Stop. Just stop.
If you haven’t heard, a number of pro-secession petitions have cropped up on the White House website’s page for public petitions. When I checked earlier today, there were petitions for “peaceful withdrawal” from the U.S. by 20 states. Not all of them went for Mitt Romney last week, or are in the South: There were also petitions for such states as Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Oregon.
It should go without saying that these petitions a) aren’t going to lead to any kind of action and b) aren’t supported by the vast majority of people who voted against President Obama. If you could cross-check the two groups, I suspect there would be a lot of overlap between the petition signers and birthers.
To those who are signing these petitions out of a sense of anger or exasperation or desperation, let me say this:
Maybe you believe all hope is lost now that we’re getting four more years of Obama. There are a lot of possibilities for his second term that I’m not happy about, either. Quite the opposite, as should be clear from pretty much everything I’ve written on this blog.
But the election, while not all that close in terms of the margin in the Electoral College, was rather close to producing a different outcome. By the count of National Review’s Jim Geraghty, Romney fell short by a combined 407,000 votes in four states that, had he won them, could have pushed him to 275 electoral votes and the White House. I point this out not to engage in wishful “what ifs,” just to observe that it was very much possible to have gotten an outcome that would have had the left in a fit of apoplexy instead.
And when the nation is that closely divided, the conclusion in my view is not to decide it actually needs to divide in two. Rather, it’s that it wouldn’t take much next time to earn a more amenable outcome.
To do that, Republicans have to make some necessary but hardly revolutionary changes. But it does not help them do that when there are people signing petitions that confirm the worst stereotypes the left can dredge up about the right. Let’s face it: In light of the need to appeal to a wider swath of the electorate, comparisons to the Civil War do not aid the cause.
So, please: Find another outlet for whatever energy you’re expending on this kind of junk.
NOTE: The comments thread on this post has long since devolved into mostly personal attacks, so I’m shutting it down. A new post will be up soon, and a number of you may be facing some time away from the blog. I’m not sure yet which will happen first.
– By Kyle Wingfield