(Deroy Murdock, Headline USA) As I warned last fall, Democrats are pushing to make Washington, DC, America’s 51st state.
Republicans are resisting this idea, as well they should. Democrats, in turn, blame the GOP’s reluctance on—what else?—“Racism!”
“Now today the state of DC would be 46% black, which would make it the state with the highest percentage of black people in the entire country,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., told a House hearing Tuesday. “I’m gonna make it plain: DC statehood is a racial justice issue, and racism kills.”
Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich was blunt Monday, via Twitter: “Opposition to D.C. statehood is racist. Period.”
No, Virginia, DC statehood is not racist. This nauseatingly predictable Democrat argument also is absurd, stupid and sick.
GOP and conservative reservations about statehood have nothing to do with anti-black bigotry. They have everything to do with the Constitution, Washington’s federal role, and how New Columbia would change the Senate’s partisan mix.
Fortunately, Republicans can and should turn the tables on Democrats with a quintessentially conservative solution to this challenge.
• First, as R. Hewitt Pate, Esq., told the Heritage Foundation, DC statehood faces deep constitutional tank traps.
Article I, Section 8 guarantees Congress “exclusive” legislative control of DC, “in all Cases whatsoever.” Statehood T-bones into this provision.
Maryland originally ceded territory to create DC. So, Pate argued, under Article IV, Section 3, Annapolis could veto DC statehood.
Also, the 23rd Amendment calls DC “the seat of government” entitled to Electoral College votes, as “if it were a State”—not as a state. Big difference.
Thus, D.C. statehood should require constitutional amendment, not just congressional approval.
• Second, the Founding Fathers envisioned America’s capital as a safe space in which three federal branches could operate without meddling by pesky governors and state lawmakers.
In “Federalist 43,” James Madison saw this as an “indispensable necessity,” lest “the public authority might be insulted and its proceedings interrupted with impunity.”
• Third, GOP objections to DC statehood are no more anti-black than Democrat reluctance to splitting Utah into North Utah and South Utah would be anti-white. Both parties would fight either idea to avoid facing the business end of a political gun.
New Columbia would choose two Democrat senators, even if they were caught red-handed knocking over a bank on Election Day. The only place more Democrat is The Faculty Club at UC Berkeley.
DC’s voters are registered 76.4% Democrat and 5.7% Republican. Last November, Joe Biden beat Donald J. Trump there 92.1% to 5.4%.
So, DC statehood, complete with two permanent Democrat seats, would move control of the now evenly-split Senate that much farther from Republican reach.
The moment DC’s senators were sworn in, they could vote to dismantle the filibuster and enact the far Left’s neo-Marxist, totalitarian-lite agenda.
Republicans and conservatives reject total Democrat control, which is what DC statehood would help secure.
Taxation without representation triggered the American Revolution. Indeed, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC, may not vote on the U.S. House floor. The District has zero senators.
This complaint—pressed deeply into DC’s steel license plates—is perfectly valid. And this grand compromise solves it:
D.C. should enjoy non-representation, without taxation.
Washington, D.C. should remain a political neutral zone. However, its residents should be excused from federal individual income tax.
Henceforth, such funds would finance residents’ personal advancement and stimulate the local economy. Tax-bludgeoned Americans would flock to DC to keep more of their hard-earned money. DC would blossom into Singapore on the Potomac.
This fair, equitable solution offers Republicans a serious counter-proposal to the Left’s lunge for more power and control, shrouded in relentless, filthy lies about racism.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor, a contributing editor with National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research. Bucknell University’s Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece.