Why Won’t George Bush Spread Democracy in DC?

The House of Representatives has voted to expand democracy to American citizens in Washington DC. Over the past 200 years, through the Civil War, the end of slavery, the women's suffrage movement, two World Wars, and the defeat of the Soviet Union, America has neglected to expand voting rights to hundreds of thousands of its own citizens. Washington DC has no real representation in the House or the Senate. And despite this latest vote it's likely to stay that way. It doesn't look like the bill will pass in the Senate, and even if it does George W. Bush is likely to veto it. "It's unconstitutional!" is the whine from Republicans like Senator Mitch McConnell. You see, it's not because they are afraid that Washington DC residents will vote for Democrats, or because DC residents are largely poor and black. Of course they think everyone should have the right to vote! Of course they aren't elitists or racists! It's just that the procedural steps for granting suffrage properly is much more important to a democracy than, you know, actual democracy. How many times have we heard about spreading democracy from President Bush? In fact, spreading democracy was the reason we invaded Iraq in the first place, that is after we didn't find any weapons of mass destruction. Any President willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to give Iraqis the vote should be leading this charge to give it to citizens of his own country. I will give the Republicans in the Senate and the President some credit - they are right to criticize this particular bill, just not for the wormy, hypocritical reasons they cite. This bill is a sort of compromise - it would give one House seat to DC and another to Republican-leaning Utah, which just missed getting another seat in the last census. While it's better than nothing, this bill still doesn't give DC residents any representation in the Senate. If Wyoming deserves two Senators, then so does DC. Perhaps an amendment really is the way to go, but I doubt these Senators would vote to propose one to the states. Instead of saying "I can't vote for this because it should be an amendment," they should just tell the truth: they don't want to give seats in Congress to all the people in DC because they tend to vote for the other side. Listen, there are a lot of political issues in this country that have two (or more) perfectly valid viewpoints. We can debate back and forth on gun control, the death penalty, tax rates, etc. to our heart's content. Representation in a democracy is a not one of these issues. The fact that we can get more votes to ban flag burning than to give DC residents representation is shameful, disgusting and undemocratic.

  1. This is why most politicians are scum. Isn’t the capital of your country supposed to be your example to the world not a disgrace. Make D.C. a state now.

    Keith B
    April 23rd, 2007 at 10:43 am
  2. …or not even a state, just equal rights.

    A few years ago I saw a man running in the Marine Corps Marathon (in DC) with a shirt that said “No taxation without Representation” and I laughed because I had never thought of it. I had always assumed that this was a thing of the past until I saw this. When I actually looked into it I was shocked at how ‘retarded’ our political system has become to not allow DC into national voting. It really is just ridiculous. I mean…does anyone even disagree with their right to vote?

    April 24th, 2007 at 3:29 pm

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