Let's run with it?
A total of 125,746 people recently signed a petition on the White House web site asking the Obama administration to allow Texas to secede from the United State. It was, of course, rejected.
The reactionaries who rule the Lone Star State have been restless ever since Obama was elected in 2008.
"When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a stand-alone nation, and one of the deals was, we can leave any time we want. So we're kind of thinking about it again," Gov. Rick Perry told an early Tea Party rally.
Perry has since rejected secession. He sought to become America's 45th president in 2012 only to find himself, in a Republican candidates debate, unable to identify the three Cabinet departments he had pledged to eliminate.
It begs a question, however. What would the rest of America gain -- and lose -- were the Texas Nationalist Movement to achieve its goal of secession? The gains:
--Fewer awful presidents: Lyndon Johnson orchestrated the Vietnam War, in which the United States was stymied by what LBJ called "a raggedly **bleep** little fourth rate country." George W. Bush took us to war in Iraq on a lie, at a cost of nearly 5,000 American lives and as much as $1 trillion.
If Rick Perry ever moves to the White House, the governor already defined his governing philosophy: "I think it's time for us to just hand it over to God and say, 'God, you're going to have to fix this'."
--Greater respect for the law: Texas has resisted efforts to clean up dirty air in its petroleum-producing regions. Then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay once likened U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials to Hitler's Gestapo.
Rick Perry has opined: "Frankly, I pray for the President every day. I pray for his wisdom. I wish this President would turn back the health care law that's been passed, ask that his EPA back down these regulations that are causing business to hesitate to spend money."
Just last week, Texas State Rep. Steve Toth introduced a bill in the state House that would allow police across the state to arrest any federal law enforcement officers who tried to enforce a federal ban on military-style assault weapons and/or high capacity magazines.
--Fewer awful members of Congress: Former Sen. Phil Gramm championed letting Wall Street run free. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, has threatened to introduce a bill of impeachment against President Obama for using executive powers to promote firearms safety. Tom DeLay tried to impeach President Clinton. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, reacted to assassinations at Sandy Hill Elementary School in Connecticut by saying of the slain principal:
"Chris, I wish to god she had had an M-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out . . . and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids."
Those are the doofuses. Others are dangerous. Under chairmanship of Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the House Energy and Commerce Committee in 2006 tried to strip away tanker safety requirements and oil spill protections from Puget Sound -- and every place else in the country. Sen. Maria Cantwell and then-Rep. Jay Inslee threatened to raise hell, and stopped it. (Barton is the guy who apologized to BP after the Gulf oil spill.)
--Less climate idiocy: As energy industry strumpets, Texas politicians have turned a blind eye toward climate change . . . even when Texas was hit in 2011 with a massive drought, prolonged 100-degree plus temperatures and wildfires that scorched hundreds of thousands of acres.
Gov. Perry proclaimed three days of April, 2011, as "Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas." Then, he ran for the Republican nomination as a global warming denier, claiming scientists "manipulated data" that human activity is contributing to climate change.
If Texas were to secede, in sum, the rest of the United States would have fewer wars, enjoy a higher proportion of smart politicians in Washington, D.C., and be better able to tackle issues ranging from climate change to gun violence.
The case against: America would lose on the technology front, the literary front, the culinary front and the music front were Austin, Texas, to be taken from it. Texas would depart just as changing demographics -- the rising Hispanic population, emigration from the north -- promise to loosen the good-old-boy grip.
Of course, there's also what to do with the 3.1 million Texans who voted for President Obama, and the state's non-Tea Party Republicans. George (Sr.) and Barbara Bush could enjoy dual citizenship, and decamp for Kennebunkport, Maine. It wouldn't be that easy for the state's enlightened folk, who need help from the outside.
God help us and spare us what Gov. Perry would let happen to air and water quality if set free to work his -- oops, God's -- will. What improvements there are now come almost entirely courtesy of federal law and the hated EPA.
The number of people executed in Texas, not all of them guilty, would soar without the Supreme Court-imposed inhibitions on executing youthful offenders and mentally ill defendants.
Still, the let- 'em-go temptation is there, particularly when America is forced to listen to the theology of Rick Perry or the science denial of a Rep. Barton or Rep. Ralph Hall, absurdly the chairman of the House Science, Space Technology Committee.
Then, too, the attitude of Texas' rulers is, "Never say never." The Texas Nationalist Movement met last week with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. And House Speaker Joe Strauss III declared:
"Our economy is so vast and diverse that if Texas were its own country -- and no, don't worry, that isn't something we're going to do this session -- but if we were, we'd be the 14th largest economy in the world."
Hey, don't tempt us.