- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Ever tried to kill ivy? It is an onerous vine if ever there were one.

But it has become easier to rid your home of ivy than it is to get a conservative or Republican in a position of power in D.C.

Congress, of course, is the exception. Once those folks elected to the House and the Senate dig in their heels, you can rest assured partisanship will come to bear regardless of the issue.

The problem isn’t that there are no Republican D.C. voters. At last count, as of May 31, there were 27,638 of them. It’s just that even among the 72,226 voters who claim to be independent, claim to have no party affiliation — like D.C. Council members David Grosso and Elissa Silverman — they expose their true blue, Democratic bona fides by endorsing presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton the day after she won the D.C. Democratic primary.

Time to move. Perhaps move on to November, when Republicans have a chance to mount campaigns against the Dems.

SEE ALSO: Vincent Gray wins primary fight for old D.C. Council seat

Wish I could say wage war against the Dems, but that wouldn’t be accurate.

D.C. Republicans don’t wage war anymore. The last time they did was decades ago, when popular Republican warrior Carol Schwartz took on Mayor Marion Barry. It’s been downhill for Republicans and conservatives ever since.

In fact, Republicans have been out of elected office since Mrs. Schwartz lost to now-party spokesman Patrick Mara in the 2008 primary elections, and then Mr. Mara turned around and lost the at-large contest to Michael A. Brown, who tossed his Democratic Party affiliation to run as an independent.

The progressiveness of the District can be unsettling for conservatives, and the Democrats’ voter-registration numbers are certainly daunting — 76.16 percent to the Republicans’ 6.26 percent.

Yet conservatives and Republicans do not even seem to be trying.

This year, this election year, is supposed to be different.

SEE ALSO: Fairfax County goes door-to-door to prepare residents for emergencies

In the general election in November, there are six council seats on the ballot. Two Democrats are shoo-ins — Vincent C. Gray, the former mayor who won the Ward 7 race on Tuesday, and Trayon White of Ward 8. They both beat incumbents.

That’s what conservatives and Republicans should study.

In the Ward 2 race, who can take on Jack Evans and win? If they can’t conjure up a victory, then leave Jack alone.

In the Ward 4 race, who can beat Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Green Team member Brandon Todd? No dream of winning, leave Brandon alone.

Same goes for races in Wards 7 and 8. If the lackluster D.C. Republicans think they can beat Mr. Gray, they’d be better off buying weed killer for use around the year.

The at-large race is different. The citywide council race goes to whoever gets the highest vote totals. It’s how Mr. Grosso and Ms. Silverman sneaked in the back door while everybody was looking elsewhere — except Republicans.

Conservatives and Republicans like Ms. Silverman (as I do). She does her homework and she is candid. So you have to keep an eye on her at all times.

Mr. Grosso is a younger version of Bernie Sanders. He thinks his policies mean well, but no one of consequence checks and rechecks to see whether the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed.

Sometimes, they also forget that, as chairman of the council’s Education Committee, everything Mr. Grosso lets fly there has repercussions for everybody who lives in the District, whether they have children or not.

The D.C. Republican Party has a great opportunity knocking at its door. Its name is not Hillary, and its name is not think small.

Its name is w-a-r — even though after all these years it’s barely recognizable.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

• Deborah Simmons can be reached at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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