Now here’s a political nightmare for you

This bozo, a right-winger running for US Congress from Minnesota, made a stunning proposal last year.

What is it with Republicans who can’t get support for their bad ideas deciding to split states so they can get a majority somewhere, anywhere? This idea doesn’t even make sense from their selfish perspective: those regions of the state already elect Republican representatives, and they’d be merging with a Republican state, so they wouldn’t gain anything in the Senate.

I presume that a more politically savvy Republicon took Mr Munson aside and explained how stupid this idea was, since it never got anywhere.


  1. says

    Similar bright idea in Oregon. Somebody out in the eastern part of the state wants to join with Idaho (oops, now I’m flashing on Saruman in Lord of the Rings: “We must join with him. We must join with Sauron…”).
    Fortunately, that part of Oregon has a population of roughly 12, so my state remains intact thus far.
    Looks like your case is another example of Republicans not thinking through an idea.

  2. Larry says

    I assume the blue counties have an aggregate voter population of more Democrats than the GQP in which case obtaining voter approval might be a wee bit problematical. As somebody said, republicans just can’t get it through their heads that it’s people that vote, not real estate.

  3. Larry says


    Same in California. Far northern Cal has all the “State of Jefferson” idiots while the central valley has the rednecks. The problem is that the major metropolitan LA basin, San Diego, and the bay area swing democratic by a fairly large number and have much larger populations by a lot.

  4. Becca Stareyes says

    How do the populations of the red region of Minnesota compare with that of South Dakota? Because I can imagine South Dakota Republicans not wanting anything that, say, means the governor or senate seats go to relative outsiders from Minnesota, even if those people are also Republicans. Basically, what does South Dakota gain from this?

  5. blf says

    Larry@3, Teh State of Jefferson nutters want to break off much of N.California and S.Oregon to from a new, 51st state, not transfer those territories to another existing state. Both the OP and @1 seem to be discussing hallucinations to transfer territory from one existing state to another (rather than creating a new state). Creating a new state would, e.g., add Senators, merely redrawing the borders would not. (House districts would obviously be tinkered-with, but it’s unclear in both cases that the total number of Representatives would change.)

  6. robro says

    Your question suggests you expect rational behavior from your fellow humans. I’m sure you are aware that the psychologist Daniel Kahneman and his research partner Amos Tversky demonstrated repeatedly that humans don’t routinely make decisions based on rational thinking. It’s too hard and slow. Kahneman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for this work because their results countered the economic tenet that markets behave rationally like humans. (Tversky was already dead…dead people don’t win Noble prizes).

  7. moarscienceplz says

    I was a bit confused why he would choose South Dakota to align with and not North Dakota, since ND has all that oil money and SD doesn’t. But then I remembered that Deadwood is in SD, which IIRC is the place where the only documented quick-draw duel was fought. I know most of these conservative types have wet dreams of walking around town with murder machines strapped to their legs (surrogate penises), but I like to point out that the gunfight ‘at the OK Corral’ (it wasn’t actually) was due to the fact that Chief of Police (not Marshall) Wyatt Earp was enforcing a ban on carrying firearms within city limits. Yes, the good people of Tombstone, in the 1880s, one of the wildest corners left of the Wild West, had decided that drunken louts possessing guns in a town was a bad idea.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    If you have read Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash (a parody of a libertarian USA) you may recall the “urbclaves” spread across the continent with their own constitutions, each entity spread across many patches of land like bantustans.
    This is an opportunity to get the batshit-crazy ones out of the way in a state we might call “Libertyland” .Incorporate the red parts of Florida , Minnesota etc. Split the congress representation in such way that no party is favored over the other.
    Then the Blue states can do their own thing while the red states outlaw vaccines and arabic numerals and sink into Alabama-style misery.

  9. birgerjohansson says

    Also, see the book “A Libertarian Walks Into A Bear” about a real attempt to create a libertarian enclave. It did not go well.

  10. lumipuna says

    What is it with Republicans who can’t get support for their bad ideas deciding to split states so they can get a majority somewhere, anywhere?

    When your only tool is a Gerry, every district looks like a ‘mander.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    moarscienceplz @ # 8: …Deadwood is in SD, … where the only documented quick-draw duel was fought.

    According to The Smithsonian, James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok shot David “Dave” Tutt in such a duel – from 75 yards! – in Springfield, Missouri, on July 21, 1865.

    The Smithsonian writer describes it as the “first”, not the only, “duel that comes closest to Tinseltown standards.”

    Deadwood is where John “Crooked Nose Jack” McCall shot Hickok in the head, prudently from behind, 11 years & 13 days later.

  12. macallan says

    As somebody said, republicans just can’t get it through their heads that it’s people that vote, not real estate.
    Butbutbut, that’s what the founders wanted!!!!eleven!!

  13. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 2

    Oh, they get it. They just can’t grasp the concept of population density. They seem to think there are just as many human beings in the red areas of America as there are in the blue. The fact that those blue areas have vastly more human beings per square foot than they even have per square mile doesn’t click. All they see is that the red areas are bigger than the blue, and they REALLY resent it when those blue areas call all the shots (normally).

  14. bcw bcw says

    The big problem with the CA crazies is that they wanted to form new states with more Senators.

    It’s sad that SD, ND and MT were all formed out of the Dakota territory and deliberately made into small-population but separate States in order to pack the Congress and Electoral College with anti-slave Republican States just after the civil war.

  15. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 9

    As much as I’d love to see the Bible-humpers, gun-fondlers, and latter-day Klansmen of Red State America exiled in some way where they can no longer stop progress for the rest of us, certain moral and logistical questions arise:

    What about all the non-whites, no-heterosexual, non-Christians who can’t leave this hypothetical conservative wonderland? Do we leave them to the nonexistent mercies of the officially bigoted red state scum who’d be running things?

    Furthermore, what about the freeways, highways, railroads, telecommunications, and other infrastructure? What about our natural resources. Most of our national parks are in very Red areas. Yellowstone and Yosemite will be sold off to the highest bidder if the right-wingers get their way.

    Most importantly: Who gets the nukes in this divorce? Even if we could divide our arsenal equally, do we REALLY want to give WMDs to people who literally crave the end of the world?

  16. Walter Solomon says

    There are some nutters in Western Maryland who wanted to join West Virginia recently. The Governor if West Virginia even welcomed them to join. There complaints were more related to Annapolis rather than Congressional representation.

  17. Ada Christine says

    i grew up in northern wisconsin and there was a small faction of people that wanted to split off counties along or north of US 8 and join with the upper peninsula of michigan into a state called “superior”

  18. blf says

    @16 asked (echoing a question asked of them in another thread), “Who gets the nukes in this divorce?”

    The parody-based proposal in @9 is about forming a non-physically contiguous state in the States; not a “divorce” from the States per se. As such, the nukes problem doesn’t arise, since those are federally-controlled. Ditto with the national parks.

    None of which means @9’s parody-based proposal is anything other than an illustration that shuffling territory around rarely accomplishes what is intended, and even if it does, usually has (perhaps numerous) unintended consequences.

  19. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 16

    If I’m repeating something you wrote in response responding to my last rant, then I apologize for not attributing you.

    On that note, I’m in a better mood today. I only get all Bolshevik when I’m frustrated and angry… which, I’m sad to say, has been my rest state for the last six years.

  20. blf says

    Akira MacKenzie@20, I don’t recall specifically who made the original comment, and your rephrased version may even be a combination of several comments, presumably by multiple people. I’m not complaining, you raised several good points with your rephrased version.

    I’m happy to hear you are in a better mood!

    What works for me when frustrated / angry is to either try some satire or parody (and making it a point to be so over-the-top ridiculous it should be obvious it’s satire / parody); or fair but “creative” editorialising / editing, as I sometimes do in poopyhead’s Infinite Thread. I believe you have the skill to do something similar, and you certainly have relevant knowledge / wisdom (e.g., living in an area with people whose views are forged in the red-hot fires of bigotry, beers, Big Macs, and misunderstanding “First We Take Manhattan”).

    Of course, that’s what works for me, and I am not you. I don’t know what does, or could, work better for you than rants that seem to be serious yet — and with apologies for putting it this way — unhinged ideas.

    And then there’s the mildly deranged penguin, but she requires lots of cheese…

  21. says

    @1 My family lives in Eastern Oregon and “Greater Idaho” is laughably pathetic. It takes an act of Congress to redraw the borders and, in case you haven’t noticed, Congress is hopelessly broken.

  22. bcw bcw says

    @23. Since it can move a hurricane, then it should be possible to move State borders with a sharpie.

  23. microraptor says

    blf @6: The State of Jefferson was a real proposal, but only back in the 1930s. When the US got involved in World War 2 it killed the idea in any serious sense, but a few nutters keep dredging it up from time to time. The Greater Idaho Initiative and this splitting of Minnesota to join South Dakota are instead new forms of stupidity.

  24. Kagehi says


    Most of our national parks are in very Red areas.

    Ah, you just didn’t read between the lines – when “mostly” the original GOP created those places to be saved for “future generations”, they obviously meant, “miners, oil companies, and corporations doncha know!”

  25. says

    Reading this made me think of the Western separatist crowd in Canada. If they ever did get their dream the first fight in the new country would probably be over which city should be the capitol. And I wonder how long the new country would be around before some area would become upset because the politicians in Calgary/Vancouver/Moosomin “don’t listen to us, lust like Ottawa didn’t listen to us!”

  26. acroyear says

    it isn’t about self-rule. it is about the Senate. If every state with a significant red-blue divide split, the “red” states would outnumber the blue states 2 to 1. We’d be under a minority rule in the senate by a 3-1 ratio of states. Plus there’s the EC advantage that grows when there are more rural states with their 2-vote advantage per population.

    Even the proposed California split – 1 blue, 1 red, one competitive but more red-leaning depending on turnout.

    Because it is always about judges, and you control the judges when you control 1) the EC, and 2) the Senate approval process.

    Always about judges, rubber-stamping their hatred (of minorities and women and foreigners) into permanent law…because “freedom”.

  27. acroyear says

    @26 – yeah, that’s the fun about the parks…or rather, the short-sightedness of the people who live in the states that they’re in.

    The residents near the parks are very dependent on their value as tourist attractions (the net GDP gain is something like $7 for every $1 spent by the feds, a “profit” ratio any corporation would kill for…and yeah, a few probably do, but nevermind).

    But the idiots in charge of those states don’t look at the larger amortized value gained over the last 80 years. They just look at one-shot natural resources to be exploited. The decision that RIGHT NOW my state can get VERY rich…and don’t care what happens after it is all gone.

    Reminds me of when I sold off my baseball card collection for some comic books. The cards were worth a hell of a lot more 10 years later, but my childish 13 year old brain couldn’t see that far.

    They never left being 13. They just can’t see that far, they only see the instant money available NOW, to hell with the future.

  28. Akira MacKenzie says

    Hey! microraptor…

    I’ve been meaning to ask, but what type of battlemech are you using for profile pic? I want to say it’s an Atlas, but my eyes could be deceiving me.