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State petitions to secede from US: Are they just helping liberals?

Some on the right are concerned that the petitions to secede, posted on a White House website by angry voters, are setting conservatives up as easy targets for the mockery of liberals.

By Staff writer / November 14, 2012



Angry voters from 34 states have now started secession petitions on a White House website intended to let individual citizens express their opinions about the direction of the US government.

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Washington Editor

Peter Grier is The Christian Science Monitor's Washington editor. In this capacity, he helps direct coverage for the paper on most news events in the nation's capital.

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Whether these disgruntled folks are just conservatives venting about President Obama’s reelection, or whether they really believe they’d have a brighter future in the United State of Georgia, say, is an open question. But they’ve received a lot of media attention in recent days, to the point where some on the right are asking this question: Are these people just helping the left?

That’s because the whole thing goes beyond the appearance of sore losing and nears the outer rings of planet lunacy. It makes conservatives look unhinged and foolish, in this view, setting them up as easy targets for the mockery of liberals. Take Jon Stewart, who on his “Daily Show” Tuesday night said he now understands why so many Southerners still fly the Confederate flag.

“It’s like keeping your fat pants after you lose some weight. You’re happy for now with the new you, but ..." Mr. Stewart said in a segment titled in part “Whine Country.”

Let’s back up a bit, shall we? The White House has a “We the People” forum section on its website that’s intended to allow online viewers to start or sign petitions on issues. If the petitions attract enough support, the administration is supposed to respond, although there’s enough fine print to allow the Obama team to wiggle out of taking up this issue. It’s the administration's website, anyway – not a constitutional convention.

Many of the 34 states that have petitions up are indeed red states won by Mitt Romney, though now voters from some Democratic states, such as Nevada and even Massachusetts, have them up, too. We would not be surprised if angry voters from all 50 states eventually start petitions since there are some irritated citizens everywhere, after all.

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