Just a week after President Barack Obama was re-elected, a petition by Texans for the right to secede from the rest of the country has garnered some 64,000 signatures, many more than the 25,000 signature threshold needed to get a response from the Obama administration.
The petition was made on the government's "We the People" petitioning web site, along with secession petitions from at least 18 other states.
The Texas petition to "peacefully" secede has gained by far the most traction of any state, citing "economic difficulties" related to the actions of the federal government in Texas, and "blatant abuses" of Texans' rights by the National Defense Authorization Act and Transportation Security Administration.
Texas Rep. Ron Paul has spoken out against both the NDAA, which allows for detention of a U.S. citizen suspected of hostilities against the country, and the TSA, which has come under fire for screenings and security measures post-9/11. The congressman brands the NDAA and TSA as examples of government "tyranny." A spokeswoman for Paul says their office does "not have comment at this time" on the petition.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, however, said he does not support secession. Perry press secretary Catherine Frazier released the following statement to the Dallas Morning News: "Gov. Perry believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it. But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government."
Texas's most well-known secession attempt was in 1861, when an Ordinance of Secession was adopted and approved by voters to separate the state from the U.S., according to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. In 1866, President Andrew Johnson killed that effort with a proclamation of peace between the U.S. and Texas, after the end of the Civil War.
Not everyone in Texas today, of course, wants secession. The some 64,000 signatures make up just .2 percent of the state's total population. A counterpetition on We the People reads: "Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdraw Their State From The United States Of America."
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UPDATED 11/13/12: The story has been updated to reflect comments from spokeswomen for Rep. Paul and Gov. Perry.