Leaders of the Texas Nationalist Movement blame a conspiracy of establishment Republicans who “are of the same mindset as the bureaucrats in Washington” for the rejection of a ballot proposal that would have asked GOP voters if Texas should secede from the United States.
It’s true Texas Republicans might have been too afraid the secession ballot proposal would pass if it were on the GOP primary ballot. It’s also true Texas Democrats might be more than a little disappointed that the GOP’s courage on this was lacking.
The State Republican Executive Committee rejected a move on Dec. 5 to put a non-binding proposal on the March 1 primary ballot asking Texas Republicans if they would support pulling out of the U.S. if the Lone Star State didn’t get more respect from Washington.
Or in the words of the ballot proposal: “If the federal government continues to disregard the constitution and the sovereignty of the State of Texas, the State of Texas should reassert its status as an independent nation.”
SREC member Tanya Robertson pushed the idea of adding the resolution to the GOP primary ballot.
“The goal of these is to take a thermometer of how Texans feels about an issue, and what better issue for Texans to do that with?” she told the Texas Tribune.
That’s exactly what state GOP leaders were afraid of. And they knew Democrats were ready to eat this issue up if it did land on the Republican primary ballot.
“This is one of the most un-American, unpatriotic things we have seen from the Republican Party of Texas in a while,” Crystal Kay Perkins, the executive director of the Texas Democratic Party, said in a statement following a Texas GOP Resolution Committee vote to kick the resolution proposal upstairs to the SREC.
Perkins said the decision to move the plan forward was especially troubling because the GOP has majority control in the state’s government.
“Just another day at the weird and wacky Republican Party of Texas?” she asked.
State GOP leaders told the Houston Chronicle they were pretty sure the resolution would be stopped by the Executive Committee. But they were also split on whether Texas should set itself up as its own nation.
Six of the 13 State Republican Executive Committee members who responded to a Chronicle survey said they would support a vote on independence for Texas. Another six said they would vote “no.” One of the 13 respondents declined to comment.
The SREC split on secession mirrors what a 2014 Reuters poll discovered. It showed 53 percent of Texas Republicans would vote for a proposal to set the Lone Star State up as a sovereign nation. The Reuters poll also showed one-third of all Texans would support the secession plan.
But in the end, the secession effort failed.
There’s no doubt in Texas Nationalist Movement President Dan Miller’s mind what happened at the Dec. 5 SREC meeting.
He said it was nothing less than a conspiracy of establishment Republicans.
“While those same people may hold pride in their actions, we in the Texas Nationalist Movement condemn their behavior as shameful,” Miller said.
“Their victory celebration, however, should be short-lived. While they were able to use threats, intimidation and parliamentary tactics to defeat this resolution, they have not defeated us,” Miller added. “The horse is out of the barn.”
He also said the Texas Nationalist Movement is not going to give up. Nor will it settle any longer for a non-binding proposal on a GOP primary ballot, which in reality would be nothing more than another opinion survey.
The ultimate goal, he explained, is to put a binding resolution on a statewide ballot.
Miller vowed to “redouble” TNM efforts to make that happen. He said the Texas Nationalist Movement would push Texas Republicans to help.
“Texans now know that there are actual leaders inside the state’s dominant political party that support Texas independence,” Miller said. “Independence does not die because a group of high-minded bureaucrats declare it so.”
Top Texas Democrat Crystal Kay Perkins is warning her GOP counterparts to stay far away from Miller and the Texas Nationalist Movement.
“What remains clear is that the Tea Party has taken over the Republican Party,” said Perkins. “We’ll never know if their fringe primary base would have voted for secession. They didn’t get the opportunity. At the very least the Republican Party bosses still believe they are Americans.”
“Every hardworking Texan should be worried that fringe issues are now the hot topic in the same party that controls state government,” she added. “Rest in Peace, GOP.”