White House responds to Texas secession petition

A White House spokesman responded Monday to a petition asking that Texas be allowed to peacefully “withdraw from the United States.”

The answer is no.

The petition had gained more than 125,000 signatures, although at the time of this writing, 10 of the last 12 signers were not from Texas.

According to the site, petitions that gain more than 25,000 signatures in 30 days will get an official response. The petition was first posted by “Micah H” of Arlington on Nov. 9.

The response was written by Jon Carson, director of the Office of Public Engagement. He opens by politely thanking the signers for participating in their government in “free and open debate.”

“But as much as we value a healthy debate, we don’t let that debate tear us apart,” Carson wrote.

Those in Texas hoping to create a new country under President Rick Perry will be disappointed. And those elsewhere hoping to get rid of Texas may be even more disappointed.

But most of us will just laugh, as the last word on this invites those who hate President Barack Obama to read more about his ideas:

So let’s be clear: No one disputes that our country faces big challenges, and the recent election followed a vigorous debate about how they should be addressed. As President Obama said the night he won re-election, “We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future.”

Whether it’s figuring out how to strengthen our economy, reduce our deficit in a responsible way, or protect our country, we will need to work together — and hear from one another — in order to find the best way to move forward. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to learn more about the President’s ideas and share more of your own.

—  David Taffet

Texas secession petition gains enough signatures for White House response

A petition calling for the Obama administration to allow Texas to secede has reached the minimum number of signatures needed for an official response from the White House.

Arlington resident Micah H. created the petition on the We the People petition section of the White House website, entitled “Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.”

Petitions that gain at least 25,000 signatures in 30 days will receive an official response by the administration, according to the site.

Started Friday, three days after the election, it picked up almost enough signatures over the weekend, reaching the minimum for a response by Monday afternoon.

Mentioning the economy and the alleged lack of leadership from the government, the petition asks to withdraw from the U.S. because Texas has maintained a balanced budget and good economy.

Eighteen other states, including Louisiana, Alabama and Oregon, have gained thousands of signatures with similar petitions on the site, but as the Texas Tribune points out, Gov. Rick Perry is likely the only governor who has mentioned seceding himself.

“When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation,” Perry told bloggers in 2009. “And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we’re kind of thinking about that again.”

Texas’ major cities went to Obama in the election, despite the state remaining red. The trend in the major cities becoming more liberal has led some to wonder if Texas could become blue as early as 2016.

As a native Texan, I can’t imagine a worse fate for Texans than secession, especially if the leader of the independent Texas is the anti-gay Perry. And I can’t wait to see the Obama administration’s response.

Read the full text of the petition below.

—  Anna Waugh