- Albania bank loses $7M in theft; police arrest 2
- Gov. Mike Pence irked as Obama sends illegals to Indiana on sly
- Israel, White House say Obama phone call to demand cease-fire was fake
- Nancy Pelosi: Deporting kids un-Christian, sends them ‘into a burning building’
- Islamist militants seize special forces base in Benghazi, Libya
- Feds sue Pennsylvania State Police over women’s fitness tests
- Israel accused of striking U.N. school, killing at least 15
- Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed
- Mississippi abortion law can’t be enforced
- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
SIMMONS: Same old statehood snake oil won’t sell
Question of the Day
Hey, D.C. residents, do Americans really and truly want the District of Columbia to become the 51st state?
Then stop preaching to the choir and stop waiting for Democrats and Republicans in Washington to hop on your bandwagon.
Grab the spotlight and throw down the gauntlet.
The U.S. Constitution spells out the parameters for joining the Union in Article IV, Section 3, and it is an arduous task because it involves the people in the states supporting your cause.
“New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress,” reads Clause 1.
Meanwhile, Clause 2 states “Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.”
Those absolute particulars say nothing about the amount of taxes D.C. residents pay and nothing about lives lost to war. They also don’t discuss voter disenfranchisement or the well-worn, weak arguments statehood advocates make over and over again.
Stop it already.
Here’s a refresher course.
1) In 1978, four years after D.C. voters exercised their first real taste of limited self-governance, Congress approved a constitutional amendment for statehood.
2) In 1982, the D.C. constitutional convention said the state would be named the State of New Columbia, and approved the election of two “shadow senators” and one “shadow representative” to lobby for statehood. Voters ratified the efforts in 1983 and that same year petitioned Congress. But by 1985, only 16 states had ratified the amendment.
Other efforts have been undertaken, including adding statehood to party platforms at national conventions, but the resounding “no” from 1985 still speaks volumes.
In a kumbaya moment, Congress even readdressed the issue in 1993 — Bill Clinton’s first year as president and when Democrats controlled both the Senate and the House — but the D.C. statehood gambit fell to defeat in the House by a vote of 277-153.
That’s why D.C. statehood proponents should change their ground strategy by first making certain that people in the 50 states want them to join the union, momentum they could carry straight to Capitol Hill.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...
- SIMMONS: Re-education of humanity and the PC crowd
- SIMMONS: What happened in Vegas can't stay in Vegas
- SIMMONS: Tell Joe Biden and the NAACP that politics aren't black and white
- SIMMONS: Youthful sounds of music stirring in Prince George's County
- 'No cellphone' sidewalk pops up in D.C.
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Ticket me Elmo? NYC mulls law for impersonators
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama's brother wears Hamas scarf bearing anti-Israel slogans in photo
- Government OKs Arab-owned company Gulftainer to operate U.S. cargo port
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world