There's talk of part of Arizona seceding from the state and forming a new one. Those looking for the exit are -- wait for it -- leftists.
TUCSON, Ariz.—On the patio of a downtown bar here last Wednesday night, a handful of people gathered over pitchers of beer to plot the creation of America's 51st state.
With copies of the Arizona constitution before them, they debated how to turn Pima County—a liberal southern swatch of Arizona that borders Mexico and includes Tucson—into "Baja Arizona."
Baja Arizona (the working title) will almost certainly remain a dream, but it suggests the growing chasm between the state's Republican leaders and its frustrated liberal minority.
This story from the Wall Street Journal, which is now liberal about everything except corporate welfare, is questionable in its analysis.
As a former resident of Tucson, I feel confident in saying that Pima County is not "a liberal southern swatch of Arizona." Tucson is home to the University of Arizona, a pit of cultural Marxism as well as an assembly line of reconquista plans. The Mexicans in South Tucson are more involved in drug dealing than political action, but are reliably unfriendly to gringo interests, so I guess in leftist terms that makes them liberals. The daily paper, the Arizona Star, is one of the worst newspapers in a country of very bad ones, but it's consistently left-wing (locals call it the "Red Star").
Other than that, it would be hard to dredge up more than a few hundred residents of Tucson or the county who'd want to become citizens of "Baja Arizona." Most would just as soon drop kick the university into the part of the state with the most rattlesnakes. I used to feel my heart sink when I went near the campus, or into it to hear a concert -- UA does get good touring jazz and classical musicians.
But if Baja Arizona is a non-starter, I still welcome this development. When the liberals who dominate U.S. institutions start banging on about taking back local authority, it makes devolution that much more respectable. If Pima county was, in fact, the liberal stronghold the story claims, I'd be for it giving Arizona the kiss-off -- provided conservative areas could do the same, and in other states as well.
I am convinced that the break-up of the United States is inevitable. It has been a house divided against itself for four decades, with the official status of nationhood maintained only by the militancy of a federal government that is forever aggrandizing its power over states and localities, with an imperial judiciary, an elephantine bureaucracy, and a Congress whose strings are pulled by lobbyists. Voters in national elections are given a choice between right liberal and left liberal politicians.
While times were pretty good for most people, there were plenty of government jobs to buy off the dissatisfied, and we could (so we imagined) afford the dosh to keep the rioting classes quiet with welfare, the house divided held together despite cracks in the foundation. Now the payoffs are becoming untenable amid a worldwide economic crisis and Greater Depression at home.
The question about devolution is: can we devise a framework where it can be done peacefully and legally (granting that it will be a wrenching experience for many), or will it entail insurrection, local anarchy, and perhaps a savage Washington-directed suppression?
I choose door no. 1. I'm happy to let Arizona's "frustrated liberal minority" have their turf. One cheer for Baja Arizona.