Texas Redux

I know that Texas isn’t the only state where lawmakers are intent on returning to the 1800s (preferably prior to the Civil War and Emancipation…). Florida’s GOP is right up there with them, and Indiana isn’t all that far behind. Still, I have a strange “soft spot” for Texan idiocy–even before the last few years, when moronic policy proposals became a dime a dozen,  I could always count on Texas for an excellent example to use in my Law and Policy classes…

You may have read that–when Texas Republicans held their convention some weeks back–they adopted a stunningly retrograde platform. The item that got the most media attention was a call to hold a statewide vote on whether to secede. (As Dana Milbank memorably noted in the Washington Post,“If at first you don’t secede, try, try again.”)

Milbank’s reaction mirrored my own: let’s offer Texas a severance package, and throw in Oklahoma for good measure. The U.S. would come out ahead.

Of course, protections would have to be negotiated for parts of Texas that wish to remain on Team Normal. Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio and parts of South Texas would remain in the United States, and they will need guaranteed safe passage to New Orleans or Santa Fe, along with regular airlifts of sustainable produce, accurate textbooks and contraceptives.

But consider the benefits to the rest of the country: Two fewer Republican senators, two dozen fewer Republican members of the House, annual savings of $83 billion in defense funds that Texas gets. And the best reason? The Texas GOP has so little regard for the Constitution that it is calling for a “Convention of the States” to effectively rewrite it — and so little regard for the United States that it wishes to leave.
In democracy’s place, the Republican Party, which enjoys one-party rule in Texas, is effectively proposing a church state. If you liked Crusader states and Muslim caliphates, you’ll love the Confederate Theocracy of Texas.

Milbank illustrated his “Crusader” conclusion with references to the rest of that stunningly theocratic platform:

Texas would officially declare that “homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice.” It would redefine marriage as a “covenant only between one biological man and one biological woman,” and it would “nullify” any court rulings to the contrary. (The gay Log Cabin Republicans were banned from setting up a booth at the convention.) It would fill schools with “prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments” but ban “the teaching of sex education.” It would abolish all abortions and require students to “learn about the Humanity of the Preborn Child.”

There was–as you might imagine–much more. The state would abolish the Voting Rights Act, do away with the Income Tax and Estate Tax, and deep-six property taxes. Texas would withdraw from the United Nations.

I’m not sure where the state would get funds to do even the very few things the platform considered governmental responsibilities, since the areas that generate most of those despised taxes are the urban centers that wouldn’t secede.

There’s more, but it gets depressing to delve more deeply into contemporary GOP fever dreams.

If you wonder where these crackpot ideas get their staying power, Thomas Edsall recently published a column on the roots of the stubborn conspiracy theories widely accepted by today’s Republicans. ( He too referred to the Texas GOP platform, which he notes was hardly a minority effort–it was adopted by  5,000 delegates to the convention.)

“We reject the certified results of the 2020 presidential election, and we hold that acting President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was not legitimately elected by the people of the United States.”

Unfortunately, that particular evidence of mental impairment is not limited to Texas Republicans. Polling suggests that the stolen election conspiracy theory is currently embraced by 71 percent of Republicans — roughly 52 million voters. Edsall writes that the belief in a stolen election has ” become the adhesive holding the dominant Trump wing of the party in lock-step.” 

The Texas GOP platform is a good gauge of the other preoccupations/fantasies of those 52 million voters. As Milbank reports, It invoked “God” or the “Creator” 18 times and “sovereignty” or sovereign power 24 times. And the word “democracy”? Only once — in reference to China.”

This all raises what we old folks used to call the Sixty-Four Thousand Dollar Question.”

As the January 6th Committee methodically releases evidence–actual, verifiable evidence–how many of the fact-resistant voters who are clinging to preposterous explanations for their perceived loss of social dominance will grudgingly recognize that they live in 2022, not 1822?


  1. When republicans talk about “taking the country back” they generally have no idea what that really means, Texans even more so it appears. I’d note Texas does have a large democrat base, hopefully they can rally that base, clear thinking idies, and the few remaining sane republicans, and throw out the Christo-fascist

  2. Those Texans need to be aware of the one thing I’ve learned first hand:
    When God wants to punish you, He answers your prayers.

    Be careful what you wish for Texas…

  3. The 2022 and 2024 elections are going to be laser-focused on 6-7 swing states and the people and corporations who finance elections know this. I’m putting some hours and $’s into MI and OH as well as 2-3 campaigns in my home state and I encourage everyone who will listen to adopt a swing state and do the same.


  4. Beth, wouldn’t the irony be delicious if after Texas secedes and its population becomes Hispanic majority it chooses to rejoin Mexico? 😉

  5. Let’s be clear – Even by the corrupt media’s account, Donald Trump won almost 75% of the 100 million legitimate voters in the Real America, although we know the number was actually closer to 95%.

    Sorry – channeling MAGA again.

    Texas has always been a hoot. They seem to forget the Republic of Texas repeatedly begged the US to become a state, even ceding territory to do so. They were just too incompetent to govern themselves. If they secede, they will soon be back in the same place, especially using Milbank’s proposal.

    What I don’t understand is how there is even a single Log Cabin Republican left. They can all just volunteer for “conversion therapy” now, or go back into the closet, before their Republican majority forces them to do so. Perhaps it is the lure of low taxes — if they are still allowed to work.

    Slightly more understandable are how the Black and LatinX communities have to struggle between the preference of some for biblical sexual repression versus their eventual status as second class citizens in the Confederate Theocracy of Texas.

    Still Texas is where Michael Dell complained about the lack of an educated work force — and sued to have the assessed value of his mansion slashed so that he wouldn’t have to pay so much in property taxes to support — education.

  6. Well, Texas, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. 🙂

    I imagine the result would be similar to (but far worse than) the “Kansas Experiment” that Sam Brownback initiated a few years back. What happens when Republicans implement their economic “theories”? Ask Kansas: economically, everything falls apart. And this would be so much wore than that because so much else would be impacted. Texas would be begging for aid and/or readmittance within two years, I bet.

  7. Ann Richards and Molly Ivens……holed up in a Dallas hotel…..leading a reverse Alamo……what an image.

  8. The answer to Sheila’s question at the end of her post is easy to imagine. The number will be miniscule, because people walking around with a bucket on their heads do not even see, much less believe, factual evidence.

  9. This racially based movement by Texas to secede from the Union is not new; the issue has been popping up in the media more and more over recent years after the Civil Rights Act became law…however briefly in this nation’s history. The western areas of Virginian attempted twice after the Revolution to become separate from Virginia; the western area of Virginia populated primarily with small farmers vs. the eastern area plantation owners with slavery and the wealth. West Virginia petitioned again in 1861 and was admitted to the Union in 1863 and Virginia joined the Confederacy. We can be assured Mexico would not agree to the return of Texas and its countless problems and such as Louie Gohmert sitting in Congress.

    Texas and other southern states are primary sources of loss of democracy, Rule of Law and the Constitution being forced on their citizens. While the world has its eyes on Russia’s war in Ukraine and Putin’s threats of reinstating the Russian Empire and possible nuclear attack is not taken seriously, is also busily creating military installations to the north of us in the Arctic. Could Putin have his eye on Alaska; our northernmost state located in a foreign country? Canada, as part of the United Kingdom, surrounds Alaska but do they want to become a U.S. protectorate with the U.K. in less than stable condition itself? Conspiracy Theories; you bet your buns they sound like it but we are a nation of Conspiracy Theorists, those “fact-resistant voters”, whose elected officials maintain power from their minority position and we are now unprotected as a nation by our own Supreme Court. No American today is protected no matter where we are; the Texas gun rule mentality is epidemic and we are all in the NRA 2nd Amendment cross hairs.

    “If you wonder where these crackpot ideas get their staying power, Thomas Edsall recently published a column on the roots of the stubborn conspiracy theories widely accepted by today’s Republicans.” The alarming fact, once believed to be a conspiracy theory that an American presidential election can be overturned, was established by Trump’s barely failed coup attempt on January 6, 2021.

  10. That Republican convention should give Texas Democrats everything they need to win in November. If they can’t win now, they never will.

    Check out Milbank’s column from this morning’s WaPo for even more from the Republicans in the Senate. I don’t know why but I just want to write “Bad News Bears” every time I write the word Republican.

  11. Remember when we were the United States instead of the States Formerly United and we aspired to be a country of equality for all? Remember when a grateful France sent us the Statue of Liberty to reflect our welcoming of immigrants from all over the world? Remember when we were a beacon of freedom for the oppressed everywhere? Remember when we were globally respected?

  12. No, Sheila, there is no soft spot of any kind for anything attached to Texas Republicans. Those tools are owned and operated by big real estate, big oil and big insurance. The “churches” there merely give these fascist lunatics a forum to create justifications for their un-democratic ravings.

    I lived outside Austin for 15 years and helped found the Progressive Democrats of America chapter there. There is NO hope for Texas Republicans. None. They walk around in fantasy world of self-righteousness and institutionalized ignorance. They go to church for weekly reinforcement of their confirmation biases. They only know Texas…or at least the Texas that’s been poured down their throats for generations. Until Democrats like Beto O’Roark win an election of some kind, it will only get worse there.

    Oh. Texas is also the home of the two largest military bases in the country: Ft. Bliss and Ft. Hood. Add to that several Air Force bases scattered throughout the state and you have an employment problem as well if they leave. But, alas, no Texas Republican can think that far ahead. They’ve made a mockery of the human brain.

  13. I tried reading the Texes Republican Party Platform statement, and it was long and rambling, I started off and with general (and seemingly noble sounding) terms that for the most part it seemed like blather. I suspect there was some strategy to burying the radical stuff deep into the document, because like me, I am sure a lot of people stopped reading after about the 4th or 5th page. If I had closer ties to Texas, I am sure I could have gotten through the whole document and found the crazy stuff for my self. But as it is, other people seem to be doing a good job of pointing it out for me.

    It is just another symptom of how the Republican Party has turned into a dangerous and mostly monolithic block with truly fascist and anti-democratic qualities.

    When the Indiana Republican party has purposely removed the word “democratic” and replaced it with “republic” in their platform statement, thinking they mean the same, you should be getting a clue as to where Republicans are heading. China and Russia are both republics, but they are not democratic.

  14. Texans in their new country have some shocks coming when they learn that their welfare spigot from Washington has ended and they have to outdo California and New York with new taxes to fund building and peopling of embassies all over the world, armies and navies, legions of bureaucrats to handle whatever their politicians decide their voters want and can afford, keep up their streets and highways (without former assistance from the U.S.), their judicial system etc etc. etc.

    I suspect without knowing that businesses will not locate there given the tax rate necessary to kick off the new nation with its lack of bonding experience and that businesses already there will relocate in droves to the United States of America as the cities in Texas empty out and land values plummet, and why not? With such a necessary tax rate and since they have no bonded debt experience and no one would loan them money except perhaps at confiscatory rates those who remain in the Texan country with such heavy taxes can only comprise weak demand in an economic marketplace that doesn’t start at zero but at a guaranteed bankruptcy level. So the oil and gas industry will pull them through? Unlikely since, speaking of demand, that industry will soon swoon as alternative sources of energy come to the fore.

    Want to try your luck, Governor Abbott (and your AG who is currently under indictment)? Go for it, but be advised that if you do your immigration concerns will triple with the addition of the United States to Mexico as foreign border states – another expense for which there is no offset. Good luck!

  15. China, Russia, QAoners, militias, Trumpers and who knows who else would gladly give funds to the Independent Stupid Republic of Texas. China and Russia would prop up the “government” to ensure that their missiles would be placed there. No need for taxes.

  16. Taking an admittedly broad brush, and painting Texas, or at least Red Texas :dumb,” I am reminded of a list of
    hilariously dumb complaints supposedly sent to Thomas Cook Vacations, by disgruntled travelers. The list was sent by Ellen,
    who has been known to read this blog I will just point out two of them: People went on vacation to Spain, and came back complaining
    that the taxi drivers only spoke Spanish; Parents, and their kids went swimming (presumably not in a pool) and complained that there
    were fish in the water…which scared the kids. Imagine, fish in the water! The nerve!
    The insularity and ignorance displayed in the various comments makes me think that they all could have come from red-blooded, six-gun
    totin’ Texans, wearing empty hats.

  17. The great quip by some wag ages ago really fits. The wag is quoted here: “Why, hell, if there’d been a back door on the Alamo, there
    wouldn’t-a been no Texas!”

  18. And I surely miss the colorful Texas characters Ann Richards and Molly Ivins.

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