Yes, Perry made his secessionist comments as part of a campaign to defeat Kay Bailey Hutchison in his re-election campaign. And he beat her. But that doesn't make these comments less dangerous. It makes them even more so.
What will tea party voters think when someone points out that Rick Perry was elected not once but three times as a Democrat, voted for what remains today the largest tax increase in modern Texas history, and even served as state chairman of Al Gore's first run for president?
Barbour's statement is significant for two reasons: First, it sounds like the Mississippi governor is indeed running for the GOP presidential nomination. Second, it suggests his state has changed considerably since the 1960s.
Secession may have its virtues, and while the seductive logic of "local control" may have an appeal across the political spectrum, it is equally the case that recent history has not been particularly kind to "breakaway republics."
A nation is like a marriage, or so Lenin imagined it to be, with each partner or province having a right to get out if things go horribly wrong. With so many post-Cold War precedents, you'd think secession wouldn't be dirty word today.
Long before Tea Party activists and other sundry conservatives detected the ghost of socialism in health care reform and financial regulation legislation, proslavery theorists argued that abolition was akin to socialism.
While we are indeed currently politically divided and somewhat polarized, this is actually our normal state as a nation -- and on the polarization scale, we're nowhere near the "most divided" we've ever been. Far from it.
According to the students I spoke with in South Sudan, the referendum represents the culmination of more than 50 years of struggle, standing as the final step in a long and painful march to independence.
The most radical antiwar candidate in the US is not Dennis Kucinich or Rand or Ron Paul or any of the usual suspects. It's a 42-year-old Vermonter named Dennis Steele, who is running for governor of his state as an open secessionist.