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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.

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The one that’s gotten the most attention is the Texas petition, partly because it has the most signatures (more than 95,000 at last check) and partly because it’s Texas, and it used to be a separate nation, if you remember. Plus, Gov. Rick Perry (R) has dabbled in light secession hinting in the past.

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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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So Governor Perry should be behind this, right? Wrong. His spokespeople are out there making clear he’s got nothing to do with this drive.

“Gov. 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,” spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said in a statement to The Dallas Morning News.

Other conservatives have been blunter in their defense of the integrity of the nation that was kept together by Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. Over at the RedState blog, editor Erick Erickson – no softy, given that he wants to oust Speaker John Boehner in favor of Rep. Paul Ryanscoffs at the whole effort.

“We here at RedState are American citizens. We have no plans to secede from the union. If you do, good luck with that, but this is not the place for you,” he wrote on Tuesday.

At the National Review, Charles C.W. Cooke writes that he shares the anger and frustration of many conservatives with the election results, but the answer isn’t loose talk of ripping apart the Constitution. It’s focusing on continuing to push for a smaller federal government and more individual freedom within the existing federal structure.

“Talk of secession is asinine, counter-productive, and distracting,” he writes.

One of the best pieces of evidence supporting Mr. Cooke’s above conclusion is that these petitions are still up. They’re on a White House website, remember. If the Obama administration thought this movement truly undermined the White House, don’t you think it’d find a reason to take them down?

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