Michael Peroutka is a former candidate for president of the United States. He's currently running as a Republican for a council seat in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Around 1:55 in the video above, watch him grab a guitar, ask everyone to "stand for the national anthem," and start belting out "Dixie."
The video is of Peroutka is addressing a 2012 meeting of the League of the South, of which he is an important and founding member. A few months back, I wrote about the League—a neo-Confederate club considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center—and its campaign to court anti-government American sentiment in a renewed drive for state-by-state secession.
Peroutka—who once ran for president as the Constitution Party candidate and has been called "a wacky-pants anti-gay crusader" by no less than a conservative fellow at the Cato Institute—is still going strong with the League of the South, according to Right Wing Watch:
Peroutka's ties with the League of the South are hardly a secret — he used to sit on the group's board and has asked for its members help in his campaign — but in his 2012 speech, he made it clear that he agrees with the group's stand that the South may need to secede and cause the "destruction" of the current "regime."
In the video, Peroutka also voices agreement with the politics of Dr. Michael Hill, the League of the South's Lee-loving, MLK-hating founder, who prefers Vlad Putin to Barack Obama and insists that "this regime"—meaning the U.S. of A.—"is beyond reform."
So what's an anti-America bubba like Peroutka doing running for county council in Annapolis, just up the street from the state capitol and the U.S. Naval Academy? Well, Peroutka's kind of a missing link between Hill's Dixie-loving sesesh and the Tea Party's most insecure theocratic wing—the folks who, in lieu of expensive pearls, clutch pocket Constitutions every time they see someone to the left of Pat Buchanan on Fox News.
In that sense, if Peroutka—whose "Institute on the Constitution" has coloring books for your kids!—wins, he could represent a sort of gateway drug to secession and nullification for disaffected conservatives who have already been looking farther rightward.
Anne Arundel County's Fifth Councilmanic District is the whitest, most educated, and richest of the county's seven districts, and its voters lean heavily in favor of Republicans. If that pattern holds true in November's general election for the council seat, the district's 75,000 residents — 87 percent white, 97 percent with a high-school diploma, and about half with a college degree or higher, and with a median household income of $111,000, higher than any Maryland county — will be turning for constituent services and leadership on local issues to the GOP candidate, Michael Peroutka.
Get ready for a heapin' helpin' of Dixie with your crab cakes, Annapolitans.
[Photo credits: Michael Peroutka/Facebook]