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DC Statehood

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by NewRoxFan, Mar 23, 2021.

  1. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

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    Support for DC statehood among Democrats is 74%.

    For reference, the sole legislative accomplishment the Republicans pushed through during their 2017-19 trifecta, the Tax Cut & Jobs act, polled at 75% among Republicans and 40% overall (-5)

    Support for @JuanValdez independent thinker, who has lots of opinions to express on this holding steady at less than 74%.

    @jiggyfly if you could, plant the flag while I read up on various local referenda so as to opine at length to strangers.
     
    #121 SamFisher, Apr 23, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2021
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  2. quikkag

    quikkag Contributing Member

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    The fundamental aspect here is a struggle over equal representation. Existing and trending demographics clearly indicate that Republican support is dwindling, and Democratic support is growing, with no foreseeable change in these directions. Sadly, the Republican reaction to this is not to respond to the needs and desires of the populace by adjusting platform, but to scratch and claw to deprive equal right-to-vote to the American citizenry. (This is because the Republican platform is not beneficial to the general population, but to the ultra-wealthy who fund them, use them to avoid paying their fair share in support of the common good, and to expand their wealth in opposition to the common good. Rather, these ultra-wealthy strive to move our economy and mode of governance to feudalism, with them as the landed gentry, and the general populace as their serfs. It is to be read in correspondence between Charles Koch and economist James Buchanan: https://www.ineteconomics.org/persp...-the-one-percents-stealth-takeover-of-america.)

    Due to differences in population together with the Constitutionally established numbers in the Senate and the House, a vote in Wyoming carries 3.6 times the weight of a vote in California ( https://www.huffpost.com/entry/its-time-to-end-the-electoral-college_b_12891764 ). But the vision is one-citizen, one-vote. The desires and needs of the people of our nation are not equitably represented by our existing system.

    When our Founding Fathers were striving to unite the populace to gain freedom from King George III, compromises were made. The Senate, with 2 members from each state was absolutely necessary to convince some states to commit to the common cause, but it is an inherently anti-democratic legislative body. It precludes one-citizen, one-vote.

    Ideally, if we pretend to believe in a democratic republic where citizens are represented equally, we would make adjustments along the lines of eliminating the Senate--absorbing its few unique responsibilities into the House--and re-drawing Congressional districts in a strict grid (435 of them, if we are to maintain the number of seats in the House), making minimal adjustments in North-South/East-West grid lines along prevailing cardinal streets to balance district-represented populations, disregarding states for federal representation.

    I give you the above as food for thought.
     
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  3. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker I lost a bet
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    The issue is, you cannot get people/states to join under one system, then change to a different system without following the rules that allow for such a change. The rules to make fundamental changes to the structure of the country established in the Constitution are in the amendment process. So, if someone doesn't want each state to have two senators, or wants to eliminate the senate, or whatever, they propose a constitutional amendment which must be proposed by the Congress with 2/3 majority in each chamber or by a Constitutional convention called for by 2/3 of state legislatures. There is no where near that kind of support for these changes, because it would require quite a few of the states that benefit from the current system to vote against their own interests.
     
  4. quikkag

    quikkag Contributing Member

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    I see how you jumped to the proclaimed idealistic part and breezed right by the conditions underlying the problem.
     
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  5. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    A very interesting poll result, with much more support for DC statehood than I might have expected. Is there a recent poll showing national support for or against Puerto Rico statehood? I would like to see those results if one is out there. Perhaps it’s been posted here and I scanned right past it.

    I thought what @txtony found in The Atlantic was fascinating reading. History matters, of course, whether it is the history of voter suppression by the Republican Party in numerous states over the last couple of decades, or what was done well over a hundred years ago in an effort at securing Republican Party dominance during the post-Civil War period. The pros and cons certain to be debated about, depending in part on one’s political point of view, but some interesting ideas regardless.

    Good reading in several posts, some I agreed with, some I didn’t. I liked @rocketsjudoka’s strong support for Puerto Rican statehood. As I said earlier, I think they should have it if the public there support statehood. A plebiscite on an up or down vote for statehood for the island, without the other two options that always split the vote, is something I would really like to see. If a majority votes yes, Congress should move to give it to them, in my opinion.

    I often agree with posts by @JuanValdez down here, but not on his reasons for being against DC statehood. Specifically, that it would “weaken” the power, the representation of Texas in Congress, if I understood him correctly. As a native Texan who’s family has been in the state for generations, I’m bemused by the idea that DC statehood would “weaken” our state politically. When we were brought into the union after independence, our population didn’t amount to much, in my opinion. It was 125,000 people, 30,000 of them slaves.

    I’m a Democrat who grew up in Houston, a Democratic bastion in Texas, as is literally every other major urban center in the state, with the suburbs having a strong trend in the same direction, but I’m also as a Texan who has lived in Austin the past 40 years, long the state’s the most liberal city. Why should I see DC statehood as “weakening” Texas? A state subject to the strongest efforts by it’s gerrymandered Republican dominated legislature to suppress the vote of any state in the country?

    On the contrary, DC statehood with it’s two senators almost certain to be Democratic helps this Texan and millions more. It would give efforts to combat voter suppression, not only in Texas, but across the country, additional support in Congress. Especially, of course, strong support in the Senate and for years to come. Certainly in my opinion.

    Food for thought.
     
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  6. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker I lost a bet
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    The "conditions underlying the problem" are irrelevant to pointing out that the solution proposed is unconstitutional and that the method for changing the constitution would pretty much inevitably guarantee that the proposed solution would never become an amendment. States are empowered to run their own elections, those are the rules already established. The United States are not empowered to eliminate the Senate, to remove powers from the Senate, to eliminate the electoral college, to remove powers from the electoral college, to change the apportionment of Senators or members of the electoral college, etc. You are mad at the Republican Party for playing to the best of their ability within the rules, and your proposed solution is to ignore the rules and write new rules to favor the Democratic Party without the consent of the Republican Party or of the states from which you are eliminating their already limited power.

    Your proposition is intended to chase an ideal that was not part of the Constitution to begin with (one person, one vote). In fact, even today two states chose electoral college electors in a manner other than statewide popular vote (Maine and Nebraska) and it was popular for decades for the state legislatures to choose the electors (and thus which candidate the state's electors would be supporting) directly, without a statewide ballot. Originally slaves and women were not given the right to vote. People didn't like that, so the Constitution was amended (at different times) to allow both to vote (and to eliminate slavery). The Constitution has been amended more than two dozen times, it can be amended again. It is hard to change because the very foundation of the country is not meant to be altered by a bare majority, but by overwhelming consensus.
     
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  7. quikkag

    quikkag Contributing Member

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    I revere the 1st Amendment, and I value your right to say whatever you choose that does not rather directly lead to harm to others, and for your right to believe as you choose. I will, however, lambast you for using my words--while displaying that you understood nothing of their content--as your springboard. Just say what you want to say. Do not quote my comments, distort beyond all recognition their actual meaning, and pretend they are the basis for your words.

    That you support unequal voice of citizens in government is clear illustration that you oppose democracy. And don't try that "we're not a democracy" dodge. We all know we're a democratic republic, and we also know what we're discussing when we reference democratic principles.

    I never proposed changing our electoral and representative system to what I describe. I said that "ideally, if we pretend to believe in a democratic republic where citizens are represented equally, we would make adjustments"--quite distinct from urging that exact change to take place. I'm hip to the Amendment process. I've seen the effort for an Equal Rights Amendment since the big push by the National Organization for Women in 1970.

    I am not "mad at the Republican Party for playing to the best of their ability within the rules". The objective observer who dives into objective research, who makes the effort to be a responsibly informed citizen in order to participate in our national civics understands that every sincere and aware conservative in the US has left the Republican Party. What remains in the Republican Party are merely tools, fools, and con-men. Don't go to the old dodge of "all politicians lie", because they don't, and when they do, the difference in proportion is gargantuan. Whataboutisms from your ilk are thoroughly worn out. Look, the first vote I ever cast for a presidential candidate was for Reagan when Tip O-Neill's Democrats really were tax-and-spend, rather than the contemplative, deliberate, actual fiscally responsible party they've been since Bill Clinton. I've watched the development of the two parties over the decades, and I know how they have evolved. I could go into exhaustive detail, but I'll summarize with the fact that there is nothing remaining of the Republican Party but corruption, and everyone who actually has a care for common good aligns with the Democratic Party. The GQP base today is nothing but a 15-year old's mentality of "you can't make me be responsible".
     
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  8. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    I agree with the problems you stated but I think @StupidMoniker is right here that the changes you're suggesting are extremely unlikely to happen and I personally think trying to get rid of the Senate or the Electoral College isn't practical or productive given the Constitutional barriers to get there.

    Consider that while yes the system as is currently is benefitting Republicans but there are also small states that are dominated by Democrats. Rhode Island's population is about a quarter of Houston's and Delaware's population is about the same size South Dakota's. It's unlikely those states would want to lose their representation in Congress especially since the current President represented Delaware for decades in the Senate.

    At the same time too states like the Dakotas haven't always been dominated by Republicans. In the past 10 years there have been Senators, Governors and Representatives from their. Most Democrats didn't mind when Tom Daschle was majority leader in the Senate and there was little talk about how disproportionate representation there was then.

    From a partisanship side it's still very possible to break the stranglehold the GOP currently has on small population rural states. From the disproportionate representation side that is harder but some of problems that you state can be addressed without whole sale change to the Constitution. Changes regarding redistricting and ballot access can change those. Also if the members of states vote more as a block for the state than for their parties large states will wield much more power.
     
  9. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the shoutout and absolutely agree that Congress should pass a bill that allows Puerto Ricans to decide on statehood.
     
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  10. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    To add another thought. As someone living in a Midwestern state with a lot of rural interests I do think there could be problems if large coastal states get more power. If the power in Congress was truly tilted towards CA, TX, NY, and FL per their population we will see Midwest and rural issues take even more of a backseat as more policy and resources will be directed to those states. Many in these states already feel like they are relegated to "flyover land" and that will be even more the case if they lose their representation.
     
  11. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

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  12. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

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    You mean lose their overrepresentation.
     
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  13. StupidMoniker

    StupidMoniker I lost a bet
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    How did I misunderstand the content of your quote. You identified the conditions underlying the problem as being that our democracy is not representative because we don't have a one person, one vote system (from context referring specifically to the electoral college and the Senate, not to the House where the Montana representative represents over a million people while others represent as few as 500,000). Is that not the crux of your argument?
    I don't support ignoring the Constitution. If the nation wants to amend the constitution to eliminate the Senate and the EC, that is fine. If the nation wants to amend the constitution to put in term limits for the Supreme Court, that is fine to. I don't believe in illegally changing the structure of our government because I have great respect for the law, and am sworn to defend the Constitution.
    Generally, when someone says, "Ideally we would do X", that means they support doing X. I didn't understand that you were expressing something else with those words. Did you mean that you don't want to advance toward that ideal? Did you mean you don't want the nation to pretend to believe in a democratic republic where citizens are represented equally? I apologize for misunderstanding you, I would like to know what you meant when you said that.
    With regard to election laws, it certainly seems to be the case. You talk about the laws being passed largely by Republicans at the state level that pass Constitutional scrutiny within the system and then do not advocate for but idealize laws actually supported by the Democrats (such as eliminating the EC) that are not Constitutional. Call it what you want, but I will call it like I see it.
    Yep, my vote left the Republican Party years ago and my registration followed suit more recently.
    I think there are some decent Republicans left. I am a fan of Rand Paul, generally speaking. Becoming the other big spending party that just infringes on different freedoms than the Dems was the death knell for most of it.
    Whataboutism is not a thing. It is a dodge made up by the online left because they got tired of looking bad in valid comparisons and analogies. It does not invalidate a criticism leveled in response to another criticism to call it a whataboutism.
    I can't stand either of them, but the Democratic Party is completely at odds with the Constitution. They have no respect for the limitation of the Federal government's powers in Article One. The modern Republican Party is garbage, but the Democratic Party is more at odds with the actual structure of our Country and thus must be opposed. I wish for a Constitutional Party that would truly be for limiting the Federal government to what is contained in the document. The closest I can find is the Libertarian Party, which is not great and doesn't actually win elections, but that's where I have ended up.
     
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  14. quikkag

    quikkag Contributing Member

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    StupidMoniker, I'm not going to do a quote loop on you quoting me quoting you quoting me. The essence is you are attempting to put words in my mouth. You are claiming things I say or think that are not what I said or think. You have a problem with reading comprehension. You missed the meaning of everything between "ideally", and "food for thought". You hear and read what you want without regard for the intended/expressed message.

    That you are a fan of Rand Paul says much, as does your concept of whataboutism.
     
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  15. quikkag

    quikkag Contributing Member

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    judoka, don't let SM lead you astray. I know the things I suggest would be an improvement in representation will not happen. I know it. They are an impossibility. Our system does not lend itself to such changes. They were considerations to mull over as one contemplates how the system of representation set up in our Constitution has veered off course. They were seeds for a thought experiment.

    As for where our nation heads, demographics make it clear that unless the GQP can hijack our government entirely and soon, they lose their grip entirely. They have gamed the system to influence the judiciary, but they failed to overturn the 2020 presidential election, so gerrymandering and voter restriction laws are the only hope they have to return to control of federal legislature.
     
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  16. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Given that Harris County's population is almost the same as MN's yes I can see that and won't deny that when it comes to the Senate as an MN resident my representation by Senator is greater than a TX's resident. That said I don't have a problem with that and given that there are issues that are important to MN and other Upper Midwest States that likely won't get as much attention if there weren't two senators from MN.

    From the partisanship side let's say we made the Senate more like the House so from MN we lose either a Tina Smith or an Amy Klobuchar while certainly CA and NY could benefit but that also means TX could add another Ted Cruz and FL another Marco Rubio.

    Further this argument of overrepresentation is a rather strange argument for DC statehood. If DC were to become a State that would be two Senators for about 700,000 that is less than the population of either of the Dakotas so then you have another small state getting very overrepresented.
     
  17. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    @StupidMoniker will probably tell you there is little danger of leading me astray.. ;)

    I can agree with you there are some big problems but as I've stated as someone who lives in a smaller rural state there are also interests in protecting small states interests and having two senators does that. Your concern sounds like one of partisanship and yes the current system disproportionately benefits the GOP right but that doesn't have to remain that way. I think addressing the issues of representation is going to be far more productively addressed by dealing with redistricting, voting laws other reforms that don't require big Constitutional changes.
     
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  18. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

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    The best way to solve the Senate's rural bias and other **** ton of problems is to abolish it.

    The second best way is to dilute it.

    There's nothing "strange" about these things both being true.

    The argument for DC statehood is pretty simple, DC residents are deprived of congressional representation for no good reason. That's why it used to be a bipartisan issue.

    It's a distinct electoral and geographical unit therefore, should become a state. This is true regardless of the Senates bias, full stop.

    Anyway, "please don't forget the angry people who are overrepresented now and smash up the capitol and tried to murder the VP" is not a very compelling argument. It's actually because of them in part that DC needs to become a state.
     
    #138 SamFisher, Apr 25, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  19. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Are you OK then with state having only 700,000 resident's two senators? That's 56 times the representation that a resident of CA gets.

    And I'm for DC statehood.
     
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  20. SamFisher

    SamFisher Virtuous

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    The Senate should be abolished like I said.

    But, in general, adding more states mathematically dilutes the power of existing small state voters, abd adding DC in particular gets us closer to abolition.

    Add away.
     

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