Anniversary Post: DC Home Rule

Washington, DC SealOn this day in 1973, Richard Nixon signed the District of Columbia Home Rule Act. This gave the residents of DC the right to elect some of their own local government officials. In particular, this law allowed them to elect a mayor and a “city” council. It’s kind of amazing to think that it wasn’t until this late that they got this right.

But the truth is that Congress continues to mess with the people of DC. The idea of creating DC was to de-politicize it. But at this point, Congress is the one who politicizes the district. I think it is completely unfair and it should change. DC will never have home rule as long as it isn’t granted statehood. But that isn’t going to happen. DC is overwhelmingly Democratic, and the Republicans would never allow the Democrats to have two more Senate seats, even though the Senate is weighted heavily in the Republicans’ favor.

If DC became a state, it would be the third smallest by population — just larger than Vermont and Wyoming. So there isn’t a lot of reason why we should keep DC in their weird limbo where Congress can abuse it in the name of “sending a message” to the folks back home. Of course, before we make DC a state, we should make Puerto Rico a state. The fact that it isn’t is an outrage. But again: we can’t allow states that might vote Democratic. We really do need to destroy the Republican Party before it destroys the nation.

6 thoughts on “Anniversary Post: DC Home Rule

  1. I’d like a state that consists of all the various territories. Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam… I think there are a couple others. Them and D.C. could all be lumped together as one noncontiguous state. Constitutionally, I think the seat of the federal government can’t be a state, but if we section off the federal buildings and leave out the places where people actually live, I think it can be done.

    • Good idea about carving out DC. I think DC and Puerto Rico deserve their own states. We could combine all the other territories though. Do you know the great CGP Grey American Empire video?

      • Never seen it, but I’ll give it a look. I had assumed D.C. was too small to be a state, but if it has more people than some existing states, then that argument doesn’t hold water. Another option is to simply redraw the borders of Maryland and Virginia so that everyone lives in one of the two states. That has the advantage of not requiring a constitutional amendment.

        • That’s an interesting idea! But I suspect the people of DC wouldn’t like that too much. But it would be better than what they have now.

          In addition, Puerto Rico would be a substantial state with 3.5 million people.

      • Just watched it- pretty good. There are a lot more than I was aware of. Hey, remember when Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to the Supreme Court and people described her as an “immigrant from Puerto Rico?”

        • Actually, I don’t remember that. But I’m not surprised.

          CGP Grey is great at putting together these videos that deal with all these little details. Some of the stuff in that video is really obscure.

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