Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry is invoking the threat of Texas secession over the stimulus bill. (Not to be outdone, former Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay has joined in, albeit in his typical, factually-challenged manner.)
Nate Silver at the political statistics megasite FiveThirtyEight.com breaks down the ramifications for the right wing. Not surprisingly, and whatever you might think of this talk in terms of being self-serving and unpatriotic, even in the strictest of political terms, this is a remarkably stupid idea.
-- If Texas were not in the Union, the Democrats would currently have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. . . in a 98-seat Senate, only 59 votes would be required to break a filibuster.
-- If Texas were not in the Union, the Republicans would operate from a significantly weakened position in the House. . .
-- If Texas were not in the Union, George W. Bush would never have become President in 2000 -- not because he'd be constitutionally ineligible (Bush, despite his Texas twang, was born in posh New Haven, Connecticut). Rather, he wouldn't have had enough Electoral Votes to defeat Al Gore.
-- If Texas were not in the Union, Barack Obama would have won the Electoral College 389-147 instead of 365-173 (note that there are two fewer votes total, because there would be two fewer Senators). The vast majority of Texas' electoral votes would be redistributed to states like California (which would go from having 55 electoral votes to 59) and New York (34 rather than 31)
Someone should remind these geniuses that secession didn't work out too well last time, and just because the gasbags in the media keep comparing Obama to Lincoln doesn't mean they have to start another Civil War.