- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 21, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Will Omarosa Manigault Newman be available?

D.C. statehood advocates are again in Sisyphean mode, making likely ill-fated attempts to turn the nation’s capital into the nation’s 51st state.

There’s even a name for it: Washington, D.C. — as in Washington, (Frederick) Douglass Commonwealth.

Don’t you dare laugh.

Statehood advocates take this stuff very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they have decided on a new uphill strategy that includes reaching out to what they consider key states and constituencies.

Brace, yourself, fellow Americans, if you live in Alaska, Arizona, Alaska, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington (our 42nd state). A D.C. statehood supporter could soon be robo-calling you or, if they get financial high-fives as well, actually knock on your door to get fist-bumps.

Those particular states were chosen by the D.C. statehood commission following assessments of those states’ congressional delegations and other stakeholders, and that lends itself to soft chuckles, considering the District’s political machine only respects varied shades of blue.

Keep in perspective, too, the fact that if you’re a Bernie Sanders fan, Hillary Clinton blue was so overwhelming in the nation’s capital that the name of the progressive Vermont senator almost didn’t make the 2016 D.C. Democratic ballots.

The D.C. Democratic Party already had pledged its soul to Hades. (Sorry, Sisyphus.)

The renewed strategy also includes enlisting or re-enlisting support from such traditional liberal constituencies as Hispanics, pro-choicers, criminal-justice reformers, marriage equality advocates, LGBT backers, gun-control enthusiasts and, of course, blacks.

Statehood also will employ an old standby — lack of education.

See, for more years than some of the District’s youngest elected powerbrokers have been alive, the D.C. statehood crowd has argued that they have to educate American voters about the District’s lack of congressional voting rights, which is at once very sad and very funny.

If liberals had not pushed their status quo agenda on public education, children would have learned not only why the nation’s capital is not a state but also why the call for statehood often falls on deaf ears.

First, of course, is the Constitution, which spells out the parameters of the federal district and how states enter the union.

There’s also the internecine political shenanigans of ballot initiatives, statehood commissions and so-called D.C. shadow members of Congress — pretend officials whose names show up on ballots every election cycle as if they hold sway.

(For sure, my favorite Robert Louis Stevenson poem, “My Shadow,” first published in 1885, is deliciously insightful regarding the purpose of D.C. shadow senators and representatives: “I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me/ And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.”)

As for the Omarosa hook, she, formerly of the Trump White House, is also a former spokeswoman for D.C. statehood. Whether the, ahem, former Democrat still supports the District’s cause is irrelevant.

What’s important is momentum — and hope that statehood supporters get the Sisyphus analogy.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]


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