05/05/2009 01:52 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

If Texas Seceded, It'd Be Saudi Arabia Lite


You may have heard that a few glorified cowboys down in Texas have been intimating thoughts of secession.

Go for it guys, so long as you don't mind being Saudi Arabia's far-flung American cousin.

OK, strong statement--but the think about it for a second. Both are oil-rich states, armed with big deserts and seafront property and vast natural resources which have been heavily exploited. Their leaders approve of torture. Citizens in both states are executed with alarming frequency. Radical religious fundamentalist groups (polygamist cults, Wahabbi) have a powerful impact on regional politics and life. Both are shockingly unfair places to live--87 percent of Texas communities exceed the US poverty rate, while women in Saudi Arabia have been marginalized, well, forever. Both have large immigrant communities which, historically, have been discriminated against by power classes.

And both inextricably tied with the defining tragedies of the past fifty years, the two days everyone knows where they were: the 9/11 terrorists from Saudi Arabia, the assassination of JFK in Dallas.

Admit it, that's way more in common than you expected.

Now, that's not to say Texas would be a butt-headed bad as Saudi Arabia. I'm confident that the vast majority of Texans despise al Qaeda and terrorism in general. Texas has given us rodeos, barbecue, the Alamo, Stevie Ray Vaughn and LBJ. (They've also given us the criminal subclass known as the Dallas Cowboys, but that's another story.)

But really, the governor threatening secession? Over taxing the super-rich and cutting taxes for everyone else? And how dumb do you have to be to call the movement "tea bagging," when anyone remotely hip knows that's an advanced sex move which may not reflect well on puritanical creeds?

Which brings up another parallel--apparently neither the Saudi nor Texas leadership knows how to use Google. Seriously, it's the first frickin hit.

I'm being tongue-in-cheek here, but overreactions on this scale have earned a jab or ten. (Speaking of overreactions, remember when Saudi Arabia banned all things red around Valentine's Day, because it was sinful? Sound familiar?)

Of course the root problem here is that the Republicans - like the Saudis - are out of ideas. Rather than change, or come up with something new, a few hard-headed Texans Repubs took the easy way out by threatening to leave the nation their former governor screwed over pretty hard. Unsurprisingly, nobody fell for it.

If nothing else, the State of Saudi-fuel-sucking Trucks better figure out that the recession's everybody's problem. This secession talk makes them look as relevant as a sheik with nine wives.