November 09, 2004

Secession Diaries, Part I: Push Comes to Shove

January 1, 2017 - This post is part one of a several-part history of what was once called the United States, since the Great Secession of 2006. While historians will one day no doubt come up with a more comlplete story, the overall tale - hubris and hatred that bred comedy that led to epic tragedy - is a constant in human affairs. Even now, looking back on the bout of insanity that gripped the nation over the past decade, it's hard to believe that this nation could have been led down such a dismal path by people alleged to have been so smart.

Here's the story.

January 1, 2007
After the 2004 election, the calls for secession among the so-called "Blue States" started.

At first, it was seen a joke, even by people in the "blue states", a bitter, petulant ranting by members of what was up until then called "the chattering classes", but starting in 2007 were known as "the Blue State Ruling Elite". Laurence O'Donnell - who had developed a reputation as an intellectual thug during the runup to the 2004 elections, was the first person since Reconstruction to seriously broach the notion of secession from the Union.

It stayed at the "late night TV" joke level for months, until the fall of 2005, when over the course of two weeks, four things happened:

    A book, "The Stupid Jesusland Rednecks Used to Own Slaves, and Now They Cost More Money Than They Take In, You Lying Liars", by failed Minnesota Senatorial candidate and ex-talk-show host Al Franken topped the best-seller lists. Franken's first intentionally non-comedy book, it traced the amount of federal tax dollars that went to support the children of incestuous relationships in Red States under the active connivance of fundamentalist churches - an amount that Franken stated was greater than the cost of healthcare for the entire Eastern Seaboard.
  • Franken, in a segment on Sixty Minutes later that week, noted Halliburton killed more gay couples than had died in all of the Hussein regime. Sixty Minutes host Michael Moore showed disturbing footage of NRA members standing in front of a Starbucks in Lusk, Wyoming, drinking beer and shooting at fleeing gay couples - a segment that generated outrage from coast to coast.
  • Barbra Streisand, later that day, launched her comeback "The Redneck Rubes Want Your Money, Your Uterus and Your Life" tour, featuring Liz Phair, P. Diddy and REM. The tour was intended to "Raise Awareness of the drag the Red States are on all the enlightened people"
Over the course of the next year, what had started as a joke became a key item in the national discourse.

Finally, in the spring of 2006, the Supreme Court scheduled a national plebiscite on secession; each state would be allowed to decide its own alignment.

Voting was surprising yet ultimately predictable. The West Coast, New England, the Middle Atlantic states north of Virginia, DC, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin and Hawaii - 18 states - voted for secession by various margins. In addition, Minnesota's secession measure passed by ten votes, amid allegations that a balding, droning, fiftysomething man identifying himself as "a really, really Big Cheese" had personally vouched for hundreds of people at dozens of polling places.

On January 1, 2007, the 19 "Blue States" seceded from the Union, and joined with Canada to form the United States of Canada. The new nation opted for a parliamentary form of government, and elected its first Prime Minister, Howard Dean. The cabinet included John Kerry as Minister of State, Dianne Feinstein as Attorney General, Nancy Pelosi as Minister of Human Activities, Jesse Ventura as Secretary of Recreation, and Dennis Kucinich as Minister of Peace.

The other 31 states formed a new nation. The new nation carved out a new federal district outside Omaha (at the old SAC base), and, defiantly mocking the stereotype they'd been given by the major media, called themselves "Jesusland" for one day, before reverting to "The United States of America". A new Congress was empaneled, and an emergency election was held. The new nation elected a pair of virtual unknowns to the New White House.

The United States elected Buck Lincoln, a former Marine sergeant-turned-construction-entrepreneur, turned urban vocational training pioneer, who'd served two terms in the Colorado State Senate. He was joined by his running mate, Miriam Mgambe, an expatriate New York native who had built a network of inner-city private schools that, defying expectations, were such wild successes that a teacher's union local had been rumored to have put out a contract on her life.

The United States adopted the original United States Constitution. The USoC embarked on a constitutional convention that, as of "Secession Day", January 1, 2007, was not yet close to finished (see next chapter).

At the swearing-in of the USoC Cabinet at the UN building in New York, Prime Minister Dean said "We, the states that never owned slaves, the states that pioneered really good coffee, the states with all the theatre and really amazing restaurants, the states that generate the tax dollars that our former leech-like appendages in the South and West have been siphoning off for decades, would like to ask the rest of the world for its' forgiveness for the arrogance of our forefathers", which led to a standing ovation from the entire assembled, combined Parliament and General Assembly. Then, as the audience held crystals and chanted, a wiccan priestess adjourned the assembly.

At the same time, in the new Federal District near Omaha, President Lincoln addressed the nation via the Internet and Fox News: "My fellow Americans; we have to play the hand we're dealt. Let's play it well. God Bless America".

On January 2, 2007, the history of the US became two histories.

Tomorrow: Daily life in the two new nations.

Part IV - World of Hurt
Part III - Death and Taxes
Part II - Irrational Exuberance

Posted by Mitch at November 9, 2004 06:02 PM | TrackBack

Well, I'm predicting that in the next episode, the Unitied States of Canada will begin having problems due to it's enforcement of Sharia Law. Sharia Law and Hollywood wouldn't get along too well... imagining the conflict just makes me smile.

Oh, and your timeline needs a bit of a tweek. It first starts off in Fall of 2005, and then jumps back to Spring of 2005.

Oh, and Mitch, where does Puerto Rico get placed? This year is the first Puerto Rico sends a Republican to represent it in Congress in its non-voting observer seats. Does that put it in Jesusland/USA as a new state? I vote yes! :)

Posted by: Eric Anondson at November 9, 2004 10:17 PM

And on another site, a bunch of red state rubes are arguing that the USA should forcibly eject the blue states.

Anyone talking secession in any way, shape, or form is an idiot.

But good luck to all of you without New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Jose, Redmond, Boston, Detroit, San Francisco, and half of the rust belt; I'm sure your dynamic agrarian economy will be the envy of the world.*

What? You still have Dallas you say?

Even better. ;)

*Anyone who thinks I believe either red or blue states are better off without the others is cracked. There's a reason the first word in our nation's name is "United."

Posted by: Jeff Fecke at November 10, 2004 12:07 AM

Jeff: "red state rubes"

Uh huh.

But come on, your tally of red state cities is feeble. Like Austin, San Antonio, Santa Fe, Pheonix, Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City, Miami, Tampa, Fort Meyers, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte, Research Triangle, Hilton Head Island, New Orleans, Las Vegas, St. Louis, Kansas CIty, Memphis, Indianapolis.

I mean, there are places all those people are moving to in red states that they are growing so much while blue states are shrinking. :)

Besides, I don't know how the USA would be able to patrol its borders to keep all of the illegal immigrants from the USC out. ;)

Posted by: Eric Anondson at November 10, 2004 01:50 AM

I would be satisfied if Pennsylvania could sell, or even just outright give, Philadelphia to New Jersey, then seal the border. Pittsburgh will become even less relevant than it has been for the last fifteen years, as the "Republican T" that comprises the northern and central parts of PA becomes dominant. Instant red state!

OR we could scoop up the major metropolitan areas that make potential red states go blue at election time, and put them in orbit. A kind of "Cities In Flight" thing.

Posted by: Dave in Pgh. at November 10, 2004 06:25 AM

Red? Blue? Whatever.

These maps give a lot more perspective on the voting situation, and it is a lot less Red/Blue.

Posted by: Jason Goray at November 10, 2004 12:25 PM

Although, I do think the purple used may tend to weight a bit blue visually.

Posted by: Jason Goray at November 10, 2004 12:27 PM