Now there's a terrible idea.
I still don't think anyone honestly believes Perry is serious about this stuff, so I don't know why everyone is up in arms about the fact he made a joke that reflects Texas bumper sticker humor. Aside from the fact that you guys outside of Texas are all a little bit afraid of us. Which is awesome. Because you should be.
Legend has it, Texas legally has the right to do two wacky things as defined by the agreements under which Texas entered the Union.
1) We can, Voltron-like, break into five states any time we like. Apparently the vast expanse of Texas seemed unweildy to the folks who annexed Texas, so that provision was pretty darn clear in the Annexation paperwork. It was also tied to the Missouri Compromise in ways that probably amde more sense to folks back then than to me, but... anyway. It was (and maybe still is) an option.
I say we get rid of Orange County and Vidor, if we have the option, but nobody listens to me.
2) Secede. From 1836 - 1845, Texas was its own, independent, yahoo-filled, broke down country. Sure, Mexico mostly just considered the Tejas part of Coahuila y Tejas a rogue state, but still part of Mexico until the US brought Texas into the US. This led to a little skirmish most Americans have never heard of called "The Mexican-American War", in which America wound up invading an already weakened Mexico (years of infighting did Mexico no favors), and wound up grabbing most of what you think of as the Western US from Mexico as a prize. So if you think the US doesn't do stuff like that, we absolutely do. We mostly do that @#$% all the time.
And if you don't think they didn't put the Texians out in front to try to get a little Alamo payback during that war, they sure did.
Its more of a question of international law than US law, and how Texas was annexed to the US that suggests that maybe Texas was never actually annexed, and we're all living on occupied Mexican soil. Which is sort of a moot point 160 years later. I'm sure some academic, somewhere, is very bent out of shape about all this.
Different people have different viewpoints on whether Texas could secede or not, based upon the paperwork, but as far as the average Texan on the street is concerned, the ratifcation of the Annexation of Texas gives Texas the right to take their ball and go, any time they want. It inflates our sense of superiority as a state, and, man... that's sort of what we're all about down here.
However, (a) this deal was null and void thanks to re-entering the Union after the Civil War, (b) the paperwork nowhere actually says "you guys can go any time you like", and is sort of a mix of cultural legend and skewed reading of the annexation papers, and (c) this actually came up in court about ten years ago, and... no, Texas can't secede.
The fact is that Texans can't and won't secede, so, CNN and US media... chill the hell out. Its just an old joke. And if anything is more ridiculous than Perry's fake claims for secession, its the fake outrage and agreements by fake newsmen and pundits with fake opinions on this fake topic.
And yet, America is abuzz. (Cue exaggerated eye roll)
While we would do better than, say, Wyoming, if we were on our own again, we're pretty darn tied into the US. And while there's always some blowhard (see: Rick "The Hair" Perry) talking about how if these Democrats keep doing X or Y, we could bail, its the sort of dimwitted bravado that Texans are known for and handily reinforces the notions folks have out of state about Texas.
What is utterly moronic is that people outside of Texas hear this stuff, don't know the culture of Texas, and begin making assumptions that Texans really want to secede, or that a critical mass is for this idea.
Rest of the World: I assure you, they are not serious. We are not going to secede. Not over this, anyway. We take our US Citizenship as seriously as anyone else (we went through a hell of a lot between 1836 and 1865 to get it sorted out, after all). But thanks for playing that card, media. And thanks, public, for eating it up.
Bear in mind, we've had more Presidents than pretty much any other state even with our short history of Statehood. We have 4th of July picnics. We serve in the military in hge numbers. And we put up with Oklahoma being so close by with a minimum of complaint. What else do you want as proof of loyalty?
What I'd love to see is Perry, if he really, really wants to be governor again, actually do some governing. The Texas Governor's job is honestly pretty cushy when some hobo isn't burning your mansion down. Rather than threatening secession, try to dream up a plan to stimulate the Texas and regional economy rather than crossing your arms and throwing a hissy fit that the federal government has to take drastic measures to keep up all from becoming Tom Joad. (You are aware that our banks suddenly have no money, yes? And that's bad? And maybe that happened under the watch of the dude who got you your current job?)
In short, real leaders actually DO SOMETHING about a problem (usually staying within the law). It takes creativity and know-how, which is something Perry actually managed to do once, when he set up the Gulf Coast hurricane planning that worked like gangbusters for recent storms like Ike. So, Rick may want to put his thinking cap back on and get his pals in The Zoo at the Capitol to actually do some good.
Real leaders do not behave like a sixteen year old slamming his door in his parents' face because they totally won't let him have an XBox, even though Dad lost his job and money is tight. (But they totally promised...!)
I've lacked respect for Perry by-and-large all along, but it may be time for the guy to either take some sort of leadership role or get out of the way.