[correction, 4/13: i said "montana" below when talking about states with lower populations than DC; i meant "wyoming." fixed now. thanks, jackass anonymous guy, for rudely pointing out my mistake.]
the mayor of DC went to jail last night. it seems like this last insult to the 600,000-plus people who live inside the borders of the district was the last straw. see, everyone's happy that the federal government didn't shut down this weekend. (the tea party nutballs notwithstanding, that is, but i don't consider them serious people.) but what boils my blood is that for some reason, the republicans in the house insisted on DC being forced to spend ITS OWN MONEY not according to the will of its citizens, but according to what john boehner thinks the people of DC should do.
folks, it is 2011. in 1789, when the founders wrote the constitution, the district of columbia barely existed. when they gave DC its special legal status, no one lived there. but lo and behold, things have changed. it is now time, more than ever, for DC to have home rule. real, honest home rule. that means congressional representation, control over its own budget and freedom from ideologically-based meddling from activist republicans who view this largely african-american city as their personal playground. and yes, it's republicans who are the most guilty here. it's been going on for years. DC approved medical marijuana; tom delay held back approval of the DC budget until they promised not to do it. nowadays, republicans strong-arm the city because they don't like DC's attitude on needle exchanges, school vouchers or reproductive rights.
this is not okay. DC has more people in it than wyoming, and no offense to any wyomingians (is that what you're called?) out there, but DC is WAY more vital to the national economy. there is no excuse for congressional republicans with a stark and clearly-defined social agenda to be able to strong-arm a group of people who do not share that agenda into being their puppets. it's ideological blackmail. and it's 100% unacceptable. i thought this was the party of states' rights, self-determination, small-government? yeah, not when it comes to DC. in fact, one of their own even said so the other day. they really view the lives and rights of 600,000 people as subordinate to their ability to play banana-republic-style dictator with the district.
the district of columbia is, for all intents and purposes, a plantation. the people who live here are subject to the whims and caprice of the house of representatives, who are essentially the masters. the DC government can try to govern according to the will of its people, a right that every other person in this country takes for granted, but it's all for naught. had the government shut down, DC would have shut down too, even though the budget here was passed a year ago. there is no acceptable justification for this. it needs to change. NOW.
Letter 70: Be Louder
5 days ago