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Collin Peterson’s Radical Plan to Dismember the United States of America

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Collin Peterson’s Radical Plan to Dismember the United States of America"

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The damaging being done by Minnesota Representative Collin Peterson to the Waxman-Markey climate bill is so severe that we’ve got Neil Sinhababu and Chris Bowers both speculating that the world might be a better place if Peterson were to be replaced by an even-more-conservative Republican, merely because said hypothetical Republican wouldn’t have the committee chairmanship (vice chair Tim Holden is twenty clicks to the left of Peterson on DW-NOMINATE; still pretty conservative).

I’m not sure that’s right. I am sure, however, that it’s rare to see a member of congress who’s proposed ceding sovereign American territory to the socialistic dystopia known as Canada. And yet, Representative Peterson has done just that. Pictured on the map above is the “northwest angle,” a portion of Peterson’s district in Minnesota that’s not connected by land to the rest of the United States. The Anglo-American Convention of 1818 stated that the US-Canada border would run south from the northwestern-most point of the Lake of the Woods to the 49th parallel and then west along the parallel. Since the area wasn’t well-mapped at the time, they didn’t realize that this would actually leave a tiny slice of land on the “wrong” side of the lake. But there it is. So to this day, there’s this little slice of America with about 150 people in it. And so it was until the mid-1990s when some Anglers decided they didn’t like certain fishing regulations and wanted to secede and go join Manitoba. Peterson backed this movement and sponsored a 1998 constitutional amendment that would have permitted a special referendum on Angle secession.

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