16 April 2009 by Published in: Neo-Confederate hooey 36 comments

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is apparently a neo-Confederate. The Republican governor of Texas evidently believes that the question of the legality of secession was not resolved by either the Civil War, or by the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869), which was argued before the United States Supreme Court in 1869. The Court held in a 5–3 decision that the Constitution did not permit states to secede from the United States, and that the ordinances of secession, and all the acts of the legislatures within seceding states intended to give effect to such ordinances, were “absolutely null”.

Yesterday, Perry said, “There’s a lot of different scenarios. We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.”

Governor Nimrod also said:

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry joined state Rep. Brandon Creighton and sponsors of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 50 in support of states’ rights under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state,” Gov. Perry said. “That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.”

Perry continued: “Millions of Texans are tired of Washington, DC trying to come down here to tell us how to run Texas.”

Anyone who has studied neo-Confederate hooey at all knows that this is a cornerstone of neo-Confederate doctrine.

Perry joins Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who has a well-established track record of spouting neo-Confederate hooey, as leading Texas neo-Confederates. Perry is also this year’s first nominee for neo-Confederate Grand Champion idiot of the year. Congratulations, Governor Perry–keep up the good work. You just might bring the wrath of the entire United States government and military down upon you.

Scridb filter


  1. Tom Thompson
    Thu 16th Apr 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Rick (Good Hair) Perry, (as Molly Ivins used to call him) is just another among a throng of phony tea bag tossing idiots who fake outrage at the very government policies that they deemed quite appropriate for the past eight years while one of their own ran the ship of state aground. These are the folks with the anti-intellectual bumper stickers proclaiming “My kid can beat up your honor student.”
    Neo-Confederates, Neo-Nazis, Skin Heads or Fascists, they are all the same. They feel that their moment in the sun will come soon, and they hope to exploit every well intentioned act of a government forced to deal with an economic crisis as too costly, too extreme and too pink.
    Their nutty form of anti-government government is now dependent entirely upon an infusion of cash to fully propagandize the masses. Watch which direction the money plays to see if the Neo-Cons rise again or if America will attempt to repair and rebuild the American Dreams of the middle class.

  2. J. David Petruzzi
    Thu 16th Apr 2009 at 10:06 pm

    I don’t know, Tom – I think you’ll find Barney Frank and Chris Dodd had a lot to do with “running the ship aground.” And I guess I’m one of those you call an idiot. Perry might be a bit out there, but I think he expresses the sentiment of a hell of a lot of Americans.

    J.D. Petruzzi

  3. Thu 16th Apr 2009 at 10:12 pm

    As a true-blue Libertarian I have to agree with JD my friend. The sentiment that the govt. is no longer ‘for the people’ rings truer every day. Now certainly Perry is coming off in the extreme, but the mindset of giving power back to the people and allowing them to have a stronger voice in the operation of their states is completely logical IMO. That said, instead of spouting off about secession, maybe they should work harder at getting DC to function properly.

  4. J. David Petruzzi
    Thu 16th Apr 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Amen, Michael – it’s akin to working out a problem in a marriage. You don’t just split – you solve the problem. There are many of us who see socialism coming down the pike and intent on trampling individuality. Those who blindly hated Bush must understand that we don’t like their rabid extremist leader – Obama – any more.
    There’s a damn good reason why Americans do NOT like to be governed from one far side or the other – because it doesn’t work. Bush abandoned many conservative principles in the final months of his presidency, and the radical socialist policies of Obaman, Pelosi, and their ilk is no better. Everything that Obama is trying to force down our throats at the moment has been tried (again and again) by other countries – and every single time it’s failed miserably.

    We need term limits. Get rid of the radicals that infest our great county (which is the entire executive branch and about 90% of the legislative) and let’s get some real Americans back in Washington. The longer it takes the longer and harder it will be to dig ourselves out of the mess they’re making worse right now.

    J.D. Petruzzi

  5. Thu 16th Apr 2009 at 10:32 pm


    With all due respect, my post was about neo-Confederate hooey. It was not an invitation to debate the policies of the current administration, which is not appropriate here. And as of right now, that discussion is over.

    I would ask that you keep the discussion on point, or I will turn off comments.



  6. Thu 16th Apr 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Eric, I agree, Texas Gov. Rick Perry ‘s comments are dangerous, frankly. Though I might agree with him politically, this is NOT the way to approach it. This is proposing anarchy. This has been settled, and it cost this country a lot of freaking blood. As a government teaching in high school we have discussed this situation in class. My students thought this man to be saying very scary things. His comments are irresponsible. Also, it’s grandstanding for political means (for his self gain) and it’s also not truthful.


  7. Kelly
    Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 12:14 am

    Eric, with all due respect, this is the perfect forum for discussion of the current administration’s policies. This is WHY the issue of secession is presently being discussed. To ignore the cause of the discussion and people’s feelings of being disenfranchised and alienated from the central government seems an ineffectual way to analyze the situation.

  8. Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 1:02 am

    No doubt there are amateurish and dangerous types out there. But to dismiss all anti-regime thought and sentiment as sub-rational and pathological strikes me as rather sweeping. If your personal prejudice is against libertarians, or Ron Paul, or the immigration restriction lobby, or anarcho-capitalists, or whatever, that’s fine–I have my own prejudices, too. One of them is to say that there’s something worthwhile in all this little tea party-style turmoil, in spite of less kind reactions.

  9. PHW
    Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 1:03 am

    With all due respect to the decision of the Radical Republican court of 1869, their agenda in justifying secession as illegal is painfully obvious. This union is not perpetual. This union is divisible. Less than 100 years before, the founding fathers absolutely believed that the union (with Great Britain) was absolutely dissolvable. Forced union goes against freedom. It’s called servitude. And as we all know well, the Supreme Court sometimes gets it wrong.

  10. Dave Powell
    Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 7:02 am

    Trying to stir up the hornets, Eric?:)

    It is interesting to see how far the Neo-Confed nonsense reaches sometimes – Gingerich and Ashcroft had spoken to or been interviewed by such folks in the past, for example.

    Perry is demogoguing the issue, and playing to the extremes, which is never positive.

    As for current politics, I confess I don’t get what all the fuss is *all of a sudden* about taxes and spending. In fact, the situation we face now was clearly visible from the last several budgets of the previous admin, and while most folks weren’t predicting a recession of this magnitude, the 09 budget was clearly a spending train wreck, papered over by some very bad assumptions made by the previous admin.

    The new admin will have little effect on budgeting, revenue, and deficits until at least 2010, probably more like 2011.

    Dave Powell

  11. Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 9:15 am

    I don’t know, I think this is a reach to call him a neo-Confederate under the standard definition. He was very, very, VERY careful not to evoke any of the standard Confederate heritage lines. Nor did he allude to any past actions along the lines of secession. And most importantly, he didn’t make any remarks which might remotely be considered racist.

    The definition of “neo-Confederate” that I work from is “pursuing goals of preserving Confederate mythology, honoring the Confederate battle flag, and lauding what is judged to be Southern culture.” About the only thing I see mentioned in Perry’s speech which might align is that states rights thingy, which I’d contend can be separate inclusive or exclusive issue to neo-confederate-ism. Just depends on the context.

    I would agree Perry’s statements are inflammatory, or perhaps attention grabbing to say the least. But there’s an underlying theme here in our modern political discourse shown here which I’d submit is NOT connected with neo-Confederatisms. It has more to do with the admiration of the 40th President than any sentiment toward the “Lost Cause.”

  12. Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 9:29 am

    Come on, folks. Rick Perry is a politician. He uses words like we take in food for sustenance. Many of us here in Big D understand this for what it is. And yes, his hair is just too much like Blago’s.

  13. Ken Noe
    Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 10:49 am

    Edith’s right. The polls have said for awhile that Perry is behind Kay Bailey Hutchinson in a potential GOP primary. His response has been to suddenly slide more to the right while constantly linking Kay “Bailout” Hutchinson to “Washington.” This is no different than Georgia governor Sonny Perdue cynically courting the “save the flag” crowd only to betray them once he got in office. The willingness of folks to be manipulated again and again, only to be used and tossed aside again, sometimes sadly astounds me.

  14. dan
    Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 11:51 am

    I do now recollect that event called the Civil War in our not so distant national past. My understanding is that this event resolved all discussions regarding secession in the negative – it’s not allowed, and it’s not legal. This kind of inciteful rhetoric on the part of the Texas governor denies the fact of the War, and suggests that the Union is neither permanent or inviolable. It is supposed to be both, that is what the War was about in a core sense, and since the Confederacy lost secession is a dead issue regardless of Mr. Davis’ excellent legal defense of it in Rise and Fall. In this environment of economic crisis and fear and division, this kind of divisive and heightened rhetoric is entirely negative and counterproductive. Mr. Lincoln would have had this governor escorted out of the country.

  15. Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 2:14 pm

    This dumping on Perry et. al. assumes a high degree of continuity from 1860 to the present. Lincoln wished to end the system of dual sovereignty that is clearly intended by our early republican arrangements. He succeeded in doing so. But to suggest he was commanding loyalty to a mass democratic multiculturalist state is anachronistic, since it hadn’t come into existence yet. People who object to how that administrative state cultivates “consent” among its subjects or extracts resources through the Fed system are not to be caste in the shade so directly. Be a little more agnostic about the situation, please.

  16. Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 3:29 pm

    I do not think secession is a good idea, -at least no yet – :o) – but I believe its irrefutable that many of the Founding Fathers wanted it to remain an option. With all due respect, a court case from 1869 settles nothing.

    Furthermore, I remember quite clearly a number of liberal commentators and others suggesting secession was an option after the election of 2004:

    “These sentiments were so pronounced that they migrated into the mainstream. Speaking on ‘The McLaughlin Group’ the weekend after George W. Bush’s victory, panelist Lawrence O’Donnell, a former Democratic Senate staffer, noted that blue states subsidize the red ones with their tax dollars, and said, ‘The big problem the country now has, which is going to produce a serious discussion of secession over the next 20 years, is that the segment of the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed by the people who don’t pay for the federal government.’ A shocked Tony Blankley asked him, ‘Are you calling for civil war?’ To which O’Donnell replied, ‘You can secede without firing a shot.'”

    From Salon Magazine, 16 November 2004

    Also, Bob Beckel who was, at the time, a Senior political analyst for Fox News and who has also worked as a Democratic Party strategist and consultant, made the following comments after the 2004 election:

    “‘I think now that slavery is taken care of, I’m for letting the South form its own nation. Really, I think they ought to have their own confederacy,’ Mr. Beckel said on the ‘Fox and Friends” program.'”

    From the Washington Times, 9 November 2004

    Are these folks Neo-Confederates as well?

  17. Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 7:43 pm

    I tend to agree that will secession is legally not an option according to the Supreme Court, we all know the Court has been dead wrong before, i.e. Dred Scott just to name one. That said, Perry is certainly not a neo-Confederate in my opinion. He is speaking for millions of Americans who are 100% fed up with Washington, D. C. and just about very idiot politician who presumably works there. The irony is it’s too bad slavery wasn’t worked out before the Civil War and secession was never needed then because many of us would love to play that card today.

    Frankly, I want the Federal government to provide a military, secure our borders, provide SOME general oversight, and then stay the heck out of my life.

    By the way, I voted for Clinton twice, Gore, and Kerry. This time I went with McCain. But many like me are gravely concerned about OUR country and we want it back. Jefferson himself allegedly said a “little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing…”

  18. Chris Evans
    Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Jefferson also had the quote that can be taken as people see fit either way on this very controversial issue: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” Very interesting and kinda spooky quote.

  19. Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Another Jefferson quote which would be applicable to the subject at hand:

    “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    Of course, Jefferson followed with words of caution:

    “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

  20. Brendan
    Fri 17th Apr 2009 at 11:37 pm

    I certainly don’t agree with the characterization of Governor Perry as a “neo-confederate.” However, I’ll take a neo-confederate, true blue Son of the South, with his emphasis on America and our wonderful heritage as opposed to “neo-conservatives” like Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, Joe Lieberman, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, David Frum, etc., etc., who have no interest in American culture and are only concerned with using American military power to further their true interests and affinities in the Middle East.

  21. Sat 18th Apr 2009 at 12:12 am

    Fine then. Let’s close up Fort Hood, Fort Bliss, and all the other ways Texas and the rest of the South feeds at the Federal teat and let their people go back to eating dirt in the dark.

  22. kevin a kearns
    Sat 18th Apr 2009 at 2:50 am

    all i have to say is secession really worked out well for texas the first time around so dont let the door hit you on the way out and dont forget to leave your stimulis package money on the kitchen table.

  23. Sat 18th Apr 2009 at 10:12 am

    Mr. Warren,

    Your comments have been deleted and your IP address banned. If you can’t obey the rules, then you don’t have privileges to post here.

    And insulting me is a guaranteed way to find yourself unwelcome here.



  24. Sat 18th Apr 2009 at 2:52 pm

    “. . . let their people go back to eating dirt in the dark.”


  25. Sat 18th Apr 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Just a quick reminder about the “Federal teat” –

    The milk from that teat flows from the tax-paying citizens of the states.

  26. Michael Lynch
    Sat 18th Apr 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I’m assuming that the “Ethan Rafuse” who commented here isn’t the same “Ethan S. Rafuse” who (according to his bio on Civil Warriors) hails from Northern Virginia. There would be a fair bit of irony there.

    Mind your manners, boys.


  27. Matt McKeon
    Sun 19th Apr 2009 at 12:02 am

    Perry is trying to build support among the highly influential psychotic wing of the texas republican party.

    whingeing about secession means not dealing with the real issues, which he probably has no idea about.

    Maybe the voters of Texas should try electing an adult next time.

  28. Sun 19th Apr 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I will tell you I’m kinda concerned by it all. It all goes back to the borderline cultural, governmental, racial, and policy differences that helped launch original secession. The arguments always go back to “What right or powers does the government have over me?” Throwing around the term “state sovereignty” in this manner is idiotic and dangerous.

    I’m also concerned how people throw around the term “socialist” or “fascist” at those who they disagree with, on either the left or the right. Bush was an awful president, but by no means a fascist. Likewise, Obama is far from a socialist. Until you study the History of Europe and have a better understanding of the concept as I am now, it’s rather ridiculous to infer such things in our own country or government. The truth is, all modern countries have socialism traits in government that are far from scary or threatening. Look at Social Security ans Medicare. They are completely socialist ideas, yet they do tons of good for older citizens. Think how well some of your parents or grandparents would be doing (or not) if it weren’t for such programs.

    That’s my two cents anyway. 😉

  29. mike warren
    Sun 19th Apr 2009 at 6:54 pm

    I’m a native texan residing in Florida and do take offense to stereotyping the texas gov in any way on this topic, as all he’s saying, in my opinion, is “federal govt, leave us all alone and get out of our kitchen!”

    What’s wrong with saying, “I’m gonna pick up my toys and go home, and make it where you can’t get to me, if you don’t stop bullying me!?”

    Isn’t that “secession?”
    What’s wrong with that?

  30. Sun 19th Apr 2009 at 10:52 pm

    mike warren said:
    “Isn’t that “secession?”
    What’s wrong with that?”

    Because 620,000 men died the last time it happened!


  31. Mon 20th Apr 2009 at 9:32 am

    “Look at Social Security ans Medicare.”

    Both are actuarially bankrupt, wrought with fraud, and unsustainable.

  32. mike warren
    Mon 20th Apr 2009 at 11:13 am

    Jared, it doesn’t have to be that 620,000 men die over secession to happen, does it? I agree that the Civil War was “Insanity . . .” as you say, but why can’t a group of ppl peacefully say “I wanna pick up my toys and go home and have you stop bullying me to death!” Why does there have to be violence? Why can’t the bully (the govt in this case) just allow it to happen as the Declaration of Independence allows in saying “whenever government becomes destructive of these ends, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is the right of the PEOPLE to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government.”
    Jared, we’re the PEOPLE that refers to, and with secession we only fear the change and the toils of changing from what we now have in OUR govt to a more liveable govt we could create.
    Don’t listen to the rhetoric of those that have the most to lose with secession, ie the politicians on both sides, as they try to make us think we can’t do this as it’s not law they refer to but their intimidation tactics that we’re trying to escape! Fear not . . .

  33. Bobby Edwards
    Wed 22nd Apr 2009 at 6:20 am


    Forgive me, but the word “Secession” wasn’t used in Governor Perry’s Quote used above: Maybe I missed something, but the Quotation used to Illustrate a Neo-Confederate is about Constutional Rights of the States as provided by the Tenth Amendment. I just don’t see that as anything wrong in promoting the balance of Powers of State Vs Federa, Specificallyl in Programs that the Feds Impose that Carry way too much Federal Control of Activities that are Affiliated with the “Spread the Wealth Around” Programs of the Federal Govt.

    More Importantly, If the Federal Government is out of Control in their Fiscal Responsibility in Mortgaging the Future of Your Grandchildren and Children, Isn’t It the Responsibility of States to Challenge the Feds in Fiscal Responsibility. As I see it, Governor Perry has a Responsibility of Fiancial Management of State Activities and Resources. That he has to Audacity to Challenge the Federal Government in Fiscal Responsibility should be Cheered.


    ““I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state,” Gov. Perry said. “That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.”


    This Issue is About the TENTH Amendment, and the Right of States Vs Federal Government’s Rights.


  34. Dan G
    Sat 25th Apr 2009 at 10:07 pm

    You can always spot a leftist by the content of their comments. Can anyone site the name of a socialist governed country in which they would prefer to live? If they can, buy a ticket and head out.

  35. Wed 29th Apr 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Don’t get too wound up about Mr. Rick Perry and his commentary. Some of what he said is being misquoted and misinterpreted, but aside from that, we Texans don’t take him seriously; either should you. The only reason he is governor is because he is one of the few Texans not out camping or hunting during election season. Until there is someone worth voting for, he’ll be around spouting off at the mouth.

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