Monday, April 2, 2007

Fit To Be Embarrassed

Egged on by Bob Herbert, New York Times letters writers tried their hands this weekend at predicting why the White House is really opposed to congressional representation for D.C. denizens.

The first letter speculates gun-lobby pandering:

What could possibly be the rationale behind denying taxpaying Americans representation in Congress?

Bob Herbert says pressure from the gun lobby helped torpedo recent legislation to give District of Columbia residents just one seat in the House of Representatives, saving President Bush from having to live up to his threat of a veto.

The second speculates racism:

Bob Herbert’s welcome plea to create Congressional representation for the District of Columbia’s nearly 600,000 citizens doesn’t note one key explanation for the administration’s opposition: the District is 65 percent black; its new House member would undoubtedly be black (and a Democrat); and if the new House bill is a steppingstone to true and full Congressional representation — two senators as well — those folks would share the same demographic and political characteristics.

In New Orleans, we’ve already seen the disrespect and neglect the administration shows to black-majority cities. Why would we expect things to be different for Washington?

Must it always be a conspiracy? Why not: Because it's plainly unconstitutional?

Or perhaps the Times' letters editor is secretly a Bush operative, furtively drawing attention to embarrassing displays of Times readers' ignorance.

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