Senator Rounds: Another Republican with an absurd argument against D.C. statehood

Originally published at: Senator Rounds: Another Republican with an absurd argument against D.C. statehood | Boing Boing


History. Not the Right Wing strong suit. Ever. In fact, they would do away with it entirely if they could and replace it with “Heroic White America” mythology.


Logic is pointless against these people. They are completely uninterested in your historical “facts”. Haven’t you learned anything in the last few years? Might as well argue with a rock.


They’re all working so hard to avoid saying the quiet part out loud. There should be a pool for who will be the first.


I dunno, Rounds seems to be shouting it into a bull horn already…


Just because…


You’re right. We have a winner before the contest started.


My 9 year old son, who is in 3rd grade, could make a better argument than these guys, based solely on the fact that he loves the song “The Room Where it Happened” from Hamilton and wouldn’t stop singing it so I made him learn about the Compromise of 1790. DC happened at least in part because the Southerners wanted the capitol closer to the South and Hamilton wanted his banking system (there was other stuff going on, it likely wasn’t all decided at that dinner like Hamilton makes it out to be).

We could just move the capitol back to NYC if these guys are so mad about it? Pretty sure NYC has car dealerships?


The commenters on twitter piling on seem to be willfully glib. “of course the founders never meant for ANY state but the original 13 to be state!”. Except the did. They showed it with the Northwest Ordinance passed under the Articles of Confederation (which incidentally, required a unanimous vote among existing states), and then with the Constitution of 1789 itself. There are multiple acts of Congress (not just letters or speeches) that make that intent clear. Saying the founders never intended for, say, South Dakota to be a state is like arguing the founders never intended for, say, JFK to be President.

So with that out of the way, the question is really, "did the founders give any explicit reason why D.C. couldn’t be a state? And the answer is a resounding, “yes!” That was the stated reason for creating D.C. in the first place (see Madison in Federalist 43): to have a seat of government between the states that was not controlled by a state. Because Federalism. If the district were itself a member of the sate, then it becomes a jurisdictional nightmare, and there is no reason to believe the Feds would actually have any power there (barring a slew of new amendments to the Constitution to give them such power). And this is to say nothing of the fact that it’s a blatant grab for an easy 3 electors in the electoral college.

Lets set aside the notion of statehood for a second and get to the real issue, the disenfranchisement of Americans in D.C. If we grant that we should ignore the logic of why the district was created in the first place, and assuming (naively) that there will never major jurisdictional issues, then the the surest fix to disenfranchisement is STILL not to make D.C. a state, it is to return the land and the people to the state of Maryland, who donated it in the first place.

EDIT: wait… horrifying side thought: if the land which was removed from Maryland under the constitution for purposes of creating a federal district is no longer used as that district, does Maryland then have a constitutional claim to demand the land’s return? Would we need a constitutional amendment just to un-fuck the situation?


To pretend that the democrats are making a logical argument and the republicans are playing politics is disingenuous. Rounds is playing politics and pointing out the democrats are as doing it also–which is certainly true. And the conservative attitude of opposition to ‘needless’ change has a enough a principle here that it aligns with their brand–not as good, in my view, as the disenfranchisement argument on the left, but enough to offer a permission script for those already in his camp. I’m not sure there is anything in Rounds’s tweet that is incorrect–yes, this is an attempt to ‘pack’ the senate with democrats, and I do believe that the founding fathers envisioned DC as a stateless city that belonged to everyone, not a specific state–at least that is what I learned in civics class. And I’m pretty sure the republicans are going to win this one too.


I mean, you could never just make the parts of DC where the government happens DC and spin off the rest into a state, just as the proposal was written! /s

They don’t want that. Democracy matters. It’s not up to YOU, it should be up to the individuals who live in the district to make that determination.

the goal of NOT lettting it be a state is to keep Washingtonians from voting. Just like all the current proposals to “make voting great again.”

The GOP has shown us for the past couple of decades that all they care about is beating the democrats. The democratic party, in contrast, is the only party who are attempting to actuallly govern the country rather than trying to tear it down to satisfy their corporate overlords and racists.

With that attitude they will, yes. But if the last election showed us anything, it’s that there is real hunger out there for actual leadership and for actual solutions to our very real problems. That’s what people overwhelmingly voted for this past year, not bullshit culture wars poisturing that is literally the only thing the GOP has to offer anymore.


I was with you right up until the proposal of giving DC to MD instead of figuring out a way to make statehood work. I don’t think MD wants another Baltimore. And whether DC is granted statehood or the land is given to MD, both results seem to conclude with the federal government under a state’s jurisdiction, which is the crux of the Senator’s argument. The goal is to alleviate the concern of one represented state becoming responsible for the seat of federal government, a legitimate puzzle - of what severity I’m not sure - but I haven’t yet seen it addressed directly. I, too, am curious how it will get resolved.


The prospect of more PoC voting really sends the GOP into a tizzy. Keep in mind that we haven’t hit bottom yet, since Gohmert hasn’t given us his take.


I feel like “universe is expanding” is on that list prematurely. We’re definitely in “majority of evidence favors expansion” so far but it’s not open-and-shut yet – not in the same way as any of the others, certainly.


I’m on the side of “benefit of the doubt” for the Universe, after all we are all made of the same stuff.


My point with the part about returning the land is that, “this is not only a iffy proposition, it’s waaay down there on a list of slightly-less-iffy propositions”. That is, creating a new state that subverts the reason for having a D.C. is necessarily more complicated than just subsuming the land back into an existing state (which also subverts the reason for having a D.C.). Both are not good, but one has all the drawback of the other, plus a slew of new complications. I’m not yet convinced there is a good answer, I’m just convinced statehood for D.C. is not the first place I’d go to.

Funny enough, my wife from Baltimore was actually the one who brought it up.

I’m not sure why you and WhyBother keep overlooking the whole part of this plan where the seat of federal government is simply reduced to the parts of land where the federal government actually operates, leaving it in exactly the same position it’s in now: surrounded by a state but not part of it. Nothing about making DC a state violates that constitutional requirement.


That’s whether the universe will keep expanding, not whether it is, which seems pretty solid…maybe not quite as much as the others, but then it’s hard to compare things that aren’t really in question.


In theory, that’s what the whole district was already. And then they put in apartments within it. Trying to carve some new slightly smaller Federal zone out of some new donut-shaped state doesn’t fix the issue for even a few decades. It would just be kicking the can down the road.

Since the ulterior motive of DC statehood is to begin to address the imbalance created by less-populated states having disproportionate representation and disproportionate GOP influence, sometimes doing the right thing means doing the hard thing.

Having previously been a Marylander living on the DC border for a number of years, I guess we both have valid perspectives.