April 16, 2009

A Jeffersonian in Texas, or a Hot-Air Peddler?

According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas Governor Rick Perry is sounding the Jeffersonian tocsin of secession.  At a rally yesterday, Perry protested that Washington, DC’s current orgy of taxing, borrowing, and spending is out of control. It has some people in the Lone Star State contemplating the ultimate option, secession, the governor added.

Perry sounded like the Kentucky Resolutions of 1799, that state’s second set of Jeffersonian anti-Sedition Act resolutions. In the era of the Sedition Act of 1798, Kentucky said that it loved the Union for the purposes for which it was created, and that it would be among the last to secede. In doing so, Kentucky raised the issue of secession, and its resolutions were read as a warning (if you prefer a Jeffersonian evaluation) or a threat (if you come from the Federalist-of-the-1790s camp) that Kentucky’s government would soon thwart federal policy. Governor Perry said that he was not calling for secession, and he added that Texas would try to help correct the country’s current problems. Yet, he also noted that Texas is an independent-minded place, and that it was an independent country once before.

My guess:  there’s going to be more such talk as it dawns on more people that the Federal Constitution, as a frame of government circumscribing what Washington can do to you, is being treated as a dead letter.

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