Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Republican Party’s Resolutions Committee voted to endorse a proposal expressing the party’s support for “legislation that upholds Wisconsin’s right, under extreme circumstances, to secede.” A stronger version of this resolution passed one of the state GOP’s eight regional caucuses in March. That version provided that “we strongly insist our state representatives work to uphold Wisconsin’s 10th Amendment rights, and our right to secede, passing legislation affirming this to the U.S. Federal Government.”
The full state party convention will consider the amended resolution in early May. To his credit, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) distanced himself from the resolution.
Though there is no shortage of irony to the Party of Lincoln now morphing into the Party of Secession, this Wisconsin resolution is part of a larger pattern of conservatives questioning the legitimacy of the United States as a nation. Last week, several major conservative media figures, including Fox News’ Sean Hannity, promoted the cause of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who says that “I don’t recognize [the] United States Government as even existing.” On Saturday, federal officials announced that they would stop trying to enforce a court order against Bundy, at least for now, because of the potential for violence that resulted after armed right-wing militia members rallied to Bundy’s cause.