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The embarrassing and misguided sovereignty resolution circulating in the Oklahoma Legislature has made national news as part of the faux GOP secession movement.
State Rep. Charles Key, pictured right, a Republican from Oklahoma City, appeared recently on the Montel Williams radio show to discuss House Concurrent Resolution 1028, a bill that asks the federal government to not go beyond its constitutional powers and claims state sovereignty. The resolution, if passed, will be sent to President Barack Obama and Congress.
A similar bill was passed earlier by the House and Senate, but then vetoed by Gov. Brad Henry, who worried the bill could result in the loss of federal money for the state. Key then brought the resolution back under a different form of resolution, which doesn’t need the governor’s approval. The Senate is expected to approve the bill.
Key’s interview with Williams shows again how the GOP continues to isolate the state. Williams, for example, tied the bill to recent comments made by Texas Gov. Rick Perry about the possibility of Texas seceding from the nation.
In the interview, Key said the resolution was not necessarily about secession, but he had a difficult time explaining its intention. He couldn’t provide an adequate answer to how the bill, in principle at least, might mean Oklahoma could lose federal dollars if the state declared sovereignty.
Williams, whose program appears on Air America Radio, also pointed out to Key that Oklahoma paid $19 billion in federal taxes last year, but received $28 billion in federal funding. Key didn’t directly address this issue and instead focused his comments on the U.S. Constitution.
The bill and Key’s interview hurt the state’s image on a national level. This is important in terms of economic growth and opportunities. The bill also could result in some backlash, financial or otherwise, from the Democratic-controlled Congress. This is obviously not good for the state.
In the end, the idea of Oklahoma seceding from the union is simply laughable. The state simply couldn’t function on any reasonable level without the financial assistance of the federal government. Secession, if we’re going to have a real discussion about it, would almost certainly lead to military conflict between seceding states and the federal government. It would create massive poverty in Oklahoma and lead to a huge exodus of people from the state.