With Democrats soon to claim a political supermajority once Joe Biden takes the oath of office, statehood for the District of Columbia is likely to follow. And those advocating for it celebrated amidst the chaos of protests over the presidential election. You might as well fiddle while the capital burns.
Statehood was brought up on the House floor in 1888, 1921, and 1993 but never gained much momentum — although there have been several movements and meetings and calls for statehood in the District. Just last June, the House introduced H.R. 51, only to have the Senate bat it about before crushing it all together. Had the bill cleared the Senate by some miracle of Republican acquiescence, President Trump would have lit it on fire and slam-dunked it into the official Oval Office waste can.
But as of January 20, not much will stop a hungry-for-power play by a liberal president and Congress. Except for that damn filibuster. Democrats could vote to change the rule itself, or a simple majority of senators could go around it and elect a change to the Senate precedent instead. In Swamp slang, it is known as the “nuclear option,” and both parties have used it to ramrod through partisan executive positions and judicial nominations. If the Democrats are looking ahead, they will likely stop short of screwing themselves out of options in the future.
The liberal left wants additional control of the federal government, and adding a blue state would accomplish much in the short term. The argument is cased in woke language that aims to bring peace, love, harmony, and equality to folks living in the D.C. bubble. Stasha Rhodes is the campaign director for the statehood advocacy organization 51 for 51. After declaring the upsets in Georgia “an insane victory,” she’s ready to start printing new stationery and change street signs:
“Look, we can’t have that while 700,000 mostly Black and Brown residents of Washington, D.C. lack equal representation, lack equal voting rights in our nation’s capital. It’s impossible.”
Is it all about the optics? Well, that and political power. The political activist group Indivisible is more forthcoming on their webpage about what they feel is at the heart of the matter: “If D.C. is granted statehood, it would be the only state in the nation to have a plurality of Black residents. Besides, two new senators would work to rebalance the Senate from entrenched minority control.”
It appears that relegating opposition of thoughts on policy and the nation’s future isn’t welcome in the Swamp. But the power shift should not be overlooked. Establishing D.C. as a state in a federal district would infuse a new local government and power level. Currently, D.C. has a mayor and council. What could the District add in becoming a state government? The territory, gifted by the state of Maryland, was never intended to be a state. Would a governor of the nation’s federal District have powers nearly equal to the president?
Liberty Nation‘s Chief Political Correspondent, Graham J. Noble, writes:
“The District of Columbia was carved out for the purpose of serving as a federal district, housing the federal capital of Washington. Conferring the rights of a state upon this federal District presents all kinds of conflicts. Moreover, it cannot be a real state without a governor – and the District cannot have a governor: Imagine the power a governor of the District that houses the federal government could wield.”
This week, D.C.’s Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted a message for an audience of 538:
“Just like the millions of Americans who voted nationwide and the thousands who organized and voted in Georgia, we are ready to build a more perfect union … one in which the 712,000 residents of Washington, D.C. have full access to our nation’s democracy.”
Bowser wants a bill on Mr. Biden’s desk within 100 days of him taking office.
The drive is gathering momentum – again – and may finally make it to the Resolute Desk for signature. It shouldn’t surprise anyone in the avalanche of rubber-stamping pet projects that is almost a certainty in the coming months.
But with much to do and after so many undeliverable and undelivered promises, the left will have to perform the people’s work. And not so much the investigate and obstruct twaddle of the last four years. Democrats will have to do some actual work or face the wrath of an electorate nearing the end of its rope.
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.