The case against D.C. statehood

What's next — statehood for Los Angeles and Houston and New York City?

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Just ahead of their Fourth of July recess (not to be confused with the one they had six months ago in the middle of impeachment proceedings or the one currently scheduled for August) our hard-working legislators in the House of Representatives passed a bill that would make Washington, D.C., the 51st state. How wonderful that in the midst of a pandemic and an economic depression, despite their busy vacation schedule, these stalwart leaders were able to bring their influence to bear upon such a pressing question.

The Republican-controlled Senate, unsurprisingly, has no interest in taking up the legislation, which would — assuming it could survive a challenge in the Supreme Court, which I frankly doubt — give the opposition party two free seats in the upper chamber. This is not principled opposition. It's a simple acknowledgement of partisan reality. If Greenland were purchased tomorrow and it looked to be the case that Kaj Knudsen and Helga Damsgaard were reliable GOP voters, Mitch McConnell and company would be pushing for statehood immediately, and Democrats would be decrying the unconstitutional folly of bribing a foreign power in order to create more Republican Senate seats. Both would be as understandable as Friday's House vote.

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