On Monday more than several liberal Democrat governors on both coasts told the federal government NO on the reopening of the country. Let me reiterate. State governors acting in coordination told the president of the United States to pound sand.

The collection of west coast liberal Democrat governors, “The Western Pact,” is now a political reality. Their unlabeled eastern cohorts are the same. This may be just the beginning of a much larger issue.

This has happened, in a major sense, twice before in our history. The first time in 1832, when President Andrew Jackson had to threaten to send in troops to make South Carolina come to heel over tariffs. South Carolina backed down. In the second instance, in late 1860, South Carolina got payback. She seceded from the Union and began the process that culminated in the Civil War.

This act by the Western Pact and their east coast associates is an act that has been a long time coming, though only last week California Governor Gavin Newsom referred to his state as a “nation-state.” As such, we have been drifting apart as a country, as a coherent polity, since the countercultural changes of the 1960s. The postwar cultural consensus has been gone for decades. Leftist San Francisco no longer believes in the same things or the same country that conservative Tulsa believes in. New York City will not fight and die for the same values that Pensacola will sacrifice for. We have not been one people for a long time. We just share the same political real estate.

So is the Western Pact the first shot of a political realignment of the United States of America? Sound crazy? Ireland used to be part of Great Britain, Pakistan part of British India. In our own time we saw the breakup of the Soviet Union. Our country itself is born of a political breakup. Do we think America is exempt from the laws of history?

Could the Western Pact be the infant steps of a Pacific confederation? Could the eastern liberal governors form more than an alliance after the post-virus reopening? And what would be the federal response? Would the occupant of the White House move like Jackson and Lincoln to kill it? Or would an enlightened president let the leftist states go forth to govern themselves as a nation or nations, leaving the rest of the United States, now shorn of much of leftism, with perennial conservative political majorities?  These are questions whose time may soon be upon us.