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The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Obama WH finally responds to secession petitions: ‘No right to secede’

It took them inordinately long to formulate an answer to the many petitions to secede filed at whitehouse.gov, but at last the administration has spoken (h/t The Blaze.com). On Friday, a statement by Jon Carson, Director of the Office of Public Engagement, was published. The message in brief: No dice. Here is the money part of the statement:

In a nation of 300 million people — each with their own set of deeply-held beliefs — democracy can be noisy and controversial. And that’s a good thing. Free and open debate is what makes this country work, and many people around the world risk their lives every day for the liberties we often take for granted.

But as much as we value a healthy debate, we don’t let that debate tear us apart. [Emphasis added]

Our founding fathers established the Constitution of the United States ‘in order to form a more perfect union’ through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. They enshrined in that document the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot — a right that generations of Americans have fought to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from it. As President Abraham Lincoln explained in his first inaugural address in 1861, ‘in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual.’ In the years that followed, more than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States. And shortly after the Civil War ended, the Supreme Court confirmed that ‘[t]he Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union composed of indestructible States.’

The highlighted passage is perhaps the most amusing, albeit perversely so, considering that the man for whom Carson is a surrogate has repeatedly made a mockery of the art of “healthy debate.” This is a man who has referred to the act of voting as variously an opportunity to “punish our enemies” and a chance to avenge those who dare disagree with his views of how the nation should be governed.

As for the rest of it, it pays lip service to a Constitution that liberals have decried as outdated and representing the will of a bunch of dead white men. But apart from that, this “sometimes-living” document that the president’s spokesman falls back on makes no provision toward restricting the right to secession. It would have been an act of bald hypocrisy for the founding fathers to include such language considering that they themselves were fresh off the field of battle, having taken up arms against an oppressive government from which they elected to “secede.”

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Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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