Friday, September 3, 2010

Dennis Steele for Governor! Long Live the Second Vermont Republic!

"The most radical antiwar candidate in the US is not Dennis Kucinich or Rand or Ron Paul or any of the usual suspects," begins Christopher Ketcham introducing the "42-year-old Vermonter... who is running for governor of his state as an open secessionist" — The Rise of a Green Tea Party. More:
    He wears Carhartts and a baseball cap and drives a pickup truck and lives with his wife and two kids in a little Vermont village called Kirby (pop. 500), off in the wild hills of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. On occasion, he feeds his family by hunting deer and butchering the meat himself. He served three years in the US Army – working for “the Empire,” as he puts it – and he tells me his main reason for running is that he doesn’t want his kids serving in the Army. Or any other branch of the Empire. He wants the Empire to drop dead. And he thinks the best way to start that process is by getting Vermont to secede from the union. Destroy the empire by undermining it from within. That’s the goal.
Sounds good. Mr. Ketcham says that "Steele is no Tea Partyer, not a Palinite, not a Paul drone, not a liberal or a conservative, not a Democrat or a Republican, is endorsed by no official party, has no corporate donors." Also good.

Mr. Ketcham, however, has to spoil it all by red- (as in "red state") baiting. He says that "we’ve all heard the secessionist jabber from the right-wing, mostly as tantrum in the wake of Obama’s election." He continues, "You hear it from Glenn Beck and the 9/12ers and the Tenthers and the Oathkeepers and the neo-Confederates and even from Christian separatists, and you hear it as a kind of sepia-tone sentiment among Texans like Gov. Rick Perry and Ron Paul, who, Saran-wrapped in the Constitution, won’t dare take it beyond sentiment (the good Dr. Paul, for his part, gets re-elected year after year to continue not seceding during his service in the imperial city)."

The only one I readily identify with in that litany is Congressman Ron Paul. Say what you will of his "get[ing] re-elected year after year to continue not seceding during his service in the imperial city," he is certainly getting the message across more effectively than "crashing gubernatorial debates to which he is clearly not invited" and getting "booked on disorderly conduct" as per Mr. Steele's modus operandi.

"No one knows where the right-wing secesh, clutching the sacred parchment, were hidden during the eight years of George W. Bush." They were hiding in plain site, Mr. Ketcham, on the pages of The American Conservative and Mr. Ketcham not only red-state-baits he plays the race card, suggesting that the only reason we here cries of "Wake up, people! Let’s secede!" is that "now a Democrat, and, worse, what they call in some parts 'a nigger,' was chieftain of the empire."

Mr. Ketcham redeems himself by suggesting that "the Vermonter secesh present is something altogether more serious, a new paradigm in American politics," as it represents "the rise of a left-wing populist peacenik secessionist movement, a leftism that rejects big government, that seeks not a take-over of the federal center but an end to centralized power altogether." That's a leftism with which we work with.

UPDATE: Who Will Command the Gulags of the Second Vermont Republic?

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.