He Never Said the “S” Word, but …

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was accused earlier this year of threatening to secede from the union. That’s not quite how it happened. We’ll share the true story below.

What’s interesting was the reaction — both within the state’s borders and from around the country. A Dallas Morning News columnist captured some of the best, primarily in opposition.

Perry triggered debate of secession in April, when he fired up a "tea party" protest in Austin with an anti-Washington speech that prompted the flag-waving audience to shout, "Secede!" The governor, a Republican, never advocated leaving the union, but he said: "If Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that."

Allison Castle, the governor’s spokeswoman, said Perry’s intention was to point a critical finger at the federal government, not to encourage abandoning the U.S.

The reactions, however, have been coming in hot and heavy. A sampling:

"Don’t let the door hit you in the you-know-what on the way out!" wrote Summer Lovelace of Fergus Falls, Minn.

"Secede – good riddance," wrote Paul Bernard of Laguna Beach, Calif.

There was some support in Texas with calls, e-mails and a rally in favor of secession, but plenty were not in the Perry camp.

"You are embarrassing our great state," wrote Bellaire resident Felicia Konkel. "Are you really that desperate for acceptance that you would pretend to consider this ridiculous issue?"

And this from Paul Stiverson of College Station: "Those sorts of outbursts are making all Texans look like a bunch of inbred rednecks, and I don’t appreciate that."