Sunday, January 11
Votes, if not statehood, for DC, Part II: The Solution
Finding a solution means arranging for representation of DC residents by a voting member of both houses of Congress. It does not mean caving to the Dems' cynical demand for DC statehood.
To anyone unlucky enough to have to listen to me, I've long suggested returning DC to Maryland. After all, DC was once a square (ten miles to a side), made up of parcels of Maryland and Virginia, and thus straddling the Potomac. In the 1840s or 50s, Virginia took its part back (it's now Arlington County). Why not return the rest to Maryland, its original owner? Among other benefits comes representation in Congress.
Well, Congress has its reasons, both benign and malign, for maintaining final authority over the seat of the federal government. DC leaders are jealous of their power in the fiefdom. And Maryland seems in little hurry to assume DC's fiscal woes (even if those woes might be mitigated by being part of a larger state).
So, perhaps there is a more targeted solution, ensuring DC residents Congressional representation while maintaining the District's corporate separateness. Here's the compromise:
1. DC residents are represented by one voting member of the House. DC's population is about the size of a congressional district anyway.
2. DC residents vote for, and are represented by, two U.S. Senators that represent Maryland and DC. From a logistical standpoint, this would be low-impact. You simply add DC's votes to the Senate election.
1. DC residents. They can switch their license plates back to "Celebrate and Discover." And they'll soon realize that taxation doesn't get any better with representation.
2. Democrats. Another Dem in the House. Let's defer to another time how this addition will interact with the current 435-member limit for that body.
3. Republicans. No net loss in the Senate. Maryland reliably elects two Dem Senators.
4. African-Americans. I forgot to tell you that people who oppose DC statehood are racists who don't want blacks in Congress. No surprise there. Well, guess what? DC's congressman will be black. Better yet, when you combine DC with the City of Baltimore and Prince George's County in Maryland, the chances of two black U.S. Senators are excellent.
1. Maryland's white, Democrat would-be Senators. Sarbanes and Mikulski will probably survive via their incumbancy, but after that it's a tough road.
2. Race demogogues whose careers depend on perpetuating racial grievance.
I'd be satisfied with that lineup.