What shall we name the nation's new 51st state?
Monday our buddy Tony Pierce wrote here about an idea to create a 51st state out of 13 Southern California counties. It's so crazy it just might work.
That would mean carving a brand-new L.A.-free red state out of what in recent years has been a politically blue wasteland in national politics riven with fiscal crises and legislative deadlocks.
According to calculations by the idea's sponsor, Jeff Stone, a Republican member of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, the new geographic entity would contain about 13 million residents, making it the fifth most populous state ahead of such dumps as Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Of its 13 existing counties, 11 have consistently voted Republican.So, unemployment would be low and the golf courses well-manicured.
Everyone over 18 could still vote. But for a refreshing change, surviving Democrats would experience the frustration of their presidential ballots being flushed down the toilet every four years.
One advantage of adding a 51st state is that President Obama would be a little less wrong when he refers to 57 states.
The new boundaries would also stick Nancy Pelosi's Bay Area California in with Los Angeles. The two crowded, polluted urban areas deserve each other, and their residents could chat all they want about wine and NPR without boring hardworking conservative neighbors who can't afford maids.
The change would ease the Democratic president's political fundraising trips because he'd no longer have to throw in a town hall to feign that he was on the left coast for presidential duties to cover the cost of Air Force One.
As for water, the new state would simply follow Southern California tradition and steal it from others.
Hollywood celebrities attempting to cross the new state for Las Vegas would encounter outrageously high tolls equivalent to twice the current price of a movie ticket or combo pack at the concession stand. (Tom Selleck, Patricia Heaton and Jerry Bruckheimer would be exempt from such levies.)
Barstow could be the new state's summer capital. With its triple-digit temperatures, no one in their right mind would stay there longer than it takes to fill a gas tank and escape back onto the 15 or 40 to somewhere else.
With legislators shunning an uninhabitable capitol, the new government would save millions on their per diem expenses and the cost of ridiculous new laws that begin as pilot programs and metastasize into never-ending budget items with their own self-perpetuating constituencies.
The winter capital could be San Diego, which would be renamed St. David.
The new state would, of course, get the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, the Miramar Naval Air Station and the San Diego naval base, including the nuclear sub facilities.
That's because with the GOP always in charge of the 51st state there would finally be some serious border security with old Mexico, possibly modeled on the Korean DMZ.
A new Republican state cobbled from the smartest part of old California would also benefit the nation, creating a solid southern defense line of GOP-run states from Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana through Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
A mutual interstate defense pact would protect the country's southern border against further illegal gun-running operations into Mexico by U.S. federal authorities.
However, let's be honest, "South California, Not as Bad as You Might Think" is just a lame name. That implies some kind of parity with another California. So does California Adjacent. Flyover California doesn't sing. The Other California could confuse. We're working on alternate names and seek Ticket readers' input as well.
Valetland is a non-starter. Uruguay is already taken. New California could perhaps work. West Arizona might be good, reflecting the conservative politics of the new state and its Grand Canyon neighbor. Not Nevada has possibilities.
The state of Good California has a nice contrasting sound with what's there now. Maybe English Mexico could be a nominee. Or Newer Mexico.
What's your idea for the new state's name?
-- Andrew Malcolm
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Photo: Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters (South Korean troops patrol the DMZ with North Korea, file); Map of the proposed 51st state, South California Credit: Los Angeles Times.