As infuriating as Arizona has been over the past couple of years for liberals around the country the immigration law, the birther bill, the guns in classrooms bill, etc. think about how hard it must be to be a liberal and actually live there. People from other states meet you and say, "Oh ... you're from Arizona ... I see," and then slowly back away. It's just embarrassing. So a group of liberals in Pima County, which includes the city of Tucson, are trying to do what disaffected geographical areas in New York threaten to do all the time: secede.
A group of lawyers from the Democratic stronghold of Tucson and surrounding Pima County have launched a petition drive seeking support for a November 2012 ballot question on whether the 48th state should be divided in two.
The ultimate goal of the newly formed political action committee Start our State is to split Pima County off into what would become the nation's 51st state, tentatively dubbed Baja Arizona.
Backers have until July 5 next year to collect the 48,000 signatures required to qualify for a spot on the ballot. If they succeed, it would mark only the first hurdle in a long, circuitous process that even the most determined of supporters readily acknowledge has little chance of bearing fruit.
Indeed, for Pima County to actually become its own state:
Pima residents would have to approve of the move in a referendum.
The state legislature would have to approve of it, or it could pass in a state-wide referendum.
The United States Congress would have to approve it.
The secession movement will almost certainly overcome zero of these three hurdles. But let's say that it did. This new "Baja Arizona" would be larger than Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and it would have a greater population than Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, and the Dakotas. It would probably boast two Democratic senators (which is one of many reasons why this would never get through Congress). And the state motto would be, "Arizona: Now With 70 Percent Less Crazy!" or "Phew, Glad That's Over."