In the newest edition of DCWatch that I received via email early Thursday morning, http://www.dcwatch.com/DCWatch editor Gary Imhoff rightly calls out D.C. statehood proponents for their longstanding deployment of childish, outlandish and self-defeating tactics, even while they've acted like they have an almost royal sense of entitlement and national support.
Clearly, they did not and do not have the latter and the former is NOT a particularly good strategy when your ultimate goal is to be a state in a Western Democracy where others have voices and votes, too, not just you, no matter how often or how loudly you yell and impugn others with the worst possible bomb-throwing rhetoric.
All these years later and all these grab-bag cast of characters have accomplished is to thoroughly annoy and irritate the very class of people whom they most need to persuade thru logic, reason
and self-interest: members of Congress.
But when you have a longstanding sense of both grudges AND entitlement, and are indulged a lot by the local political class and news media, it's hard to change course when it's always been easier for you to blame others for your decades of failure.
This spot-on cri-de-coeur by Gary Imhoff could well have been written when I first moved to the Washington, D.C. area, and was constantly running into people like myself who were greatly attracted to the lifestyle and culture of Washington, and had ambition to spare.
For all these other folks like me, who later became my friends, a couple of years out of school or grad school, like most of you, what we knew about the Washington area and the people who actually lived and worked there, we knew from TV, films, books and magazines, albeit perhaps more obscure films that most of you.
Those images and words had created certain key assumptions of what the people would be like, and when you mix in the overwhelming Democratic Party allegiance of the folks moving there, it's easy to see why almost everyone I knew was, in the abstract, in favor of DC statehood.
But the population of abstract is always smaller than you think.
Within weeks of moving there in the summer of 1988, where I moved into a home on Capitol Hill in the 500 block of East Capitol Street, just five blocks from the U.S. Capitol and four from the Supreme Court and Library of Congress, I was running into people like myself who had previously thought they were in favor of D.C Statehood, but who had been quite disillusioned by what we'd seen and heard from its proponents once we were actually living there.
The very people who were in charge and who could never adequately answer the questions that Gary Imhoff so rightly brings to the fore. Obviously, I can't speak for all my friends, but for myself, those assumptions lasted all of about one day. For others, like a friend from U-Texas, who worked in the State Dept., it was almost an entire summer.
In his case, those assumptions came crashing down as he was jumped, robbed and beaten right near the home of one of Washington's most famous talking-heads, Pat Moynihan, the senior senator from New York among many other things, whom I've discussed here previously.
When my friend came by my place just a block away, bloody and groggy, I called the Metropolitan Police to report what happened. I was astonished when I was told that the only way that it would get investigated was if my friend came to the police station -which I hadn't yet learned the location of.
We weren't out in the middle of nowhere in Cow Country, USA, we were on one of the main streets of Capital Hill, the one that connected The U.S. Capitol to RFK Stadium to the east, just like you saw on TV broadcast of Redskins games millions of times.
They wouldn't dispatch a police car to investigate a robbery and beating so we waited 'till the next day.
The worm had definitely turned!
This is THE most cogent analysis of the D.C. Statehood problem I've ever seen.
Does Anyone Here Know How to Play This Game?
By Gary Imhoff
April 13, 2011
Does anyone here know how to play this game? Does anyone remember how any US territories got statehood? The last states admitted to statehood were Alaska and Hawaii, in 1959, so the answer may be that no one does. Certainly no one playing the game in DC has studied statehood movements that were successful in any territories.
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