Saturday, December 1, 2012

Who'll pay the tab if Wyoming secedes?

On November 6th a democratic election determined most of America disagreed with most of Wyoming on who should be President. Days later petitions were filed with the White House asking that Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, and the Cowboy State be allowed to secede.
Wyoming’s petition reads, “We the people of the great state of Wyoming, do see that in today's world the Federal Government has not led our citizens justly and with honor. We therefore as free men and women of our great state do believe that it is time to take matter (sic) upon ourselves to ensure our continued freedom, and to enact our own laws and here buy (sic) govern ourselves without the federal government's involvement in our internal matters from this day forward.”

The petition currently has 9200 signatures. Curiously, the vast majority of signers don’t live in Wyoming. Signatures appear from New Hampshire, Oregon, Michigan, California, New York and other states all asking the President to grant Wyoming a divorce.

Columnist Paul Vandevelder explained what a custody agreement might look like in the event of the Union’s divorce. “We get Bill and Hillary, the Obamas, Elizabeth Warren and the new Kennedy kid, and you get Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Jim DeMint, Mitch McConnell, and Todd Akin. (NOTE: We will toss in John McCain as well.) And just so there's no confusion, we get the Statue of Liberty, the Cascades, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Disneyland and Hollywood. You get Opryland, Dollywood, the Smokies, Six Flags Over Texas and Branson. And while we're at it, we get Intel, Apple, Twitter and Google; you get Halliburton, Enron and Dell (good luck with that).”
Many Wyomingites believe irreconcilable differences have arisen in our national marriage. Recently the New York Times discussed Wyoming’s reaction to the presidential election saying, “a blanket of baffled worry has descended on conservatives here like early snow across the plains, deepening a sense that traditional, rural and overwhelmingly white states in the center of the country are losing touch with an increasingly diverse and urban American electorate.”

The article quoted two of the “baffled worriers.” M. Lee Hasenauer, Laramie County’s newest commissioner, advocated revolution. The Tea Partier expressed regrets our democracy produced a second term for Barack Obama. “Something is way wrong,” he said. “It may take a revolution to straighten out our government.”

Another of the “baffled” was Brad Harrington, a talk show talker who publishes a rightwing newspaper called “Liberty’s Torch.” Harrington told the Times the election “vindicated conservative politicians and commentators who talked about the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income tax, about makers and takers.” Harrington divided us into two groups…the parasites and the producers, opining, “The parasites now outnumber the producers.”
Harrington believes Obama voters are parasites and Romney supporters are producers. It’s uncertain what else qualifies him to be a “producer” but it’s clear Wyoming could be seen as a parasite by those taxpayers around the country who signed the petition. The word parasite comes from the Medieval French word parasite, meaning "one who eats at the table of another." Webster says parasites depend on someone else for existence without making a useful return.

Wyoming “eats at the table of another.” We would be big losers in this divorce. Although Wyoming voted for the “producer” candidate we depend heavily on taxpayers from the other 49 states for support, consuming more federal dollars per man, woman and child than any other state. If those out-of-staters who signed our petition get their way, that could change when the feds move their Air Force base and all their employees, stop paying for mineral royalties, healthcare, education, road construction, child welfare, etc. Wyomingites would have to actually become producers rather than depending on someone else for support.

If I lived somewhere else and had to pick up Wyoming’s tab, I’d want a divorce. Since I live in Wyoming, I guess I’ll just be thankful to be a part of this great country and try harder to make the marriage work.


  1. Tsk, tsk, Rodger, you should really get your opinions straight before you rush into print and make yourself look foolish.

    To begin with, you'll search that NYT article in vain to find any reference to myself as being "baffled" by the results of the 2012 General Election. The piece DID refer to Hasenauer as being "bewildered" but failed to apply any adjectives to me... Which was smart, as the election results did not baffle or bewilder me at all. I've seen this coming for 35 years.

    It is, furthermore, your supposition - and your supposition only - that my dividing the country into the two groups of "producers" vs. "parasites" also parallels the division of the electorate into Romney voters for the former and Obama voters for the latter. The article didn't say that either - YOU did - and your reality tunnel is showing, for I have no doubt that a certain number of Romney voters are people I would place into the "parasite" category, while I would also maintain the existence of a small cadre of Obama voters who DO produce but are simply misguided in their political ideals.

    And, finally, the fact that our beloved State of Wyoming, itself, also qualifies as a "parasite," says absolutely nothing about me and the consistency of my views - as you strongly imply - because I am powerless to do anything about that reality.

    I have, however, gone repeatedly on record as being opposed to our accepting federal money on all levels, as anyone who truly knows me knows quite well. Here, for instance, is but one example of that record:

    If you seek to bash me, Rodger, you're going to have to get up a lot earlier in the morning to do it properly.

    With Regards,
    Bradley Harrington

  2. Thanks for the comment Brad but I see it differently. For one, the Times article described Wyoming conservatives in the wake of the Obama win, saying, “a blanket of baffled worry has descended on conservatives here like early snow across the plains.” Then it quoted you and M. Lee to make their point.

    Likewise on the “parasites vs. producers” quote. You said Romney’s loss “vindicated” those who said 47% of Americans were takers. Then you added, “The parasites now outnumber the producers,” Mr. Harrington said. “That’s why Romney lost, and I think it’s going to get worse.” I don’t know how else to interpret your comments other than meaning the “parasites” voted for Obama and he won because they outnumber the “producers.”

    The column was not about your views but about the high level of hypocrisy in Wyoming. Your views may be consistent though taking no federal funds is a pretty radical idea. Do you oppose the location of Warren AFB here?

    Brad…unlike many, we both put ourselves and our ideas in the public arena. We both get bashed. There is no Democratic Party to speak for the other side and so I try to offer a different, more liberal voice. As a result we are going to clash whether I get up any earlier in the morning or not.


  3. Hi Rodger:

    Stated that way I can understand your viewpoint better now on attempting to interpret what I was actually saying - especially in view of the fact that the NYT piece missed some of the facts itself as well - and in a fashion that contributed to that interpretation.

    I didn't actually say, for instance, that "the election vindicated conservative politicians and commentators who talked about the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income tax, about makers and takers." Jack Healy, the reporter, said that - what *I* had actually said was that "the nation had reached a tipping point where the parasites AND THEIR FELLOW TRAVELERS (another point Healy conveniently omitted) now outnumber the producers," and I even qualified that remark with the qualification I gave above. That never made it into the article either - but you can't be blamed for not knowing that, so I'll cut you some slack on that one.

    Healy also identified me as a "conservative," which I had, additionally and emphatically, informed him I was not - but hey, this is the New York Times that slants all the news that's fit to print. (smile)

    I *do* understand that the point of your piece was elsewhere, so no worries there; but, since you brought it up, I'd like to offer another qualification if I may: No, I am not opposed to the existence of Warren AFB here in Wyoming, because I consider national defense to be a proper function of the federal government. My qualification, therefore, would consist of the statement: I am opposed to the taking of any federal dollars (grants, etc.) NOT related to the functions of the federal government as outlined in the Constitution. Maybe that helps.

    Nor do clashes bother me, Rodger - I might disagree with you on nearly everything but I will ALWAYS admire the spunk of ANYONE, left or right, who puts their opinions out there and at least argues from a principled viewpoint, wrong though I think it may be. So a "hat-tip" for you there, for caring enough to even bother. That's what drives me as well, so we've at least got THAT much in common. (bigger smile)

    Take Care, Rodger,
    And Merry Christmas To You And Yours
    Brad Harrington

  4. Dear Rodger,

    How odd that people from other states are signing a petition for Wyoming to leave the Union. That's actually a very curious. What comes to mind is who organized that? Why on earth would potentially hundreds of folks from all over the country want to sign a petition for Wyoming to cede from the Union?

  5. Maybe they just want to divide the country into the Red States of America and the Blue States of America. I realize folks like you and I Dennis might have to move or emigrate but in the end, it would be nice to watch the nuttiness from another "country" without it having a direct impact on the rest of us.