By Rod Miller, columnist
I was born and raised in a part of Wyoming that was once Texas. Look it up! Between 1836 and 1846, the Republic of Texas included a thin strip of land that extended northward into what is now Wyoming, ending somewhere near the Goose Egg and enclosing what became the ID Ranch.
After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Texas relinquished any land they held outside their current borders in order to enter the union as the State of Texas. By so doing, Texas gave up the best rattlesnake habitat on the planet and blessed my family and me with life in Wyoming.
I lived and worked in Texas for a number of years, managing ranches and buying land for the Nature Conservancy. Folks in the Lone Star State are suspicious of newcomers and it can take five or six generations to get on a Christmas card list down there.
So, I kept a map of the Republic handy to confirm my bona fides when I spoke to a group of those crusty old Texas ranchers. I’d simply point to the map and tell everyone in the room that I was just a boy from the Panhandle. It broke some serious ice.
There is a lot I like about Texas: the expanse of the place, its bedrock conservatism, barbecue in the Hill Country, the firm handshakes, fishing the coast, Townes Van Zandtk’s music and Hancock quarter horses from the Four Sixes. But I’m glad the Texians gave up their claim to my part of Wyoming. I like Wyoming better.
So, I was very disturbed to hear a Steve Bannon podcast recently that featured Frank Eathorne, Chairman of the Wyoming Republican Party clutching his pearls over the current political upheaval in the nation, whining about Rep. Liz Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump, bemoaning the death throes of MAGA and expressing interest in rumblings coming out of Texas that the state is considering secession.
Eathorne told Bannon straight out that, during this political turmoil, his eyes are on Texas and secession.
Whether or not Texas can legally secede from the Union (and that is a BIG legal question, despite their unique sovereignty documents) why is the leader of Wyoming’s dominant political party, even in his darkest moments, considering secession from the Union?
This is a question that every citizen in Wyoming should direct at Eathorne. Does he believe that all of the political and civic institutions that have bound our country together for 250 years have suddenly failed, and that the only avenue left for Wyoming is to leave the Union like some petulant child that doesn’t get his way and wants to run away from home?
If Eathorne has forgotten what he has read about the Civil War, he should at least look closely at a few of Matthew Brady’s photographs of Antietam. If he is trying to move the Wyoming Republican Party toward secession, the Party needs to remove him from a leadership position. Shame on him!!
While Eathorne’s and Bannon’s eyes might be on Texas and rupturing the nation, Rep. Liz Cheney’s eyes are firmly upon Wyoming and the U.S. Constitution. Those two beta-men are going to have to deal with that if their fragile MAGA egos can handle political courage.
If Frank can’t handle that kind of political spine and respect for the U.S. Constitution, I have a suggest for him.
If the head of the Wyoming GOP is so enamored with Texas, I’ll gladly give him directions to the best barbecue in Luling, or the best music at Gruene Hall. I’ll even teach him the words to “The Eyes of Texas”. He should make that move, I think he’d fit right in.
Hell, I’ll even lend him my map of the Republic of Texas!
He can take his seditious sentiments south with him. As for Wyoming, we are all better off with Liz Cheney’s eyes on us.