Saturday, July 2, 2011

Southern California : The 51st State?

I saw this story last night, and put it in the Saturday links, but seeing LCR's piece on it and the comments it generated, got me thinking a little more seriously about it. Jogged some old memories, actually.

In the past, the talk was always about the North seceding from the south! I think boundaries and the redness or blueness of the new states would be a concern. LCR seems to think they might be "purplish". I'd always figured we'd draw the line below Fresno, something like this:

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...which would definitely tilt the North towards the red and the south would be bluer.

Since the 51st state would have two new US Senators, making sure that they were at 50% conservative or at least competitive could be a deal breaker. No one (sane) wants two more liberal senators in DC.

One practical concern I used to think about was the cost of doubling the bureaucracy:
Two governors, two Lt. Governors, two DMVs, two boards of everything, and it just seemed like quite an expense. Now, it may be more like the old joke:

Q. Why is divorce so expensive?

A. Because it's worth it!

It may be a little bit idealistic of our friends in the south, to think that all the ills of the state reside in Sacramento. Make that, "currently reside". Do you honestly think that Los Angeles as the capitol of Southern California would be anything other than the same liberal big government types we have up here?

Again, it comes down to where you draw the line. Splitting the liberal power hold of Sacramento/SF/LA may do great things to make the states more competitive and more business friendly. But, two bare liberal majorities would mean extra liberal votes in the Senate, confirmation of judges, etc.

It is an interesting idea. One, perhaps, whose time has come, should Californians ever decide where the line should be drawn.

One suggestion for the southerners: "South California" sounds so Dakota-ish. I would suggest a name more in line with the deep cultural contributions of southern California: "La La Land".

Update: Mr. Stone wants to gerrymander the state so that LA is part of "Northern" California. Yeah. Right! In your dreams! Northern California doesn't want your excess baggage.

More at Memeorandum, LCR

Cross posted at LCR, Say Anything.


  1. As a conservative in Central California, the only thing I lament about the proposed 51st state is the lack of inclusion of Stanislaus County. I know Merced County to our south is a little liberal, and thus the line was probably drawn there for obvious reasons, but don't leave me on this left-wing Titanic.

    Desperate in Modesto

  2. Dear Desperate: That's why I think it would never win popular approval. Too many people would draw the line differently.

    My guess is, it's just a little political theater for the folks back home.


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