Thursday, May 30, 2013

MAY 29, 2013

     It may be time to whine again about Washington and the second-class citizenship for those who live here.  There are a couple of stories in the paper lately about the D.C. government's failures, but they don't always explain how handicapped it is.  Our last mayor was, I thought, competent, but he didn't get reelected. The current one--well, never mind.

     The lasting problem is that Congress governs the country and the D. of C. and while the country has a role in Congress, in fact is Congress, Washington doesn't and isn't.  No Congressmen, no Senators.  The Constitution makes it clear:  "The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States...."  Same for the Senate.  The District isn't a state.

     This is not the pattern elsewhere.  Londoners vote in Britain and have Members in Parliament.  Parisians vote in Paris and elect Deputies.  Not here.  A mayor yes, but no Congressmen because we are not a state.

      Every now and again, there's a movement to change that--Statehood for DC, or some such thing.  They all fail.  Congress allows us to vote for president, but not Congress.  We elect one non-voting member of the House--but if you can't vote, well, you can imagine how powerful you are.

      So, back to my being a second-class citizen.  I don't like it, but I certainly don't expect it to change.



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