More than 25,000 people have now signed the petition on the White House Web site requesting for the administration of President Barack Obama to allow Alabama to peacefully secede from the United States after the reelection of — Barack Obama.
“If a petition meets the signature threshold, it will be reviewed by the Administration and we will issue a response,” according to the “We the People” petition section on the White House’s Web site. The Alabama petition reached that 25,000-signature threshold late Tuesday.
People in more than 40 states, some of which voted overwhelmingly in favor of Obama in the Nov. 6 election, have started the petitions. Individuals or groups start the petitions and they are not indicative of action by the governments in the respective states. Many of the people who signed the Alabama petition are not from the state.
Alabama is not the first state to reach its threshold.
A person claiming to be a Mobile resident created a petition on the White House’s “We the People” site on Nov. 9 petitioning the Obama administration to “Peacefully grant the State of Alabama to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.”
“I thought we decided that issue in this country in 1865 with the end of the Civil War,” said Mark Kennedy, a former Alabama Supreme Court Justice who is chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party.
Kennedy said, if the option to secede was legal and succeeded, people would probably be very disappointed when they stopped receiving their money for Medicare, Social Security, and schools, and when highways fell into disrepair. As previously reported here, Alabama receives billions more from the federal government than its citizens pay in federal income tax.
The number of signatures climbed Monday and Tuesday as more media outlets reported on the petitions and as word spread on social media.
In the middle of the day Monday, the Alabama petition had about 7,600 signatures. About 24 hours later, that number had tripled.
“This just illustrates the pent-up frustration that so many people have with this administration trying to get more and more control of people’s lives,” said Bill Armistead, chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.
Armistead said he had not really looked at the issue or given much consideration toward it.
“I think our best efforts should be to bring about changes through legislation in Congress and keep Obama on the shortest rein we can keep him on these next two years and tighten up the reins even more in 2014,” he said.
The petition is on the White House site with others seeking to recount the election, stop drone strikes, repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, end “Obamacare,” regulate pornography on the Web, stop the federal regulation of marijuana, and other grassroots efforts.
And there appears to be an effort to fight the secession petitions or at least question their seriousness.
People can now sign petitions to “strip the citizenship from everyone who signed a petition to secede and exile them,” to “force all states to pay their portion of the national debt before they can secede from the union,” to “make Duncan Trussell the emperor of planet Earth,” “peacefully grant the city of Austin Texas to withdraw from the state of Texas and remain part of the United States,” “deport everyone that signed a petition to withdraw their state from the United States of America,” and “Keep the United States United.” And, as an example of the level of control on the site, a petition popped up late Tuesday to “legalize crystal f—–g weed.”
Kennedy attributed the secession petition effort to the “right-wing Tea Party crowd,” which he said is trying to take the nation back to the 1960s.
Kennedy, the son-in-law of former Gov. George Wallace, said he and his wife, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, have talked and believe the hate-filled language and finger-pointing harkens back to the early days of the four-term governor’s career.
Armistead, a former state senator, said Kennedy and other Democrats try to bring up race when they comment on issues. He said the issue is about state’s rights and the federal government trying to take more power from states – not about race.
Kennedy said that thankfully his father-in-law had a change of heart later in his life. He believes Wallace would look with disfavor onto those trying to take Alabama back to those times of racial disharmony.
Kennedy, whose oldest son is an U.S. Army Airborne Ranger who was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq and who is scheduled to return to the Middle East next year, also said that people signing the petitions should be an “affront to a parent of any solider who wears an American uniform.”
– Sebastian Kitchen