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Lawrence O’Donnell calls for secession … in 2004

Lawrence O’Donnell calls for secession … in 2004

Alternative Title:  “Election losers embrace secession to escape evil President’s second term.”

Tuesday, Nov 16, 2004 08:55 PM EST

If at first you don’t secede

Feeling they’ve lost any say in how the nation is run, liberals are turning to an unfamiliar philosophy: States’ rights.

Guess who was the secessionist leader (emphasis mine):

In the days after the election, fantasies of blue-state secession ricocheted around the Internet. Liberals indulged themselves in maps showing Canada gathering the blue states into its social democratic embrace, leaving the red states to form their own “Jesusland.” They passed around the scathing rant from the Web site Fuck the South, which lacerated the chauvinism of the “heartland” and pointed out that the coasts, far from destroying marriage, actually have lower divorce rates than the interior.

These sentiments were so pronounced that they migrated into the mainstream. Speaking on “The McLaughlin Group” the weekend after George W. Bush’s victory, panelist Lawrence O’Donnell, a former Democratic Senate staffer, noted that blue states subsidize the red ones with their tax dollars, and said, “The big problem the country now has, which is going to produce a serious discussion of secession over the next 20 years, is that the segment of the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed by the people who don’t pay for the federal government.”

A shocked Tony Blankley asked him, “Are you calling for civil war?” To which O’Donnell replied, “You can secede without firing a shot.”  [WAJ note — transcript here, still looking for video — Update, MRC found the video]

And not just Big Larry, Blue states buzz over secession (emphasis mine)

One popular map circulating on the Internet shows the 19 blue states won by Sen. John Kerry — Washington, Oregon, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Maryland and the Northeastern states — conjoined with Canada to form the “United States of Canada.” The 31 red states carried by Mr. Bush are depicted as a separate nation dubbed “Jesusland.”

The idea isn’t just a joke; one top Democrat says, “The segment of the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed by the people who don’t pay for the federal government.”

“Some would say, ‘Oh, poor Alabama. It’s cut off from the wealth infusion that it gets from New York and California,’” said Lawrence O’Donnell, a veteran Democratic insider and now senior political analyst at MSNBC. “But the more this political condition goes on at the presidential level of the red and blue states, the more you’re testing the inclination of the blue states to say, ‘So what?’”

The emergence of a solidly Republican South prompted longtime Democratic activist Bob Beckel to advocate Southern independence the morning after Election Day.

“I think now that slavery is taken care of, I’m for letting the South form its own nation. Really, I think they ought to have their own confederacy,” Mr. Beckel said on the “Fox and Friends” program.

More at When Bush Was President, Secession Talk Was Cool.


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I’m sad they didn’t do it and succeed.

legacyrepublican | November 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Oddly enough, I just asked a friend if he remembered that incident.

Given the level of division and voter fraud, it may just happen.

When I heard that precincts in Philly voted 100% for Obama with not one for Romney, I think it may be an option worth exploring.

So they want to leave us and we want to leave them. Like a marriage where the participants would be happier if they split up, why do we keep up the charade that we’re one big happy family? A peaceful separation shouldn’t be too taboo to consider.

I wish I were joking.

I do like how the blue states thought Canada would take them.

Lawrence O’Donnell seceded from reality and civility a long time ago.

Beckel is just a partisan hack. I like the other people on Fox’s “The Five,” but Beckel alone almost makes it unwatchable.

O’Donnell is a wack job. It’s a pre-requisite to any on-air MSNBC position.

And Luke (with the picture of the pretty girl??), Beckel’s whole job is to make you and me angry. Some people are just born to their jobs…..

    GrumpyOne in reply to paddy. | November 14, 2012 at 6:27 am

    Beckel is the token liberal sorta like Juan Williams. Without him/them the entertainment value would diminish…

JimMtnViewCaUSA | November 13, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Anyone who wants to petition to leave the Union….there are a set of petitions online. Good, clean fun! Though perhaps you’ll get your name on a list…
You have to provide your email to the Obama Admin (be sure NOT to check the box for “send me updates from Obama!”)

links to petitions here:

California here:

I think you’re all going about it all wrong – it’s THEM that don’t want to live in America. Make a deal – sell NY, CA, NJ to China – everybody’s happy – the rest of us get a lot of cash and a united country. China finally gets its naval bases on both sides of North America (plus lots of people who still truly believe in a single-party state – the Chinese populace doesn’t appear to any more).

The people in those states will vote for it, the rest of us will vote for it too!

This is a lot simpler solution – nobody’s *seceding* – they’re being *sold*. Kind of like a reverse Gadsen Purchase… Or how we let go of the Panama Canal – we have a precedent right there on how to get rid of US territory.

I just checked – the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 was just a regular treaty transferring US territory to another country. Nothing special was required (no super-majorities, etc.)

BannedbytheGuardian | November 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm

The USSR managed to dissolve with only 3 Lithuanians shot dead.

The American equivalent would be 3 Delawarans..

it seems asmall price to pay.

They have the integrity of a child molester.

But the entrenched GOP establishment leadership lets them lead them around by their noses.

Great get. Thanks. Of course it is quite clear that Canada would not take them. Still think the blue states should do the seceding. Then they would not have to worry about that pesky constitution at all and the flag they despise would be left where it would be universally respected.

[…] As William Jacobson points out, liberals called for secession in 2004. […]

Let’s see, the blues get to:
Pay off their own debt. Got it.
Provide their own electricity. Got it.
Feed themselves. Got it.
Provide the fuel to run their autos and heat their homes. Got it.
Keep Washington, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles. Got it.
Keep, what, 60-65% of the population. Got it.
Be governed by Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder with a supporting cast that includes Chuck Schumer, Pat Lahey, Elizabeth Warren, Robert Menendez, John Kerry, Dick Durbin, Barbara Mikulski, Jesse Jackson Jr., Al Franken, Carl Levin, Patty Murray, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Maxine Waters, M. Bloomberg, R. Emanuel, J. Brown… and so many more. Got it.
Jurisprudence by the 9th Circuit, Mecca, Kagan, Sotomayor, Khamenei. Got it.

They may be on to something, let’s get back to them.

Jack The Ripper | November 13, 2012 at 11:12 pm

There is a real nasty book out, called Better Off Without ‘Em, by some jackass travel writer who works for, amongst other things,

Grew up in Alaska and went to college in Oregon.

The book has a confederate flag on the cover and basically says that Lincoln was wrong to fight to preserve the Union and that the rest of the United States would be better off in so many ways (at least statistically) if the Southern States were to secede (except that Texas stays put).

The author did travel the south, so he gets some kudos for not being lazy, but then he proceeds to do a real hatchet job by cherry picking places and things to describe, as if there is not wackiness in all regions of the Country.

Rednecks and racists are a big target, along with bible thumping, obesity, academic performance, and, something that seems to be getting a lot of play on the Liberal side lately, including from Krugman: Red States and Southern States get more in federal revenue than they pay in federal taxes. That is not exactly correct. One, there are a lot of big military installations in the South: Hood, Polk, Benning, Redstone, Stewart, Gordon, Bragg, Quantico, JAX, Kings Bay, Norfolk, Central Command, Charleston AFB, Charleston Naval Weapons Laboratory, etc. And space program in Florida, Huntsville (which supposedly has more Ph.D.’s peer capita than any other city of its size), Mississippi. Two, transfer payments. Blue Staters cannot control the weather, but that is not the only factor that makes many Social Security and Medicare Recipients retire to Florida, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia. Three, on the revenue side, Liberals love a progressive income tax. Incomes are higher in Blue States, but so is the cost of living, labor unions, occasional mob-related inefficiencies. And, as for acadamic performance, those figures, like crime figures, can be highly complicated and manipulated to get more money, fend off criticism, etc. Besides, what if one State is 15th in education and another state is 35th, but the gap between them is actually quite small? Also, some states, like South Dakota, have far fewer students take the SAT than other states. As in Europe, people get diverted to a trade or agriculture track and don’t “distort” the high school/college statistics.

But, the kicker is, that many of the things that this horrible writer has to say on education, income, obesity, hypertension, transfer payments not to retirees, really goes to show that this author does not like blacks, at least on a statistical level.

The exception, of course, is racism and bigotry, but a scan of the Southern Poverty Law Center (Morris Dees) shows that there are a ton of hate groups even in Oregon, and that Nazis, Racist Skinheads, Black Separatist, Anti-Gay, Anti-Muslim, Anti-Immigrant, Radical Traditional Catholic, White Nationalist, and General Hate are located more heavily in Liberal, Blue, non-Southern states such as California, Oregon, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York.

The author’s native state of Alaska has one hate group listed by the SPLC and Hawaii has none, proving that when you are isolated with and dependent upon the goodwill of other people, or if its too damn cold, why bother with the hate.

Anyway, I have added the author to my Enemies List, which I would like to share with you at some point. It is not a list of hate or people to be targeted, except for denunciation, rebuke, opprobrium, scorn, debunking, and, in a fantasy world – re-education at a camp run by Professor Jacobson, John Stossel, Drew Carey, George Will, Neal Boortz, and the Ghosts of Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and, just for kicks, Sam Kinnison. Am up to about 800 names of people in need of “remedial attention.” Gloria Allred is on the list. Bill Burton, too. Farrakhan, Wright, Maddow, Matthews, Olbermann, Fluke, Maher, Schultz.

P.S. – I live in the South. I have seen Nazis only one time in my life. They were doing practice marching and drilling. It was in San Diego, in a screened off parking lot in Balboa Park. California Nazis? I Hate California Nazis!!!!

Speaking as someone who was born and raised in Canada, And reads and comments at Small Dead Animals, Alberta and Saskatchewan, would probably like to become new States of the USA, in the exchange, and would like to bring PM Stephen Harper with them. The East of Canada is pretty much a dead weight on the west of Canada. P.S. they can saw off the City of Vancouver or nuke it from orbit.( It’s the only way to be sure.)

[…] Well, actually – as Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection points out, they did: Alternative Title:  “Election losers embrace secession to escape evil President’s second term.” […]

Ha! The vast majority of Democrat positions held at this time in 2004 have conveniently been forgotten.

Thanks to this post my recollection was refreshed and last night, after my father-in-law finished chuckling angrily about the current Republican secessionists, I was able to remind him about similar efforts a mere eight years ago.

“Well, uh…how ’bout them Gators?” was his effective reply.

It was a nice break from my usual “tell me again why the prison at Guantanamo is still open? And why you’re okay with that?”

The Civil War decided nothing. We still have an unresolved constitutional issue over the ability of states, which freely enter the Union, to freely leave the Union. The North simply beat the South until they said, “Uncle.”

    Jack Burden in reply to windbag. | November 14, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Also think of the number of times the US has supported separatist/secessionist movements over the years. Former Soviet Republics, Yugoslavia (Kosovo with our bombs and continuing with diplomacy), East Timor. That might have some precedential value in itself, particularly in light of the lefts embrace of the supremacy of international law.

    IceColdTroll in reply to windbag. | November 14, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    You don’t just walk on a marriage you’ve “freely entered into,” do you?

Who do they think they are fooling? The economy is fake. For example, Federal government owes $16 trillion, but all the American dollars in the world come to $7 trillion. The American government and Federal Reserve have already enslaved us. Each year automation becomes more extensive, but life become more expensive. We should be living in extreme affluence, but we are barely getting by. Why wouldn’t we want to be free?

[…] Patriot, I looked at these as just blowing off steam after a disappointing election loss, just as liberals fantasized about secession in 2004. I didn’t and don’t take them […]