Does Muriel Bowser appreciate the fact that she is not the mayor of Podunk, USA?
The Democratic Party had barely cleaned up the spilled milk of its sobering election when the mayor of the nation’s capital threw down the gauntlet and practically vowed to go toe-to-toe with President-elect Donald Trump over affairs she mistakenly sees as her sole prerogative.
Whether the Republican president-elect laughed out loud at her pronouncements or brushed them off as those of a typical liberal politician doesn’t matter.
What matters is that while D.C. lives matter, Mr. Trump’s electoral victory, transition to the presidency and residency in the White House matter too. He will become the president of all Americans — whether they voted for him or not.
We learned shortly before the clock struck noon Eastern time Monday that Miss Bowser and Mr. Trump are scheduled to meet at Trump Tower about 11 a.m. Tuesday.
There are certainly going to be some pleasantries during the closed-door meeting, perhaps a stiff-backed seat and bottled water offerings. Properly raised ladies of Southern stock simply do not behave Scarlett O’Hara-like, even in coldhearted Yankee territory.
Oh, wait. It’s too late. Miss Bowser exposed her Democrat-blue veins last month in a teleconference, stiffening her spine regarding the District’s don’t ask-don’t tell immigration status policy, and promising to maintain dependence on federal funds for everything from transportation, housing and education to health and welfare.
“The incoming president said a lot of things during his campaign that most of us in the District cannot and will not ever support,” Miss Bowser said. “We will stand in opposition, strong opposition, to any policies that threaten our values, while we continue to seek common ground on things that will be helpful for our city, like getting more jobs, more pathways to the middle class and investments in our infrastructure to prepare us for the growth that continues to come our way.”
She also said the Metropolitan Police Department “is not an agent” of the federal government. Well, technically and legally, it is not — though the Bowser administration moved in sync with the Obama administration. (And, to be factual, in many instances, such as presidential inaugurations and federal strongholds, federal authorities can put the police department in a subordinate light.)
On don’t ask-don’t tell, Miss Bowser hardly stands alone, of course. San Francisco and New York City are but two other municipalities standing on similar ground.
Where she strays, however, is on “values.” She never explained what those “values” are, and instead reiterated her usual bag of policies, which in turn misdirected the media and misled participants. Statehood, public safety and the like are policies, not values.
For example, during the teleconference, the mayor said, “I have ordered my team to review and access a broad range of challenges and strategies to protect the programs and policies that we all value and to identify concrete proposals that we can put before the new president to keep the District moving in the right direction.”
Well, excuse Miss Bowser for being D.C.-phobic. Has she forgotten that this federal city is the nation’s capital? Has she forgotten that every red-blooded American sends money to the nation’s capital? Does she not realize that MPD, firefighters and other first responders must serve and protect everyone who sets foot in the capital, not merely those Democrats who call D.C. home.
To think that Mr. Trump will soon be a “Bowser constituent” is almost laughable.
Remember, folks, D.C. is a world-class city because of its constitutional stature. Who occupies City Hall as mayor has been, as practical matter, inconsequential. And remember this as well: No president — let alone an incoming Republican one like Mr. Trump — has led the charge for D.C. to become a full-fledged state.
As for the meeting with Mr. Trump, Miss Bowser asked him for face time, and from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s expression as he left Trump Tower, suffice it to say he was stone-faced.
Miss Bowser would do the nation’s capital proud if she were to behave herself — that is to say, think like a plantation owner (Scarlett) and act like a Republican.
Thing is, Democrats aren’t good at reforming Democratic ways. In many respects they are simply political memes.
Not very attractive when you’re getting a face-to-face with the man who asked Americans to help him “Make America Great Again.”
Moreover, Miss Bowser spoke too soon about opposing Trump policies considering the fact that, although she is mayor, D.C. belongs to all Americans.
Besides, she’s isn’t certified to efficiently and effectively operate a cherry-picker.
• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at email@example.com.