Tom Cotton Presents: 86 Ways To Say DC Has Too Many Black People To Be A State
The United States, supposedly, was founded on the idea that taxation without representation is not okay. And yet those who live in Washington DC, our nation's very capital, drive around in cars with license plates that say "taxation without representation," because of how they pay taxes without being allowed any real representation in Congress.
Today, the House will vote on whether or not to allow Washington DC, unrepresented federal district, to become Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, actual state, with representation and everything. The general assumption is that it will pass the House along party lines and then get stalled in the Senate, because of all the Republicans there. Republicans don't want DC to be a state, because it would likely go Democratic — which would then give Democrats two more Senators, and that's not fair because Republicans enjoy having an advantage in the Senate. It would be much better, they think, for DC residents to selflessly sacrifice their interest in being represented so that Republicans can hold onto this advantage.
And so yesterday Sen. Tom Cotton went on an 18-minute-long spiel about how DC should not be a state, all of which really just amounted to "There are a lot of Black people there."
Tom Cotton BLASTS DC statehood, insults Muriel Bowser www.youtube.com
He kicked off his little rant by whining about mobs tearing down statues, and the fact that instead of doing something about that (like what?), Democrats are holding a vote on DC statehood.
"If that sounds insane, you're not alone!" Cotton said. "More than 2/3 of the American people oppose DC statehood, according to a Gallup poll last summer. By some estimates, DC statehood is less popular, even, than defunding the police. So why are the Democrats pushing for it?"
Oh, I don't know? Maybe because, like defunding the police, it is the right thing to do. Republicans push for unpopular things literally all of the time. 76 percent of the people in the United States do not think Roe v. Wade should be overturned. 66 percent of the country supports stricter gun control laws. Two-thirds of Americans think the government should do more about climate change, and another two-thirds think that the minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour. Majorities also want universal health care and net neutrality, and oppose tax cuts and practically everything else Republicans want to do. But they keep pushing for what they want and insisting that what they want is what "Real Americans" want, and everyone goes along with them. Well, a lot of people anyway. And then, eventually, their terrible policies become more popular than they were to begin with.
DC statehood, unlike every Republican idea, ever, is a good idea. More than that, it is a moral and ethical idea. It is terrible and stupid that anyone in this country doesn't have representation. It is also stupid, for the record, that we still have "territories" like it's the 1700s and we haven't figured out that imperialism is bad.
But back to Tom Cotton!
He goes on to explain that Democrats only want DC to be a state because they thirst for power and want two new senators "in perpetuity" (like the 585,000 people in Wyoming have) and that they are angry that the American people have not given them power in the last decade and thus want "the swamp to have as many senators as your state has."
"What? As many senators as my state? But my state is better and more deserving of senators! For reasons! ARE DEMOCRATS TRYING TO MAKE MY STATE LESS SPECIAL?" we are supposed to think. Especially if we don't realize that senators and congresspeople vote in their home states. Who is it that he thinks "the swamp" is? Just literally everyone who lives in DC?
Cotton does not mention that the flipside of this is that Republicans want to deny the citizens of Washington DC representation because they don't want more Democratic senators. They will not be admitting DC unless DC agrees to be a slave state. Those are the rules, they're pretty sure.
"They want to make Washington a state to rig the rules of our democracy and try to give the Democratic Party permanent power. But in doing so, the Democrats are committing an act of historical vandalism as grotesque as those committed by jacobin mobs roaming our streets."
It's true. Nothing ruins democracy quite like ... more democracy.
Cotton then started going on about how people point out that DC has more residents in it than Wyoming or Vermont, but there are lots of cities that have more people in them than Wyoming or Vermont.
"Washington has just over 700,000 residents, more than Wyoming and Vermont, and about as many as Alaska. Doesn't this qualify Washington as a state? Well, if it did, we'd need a lot more states because Washington is just the 20th largest city in the country."
Aside from the fact that people in those larger cities have representation because those cities are in states, maybe we do need a lot more states? Maybe the Senate itself is a bad idea that gives more power to land than to people? Think about it. Why do the people of Wyoming deserve more representation than people who live in more populous areas? According to Tom Cotton, it is because they have the right jobs.
Yes, Wyoming is smaller than Washington by population, but it has three times as many workers in mining, logging and construction, and ten times as many workers in manufacturing. In other words, Wyoming is a well-rounded working-class state. A new state of Washington would not be.
Wyoming, also, has a Black population of less than one percent. The dogwhistles here are practically air horns.
"What vital industries would the new state of Washington represent? Lobbying? Bureaucracy? Give me a break. By far, the largest group of workers in the city are bureaucrats & other white-collar professionals. This state would be nothing more than an appendage of the federal government."
Last I checked, there was no law restricting voting privileges based on one's occupation. If that is something Republicans would like to try out, perhaps they should bring that bill to Congress? The "Only People Who Have Certain Jobs Deserve A Vote Act." I am certain it would be just as popular as everything else they try to pass.
Cotton then went on to explain that it's okay that DC residents are not represented in Congress because they get a lot of tax funding as a result of being the nation's capital. Of course, if we are eliminating states based on taking more than they pay in ... that might not be a place Republicans want to go. Especially Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, the biggest "taker" state in the Union.
It is also okay, Cotton said, because they — like our many territories — get a non-voting member of Congress who can introduce legislation. Again, it is creepy that we still have "territories" in the year 2020.
If DC wants to be a state, they should be a state. Period, end of story. And may I just point out that in England, the country that did all that taxation without representation to us, people in London have just as much representation in Parliament as those living anywhere else in the country. Just something to think about.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse