Somebody wrote in — “blogged in?” forgive me, I’m an old newspaper reporter — to the Democratic Daily claiming Debra Medina really isn’t a secessionist.
Medina is an uber-conservative candidate for Texas governor in 2010. The correspondent claims Medina’s recent speech at the Texas capitol in Austin proves she’s not a disunionist. Her words suggest otherwise.
Medina teamed up with Larry Kilgore, another far-right wing GOP gubernatorial hopeful, at a rally sponsored by the Texas Nationalist Movement.
The group is for Texas leaving the union and makes no bones about it. Hence, you’d think an anti-secessionist would shun a gathering the nationalists put on.
Kilgore is a flat-out secessionist. At the rally, he said he hated the American flag and the federal government.
Admittedly, Medina’s message was more nuanced. “We will restore Texas sovereignty or Texas will do as Texas decides,” she concluded.
“Or do as Texas decides?” That’s about as subtle as a Mack Truck, my granddaddy, God rest his soul, used to say.
The crowd of about 200 — apparently all nationalists or nationalist- sympathizing white folks — understood Medina’s implication: “decides to secede.” They loudly clapped and cheered her.
Medina also said nice things about “nullification,” “interposition” and state “sovereignty.” The secessionists of 1860-1861 did, too. They used all three ideas to justify disunion and rebellion against our lawfully-constituted government.
Of course, secession really was rooted in white Southerners’ fears that Abraham Lincoln and the “Black Republicans” would end slavery. My guess is not too many Texas nationalists voted for our first African American president.
Anyway, the doctrines of nullification and interposition held that a state had the right to nullify – or interpose its will to stop — any federal action it deemed unconstitutional. In other words, the secessionists argued that ultimate sovereignty rested with individual states – not Washington.
President Lincoln and the Union states — including my native Kentucky — disagreed. Our troops — including 90,000 to 100,000 Kentuckians, white and African American — settled the issue on the battlefield. They whipped the Rebels from Texas and the 10 other Confederate states.
We are a federal republic, not a confederacy. My guess is most Republicans agree, maybe even most Texas Republicans.
In any event, the Civil War was the bloodiest war America ever fought. “We are aware — we understand — that stepping off into secession may in fact be a bloody war,” Medina said.
“We?” Again, the crowd was clued in. They whooped and hollered some more.
So “…do as Texas decides;” “nullification,” “interposition,” “sovereignty.”
Maybe I’ll believe Debra Medina isn’t a secessionist at heart when hogs fly and kids don’t shoot hoops in the Bluegrass State any more.
Nah, not even then.