One interesting side note about the string of secession petitions posted to the White House’s We the People site in recent days is that the petitioners don’t seem interested in merely dividing red states from blue states.
No, if you take the petitioners at their word -- and the majority of the petitions use precisely the same phrasing -- they’re after 50 independent republics.
My colleague Bob Brewin pointed out via Twitter Wednesday that this would mean at least 49 new border crossings. In reality there would likely be several thousand new crossings -- and hundreds of new jobs for border guards -- if every state border became an international crossing.
There would also be armies to raise so Vermont could defend against syrup-seeking invaders from New Hampshire and Oregon could prevent landlocked Idahoans from seeking a route to the sea.
Would this new collection of 50 republics join a European style monetary union with a common currency? Something tells me that suggestion wouldn’t be so popular. So there would be treaties to negotiate -- not just trade agreements but environmental treaties to deal with all the emissions that float from one state to the next and other treaties to manage cross-state concerns such as invasive species and pandemics.
As one of our editors pointed out, secession could be a real boon for people like us who cover government operations for a living.
Long story short: If secessionists are upset with the president for not creating enough jobs, they may have found a solution. If they think he’s allowed government to grow too large, the cure may be worse than the disease.