advocating Overthrow of Government is longer but instructive as well. Read it.
The advocates of South Dakota secession will hide behind that opening word "peacefully." But they know there's no chance that President Obama will grant their request. And they know that any practical move to achieve their stated goal of disunion will spark a civil war. That willingness to tempt such violent chaos should alarm all peace-loving patriots.
Grief is natural. People can overcome it. But expressing grief over Mitt Romney's defeat in calls for secession is beyond rational or constructive. Violent or not, these secessionists are demonstrating not just an unfitness for public office but a grave disloyalty to the Constitution and the Union. These secessionists deserve our fullest scorn, if not outright prosecution.
Update 07:24 MST: Gordon Howie wimps out on the secession question, promoting the hysteria with pro-secession graphics and language, then concluding his secession post with the weasel words, "I am not encouraging it at this point." Patriots know the answer to this question, Gordon. It's a simple No.