The issue of whether or not a state can secede from the Union seemed well-settled following the Civil War. The answer was not "no," but "hell no!"
But the issue has arisen again, what with the rise of an expansionist, domineering, invasive, and spendthrift federal government. Elected officials in some of the same states that gave secession a whirl back in 1861 have subtly hinted that maybe we should reopen the issue.
Personally, I think rethinking the right to secede from the Union is a dead end. However, maybe there is another route to a similar result. Maybe most of the states in the Union can kick a few others out! After all, a handful of states and/or localities seem to be causing most of our troubles with their consistently liberal voting patterns. Drilling down, we could also do some internal rearranging within a state so as to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.
For example, California tends to vote very liberal overall. But that aggregate vote is dominated by a few coastal, urban counties. Let's just split off the urban counties around San Francisco Bay and let them form their own microstate. Since many in these counties crave some sort of aristocracy of liberalism, the new citizens could make it a principality like Monaco. One quandary they would have is to reconcile is their self-proclaimed "inclusiveness" with the heredity nature of the rulers in such political organizations. One could see the exclusion of the large gay populations from such a structure, or at least the possibility of instability as one ruling house after another dies off barren.
Los Angeles could be another split-off mini-state. Hollywood could provide some good-looking royals, able to match IQs with the best Eurotrash and with the same entertainment value. Without these two hotbeds of liberalism, the state would vote much more conservatively and with more respect for the U.S. Constitution.
Back east, Vermont would be a good candidate for ejection. They would take their Socialist senator with them. We'd want to guarantee free trade in maple syrup and the right of access to their ski slopes as a condition of ejection. In spite of Scott Brown, Massachusetts could find a Kennedy to lead them -- somewhere else. If somewhere in Joe Kennedy's family tree there's an Earl Kennedy, he would be a natural for the throne. Harvard would supply the court jesters in perpetuity and be granted an exclusive royal charter for the same. Maine might feel left out in the cold, but hey, it is cold in Maine! Rhode Island could formalize their status as a kleptocracy rather than just pretending like they do now.
Back in the center of the country, more than a few down-state Illinois citizens would be quite happy to see Cook County become its own independent political entity -- so long as it took its state legislators with it. Michigan without Detroit (Wayne County) might start to look like a viable business again. Detroit could someday be self-sufficient in food production with the way they are tearing down houses within the city limits for reversion to farmland -- if they can find the hardworking farmers needed.
So such a few simple boundary rearrangements could clarify our political debates and make America strong and good again. As with the Quebec independence movement and the rest of Canada, the matter of how to equably divide the national debt would be contentious. The remaining U.S. citizens would argue that the liberals in the ejected areas should assume more than a simple per capita division since liberal policies have been disproportionally responsible for the accumulation. But like many a party to a difficult divorce, I'm sure we'd all settle for even-Steven just to get it over with.
If the question of secession was answered with a "hell no!" then maybe the answer to the question of ejection will be "Why didn't we think of that sooner?"
Joseph Somsel, a sometimes contributor and SF Bay Area resident, is just joking.