For many of the far-right insurrectionists who stormed and briefly occupied the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the day represented only their first battle in what they believe will be their successful quest of bringing down the U.S. government and replacing it with a nightmare dictatorship that would mix extreme libertarianism with white supremacy as its core doctrine. Facilitating this sedition is the Republican Party, which, in its present incarnation, has shown itself to be incapable of governing and a threat to the security, health, and welfare of the United States and its people.
Not even during the Civil War did the federal government find it necessary to proscribe the activities of the pro-South Democratic Party. In the federal government’s showdown with the southern states in 1861, the national Democratic Party, led by Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, rallied to support Douglas’s former presidential opponent in the previous year’s election, fellow Illinoisan and Republican Abraham Lincoln. Had the anti-slavery Douglas not died in June 1861, it is quite possible that he may have become one of Lincoln’s staunchest supporters throughout the remaining war years.
The unity between Lincoln and Douglas, the respective leaders of the Republicans and national Democrats in 1861, is long in the past. Today, the Republican Party of Donald Trump openly supports insurrection against the federal government. Just as the breakaway Southern Democrats, who formed the Confederacy, were banned from ever holding federal or state office pursuant to Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, current Republican office holders, who have declared themselves to be in revolt against the federal government, should have similar sanctions applied against them. Section 3 of the amendment, enacted in July 1868, states:
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”
The 14th Amendment should be enforced in the expulsion from the U.S. Congress of the 147 Republicans in the Senate and House who voted to reject the legal electoral votes certified for the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket. The Republican Party, including the Republican National Committee, its funding arms, and its state committees should be declared insurrectionist institutions and be proscribed. Some might claim this is too extreme. The extremists, however, are found in greater numbers within state Republican organizations. Let us examine the record.
On December 11, 2020, Allen West, the chair of the Texas Republican Party, openly called for the secession of Texas and like-minded states from the United States. In a gaslighting statement, West said, “Perhaps law-abiding states should bond together and form a Union of states that will abide by the constitution.” West, a notorious war criminal who engaged in heinous acts as an Army officer in Iraq, is wrong on two counts. The U.S. Constitution forbids secession and it is not “law-abiding” for states to secede. That issue was settled with the surrender of the Confederacy in Appomattox, Virginia, on April 9, 1865.
Texas Republican state Representative Kyle Biedermann announced plans to introduce legislation on a secession referendum. In December, he tweeted, “. . . I am committing to file legislation that will allow a referendum to give Texans a vote for the State of Texas to reassert its status as an independent nation.” Biedermann’s bill is titled the “Texas Independence Referendum Act.” Biedermann has a secession ally in fellow Texas Republican, U.S. Representative Randy Weber.
In 2009, then-Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Energy Secretary under Trump, answered shouts of “Secede! Secede!” at a Tea Party rally with the following reply, “If Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that?”
In South Dakota, state Representative Aaron Aylward introduced HB 1194, which would nullify all of President Biden’s executive orders in South Dakota. The GOP bill specifically mentions the nullification of federal executive orders dealing with “a pandemic or other public health emergency … right to bear arms . . . regulation of natural resources . . . regulation of the agricultural industry . . . regulation of land use . . . [and] regulation of the financial sector through the imposition of environmental, social, or governance standards.” Although she has not commented on the bill, the state’s Republican Governor, Kristi Noem, has refused to enact minimal public health restrictions, including the wearing of masks in public places, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
South Dakota and Texas Republicans are not the only ones calling for sedition. Three militia groups closely linked to Georgia’s fringe Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, [left] the Georgia III% Martyrs, American Brotherhood of Patriots, and American Patriots US, are openly calling for Georgia’s secession from the United States.
Wyoming Republican chairman Frank Eathorne, who was involved in the state party’s censuring of Wyoming’s sole At Large Representative, Liz Cheney, for her vote to impeach Trump over the January 6 insurrection, has supported the idea of landlocked Wyoming’s secession from the United States.
Arizona’s far-right GOP chair, Kelli Ward, has nurtured a political base that includes those backing Arizona’s secession. Efforts to pass an Arizona nullification act over federal law, called “secession lite” by its critics, have not been successful.
In November 2020, a poll taken of Florida Republicans in the southwest of the state revealed that 53 percent favored Florida seceding from the United States.
Just as it did in 1860, South Carolina has been the first state to recently suggest secession. In April 2018, three Republican state representatives, Mike Pitts, Jonathon Hill, and Ashley Trantham, introduced a bill with the following language: “The general assembly shall convene to consider whether to secede from the United States based upon the federal government’s unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution if the federal government confiscates legally purchased firearms in this state.”
Militant far-right militias and secessionists have found support from so-called “constitutional sheriffs” in certain locations, including Michigan, where an organization called the “Constitutional Sheriff and Peace Officers Association” has determined that county sheriffs are the highest governmental authority in their jurisdictions and have the power to nullify federal and state laws.
Spurring on secession talk has been Trump Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, as well as Trump-pardoned fascism promoter Steve Bannon. Republican secessionists are operating under social media group names like Palmetto State Independence, Peaceful Red-State Secession, Dakota Exit, Liberty Block of eastern Washington, and New Hampshire Free State Project. The impetus and financing for all of these secessionist movements come from far-right Republicans, including white supremacist and religious extremists, another indication that the Republican Party is nothing more than a seditionist organization worthy of proscription.
Republican-led states gave full evidence that they are willing to re-ignite the war of secession when they signed on to a suit brought by the corrupt GOP Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, to overturn the electoral votes for the Democratic ticket from Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. Federal law enforcement should focus its full attention on the Republican neo-secessionists in the states of Missouri, Arkansas, South Dakota, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina (them again!), Utah, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama.
When it comes to arresting the GOP seditionists and insurrectionists, the battle cry should be: “Rack ‘em, pack ‘em, and stack ‘em!”
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
Copyright © 2020 WayneMadenReport.com
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).