Tennessee State Senator Frank Niceley will be a featured speaker tomorrow at the “sixth session” of the Southern National Congress. Despite Niceley’s denials, the group is in fact an offshoot of the League of South, a neo-Confederate hate group that calls for a second secession.
The Southern National Congress first met in Montgomery, Ala., with the stated aim of creating “a permanent forum for the expression of distinct Southern interests, Southern grievances, and Southern solutions.” The Associated Press reported at the time that the “League of the South, a Southern independence group that is viewed as marginal and extremist by critics, is organizing the event.”
The two groups are tightly linked to this day. The current Southern National Congress chairman, Rev. David O. Jones, also chairs the Tennessee chapter of the League of the South, and so on. Nonetheless, Niceley has taken to Twitter to say the groups have little, if anything, to do with one another.
Whether or not Niceley understands the connection between the groups, he has much in common with both. As the Tennessean reported yesterday, he is broadly supportive of Southern secession:
He agrees with the group’s idea that the South might one day be its own nation, like each of the 13 colonies after the American Revolution.
“They delegated a little power to central government. When that fails, we go back to being independent nations,” he said. “We could team up with New Jersey and Oregon if we wanted to.”
Niceley will use his time tomorrow with the neo-Confederates to propose an end-run around the Seventeenth Amendment, which provides the direct election of US Senators. His proposal would reportedly end party primaries, thereby “allowing the legislature’s partisan caucuses to pick the candidates instead.”
As described in the Southern National Congress newsletter (which misspelled Niceley’s name), the proposal would “change the electoral dynamics of the US Senate as the Senators would have to be more responsive to the States rather than that nebulous concept of ‘the people.’”
Ah yes, “the people” is such a nebulous concept. Better to let the Republican legislative caucus decide instead of those pesky voters. That’s what real democracy looks like to a secessionist.