The leader of the secession movement in Texas, Daniel Miller, says President Barack Obama's reelection was a "catalyzing moment" for his organization's effort to withdraw from the United States.
Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, told Politico: “I am completely aware that Election Day was a catalyzing moment, but I do not believe that the underpinnings of this are solely about Barack Obama. This cake has been baking for a long time — it’s the Obama administration that put the candles on the cake and lit it for us.”
He added: “This is not a reaction to a person but to policy and what we see as a federal government that is so disconnected from its constituents and absolute no regard for what its purpose was.”
Politico reports the Texas secession petition has received more than 72,500 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon, by far the largest of any of the states that have petitioned the White House.
Digital Journal reported that the Texas petition passed the 25,000 threshold shortly after 2:30 p.m. Central time on Monday.
According to Digital Journal, the rules for the White House petitions site says that if a petition gets 25,000 signatures within 30 days the White House will review it and "ensure it is sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response."
However, Digital Journal reports the White House may opt out of the rule under another that says: "To avoid the appearance of improper influence, the White House may decline to address certain procurement, law enforcement, adjudicatory, or similar matters properly within the jurisdiction of federal departments or agencies, federal courts, or state and local government in its response to a petition."
The Texas petition was created on Friday by Micah H. from Arlington, Texas. The petition followed one from Louisiana filed by Michael E of Slidell. The Texas petition reads:
"The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending.
"The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, theTSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government."
Meanwhile, Texas Governor Perry has denied allegations that he supports the secession petition. Digital Journal reports that a Perry spokeswoman, Catherine Frazier, said Monday that Perry does not support the petition. She said, "Governor Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it. But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government."
Digital Journal reports that Perry had made previous comments suggesting he would consider a proposal for Texas to withdraw from the US. He said: "When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation. And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we're kind of thinking about that again."
Politico reports Miller said he thinks the governor's statement is "ambigous." He said: “His statement is about as ambiguous as it can get. Obviously, he’s going to err on the side of caution for him. But my challenge to him is this: Don’t wind up on the wrong side of history on this issue."
According to Miller, the national deficit and the economy were some of the major factors that have helped to win support for the secession movement. He said: “The federal government is broken beyond all belief. We’re sitting on $16 trillion worth of debt and that’s only one example." He added: "There’s a political, cultural and economic gap, and the longer that we refuse to recognize that gap — the more states will put out to secede the union.”
Miller insisted that the idea of secession is not limited to the "loony fringe." He said it has gone mainstream. Politico reports he said: “For the longest time, this issue was what people would classify as a fringe issue. It was relegated to the back rooms in the cafés. But in 2008, 2009, what you began to see — the tail end of the [George W.] Bush administration and start of Obama’s — what you saw was kind of interesting. This issue went to being part of the political discourse.”
He continued: “As the economy worsened, people began to ask, ‘What if? Why do we need the middle man? Do we believe that we should have more layers of government than we absolutely need? Could Texas govern itself?’ I think really that self-determination is kind of the underpinning to all of this — the ability to provide Texas solutions to Texas problems.”
Miller stressed, however, that the Texas National Movement (TMN) was committed to using peaceful means to achieve its goal. He said:“We walk in the same vein as Gandhi and those guys."
An article by Miller for the Texas Nationalist website refutes claims that Texas does not have the constitutional right to secede. Miller writes;
"It is guaranteed to us in the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution, reinforced in Article 1 Section 1 of the Texas Constitution, secured in Article 1 Section 2 of the same Constitution and, more than all of those, it is a guaranteed right on the level of freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right to bear arms. Our freedom and independence are sacred to Texans.
"Indeed, Article 1 Section 1 ends with the words, 'the perpetuity of union depends on the right of local self-government unimpaired to all the states.'
"This presidential election serves as a clear signal from the rest of the Union to Texas - we do not care for your right of local self-government and we do not share your values."
"While the alternative candidate could not have alone saved the United States from the looming economic disaster nor could he single-handedly have repaired the damage to our liberties and the Constitution which is the sole thread holding this union together, his opponent represented a descent into the final destruction of the republican form of government envisioned by the Founders of the United States and Texas."Politico reports TNM is planning a march in Austin for January 2013.
Digital Journal reports that Texas is not the only state with a citizens petition for secession. At least 18 states of the US have a citizens petition for secession. The states include: Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Indiana, North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia, and Missouri.