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"Blue States Buzz Over Secession"

"Blue States Buzz Over Secession"

Joseph Curl, Washington Times

Secession, which didn't work very well when it was tried once before,
is suddenly red hot in the blue states. In certain precincts, anyway.

One popular map circulating on the Internet shows the 19 blue
states won by Sen. John Kerry — Washington, Oregon, California,
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Maryland and the
Northeastern states — conjoined with Canada to form the "United States
of Canada." The 31 red states carried by Mr. Bush are depicted as a
separate nation dubbed "Jesusland."

The idea isn't just a joke; one top Democrat says, "The segment of
the country that pays for the federal government is now being governed
by the people who don't pay for the federal government." "Some would say, 'Oh, poor Alabama. It's cut off from the wealth
infusion that it gets from New York and California,' " said Lawrence
O'Donnell, a veteran Democratic insider and now senior political
analyst at MSNBC. "But the more this political condition goes on at
the presidential level of the red and blue states, the more you're
testing the inclination of the blue states to say, 'So what?' "

Mr. O'Donnell raised the subject of secession on "The McLaughlin
Group" during the weekend. "Ninety percent of the red states are
welfare-client states of the federal government," said Mr. O'Donnell,
who was an aide to Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, New York Democrat.

In a telephone interview, Mr. O'Donnell said the red states that
went to Mr. Bush "collect more from the federal government than they
send in. New York and California, Connecticut — the states that are
blue are all the states that are paying for the bulk of everything
this government does, from ... Social Security to everything else, and
the people in those states don't like what this government is doing."

The Internet has exploded with talk of a blue-state confederacy,
including one screed circulating by e-mail that features a map of a
new country called "American Coastopia" and proposes lopping off the
Northeast, the West Coast and the upper Midwest to form a new country,
away from the "rednecks in Oklahoma" and the "homophobic
knuckle-draggers in Wyoming."

"We were all going to move to various other countries, but then
we thought — why should WE move?" the anonymous message asks. "We hold
our noses as we fly over you. We are sickened by the way you treat
people that are different from you. The rest of the world despises
America, and we don't want to be lumped in with you anymore."

The secession movement has already spawned commercial
opportunism. One Web site is selling T-shirts that read "I seceded."

No one at the White House would comment on the calls for
secession, but one top Republican official with ties to the Bush
administration said the recent talk is not surprising, coming off an
election in which the president received more than 59 million votes —
the most in history.

"If we were that far out of the mainstream, maybe we'd be pushing
the creation of our own country," the official said. "Then we might
have a chance of ever winning an election again."

But Andy Nowicki, a libertarian blogger, said the blue states
will never secede because "liberals don't want to leave their enemies
alone. Instead, as their track record shows, they want to take over
the government in order to force their enemies to endure perpetual
sensitivity training for being such racist, sexist, homophobic,
'closed-minded' boors, i.e., for disagreeing with them."

The emergence of a solidly Republican South prompted longtime
Democratic activist Bob Beckel to advocate Southern independence the
morning after Election Day.

"I think now that slavery is taken care of, I'm for letting the
South form its own nation. Really, I think they ought to have their
own confederacy," Mr. Beckel said on the "Fox and Friends" program.

While secession is often thought to be a Southern phenomenon,
Northern leaders repeatedly threatened secession in the 19th century,
in protest of such provocations as the War of 1812, as well as the
admission of Louisiana and Texas to the Union. In 1803, Massachusetts
Sen. Timothy Pickering proposed "a new confederacy," naming the New
England states members along with New York ("the center of the

In 1839, former President John Quincy Adams defended the right of
secession in a speech in New York, saying, "Far better will it be ...
to part in friendship with each other than to be held together by

But according to Slate.com — another liberal Web site that has
explored the topic of secession — there are no provisions in U.S. law
for a state or states to opt out of the Union, citing such authorities
as Bruce Ackerman of Yale Law School and Lawrence Tribe of Harvard Law
School who say that since Appomattox "scholars have agreed that the
Constitution grants no right of secession."

While legal scholars say states cannot leave the Union, nothing
stops individuals. Before the 2000 election, actor Alec Baldwin was
one of several Hollywood figures who threatened to leave the country
if Mr. Bush was elected — but didn't.

"Unfortunately, there were no such pronouncements this time
around," said Martin Grove, a columnist for HollywoodReporter.com,
"perhaps because the last time around, when push came to shove, all of
these people decided maybe they were in the best place they could
possibly be to begin with."