Tuesday, September 18, 2007

DC representation shot down

Today the Senate, by a vote of 57-42, defeated a cloture motion to end a Republican filibuster on a bill which would have granted the 600,000 residents of the District of Columbia full formal representation in the House of Representatives.

The bill was opposed by the White House on constitutional grounds, because DC has never been identified as a "state", and is therefore not entitled to representation under the U.S. Constitution.

For once, and may God forgive me for saying this, I think Bush is correct. It is important to hold those kinds of distinctions paramount when considering legislation, lest we start down a slippery slope ending in a Constitution rendered meaningless. There are other remedies for the plight of the DC residents, the most obvious being a Constitutional amendment to specifically include DC as eligible for Congressional inclusion.

What I'm having trouble wrapping my head around, though, is why in hell Bush is suddenly concerned with the constitutionality of anything, given his penchant for violating its provisions at every opportunity. His disdain for that governing document is legendary, so I must be missing something here. Does he think his sudden respect for our Constitution makes his countless previous violations OK?

In the meantime, the residents of DC will continue to be screwed badly since they must pay taxes without representation. I think we even fought a revolution over that issue a while back. The situation is grossly unfair and should be remedied, in a proper way, just as quickly as possible.

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